Some MP3 files stop playing and start after a while. A tool to clean/normalize them?

Some MP3 files stop playing and start after a while. I don’t believe the clip is having reading problems. I think it’s the format of the MP3 file and maybe the clip has some compatibility issues.

Is there a tool to convert these MP3 files to a format that the Clip plays well? There’s something in the file that the Clip doesn’t like but I have no idea what it could be.

Check the ID3 tags with MP3Tag. Look for excessively long entries (like classical titles and/or artists), strange or foreign characters, very large embedded album art and anything in the Comments field.

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That’ not the case. It’s odd that the tags would interfer with audio playing after it played fine for a while.

Are you using a card in your player? If so, is the card class 4 or slower? Sandisk players often have issues with cards that are faster than class 4. It might also be the case that the player has issues with very large files, as the assumption of those writing the firmware for the player is probably that files are likely to be either at a higher bitrate but of just a few minutes in duration, or at a lower bitrate and perhaps half an hour or an hour. If you have files at 128 kbps or higher that are an hour or longer, the files are likely huge.

Are you listening to long podcasts that are at high bitrates? For files of voice recordings, I suggest converting the files to 32kbps mono before putting them on the player. When a speaker is walking around while talking, listening to him in stereo can be dizzying. 

They are regular songs. I am not using any cards. Are you saying some MP3 files have variable bit rates? How does one know?

How large are the files? If they are really huge or very long, the Sansa probably has to stop eventually and decode some more.

If you’re on WIndows, right-click on a problem file and click on Properties. What is the size (in MB)? Bitrate probably shows too.

Some people throw all kinds of junk into the tags–the electronic labels in the files. You can get the free to take a closer look at them. (Download the file that has a version number and setup.exe, not other junk on the page.)

During installation, allow it to add itself to context menus. After installation, go to Tools/Options/Tags/Mpeg and make Write ID3v2.3 ISO-8859-1.

Right-click on a bad folder and highlight a file. If there are huge Comments, you can go to the menu at the comments box and make it <Blank>. You can highlight all the files and blank out the Comments at once.

When you highlight a song, do you get an image displayed in mp3tag (lower left)? Go to View/Extended Tags and click the little floppy disc icon to save the image in the folder (instead of in the file itself) and then click the X to get it out of the file. Against, you can do that with all the songs in a folder at once.

Those are two things that can trip up the Sansa.

Mp3 can be any bitrate up to 320 kbps. Mp3tag will also show you the bitrate.  But the Sansa can play just about any mp3. The problem is the amount of information it has to digest.  That’s why the suggestion above is to make big files smaller by converting them to a lower bitrate.

You need lots of bits to make music sound good because there are low notes, high notes, sustained notes, percussive notes. A voice (like an audiobook)  can sound good with fewer bits. But if you’re playing songs, then there’s probably some kind of clutter in the tags.

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