I recently got a 4GB Sansa Clip+ and have been busy putting my music onto its onboard storage and a 32GB SDHC card. I am enjoying the capacity, but have noticed a problem. After spending about 10-15 minutes refreshing my library, the player doesn’t “see” all of the music files I put onto the SDHC card, either in the Artists list, the Folders view, or anything else; it’s as if the music files aren’t really there, even though if I connect it to my PC I can see that they are. I have the files on my SDHC card organized in /MUSIC/Artists/[ArtistName]/[AlbumName]/[SongTitle] format, and the cutoff in the song detection appears to be at a certain artist in the 'R’s; no songs by artists alphabetically after this point are detected by the player. I can’t think of anything that might be different about these files from the rest. Why are some of my files not being detected? Is there some limit to the number of files or folders the player can work with? (The folders and files not being found are the ones added last) I’m not having any problems with detecting tracks in the onboard sotrage, either.
How many files are stored in total? There is a file limit (forgot the number), but I can’t imagine that it’s reached with your capacity, unless your music is extremely compressed. Your problem could also be caused by copy-protected files.
Around 6000-6500–do you need an exact number? The music is all compressed to 128 kbps; nearly all of it is unprotected .mp3s, but there are a few other file types that I could inventory.
Upon examination, I also notice that it does not seem to be detecting .m4a files. But most of the files it is failing to detect are unprotected .mp3s.
From a search on the forum and a Google search I take it that the file limit can vary between 5200 and 6500 – depending on the complexity of the file structure –, so you’re in critical proximity, at least for the original firmware. With Rockbox there would be no such limit.
That is surprising since the Sansa Clip+ is marketed as supporting up to 32GB memory cards–is this why 16GB is the maximum recommended size when using MP3s? Would a firmware update fix this?
I have considered trying Rockbox, but it seems there is a risk of bricking my brand-new player. Is it true that it improves battery efficiency?
I have no experience with Rockbox, but other forum members like it, actually most of the ones who have tried it.
Anyway, you could count yourself lucky with the Clip+, as the (new) Sport only supports 2000 files for each drive, moreover the database treats them separately. This with a player of the latest generation with support for 64 GB cards.
You are up against the limits of the Sansa firmware. It was made in an era before 32GB cards and its little brain can’t handle all the songs. The display works by making a database from the tags in the songs–Album, Artist, Title, etc.–and there is a limit on the size of that database. It’s not how many songs–it’s the total number of characters in all the tags. Seems like you’re maxing out at R in the alphabet.
Your only alternative is Rockbox, which has figured out a way around that limit. (Why can’t SanDisk? One of life’s mysteries.)
Rockbox is, at this point, very mature and stable software, and your chance of bricking your unit is really low if you go to www.rockbox.org and simply follow the installation directions. As long as you don’t skip steps (and there aren’t many) you’ll be fine.
You will probably have to do a little tweaking of Rockbox, like choosing a theme that you like. Because Rockbox is made for so many different players with different displays, many of the themes look cramped on the little Clip+ screen. But the site is pretty good at walking you through the steps, and it has a forum you can search or post questions on.
Meanwhile, the Clip+ won’t show .m4a files because it can’t play them. In iTunes you can Create MP3 Version by highlighting the songs and right-clicking to get a menu.
I did install Rockbox without incident and am quite happy with it, except for its possibly reducing the battery life. But it does detect all my songs and plays .m4a files.