08-30-2008 11:11 PM
I suggest you go to your library (or libraries) and see exactly which format it offers. Then check out Overdrive and NetLibrary and see what their FAQs say about the compatibility of Sansa units. On this NetLibrary demo
it looks like NetLibrary uses .wma, which is one of the formats that the Sansa does play. Overdrive's devices page
says Sansa are supported.
Still, each audiobook format carries certain restrictions. They may time out. They may not work with certain players. They may resist copying. Sansas play .mp3, .wma and (version 2) .aa files. Anything else needs to be converted to .mp3. You may need to use Windows Media Player to transfer over these audiobook files--not just drag and drop them--because WMP can also send over digital-rights information to unlock the restrictions.
You could find out exactly what the file format is, including the file extension, from your library--or just download a book and see what it is. Then use Nero or look at the list of formats in Media Coder and see if it can be converted to mp3.
The cheapest Sansa player you could get would be the Clip. It's got a small screen, but it's supposed to have good sound.
Can't Connect? Other Problems? Answers
09-01-2008 08:52 AM
I doubt book publishers could keep up with the constant introduction of new products. A better bet is to look at places like Cnet or Anything But Ipod which have reviews of units. Compare a couple of reviews, and if you can, get the unit in your hand to see how you like the controls and screen at a place like Best Buy (before ordering one from someplace cheaper than Best Buy).
The various mp3 players are made to play certain kinds of files. mp3 is pretty much universal. .wma means that the manufacturer has paid Microsoft to use its Windows Media Audio format, which seems to be what library audiobooks prefer. .aa is the format used specifically by the Audiobooks company. iPods also play .m4a files, the kind sold at the iTunes Music Store. Because Apple and Microsoft are competitors, iPods do not play .wma, which is why the Overdrive page is so proud that it now has mp3 files to feed the iPods.
Obviously you want to get a unit that will play the files you are going to use. So you need to think about that before purchasing one. However, if a file does eventually come along that you are desperate to play but is in the wrong format, there are converter programs around like Media Coder that will convert between formats.
I'd recommend getting a player that is capable of both MSC and MTP use. MSC lets the unit work like a disc drive--you just put the music on it the way you would move around any other files on your computer. MTP lets Windows Media Player control the unit, and is necessary for things like library books that depend on hidden data sent over by WMPlayer.
Along with Sansa, you could look at Creative Zen, Samsung and iRiver.
I wouldn't get an MTP-only unit because I like to see exactly what's going on. You'll need to check out the fine print. For me it's no MSC, no deal.
And of course there's the iPod, which is integrated with iTunes and usually means you don't have to worry about how it works. But they are more expensive and often have inferior sound quality and fewer features--and they don't play .wma without conversion.
Can't Connect? Other Problems? Answers
09-01-2008 10:54 AM
I can . . . and you're reading it right now. There's no better place to find out about an mp3 player than reading a forum. Here you get to see & read about the operations, limitations, strengths, weaknesses, common failures, fixes and assorted other tips & tricks.
Also you get not just one author's viewpoint, but a whole collage of opinions & ways of looking at things from many different perspectives. If you want just one angle that's one of the best, just do a search on this board for any/all posts by C1u31355. If you put all his informative writings on this forum together, that would make an awesome manual on the Sansa players!
If you're looking to buy a device and want to compare or check out the ins & outs of a particular few, then definitely look at anythingbutipod.com (link provided by C1u above). Of course, if you really want info on the "fruity I-thingy" you'll have to go elsewhere.
The ABI forum has many, many sub-forums on vitually any & all mp3 players on the market today. No else else I know can you read so much information on so many different devices all in one place. The only downside to this site is that it doesn't seem to get the same volume of traffic as this one does, so some posts don't get responded to very quickly; sometimes not at all! And some of the advice dolled out there is rather limited.
The 'standard' answer/solution to any problem or request for help there seems to always be:
Now, granted these 2 recommendations help in many cases, but they are not the "silver bullet" or "magic pill" that everyone there seems to think they are. As a result, some requests for help go un-solved, but then that's why your're HERE and not there, isn't it?
09-01-2008 11:33 AM
I am amazed at the wonderful (and fast) response I get from all of you. Thanks a bunch (picture me giving you flowers!).
I am copying/pasting your answers in a document so I can refer to them later.
ANd no, I am not interested in that "fruity I-thingy." After my research of some players, I decided to stick with Sansa.
11-01-2008 04:35 AM
you guys are wonderfully fabulous !!!
i sing your praisses to the heavens !!!
however...lol, i is still confuzzeled on which version of the e250 i have.....
it was purchased from ubid.com and has a refurb stamp on the back case
under settings it reads
is this version 1 ?
or version 2 ?
11-01-2008 04:39 AM
PS - if someone could help direct me to a thread / post discussing help with / working with 'playlists'
on my (just ducky) sansa e250 refurb - i would AGAIN be eternally gratefull
tony from AZ / USA
11-01-2008 10:05 AM
You have a v1 unit, as evidenced by the fact that your firmware starts with an .01. Version 2 unit's firmware start with .03.
There have been 2 updates since your firmware was current, so I'd suggest updating it. If you can find version 01.02.18a, I'd load this version instead of the latest (01.02.24a). It's more stable and trouble-free. Unfortunately, since the v1 units are long-discontinued there most likely will not be any further updates to this firmware to fix the bugs in the .24 version.
If you are looking to put playlists on your device, there are numerous threads/discussions on the subjuct on this board. Just be aware that the v1's and v2's handle playlists differently, so when doing a search, don't bother with the ones about v2 players.
I'd recommend a free little piece of software called Sanse Playlister (yes, with and e, not an a). It's not very complicated (easy to learn), and works like a charm! It only works on the v1 devices, but that's right up your alley.
I'd also suggest reading the FAQ's & stickies (shaded posts) at the top of the board, including d/l a copy of the User's Guide. There's a ton of good info there and may answer a question for you before you even ask it. Feel free though, to start a new thread if you have any other questions that you can't find the answers for, or join in an ongoing discussion if you have anything to contribute.
Good Luck and have fun with your new toy!
11-01-2008 09:51 PM
TAPEWORM - i see why they call you a guru, lol
all my answers in one post!!
next time ill try harder to challange your knowledge base, heh
as far as the faq/stickies, ect - i already have several page saved in my exploers FAVS, lol
just wanted to say thank you for the help
i know its often a thankless job answering all these Q's )