Proven workaround for "refresh database" lockup

I’ve discovered that the Clip balks at certain characters in some ID3 tags, and this results in the lockup issue many users are experiencing. This is NOT a “number of files” issue as suspected by some…

The easiest way to  work around this (until Sansa fixes the firmware), is to change all your music files to use Unicode (UTF-16) for the ID3 V2.3 tags. If you are using the (excellent) MP3Tag utility, this is one of the Option settings.

You can simply select all your MP3s in the utility (you can even do this without deleting them from the Clip, if you do the power reset, have firmware V x.18, and are in MSC mode) and then just hit Save; any files in the “bad” tag format will be converted / corrected to the “good” Unicode format - and the Clip will then be happy with them ALL when loaded with them or disconnected.

Really! Try it and see…

Happy New Year!


this is exactly rite i use mp3tag and post this same fix… altho you add the why…thanx for your research.

** BUMP **

There are still users reporting this problem - perhaps this could be made a sticky, until the new firmware is released??

tried that doesnt work with 18A

Ahhhmmm, “PROVEN” means “it works”. So let’s find out why it didn’t work for you:

Did you read my post thoroughly, maybe also check out the Mp3tag HELP menu, and set the required options?

You must go into the Mp3tag Options / MPEG menu and make sure BOTH id3 version “read” checkboxes are checked, both id3 version “write” check boxes are checked, both id3 “remove” checkboxes are checked - and MOST IMPORTANTLY - that the write option for Unicode tag text formatting (the center radio button, the one that says “ID3 v2.3 UTF-16”) is selected.

Now, when you drop a folder of MP3 files into Mp3tag, go to the Edit menu, click Select All. Then just click the Save icon, and Mp3tag will change any files that have the “bad” id3v3.2 ISO text encoding, over to UTF-16 (Unicode) and the Clip will NOT stall on the database refresh.

As a side benefit, any MP3s that do not have ANY id3 v2.3 tags will get them, using the v1.x data.

Now, go try it again.

You are right.

I was wrong.

I think I had a way older version of mp3tag.

Now these are tunes ive tried setting the individual fields properly before.

It didnt work then.

I never would have known to look for the UTF option.

Now I can jam any 2gigs of my tunes on my clip


I think this gets it.

Good deal!

BTW, using consistent tagging will also minimize or eliminate the multiple database entries for genres/artists, so I recommend retagging all your MP3s by this procedure, if you are having that problem…

Message Edited by Click on 01-20-2008 09:43 AM

Dear guru. I am trying to solve a different problem with the same tool. I have some mp3 files with Russian ID3 tags. I used the same tool and made sure that they are converted to V2.3 ID3 tag Unicode.  However, my Sansa m200 does not show Russian font correctly. However, file name in Russian shown fine.  Any ideas, please?

I’ll have to give this a whirl if this happens again. Although I don’t think my refresh database problem could be deduced to this as the same files that were freezing my clip before, work fine now, and the tags are the same.

The firmware from version .20 fixed the issue described in this thread

My problem is that in the ‘refresh database’ lockup, I’m locked up. I can’t access the Clip in order to select a different mode.

I’ve tried the 15 second reset and pressing every button while powering on, off, plugging, unplugging.

When I turn my Clip on, the ‘refresh database’ appears and is locked up except I can turn the player off.

When I plug my Clip in, the animated arrows start and ‘Writing’ appears for about a minute and the player

then locks up tight. I can turn off in the same manner. This is all I can do. 

I’d love to try the proven workaround if I could access my player. Any thoughts? 

Here…try this.

when your player got locked up in refresh DB…slide up the power button and hold there for 15 seconds to reset…after the reset, DO NOT turn your player on, but put it in LOCK mode by sliding the button back…then press and hold the center button while plugging it in your PC so the player will connect in MSC mode…then back up your data in there…do a format & upgrade firmware and reload your contents to see if this will solve your problem.

WOW…almost…I thought we had 'er there for a second. Thanks for that button combo!

But now it’s led to a different set of problems.

On plugging the Clip in with the button combo, the updater comes up and I can update firmware, which seems to go ok.

At the end of the process, it says ‘firmware is up to date, unplug your Sansa so the process can complete’. When I unplug

the Clip, a message read ‘Firmware update in progress’, and, like the ‘refresh database’ message, stays there forever. I have

to force the Clip off. Upon turning the Clip on, that same message comes up and won’t go away.

Simply plugging the Clip back in gives the ‘Writing’ animation until it freezes at about a minute. 

As with the other times, I can’t access the menus to get ‘into’ the player.

Any ideas from here? I appreciate your help! 

So I guess I’m hosed, eh? I’m surprised the reset combo and updater didn’t do the trick for me.