Unknown Artist/Album on e280

I am having issues with songs I rip appearing in my Sansa e280 (v1) as Unknown Artist and Unknown Album. This only happens with my newly ripped songs. Songs I ripped years ago do not have this problem. All my files are mp3. 

Unknown Artist/Album seems a common issue; however, the suggested fixes I found do not apply to my case. 

I use MSC USB settings. My firmware is up-to-date (1.02.24). These same songs appear under the correct album and artist in Rockbox. I just can’t get it to appear properly with the original Sansa firmware. My computer runs Linux (Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04).

I tried Rhythmbox and Banshee to rip new music.

I ran all my music files through EasyTag.

I deleted music from my player and added them back in. 

Do you have any ideas on how I can fix this error? Does anyone else have this problem? Do you know what might be the cause? My guess is that the Sansa firmware does not follow the same protocol for reading ID3 tags as Banshee/RB and there is something with the way Banshee/RB write to the file (order, perhaps) that causes the Sansa firmware to think the tag is blank.

it is possible that only your ID3v1 is updated and ID3v2 is blank or vise versa.  have you checked these?

The Sansa wants ID3v2.3 , preferably ISO-8859-1. In a pinch it can also read ID3v2.2 .

But not ID3v1. You’re going to have to check your tagging software settings. 

@c1u31355 wrote:

The Sansa wants ID3v2.3 , preferably ISO-8859-1. In a pinch it can also read ID3v2.2 .


But not ID3v1. You’re going to have to check your tagging software settings. 

I’ll need to play with this a bit. Easy Tag converted the tags to ID3v2.3. It initially converted the tags to UTF-8 but I changed the setting to Western (ISO-8859-1) as recommended. No dice – same unknown issue occurs.  Easy Tag also has an option to convert to ID3v2.4. I assume Sansa firmware does not recognize the ID3v2.4. Is that correct?

ID3v2.4 wasn’t around when the E200 was released, and the E200 isn’t being updated as the Fuze is, so no.

The E200  likes ID3v2.3, and  I have also had ID3v2.2 work.

Usually the Unicode (UTF) is what causes trouble, so I’m surprised the ISO-8859-1 isn’t working. I don’t know Easy Tag, but can you try manually putting in the name of Album and Artist (I assume you can do the whole album at once)? It has to be something about the way Linux is encoding the fields. Maybe if you’re getting the tags automatically it’s putting in some odd or invisible characters.

I think I’ve figured this one out.  I was having the same problem with a handful of songs.  They were all JPop, so I figured it had something to do with Unicode, but nothing I tried worked.  I retyped the info in the tags, deleted the files off the player, then copied the corrected ones back on, but they still wouldn’t show the tag info, only the filename.  I dowloaded mp3tag and found out that the tags were v2.4, but changing that didn’t work either.

I started to suspect the Sansa itself, so I tried an experiment that turned out to be the solution:

  1. Delete the folders containing the problem files off the player.

  2. Disconnect and let it refresh the database.

  3. Add the corrected files back on.

  4. Disconnect and let it refresh the database.

It seems the database on the Sansa doesn’t update if you only change the tags.

For completeness’ sake:

E260v1 in MSC mode


WinAmp 5.552

Message Edited by BillyYank on 07-14-2009 11:56 PM

Of course. I’d forgotten about that.

it’s always better to fix the tags on the computer, delete the old files from the E200, and send them over again.

And if that doesn’t work, delete the database, which is the DATA folder inside SYSTEM (hidden by default) in the E200v1 or mtable.sys in the root directory of the E200v2.  Then the whole database will be rebuilt.