You guys just tear me up.
It wasn’t some kind of evil conspiracy to support Microsoft. Janus DRM (WMDRM-10) support is a necessity for any player to work with protected media, and the essentials are integrated in any Windows-based PC. This support is necessary for Rhapsody, Napster, Overdrive, NetLibrary, Audible, and many more services.
Yes, SanDisk could have negotiated some novel license agreement with Apple, to allow iTunes AAC (M4p) and such, but even the layman should see the problems inherent in jumping on that bandwagon. We’d be arguing over the klidginess of iTunes, wouldn’t we?
On the contrary, SanDisk has opted for both MTP and MSC support, which allows operation with platforms other than Windows, like Linux and even OS-X.
The real culprit here is Windows Media Player itself. Windows Media Player has some bizarre default settings, like the initial device synchronization procedure. I’ll elabotrate a wee bit on this issue. WiMP queries the new device, and actually knows the available capacity of the connected Sansa. But, gentle Sansa users, what does our little WiMP do? It sends everything but the kitchen sink on to your device if you’ll let it, and if there’s a track titled “Kitchen Sink”, well, it will send that over too!
The folks at Microsoft left a lot to be desired in Windows Media Player documentation. Trying to figure out just what to do, and where those important settings are hidden, can be a royal battle.
On the other hand, WiMP is a powerful application, and is quite handy, once you get the hang of it. I routinely task it with several Sansas on the USB hub concurrently, and I can switch between devices at will, both internal and external memory. One can have manual tasks plus automatic synchronizations in the same session if desired. Song ratings, ID3 tag editing, album art, all port easily. Ah, and playlists with WiMP11 are a breeze. Oh, and I run both Rhapsody and Audible through WiMP, all licenses and databases intact, making management of multiple Sansas convenient.
This is not without incident, I must note. Every now and again, WiMP suffers a brain freeze, and corrupts its music database, requiring a slow but automatic rebuilding of the system, and setting up the Sansas’ individual preferences over again.
You do have the option of using a media manager like Media Monkey or Winamp. I run both on occasion, with MM being quite handy for on the fly OGG rips. Media Monkey is powerful in its own right, and with its functionality one must learn a new interface as well.
Simply put, integrating MTP mode was the obvious choice for these devices, as it gives most users the functionalities iPod users actually take for granted. But, they are limited in their options, as iTunes does everything in that venue.