I am new to this forum and this community. I am also relatively new to SanDisk, as well. I have been an avid user of Apple products, but am considering a change here at the moment.
I do not own any Sansa products as of yet, but am very seriously considering getting an 8GB ClipZip (or, if not a “Zip”, then either a Clip+ or a Fuze+ — but most likely the “Zip”, though).
Having said that, I have a few questions, and wonder if someone can help clear up some confusion for me. Mostly having to do with music and audio formats, and things of this nature.
I realize that getting a Sansa product will mean I will no longer be using iTunes for music management. Herein lies a few issues for me (and please forgive me for my ignorance in this regard). Over the past 3 to 4 years I have purchased several (hundreds) of song tracks from the iTunes Store. It has just recently come to my attention that using these with a non-Apple player is going to be a challenge, to say the least. I am not sure I completely understand all of the DRM-related restrictions regarding these music files, however if I’m not mistaken I do believe that much of these restrictions were done away with by Apple nearly 3 years ago (again, something I just recently found out about).
So, anyway, long story short. Not all of my music library was purchased from the iTunes Store, but quite a bit of it has been down through the years. When I recently attempted moving my library files over to WMP, only some of the files were successfully moved, and not my entire music library (which has well over 1000 song titles). This is very frustrating for me, as I’m sure you can imagine. And while I AM aware that I can change music formats using iTunes, however after having tried this, I am even more frustrated — for 2 reasons. One, the MP3 format does NOT sound as good to me as the standard iTunes format (when doing a side-by-side A/B comparison of songs, etc.), and secondly, iTunes still seems to have issues converting some sort of copyright-protected drm song titles (which I don’t understand, since I figured that Apple did away with these restrictions with the advent of “iTunes Plus”, some 2 or 3 years ago).
Basically, what I want to be able to do is manage my whole entire music library, AND have the option of playing any and all of these song tracks in my library — all without having to sacrifice audio quality. I don’t care if I do this using Windows Media Player, or with some other software. But I would also like to have the option available to me of being able to use a Sansa player to play song tracks in my music library (it is especially important to me to be able to build playlists and have them eventually show up on my music player).
I don’t really care about the radio, or being able to play videos (a picture viewer would be nice though). But I DO want the color screen that the Zip has (but preferably not the crappy controls on the Fuze+ — I would much rather have the better control options provided by thoseof the Clip (either the Plus or Zip — again, preferably the Zip).
So the questions I have (in a nutshell):
-Is there an easy way for me to get my entire music library onto a ClipZip player (using any of the known music management software options that are out there)? And, if so, can someone please give me step-by-step instructions how to do this, please?
-And, since I can obviously tell the difference in SQ between MP3 files and whatever the default 256kbps Apple (iTunes) format happens to be, then can someone please tell me what the best music file format system is that I personally should use with a device such as a ClipZip, and how do I convert my music into this format system?
On a final note, I will probably never use either the radio or the card slot, but it doesn’t hurt to have them available, in case I change my mind at some point in time.
Thanks for any help that anyone here can provide for me
PS — Sorry for such a lengthy message.