Windows Explorer/My Computer and the Clip

I have a 2 Gig Clip - Firmware up to date as of an hour ago.

Running Windows XP SP 2

I love my Clip, so this is not a complaint.

I use Windows Explorer to transfer my music from PC to the Clip. Always have.

When I plug in the player I am given only one choice: Windows Media Player. Which I do not like at all for music. I have to close that window, and manually open My Computer. Not exactly a terrible problem, but a real annoyance.

But what I describe below is a problem. A really annoying lack of proper programming IMHO.

When I open Explorer/My Computer, the Clip is recognized. But I have only limited functionality. I can delete files from the clip. I can load files to the clip. That is it. I can get no useful information from Explorer.

From day one, (the first day the clip went on sale!) it has not been possible using “Properties” to get file size information for the player, for any sub folder. You can get the size of individual tracks.

This lack of information leaves me to make an ecucated guess as to how much room is still available on the Clip. 

I reported this to tech support very early on. I am convinced that the person I spoke to did not understand what I was talking about. I am not even sure he knew what an interface is.So I did not pursue this further.

But I would really like to have this addressed in the near future.

Peace

Steve

You can always find out how much space you have left by going into the Settings/Sytem Info.  In the window you will see how much “Free” space you have.

Go Sansa!

are you trying to look at the used/free capacity of the clip itself? if so do you have WMP 11 installed? if so open the clip from my computer inside you should see an internal memory directory. right click the internal memory directory and select properties. this is where you will see used/free space on the clip.

I think you might be describing differences between MTP mode versus MSC mode.

MTP mode (default) relies on functionality provided by WMP to access files on the device.  While it is integrated with Windows Explorer, it is not really mounted as a file system and thus does not have all the same properties and functionality as a normal removable drive.

MSC mode make the Clip function as a normal USB flash drive.  It is mounted as a true file system, so anything you can do with files on your hard drive can be done with files on the Clip.

MTP mode is required if have DRM protected files (Rhapsody, subscription services, etc.) or if you want to use WMP to manage the Clip.  If you don’t like WMP and you do not need DRM support, you might prefer MSC mode.

Note that your computer will only see files added under the respective mode.  If you want to switch modes you will probably want to move all your files off the Clip, change modes, then add all the files back.

You can change USB modes in the System settings menu on the Clip.

You can’t access any menu items while the Clip is connected to the computer.

Thanks for the feedback though.

Steve 

@skinjob wrote:

I think you might be describing differences between MTP mode versus MSC mode.

 

MTP mode (default) relies on functionality provided by WMP to access files on the device.  While it is integrated with Windows Explorer, it is not really mounted as a file system and thus does not have all the same properties and functionality as a normal removable drive.

 

MSC mode make the Clip function as a normal USB flash drive.  It is mounted as a true file system, so anything you can do with files on your hard drive can be done with files on the Clip.

 

MTP mode is required if have DRM protected files (Rhapsody, subscription services, etc.) or if you want to use WMP to manage the Clip.  If you don’t like WMP and you do not need DRM support, you might prefer MSC mode.

 

Note that your computer will only see files added under the respective mode.  If you want to switch modes you will probably want to move all your files off the Clip, change modes, then add all the files back.

 

You can change USB modes in the System settings menu on the Clip.

Skinjob,

I think you may be correct. This has always confused me.

On my Settings menu, that option has “Auto-Detect” highlighted. So I have always assumed that the device would know better than I.

I do not have any copy protected material.  So I suppose I should select the MSC mode.  I am not clear on a couple of points though. Will my ID3 tags still be used? And do I have to Format the Clip?

I appreciate the advice

Thanks

Steve 

@drlucky wrote:
are you trying to look at the used/free capacity of the clip itself? if so do you have WMP 11 installed? if so open the clip from my computer inside you should see an internal memory directory. right click the internal memory directory and select properties. this is where you will see used/free space on the clip.

As said aboveI really dislike the way WMP deals with Music. I have my own way of naming and tagging, which has served me well for many years. All of my music is MY music, ripped by me, tagged by me, filed by me. Microsoft and I are just not well paired.

I think “Skinjob”, below has hit the nail on the head for me.

But thanks for the feedback. I do appreciate it.

Steve 

@itisonlyi wrote:

I do not have any copy protected material.  So I suppose I should select the MSC mode.  I am not clear on a couple of points though. Will my ID3 tags still be used? And do I have to Format the Clip?

Yes, tags will still be used (pretty much required).  Once disconnected from your computer, there is basically no difference between MSC and MTP modes.  All the features of the Clip work the same in either case.  The difference is really in the options you have for getting content on the player.  Basically MTP supports DRM, uses WMP-style pla playlists and requires tools that specifically support MTP.  MSC mode does not support DRM, uses Winamp-style m3u playlists and allows pretty much any tool to be used.

You don’t have to format the player. The only issue is that files you added while in MTP mode will not be visible from your computer when the Clip is in MSC mode (and viceversa).  So while you are still in Auto/MTP mode, you’ll want to move/delete all the files on the player.  Then switch to MSC and copy everything back.

BTW, I’m with you on your opinion of WMP, it’s pretty heinous.  I also prefer to stay as far away from proprietary MS (or Apple for that matter) stuff as possible and use more standard/open technologies.  The excellent MSC support is one of the reasons I love the Clip & Fuze.  They are among the few where the full features of the player are available in MSC mode.  Many other manufactures are MTP only, or if they bother with MSC at all, it’s a crippled subset of the features (for example, many only support playlists in MTP mode).  So thank you to Sandisk for that.

Message Edited by Skinjob on 05-28-2008 12:08 PM

@skinjob wrote:


@itisonlyi wrote:

I do not have any copy protected material. So I suppose I should select the MSC mode. I am not clear on a couple of points though. Will my ID3 tags still be used? And do I have to Format the Clip?


 

Yes, tags will still be used (pretty much required). Once disconnected from your computer, there is basically no difference between MSC and MTP modes. All the features of the Clip work the same in either case. The difference is really in the options you have for getting content on the player. Basically MTP supports DRM, uses WMP-style pla playlists and requires tools that specifically support MTP. MSC mode does not support DRM, uses Winamp-style m3u playlists and allows pretty much any tool to be used.

 

You don’t have to format the player. The only issue is that files you added while in MTP mode will not be visible from your computer when the Clip is in MSC mode (and viceversa). So while you are still in Auto/MTP mode, you’ll want to move/delete all the files on the player. Then switch to MSC and copy everything back.

 

BTW, I’m with you on your opinion of WMP, it’s pretty heinous. I also prefer to stay as far away from proprietary MS (or Apple for that matter) stuff as possible and use more standard/open technologies. The excellent MSC support is one of the reasons I love the Clip & Fuze. They are among the few where the full features of the player are available in MSC mode. Many other manufactures are MTP only, or if they bother with MSC at all, it’s a crippled subset of the features (for example, many only support playlists in MTP mode). So thank you to Sandisk for that.

Message Edited by Skinjob on 05-28-2008 12:08 PM

Thank you so much for your excellent and complete response.

What a difference! Now my Clip behaves the way I originally expected it to.

A couple of remarks:

This topic (USB mode) is not even mentioned in the PDF user manual.

Now I know why my WInamp Playlists have never worked on the Clip!

And, for anyone about to make this change, a slight caution. My player froze when I first turned it on after copying my files back to it. I freaked out. I could not turn it off, or select any menu items. It finally turned itself off after about half an hour!

But all is well now. Thanks to your good advice.

And it is good to know I am not alone in my aversion to WMP, and Apple, for that matter.

(A little aside: I swore I would NEVER be one of those people with white wires hanging from my ears. And when I opened the box my clip was in i found earbuds with WHITE WIRES!!! GRRRRR.

Fortunately the buds were really inferior, and I already had a couple of buds that are far superior.THe clip is capable of very fine sound production, but with lousy earbuds, one would never know that.)

I do run on and on…:smileyvery-happy:

Thanks once again for your good advice.

Steve

I think windows came up with this MTP protocol to compete with Apple’s protocol in ipod. I find it retarded because, the MTP protocol (WMP11 driver version) mimics MSC mode. . .you can rename, delete, transfer whatever. . . its like a limited explorer mode, but it still mimics it. 

But I think the main purpose for MTP mode is because of products like 360. I think microsoft wanted devices that support mtp to more fluidly communicate with each other in playing media, transffering etc. … but it all somewhat still mimics explorer view. . . so I’m wonder what’s the point microsoft?

Message Edited by thoma on 05-28-2008 11:29 AM

Well I’m not a big fan of propriatary transfer protocols, but I appreciate the transparency of MTP and WMP11. And I’m not a huge fan of WMP11 also but for the simple purpose of categorizing and listening to one’s music collection it works just fine. It’s already there and I’m a minimalist so I just use it. Combine it with CD Art Display and it’s even better.

Question (slightly OT) to you Winamp fans. I see the design is no longer fugly (kind of looks like Songbird now). I’m thinking of giving it and Songbird a go. But can I see and interact with the Sansa Clip in any of these two players as I can in WMP11 in either MSC or MTP mode?

Message Edited by hakujin on 05-28-2008 11:56 AM

@hakujin wrote:

Well I’m not a big fan of propriatary transfer protocols, but I appreciate the transparency of MTP and WMP11. And I’m not a huge fan of WMP11 also but for the simple purpose of categorizing and listening to one’s music collection it works just fine. It’s already there and I’m a minimalist so I just use it. Combine it with CD Art Display and it’s even better.

 

Question (slightly OT) to you Winamp fans. I see the design is no longer fugly (kind of looks like Songbird now). I’m thinking of giving it and Songbird a go. But can I see and interact with the Sansa Clip in any of these two players as I can in WMP11 in either MSC or MTP mode?

Message Edited by hakujin on 05-28-2008 11:56 AM

I had not yet attempted to use Winamp since making the change to MSC. So I just tried. And much to my dismay, Winamp Does not recognize the Clip. No portable drive is shown.

Previously, Winamp recognized the Clip, and I was able to add (But not Delete) music via Winamp. I was also able to create playlists, but they never worked. Now, based on Skinjob’s information I know why,

Now Winamp does not appear at all. Perhaps someone can provide a fix for that?

But in general I much prefer Winamp to WMP for music. I find the Winamp Music Library much more intuitive and logical, and certainly considerably faster. I can find, sort, display and play music in any way imaginable: By Genre, Artist, Album, Date, etc. And building Playlists is a breeze.

As to the appearance, there are literally thousands of skins available. Personally I use a very simple, easy to read, and unembellished skin that must be several years old. I keep exploring for more skins, but always end up returning to my favorite (Stream Machine).

Bottom line, for me, is whatever suits one’s own likes, instinct, logic, etc is the way to go.

Steve 

@thoma wrote:

I think windows came up with this MTP protocol to compete with Apple’s protocol in ipod. I find it retarded because, the MTP protocol (WMP11 driver version) mimics MSC mode. . .you can rename, delete, transfer whatever. . . its like a limited explorer mode, but it still mimics it. 

 

But I think the main purpose for MTP mode is because of products like 360. I think microsoft wanted devices that support mtp to more fluidly communicate with each other in playing media, transffering etc. … but it all somewhat still mimics explorer view. . . so I’m wonder what’s the point microsoft?

Message Edited by thoma on 05-28-2008 11:29 AM

I dislike proprietary ANYTHING. My essential thinking about information technology is that every kind of information should be accessable to everyone. 

Unless there is no other choice, I refuse to use anything that contradicts that.

Steve 

hakujin wrote: 

Question (slightly OT) to you Winamp fans. I see the design is no longer fugly (kind of looks like Songbird now). I’m thinking of giving it and Songbird a go. But can I see and interact with the Sansa Clip in any of these two players as I can in WMP11 in either MSC or MTP mode?

Yes, Winamp will work with the Clip in either mode.  Although, looking at the Winamp forums, it seems like there’s a problem with MTP if you have WMP11 installed.  Apparently, the new WMP11 now includes an MTP service that runs in the background and will always grab the player before Winamp, causing Winamp to lock up or not see the player.  Uninstalling the WMP11 Runtime solves the problem.  You can go to the Winamp forums for more details.

But in general it works great.  I use Winamp to sync both a 4GB Clip and an 8GB Fuze, both in MSC mode.  The portable syncing features are quite nice.  You specify what playlists you would like to sync, any transcoding you might want to do and the file/folder naming convention.  Then you just hit the Sync button to automatically sync up the selected playlists or you can manually send files from the Winamp library to the Clip by right clicking on them and selecting Send To->Clip.

One other issue to be aware of is that Sansa players require the paths inside an m3u playlist to be relative to the location of the playlist.  Winamp’s Sync feature will create m3u’s with full paths from the root of the player.  Here’s a couple posts with more details:

must all songs be in root (or same directory) for m3u playlists to work?

creating playlists

@itisonlyi wrote:

I had not yet attempted to use Winamp since making the change to MSC. So I just tried. And much to my dismay, Winamp Does not recognize the Clip. No portable drive is shown.

I assume the Clip correctly shows up a drive letter in Windows Explorer now, right?  So presumably, it not a connectivity problem.

In which case the problem may just be that Winamp is ignoring it. This can happen when Winamp first detects a device and asks you if you want Winamp to manage it.  If you select No, then Winamp will “blacklist” the device.  This info is stored in Winamp.ini (in%AppData%\Winamp by default, or possibly in Program Files\Winamp)

Look for the [pmp_usb] section (close Winamp first).  Hopefully you will see something like the following:

[pmp_usb]
blacklistnum=1
blacklist-0=s:1148598048

Change blacklistnum=1 to blacklistnum=0 and delete any following blacklist-# entries.  This clears the blacklist and will cause Winamp to prompt you to manage the device.

You might also want to check the [pmp_p4s] section.  This is where the MTP settings are stored.  You should be able to delete this entire section (assuming you don’t have other MTP devices you want to use with Winamp).

@skinjob wrote:


@itisonlyi wrote:

I had not yet attempted to use Winamp since making the change to MSC. So I just tried. And much to my dismay, Winamp Does not recognize the Clip. No portable drive is shown.


I assume the Clip correctly shows up a drive letter in Windows Explorer now, right?  So presumably, it not a connectivity problem.

 

In which case the problem may just be that Winamp is ignoring it. This can happen when Winamp first detects a device and asks you if you want Winamp to manage it.  If you select No, then Winamp will “blacklist” the device.  This info is stored in Winamp.ini (in%AppData%\Winamp by default, or possibly in Program Files\Winamp)

 

Look for the [pmp_usb] section (close Winamp first).  Hopefully you will see something like the following:

 

[pmp_usb]
blacklistnum=1
blacklist-0=s:1148598048

 

Change blacklistnum=1 to blacklistnum=0 and delete any following blacklist-# entries.  This clears the blacklist and will cause Winamp to prompt you to manage the device.

 

You might also want to check the [pmp_p4s] section.  This is where the MTP settings are stored.  You should be able to delete this entire section (assuming you don’t have other MTP devices you want to use with Winamp).

Yes, the Clip is now recognized by Explorer, and in that mode is functioning perfectly.

But Winamp is not. The Clipis not recognized.“Portables” is greyed out.

Perversely, before switching to MSC, the Clip was recognized by Winamp, although playlists created there did not work in the Clip.

I have checked the winamp.ini file for each section and individual entry you mention. None of them are present. On my system the ini file is in the Program Files section, and it is the only one. I did a search of the entire disc thinking there might be duplicates.

I then went to the Winamp/options/preferences/music library/local media section and manually added my Clip folder. And rescanned all. That had no effect.

There are plug-ins for iPod, Creative, and Plays-for-Sure. Do I need a plug in for the Clip?

Awaiting your advice…

Thanks

Steve 

I don’t think I’ll go for Winamp if I have to break wmp11 and songbird now out of the question based off all the bugs I keep reading about. I used to use Mediamonkey and may give it another go in the future, and Foobar seems logical on a usb drive. But…

I do appreciate the simplicity that WMP brings, ironically enough. I have the view just the way I want it. It’s song view which I have seperated by Artist and I’ve put Album Artist vs. Contributingh Artist to good use for bands like Nine Inch Nails with so many albums (halos) so I’ll do (halo 1 - NIN, halo -2 - NIN; and further divide parts of albums as appropriate). For all in one bucket of fav hits, the album is <my name> contributing artists <actual artist’s name>. This coupled with the ability have transparency of star ratings between my wm5 smartphone and wmp11 as well as 4 and 5 star playlists for my clip works really well for my way of thinking. I top that off with CD Art Display which works well with wmp11 and it’s rating system (and supposedly other players) with the bonus of on the fly automatic shuffles (like iTunes). Lastly, I really like the compliment of DirectShow filters comes in handy from time to time as well when I’m not using Zoom Player or Media Center Player, for whatever reason and I want GPU mpeg2 decoding or CoreAVC mpe4 decoding (although it is certainly lacking the advanced features of zp). I do wish that WMP11 had the ability to sort albums by artist, then year - like iTunes but I’m told WinAmp cannot do this either. I’ve also told that the new playing song in the library of Winamp is not highlighted which is a bummer for me. Also, it was a few months ago in another forum that I frequent that you can’t have compilation albums displayed correctly in WinAmp… is this true?! I hate when there’s 14 different artist sections for one freakin album which is where again, ‘contributing artist column’ comes into play for me in wmp11. the icing on the cake is seeing the black clip thumbnail .ico while in wmp.

BTW, here’s a pic of my setup to illustrate my talking points.

WMP11 library song/icon view (showing dilineation betwen Album Artist and Contributing Artist)

wmp11 library view

CD Art Display on Desktop with the WMP11 Rating System accessible from here as well

cd art display

Full Size showing the Clip icon within WMP11 (click link as the board doesn’t seem to allow me to insert a clickable thumbnail)

WMP11 Library view with Clip Icon

Message Edited by hakujin on 05-29-2008 01:38 PM

@itisonlyi wrote:

Yes, the Clip is now recognized by Explorer, and in that mode is functioning perfectly.

 

But Winamp is not. The Clipis not recognized.“Portables” is greyed out.

 

Perversely, before switching to MSC, the Clip was recognized by Winamp, although playlists created there did not work in the Clip.

 

I have checked the winamp.ini file for each section and individual entry you mention. None of them are present. On my system the ini file is in the Program Files section, and it is the only one. I did a search of the entire disc thinking there might be duplicates.

 

I then went to the Winamp/options/preferences/music library/local media section and manually added my Clip folder. And rescanned all. That had no effect.

 

There are plug-ins for iPod, Creative, and Plays-for-Sure. Do I need a plug in for the Clip?

 

Awaiting your advice…

 

Thanks

Steve

 

Hmm…  I’ve never had that much trouble getting Winamp to notice a USB drive.  You can try to force Winamp to recognize it:

  • Connect your Clip to the computer, note the drive letter
  • Open Winamp
  • Go to Options\Preferences
  • Scroll down to the bottom of the tree on the left side of the Preferences screen
  • Select Portables under the Plug-ins node
  • On the right side, select “Nullsoft USB Device” (this is the driver used for all MSC mode devices, the PlaysForSure one is the MTP driver)
  • Click the “Configure selected plug-in” button
  • On the popup screen, select the  drive letter of the Clip in the “Manual Connect” drop-down
  • Click the “Connect this drive” button

If that doesn’t do it than I would guess something is wrong with Winamp.  In which case you should uninstall Winamp, delete any leftovers in Program Files\Winamp and in your user profile (%AppData%\Winamp).  Then reinstall, making sure you use the latest Full version of Winamp and do a complete install.

Note, that uninstalling Winamp will also delete Winamp’s Media Library database.  So if you were previously using Winamp’s Media Library and want to keep your customizations (song ratings, playlists, etc.) you’ll want to backup the  %AppData%\Winamp\Plugins folder before you uninstall.  The important files are any ini files in %AppData%\Winamp\Plugins with “ml” in the name and the entire %AppData%\Winamp\Plugins\ml folder.

@hakujin:

“I don’t think I’ll go for Winamp if I have to break wmp11”

Only if you use MTP mode.  Winamp and WMP11 happily coexist in MSC mode.  But if you need MTP and still want WMP11 to be fully functional, it’s an issue.

“I do wish that WMP11 had the ability to sort albums by artist, then year - like iTunes but I’m told WinAmp cannot do this either.”

Winamp can do this.  In fact, it’s my default view.

“I’ve also told that the new playing song in the library of Winamp is not highlighted which is a bummer for me.”

Not sure what you mean on this one.  In Winamp songs aren’t really played back directly from the library.  You add songs to the current playback queue (playlist) and Winamp plays them from there.  The current song is always highlighted in the playback queue.  There’s also a plugin where you can right-click on a song in the playback queue and jump to it in the media library, if that’s what you’re looking for.

“Also, it was a few months ago in another forum that I frequent that you can’t have compilation albums displayed correctly in WinAmp… is this true?!”

Not true.  The default view is Artist/Album, which would split up comps by artist, but you can switch to Album Artist/Album.  As long as your Album Artist tags are set correctly (usually “Various Artists” for comps) they will group correctly.  I actually find both views useful depending on what I’m looking for.  Winamp can group on most of the main tags and you can customize which columns you want to see.  You can sort on any column.  Also, you can add an unlimited number of views, each with it’s own filter and display settings.

Not sure about all the song rating features you mentioned as I don’t use it in Winamp or my portables.  Winamp should be able to use any DirectShow filters, though.

Not trying to talk you out of WMP.  If it does what you need, that’s all that really matters.  But if some of these things were keeping you from trying Winamp you might want to give it another shot.

Message Edited by Skinjob on 05-30-2008 12:53 PM

SkinJob 

“Not sure what you mean on this one.  In Winamp songs aren’t really played back directly from the library.  You add songs to the current playback queue (playlist) and Winamp plays them from there.  The current song is always highlighted in the playback queue.  There’s also a plugin where you can right-click on a song in the playback queue and jump to it in the media library, if that’s what you’re looking for”

That’s what I meant… directly from the library as opposed to a playlist. Nice that there is a plugin but why wouldn’t that be a feature default… I wonder. The player certainly has no lack of advanced features so why not a simple on such as this… 

Thanks for all the other clarifications. In hind sight it’s rather nonsensical of me to quote somebody’s elses experiences w/o first trying it out myself so forgive me. I’ll give it a go, but just not at the moment. I’m extremely happy with my current simplicity of design.

On a side note (and frankly unrelated but cool nonetheless), I just reinstalled my 3rd party BT stack because of some troubles I was having with ActiveSync over BT with my SDA and in doing so realized that I can get my smartphone to wirelessly stream music from WMP on my phone into WMP11 on my desktop which in turn is TOSLINK connected to surround sound. This is via the A2DP BT profile which is intened for wireless BT headphones (which all still sound like crap imo). I had tried this before unsucessfully and figured it would only work for headphones. But man was I ecstatic this morning to find otherwise and wonder when and if this sort of feature will be ubiquitous among all newer MP3 players (in. Sansa) expecially considering my phone is 2 plus years old so the technology is both there and cheap to produce, despite the antithesis of cutting edge functionality that is the iPod.