The Clip in fact will play a WAV file. But as noted above, a WAV file is large, many times the size of even a well-ripped (i.e., high rip rate) compressed music file.
Thanks for clarifying…but don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t advocating it be done this way…many here are skilled enough to transcode into numerous formats. I was wondering (hypothetically)…“what about those who are not sure how to rip and convert the file into an MP3?” In that case I think you might be able to drag the WAV files directly from the disk to the Clip. Now it’s a different question entirely about whether that’s an efficient thing to do!
While you could rip to uncompressed wav files, it’s not really ideal. First there’s the size issue, and second, wavs don’t have any standard tagging support. So the Clip wouldn’t be able to get the artist/album info from the file. Everything would show up as “unknown”.
I always recommend ripping to a lossless format like FLAC. Once you’ve got your files in lossless you can always transcode to any lossy format you want for portable use. And you can change your mind as often as you want and try different bitrates or codecs. If you rip straight to a lossy format like MP3 you’re pretty much stuck with that codec and bitrate forever. Transcoding a lossy file to another bitrate/codec incurrs significant additional loss.
I’ve ripped about 3000 CDs to FLAC and use Winamp to sync to my Clip and Fuze. Winamp’s portable sync feature will automatically transcode to the codec/bitrate of your choice. Once you’ve got it setup, you just connect your your player and click the sync button.
On a side note, FLAC support is coming to both the Clip and Fuze in the near future. FLAC files are still kind of big for the limited amount of storage on the Clip (FLAC is typically around 65% of the uncompressed wav), so you’ll still probably want to transcode to MP3 or Ogg Vorbis. But the fact that it will support FLAC at all is pretty cool.