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Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-16-2011

Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format

Has anyone been successful loading and playing any of Rick Steves Audio Tours on the Clip Zip? These podcasts are available for download at the iTunes store. They are AAC (m4a) files that run for as long as 48 minutes (about 24 MB). In addition to the audio there are pictures embedded and several section breaks.

 

I have been able to transfer to the Clip Zip and see the titles in the Podcast section of the menu. However, I have not had any success in playing any of these poscasts. The Clip Zip justs displays a static screen and no sound.

 

These files play fine on an iPod. Are they just beyond the capabilities of the Clip Zip? The Clip Zip is advertised as an AAC capable player.

 

Thanks for any help or insight anyone can provide.

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 4,898
Registered: ‎11-17-2008

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format


@travelpod wrote:

Has anyone been successful loading and playing any of Rick Steves Audio Tours on the Clip Zip? These podcasts are available for download at the iTunes store. They are AAC (m4a) files that run for as long as 48 minutes (about 24 MB). In addition to the audio there are pictures embedded and several section breaks.

 

I have been able to transfer to the Clip Zip and see the titles in the Podcast section of the menu. However, I have not had any success in playing any of these poscasts. The Clip Zip justs displays a static screen and no sound.

 

These files play fine on an iPod. Are they just beyond the capabilities of the Clip Zip? The Clip Zip is advertised as an AAC capable player.

 

Thanks for any help or insight anyone can provide.


I have an early theory, but I shall investigate this and report back. Smiley Wink

iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB.
Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia Lumia 520

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 4,898
Registered: ‎11-17-2008

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format


@Marvin_Martian wrote:

@travelpod wrote:

Has anyone been successful loading and playing any of Rick Steves Audio Tours on the Clip Zip? These podcasts are available for download at the iTunes store. They are AAC (m4a) files that run for as long as 48 minutes (about 24 MB). In addition to the audio there are pictures embedded and several section breaks.

 

I have been able to transfer to the Clip Zip and see the titles in the Podcast section of the menu. However, I have not had any success in playing any of these poscasts. The Clip Zip justs displays a static screen and no sound.

 

These files play fine on an iPod. Are they just beyond the capabilities of the Clip Zip? The Clip Zip is advertised as an AAC capable player.

 

Thanks for any help or insight anyone can provide.


I have an early theory, but I shall investigate this and report back. Smiley Wink


OK, I believe  I have found the issue. I think it must be the embedded pictures, because I have a podcast (Best of the Left Podcast) that will not play on the Zip, and it is the same type of format.....the embedded pictures actually show up as a video stream, which the Zip does not support. See below......

 

 

Those pictures would change throughout, if you were using an iPod and actually looking at the screen throughout the podcast, I think. (That one of mine, I just put the Touch's screen to sleep and listen to it.)

 

So it's probably a combination of the pictures beeing seen as video, and said pictures are probably far too big in size for the Zip to handle, as well. Its album art limit is 100kb filesize, and I'm guessing those images are much bigger than that.

iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB.
Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia Lumia 520

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Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-16-2011

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format


@Marvin_Martian wrote:

OK, I believe  I have found the issue. I think it must be the embedded pictures, because I have a podcast (Best of the Left Podcast) that will not play on the Zip, and it is the same type of format.....the embedded pictures actually show up as a video stream, which the Zip does not support.

 

 

Those pictures would change throughout, if you were using an iPod and actually looking at the screen throughout the podcast, I think. (That one of mine, I just put the Touch's screen to sleep and listen to it.)

 

So it's probably a combination of the pictures beeing seen as video, and said pictures are probably far too big in size for the Zip to handle, as well. Its album art limit is 100kb filesize, and I'm guessing those images are much bigger than that.


Thanks for the quick reply. Your explanation makes a lot of sense and supports my suspicion that the Rick Steves m4a files are beyond the capability of the Clip Zip. It's too bad that the CZ can't just ignore the pictures and play the audio. The files also have section breaks with each section having a subtitle. Windows Media Player plays the files with audio and "video" but ignores the section breaks and subtitles.

 

So I guess it's safe to say that the CZ is AAC capable as long as it's a simple AAC file. I guess the Fuze+ might have been more appropriate since it plays video (more than one picture makes a video?). I just didn't want to deal with the new user interface on the Fuze+. Maybe sometimes you just need an iPod.

 

Thanks again.

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 8,152
Registered: ‎12-11-2007

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format

I do wonder weather you could use rupping software to re-rip a version of the music without the embedded video/pics, and if that, then, would work.
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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 1,460
Registered: ‎12-27-2008

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format

I would check to see if there's an audio-only version of the podcast, too.
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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 1,265
Registered: ‎04-24-2009

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format

MP4box can probably remove the pictures, turning it into a "normal" AAC file.  Worth a shot anyway.

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 4,898
Registered: ‎11-17-2008

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format


@gwk1967 wrote:
I would check to see if there's an audio-only version of the podcast, too.

There isn't.  And from the title of it, that what I thought it was....lol.

iPod Touch 5G 32GB, Touch 4G 32GB, Clip Sport 8GB.
Rockbox-> Clip Zip 4GB, iPod Nano 2G 4GB, iPod 5.5G 80GB
2012 Nexus 7 32GB, Asus MeMoPad 8 16+64GB, LG Optimus G Pro, Nokia Lumia 900, Nokia Lumia 520

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SanDisk Guru
Posts: 5,822
Registered: ‎12-26-2007

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format

Hehe, what we have here is a portable version of an Apollo-era concept, slow-scan TV.  The video portion of that podcast is incompatible, of course, because the display is configured for album art tasks only.

 

In Itunes, simply export the podcast in mp3 format, and you can then play the audio portion on your Clip Zip.

 

This is the first file I've heard of using the "picture narrative" format in the wild.

 

Bob  Smiley Wink

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Newbie
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎09-16-2011

Re: Rick Steves Audio Tours - AAC Format

Upon further searching I found the mp3 files available to download directly from Rick Steves own website. No need for iTunes and no need for conversion. Only one picture embedded (can you say "album" art?). Unfortunately they are long podcasts (almost an hour each) without any section breaks. They are useable but just hard to stop and restart or jump forward and back.

 

Anyway, this thread was still useful in pointing out some limitations of the Clip Zip. It is still a very nice player with lots of good features. It just would be nicer if it could ignore the "video" that it can't play and process the audio that should be the same as what's in the mp3.