Sansa clipzip Playlist issue

Hey i’ve read about issues regarding creating a playlist of songs from both internal and external memory, question is : does the problem still exist ?

PLA format playlists = songs from both internal and external.

M3U format playlists = songs from either internal or external, but not both.

No problem.

What I’m finding is that when using Windows Media Player, which is creating PLA playlists, and I am mixing songs that are in internal and external memory, when I sync the playlists to the clipzip:

  1. if I’m syncing the playlist to external memory, any songs currently only on internal memory are copied to the external memory.

  2. if I’m syncing the playlist to internal memory, any songs currently only on external memory are copied to the internal memory.

I thought playlists would just act as pointers to the songs locations, and not need to make a copy, which is a waste of space, since songs are stored in both internal and external in this case.  (this need to make a copy kind of defeats the power of adding space with a memory card!)

Is there any way to make playlists for this device which encompass songs on both internal and external memory that does not waste space by having them reside in both locations??

Btw, I’m using the latest firmware on ClipZip, V01.01.20A

You may find this helpful:

I was looking for a way to make playlists that include songs from both internal memory and the plug-in memory card.  I found an on-line post that described how to use FOOBAR to accomplish this.  I don’t remember the location of this helpful post, but the example below is a playlist that works on my ClipZip.

/MUSIC/Chico Hamilton Quintet/02 Chanel # 5.mp3
/MUSIC/Chico Hamilton Quintet/04 September Song.mp3
/MUSIC/Chico Hamilton Quintet/08 Satin Doll.mp3
/<microSD1>/Music/Chet Baker and Jerry Mulligan/02. My Funny Valentine.mp3
/<microSD1>/Music/Chet Baker and Jerry Mulligan/03. Moonlight In Vermont.mp3
/<microSD1>/Music/Chet Baker and Jerry Mulligan/11. Laura.mp3

A playlist is just a text file with the path to each song on each line.  The first three songs are in the MUSIC folder in my player’s main memory.  The second three are in the Music folder on the plug0in card.  Note that the player recognizes the microSD card as <microSD1>.  Including this in the path will access songs on the memory card.  This playlist works from any location in the main memory of the player.  I put my playlists in the folder “playlists” (DOH!).

I use RockBox on my player, but presumably the playlist will work in the SANSA operating system as well.  You can create the playlist with your favorite application (I use FOOBAR), but you may need to use a text editor to edit the paths so they look like the paths in the example above.  I save playlists with the .m3u extension (e.g., “Jazz.m3u”)

Having stated in my preceding post that I thought my playlist would probably work under SANSA’s operating system, I thought I’d better test it.  It turns out that it won’t.  In fact, after expending quite a bit of effort trying to make a .m3u playlist that would work under the manufacturer’s operating system including an extensive search for successful attempts by other people, I gave up.  No matter what form my .m3u playlist has, SANSA’s operating system reports that the playlist is empty – even when the same playlist works perfectly when my player is operating under RockBox.  This seems to be a general problem with Sansa’s players.  My Fuze+ doesn’t recognize the content of .m3u files either unless I boot it up in RockBox.

If anyone can generate .m3u playlists that work with the SANSA factory operating systems, please post an example playlist in this forum.  Maybe I have missed an obvious solution. 

Meanwhile, if you really want to be able to make and use playlists that span both internal memory and plug-in cards, I recommend RockBox.  It tolerates quite a bit of variation in the contents of the playlist file.

@didjeridude wrote:

Having stated in my preceding post that I thought my playlist would probably work under SANSA’s operating system, I thought I’d better test it.  It turns out that it won’t.  In fact, after expending quite a bit of effort trying to make a .m3u playlist that would work under the manufacturer’s operating system including an extensive search for successful attempts by other people, I gave up.  No matter what form my .m3u playlist has, SANSA’s operating system reports that the playlist is empty – even when the same playlist works perfectly when my player is operating under RockBox.  This seems to be a general problem with Sansa’s players. 

 

Make sure you have the latest firmware version. The playlisting ability was broken during an earlier firmware update, but not discovered until recently. The latest update fixes it. I have tested it using the method linked to below.

@didjeridude wrote:

 

If anyone can generate .m3u playlists that work with the SANSA factory operating systems, please post an example playlist in this forum.  Maybe I have missed an obvious solution. 

 

This works:

Winamp Playlist Procedure

@didjeridude wrote:

 

Meanwhile, if you really want to be able to make and use playlists that span both internal memory and plug-in cards, I recommend RockBox.  It tolerates quite a bit of variation in the contents of the playlist file.

 

You can also use a .pla to .m3u converter program. Not all of them you’ll find will work, but with a little trial & error you should be able to finid one that fits your needs.

 

Of course Rockbox is a good option, but for many people they’d rather not have to deal with the complexities, endless settings and learning curve of such a powerful firmware solution.

didjeridude: 

I appreciate you answering my post in such a targeted, detailed fashion, and also making the effort to test it (and do research) with the SanDisk firmware (I’m presuming that’s what you mean by “SANSA’s operating system”).  As an aside, I also like your taste in jazz. 

While I’m not thoroughly against using RockBox, I am hoping that there is a good solution utilizing SanDisk’s firmware.  I guess I’m still naive enough to think that utilizing a vendor’s own software to run their device should work.  I will definitely consider alternate firmware if I need to.

From what I can tell, proper operations of playlists and other music-oriented content on the device is contingent upon 4 different pieces.  I have posted a more thorough explaination of my situation in another post.  I created that post for clarity, and because I was concerned that no one would answer here after I realized that a checkmark/solution icon was associated with this post.  That other post is located here.  Maybe that is the best place to continue this conversation; I would appreciate continuing it.  In your case, for instance, a) is RockBox, b) I’m assuming is drag and drop (but never assume…), c) is M3U, and d) I don’t know what USB mode you are using.

Tapeworm:

You obviously put much effort into this forum, and have a lot of clout.  I’d appreciate clarification, and possibly a response to my other thread, the reason for which I explained above.  the other thread  [explaination: From what I can tell, proper operations of playlists and other music-oriented content on the device is contingent upon 4 different pieces.]

 

Make sure you have the latest firmware version. The playlisting ability was broken during an earlier firmware update, but not discovered until recently. The latest update fixes it. I have tested it using the method linked to below.

 

  1. does the latest firmware on ClipZip, V01.01.20A, address only playlists in M3U format, or also PLA format?

 

  1. Repeating from my initial post: Is there any way to make playlists for this device which encompass songs on both internal and external memory that does not waste space by having them reside in both locations??

 

This works:

Winamp Playlist Procedure

 

 3) so the procedure above, originally posted in 2008 in the Fuze forum, is tested and works on ClipZip with the lastest firmware?

 

  1. How about across internal and external memory?  You originally stated that PLA files were the way to go for that, but didjeridude, who you were commenting on, was talking about doing it with M3U files.

 

  1. Also, if pertinent, does Winamp produce PLA files?

 

You can also use a .pla to .m3u converter program. Not all of them you’ll find will work, but with a little trial & error you should be able to finid one that fits your needs.

  1. confused by this.  which file type supports both internal and external songs?

 

  1. and, if needed, can you please reccommend a file converter program that you know works well, since you have experience with this?

 

I know this is a lot of little questions, but things remained very unclear to me after your quick responses.  I’d truly appreciate any assistance you can give here.

 

I don’t understand why anyone would need to have a playlist big enough to encompass both internal and external memory…lol.

Well, it may not be using all of the contents of both internal and external memories, but just tunes on each, given one’s own “filing” system.

Wow!  My post stimulated a lot of responses.  It seems that the topic of playlists that work under SANSA’s clipzip operating system is still a hot one.  It’s my intention to keep working at finding a way to make a volume-spanning .m3u playlist to do this.  Not that I have to, because I am pretty happy with how well RockBox does this.  But I have long been a persistent old bugger who tends to pursue a problem until I either solve it or learn that I cannot.  I am sure that DigMike and some other clipzip owners will also be happy to lean the results if I succeed. 

I have been pursuing this with the hope that there might be some particular form of .m3u playlist file that the SANSA firmware will recognize.  Indeed, I have installed the latest (1.01.20A) on my clipzip.  So my problem isn’t obsolete firmware, though SANSA’s current version isn’t as tolerant of any .m3u playlist forms as RockBox’s has been for me.

Tapeworm, I’ll install WInAmp on my PC and see what sort of .m3u playlists it makes that can work with one or the other of internal and plug-in memory.  Perhaps there’s a way to “jeep” the playlists it makes to refer to both memories and access them from the root directory.  I wish I had a sample .pla playlist to examine that works on a clipzip.  I haven’t been successful in finding .m3u to .pla playlist converters, or finding a .pla playlist generator that works with the clipzip in MSC USB mode.  One drawback of RockBox seems to be that the clipzip comes up in MSC mode when I boot it up in the SANSA OF with RockBox installed, even if I specify MTP under “settings”.  Do you know whether a  .pla playlist can even work if the player is in MSC mode?

@didjeridude wrote:

Having stated in my preceding post that I thought my playlist would probably work under SANSA’s operating system, I thought I’d better test it.  It turns out that it won’t.  In fact, after expending quite a bit of effort trying to make a .m3u playlist that would work under the manufacturer’s operating system including an extensive search for successful attempts by other people, I gave up.  No matter what form my .m3u playlist has, SANSA’s operating system reports that the playlist is empty – even when the same playlist works perfectly when my player is operating under RockBox.  This seems to be a general problem with Sansa’s players.  My Fuze+ doesn’t recognize the content of .m3u files either unless I boot it up in RockBox.

 

If anyone can generate .m3u playlists that work with the SANSA factory operating systems, please post an example playlist in this forum.  Maybe I have missed an obvious solution. 

 

Meanwhile, if you really want to be able to make and use playlists that span both internal memory and plug-in cards, I recommend RockBox.  It tolerates quite a bit of variation in the contents of the playlist file.

Problem is that there is no standard way to refer to paths across file systems that isn’t machine dependent (at least using MSC). For example, on windows they two file systems might be:

G:\

E:\

But in rockbox they’re:

\

\microsd1\

Since the file systems mount in different places, a playlist is always ambiguous. FWIW, I’m thinking about changing how it works in rockbox to search paths relative to the location of a playlist file, so for example if you had an m3u on the microsd card, you could omit the and it would just assume thats what you meant. Won’t help you though if you want to have files on both the card and internal memory though.

Actually, now that I think about it, I guess in theory this problem could be solved in MTP mode, since the MTP software ought to be able to fix the paths when it transfers a playlist. I’ve never used MTP mode in the sandisk software since it annoys me, but maybe it works better?

@miikerman wrote:
Well, it may not be using all of the contents of both internal and external memories, but just tunes on each, given one’s own “filing” system.

Seems much simpler to me, if I have a set batch of music I want to listen to, for example a “work mix”,  that I just drag those songs into a folder, and to bypass the track numbers in the tags,  I just enable shuffle and play just that folder.

It’s so much easier than all the agonizing over playlists that I see online so often, but I guess everyone has their own particular needs…:wink:

Okay, I think I have gone as far as I can with this.  My conclusion is that the SANDISK operating firmware, release 1.01.20, is unable to parse the filename when it includes the name of another storage medium in the path.  Playlists stored in internal memory may access only songs stored in that memory.  Playlists stored in plug-in card memory may access only songs on that card.  WinAmp creates and saves valid playlists for the Clip Zip only with songs drawn from whichever memory segment is selected when generating the playhlist.  It parses a complete path through many sub-folders if you have chosen to save your music in subfolders under “Music”, but won’t cross the boundary between internal and plug-in memory.  You can assemble a playlist of songs from many different sub-folders in your main Music folder in a particular memory segment, and it will work well.  Thanks Tapeworm!

My “jeep” or “kludge” is to cut and paste the song listings from a playlist created for the plug-in card into a playlist for internal memory.  Then, I edit the path so that “<microSD1>” precedes  “Music\ …(whatever the full path to a song)”  on the lnes I have pasted in and save that in the root directory of the internal memory.  See the example in my very first post in this thread.  RockBox is very happy with this and plays all the songs.  The SANDISK firmware finds only the songs in internal memory on such a playlist.  This technique might yet work with the factory operating system if the SANDISK firmware knows the plug-in card by some other name, and one were to insert that, rather than <microSD1>.  But I don’t know how one might discover what that name might be.  Perhaps a future firmware release will fix all this.  I’m not holding my breath.  All in all, it’s a pretty nice little player as it is.

For what it is worth, I have done some noodling with my Fuze+ and discovered that its latest SANDISK firmware requires that the playlist be in the same folder as the songs it refers to.  It can’t follow a path through subfolders to find a song.  RockBox, on the other hand, does this quite well.  But for the Fuze+, the plug-in card must be specified as <MMC1>, rather than <microSD1>.  Presumably SanDisk’s other players may use other identifiers.

Fortunately for me, like for Marvin, I generally avoid playlists–they just confuse me, and I like listening to whole albums or to shuffle.