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Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎06-26-2010

Re: Audiobook File Order

I see where you're going with that, and it's certainly worth a shot.

 

When I get a couple hours to mess around with it I'll take that idea and run with it, testing every variation I can think of. I'll certainly post back with my results, but fair warning it could easily be a week or so.

Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎06-26-2010

Re: Audiobook File Order

[ Edited ]

Turns out that changing the artist or album name to include a "sort key" number in the front of the name is self-defeating, as those files are now considered to be in separate folders, which isn't workable. Only files with the exact same artist and album go into the same folder.

 

I edited the ID3v2.3 tags on a handful of smaller (~25megs) files for testing purposes. Every single field was blanked except for the following:

 

Filename: 01.mp3

Title: 01

Artist: Test

Album: Test

Track: 01

 

Filename: 02.mp3

Title: 02

Artist: Test

Album: Test

Track: 02

 

Filename: 03.mp3

Title: 03

Artist: Test

Album: Test

Track: 03

 

Filename: 04.mp3

Title: 04

Artist: Test

Album: Test

Track: 04

 

Filename: 05.mp3

Title: 05

Artist: Test

Album: Test

Track: 05

 

Filename: 06.mp3

Title: 06

Artist: Test

Album: Test

Track: 06

 

Filename: 07.mp3

Title: 07

Artist: Test

Album: Test

Track: 07

 

Filename: 08.mp3

Title: 08

Artist: Test

Album: Test

Track: 08

 

Starting with an empty Clip Jam, I manually copyied the first three files, one at a time, so they were also physically ordered on disk properly. I then checked the player, which showed my three books in the following order:

 

03

02

01

 

I then selected 04 through 08 and bulk copied them all to the player at the same time. Windows copied them in the following order, if it matters: 05 06 07 08 04

 

Then checking the player, my books are now listed in the following order:

 

03

02

04

06

07

08

05

01

 

Meaning not only does the player randomize the order, but it randomizes the previous order of tracks that were already on it when you copy additional tracks.

 

Any other ideas?

SanDisk Professor
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎09-12-2015

Re: Audiobook File Order

[ Edited ]

The results you described here are consistent with my experiences using FOLDER MODE.

Folder Mode typically does not provide for reliable linear playback of audio files. Folder Mode allows simple access to audio files for users who do not want to spend time & effort to curate their ID3 tags.

 

Your "testing" ID3 tags appear to me to be appropriate for linear playback using MUSIC MODE or BOOK MODE.

     For AudioBook and Podcast playback on your SD card, use CARD MODE (not Folder Mode).

 

Beyond these few comments I am confused why you are having these problems.

Maybe another SanDisk user can suggest a solution to your problems?

   

Two more ideas, under "Settings"

    System Settings -> Customize -> Folder = Off, Card = On 

    Music Options -> Shuffle = Off

 

Best Wishes

Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎06-26-2010

Re: Audiobook File Order

I had already turned off Music Shuffle.

 

I'm not entirely sure what FOLDER MODE is.

 

In settings, I customized it so that the only two menu options I ever see are Settings and Books. I even tried a "reset options" and then redid my preferences before the test.

 

As an additional check, I removed the Track numbers from the ID3 tags, but the order is still random.

SanDisk Professor
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎09-12-2015

Re: Audiobook File Order

[ Edited ]

Until this discussion with you, I really thought my experience with 2 SanDisk Clip Sport players would enable me to provide helpful advice for SanDisk Clip Jam users.   I am confused about why your files are not playing in linear order.

 

 Maybe during the progressive evolution of several Clip Sport firmware versions over the past few years, the SanDisk programmers corrected an error in ID3 tag reading for linear playback ?

     Maybe the Clip Jam has not received the same firmware correction ??

 

I guess the main reasons why I bought the Clip Sport and not the Clip Jam were their in-store display in several electronics and department stores in my home town and the modest price of the player compared to iPod models. And looking at the clip art in the 1x1 inch display helps me to recognize the album playing without looking at scrolling text.

SanDisk Guru
Posts: 4,494
Registered: ‎07-18-2007

Re: Audiobook File Order

Try removing the track number from the ID3 tag. I saw on another forum this will let the Jam sort audiobooks correctly. 

Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎06-26-2010

Re: Audiobook File Order

[ Edited ]

I tested removing track numbers but the order still appears random. (Mentioned in my previous post.)

 

My audiobook needs are pretty minimal; generally I copy over six books at a time, once a week, and listen to them in order. So I started thinking that if the "random" order is consistent, I could figure out the algorithm and game the system to achieve the order I want.

 

Initial testing is with song tracks because they're so much smaller and quicker to test with. Copying them to the audiobooks folder one at a time in specific orders to test:

 

Album 1

Copying in order 01-06 results in

03 05 02 06 04 01

Copying in order 01-06 again to see if it changes

03 05 02 06 04 01

Copying in reverse order

04 05 02 01 03 06

 

Album 2

Copying in order 01-06

03 06 05 02 04 01

Copying in reverse order

04 01 05 02 03 06

 

Still a long way to go until I figure this out, but a couple things seem immediately clear:

 

1) The track order in not truly random. Copying the same files in the same order results in the same "shuffle." Meaning there is some definite algorithm in play I should be able to figure out.

 

2) The order in which the tracks are copied does change the resulting order, so some of the ordering can be manipulated by changing the order in which I physically copy files.

 

3) Some unknown aspect of the files themselves matters. Given two different sets of six files, copying them both (separately, and after deleting all audiobooks in between) in the same order results in different orders. So the files themselves have some kind of tag info that is being processed. File dates / times? File sizes? IDv3 tags? Or maybe track number in IDv1 tags, which I think are the last two characters of the IDv1 name tag.

 

Much further testing is required. Just posting this initial info to track my progress.

 

EDIT: For my second test, I copied a single track to a new test file named 01.mp3, then removed all tag information from it, blanking every single field. Then I copied it five times, naming them 02-06. So now I have six identical files with no tag information whatsoever, all the same size, with only file dates differing. (I can set those the same, but haven't yet.)

 

Copying in order 01-06

03 02 05 06 04 01

Copying in order 01-06 again to see if it changes

03 02 05 06 04 01

Copying in reverse order

04 01 02 05 03 06

 

Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎06-26-2010

Re: Audiobook File Order

[ Edited ]

More testing, using three sets of identical files. I wrote a quickie program to set all file dates to be identical: Same date and time for Date Created, Date Modified and Date Accessed for all files. And sizes are of course the same since they're all copies of the same song.

 

All groups have six files, names 01.mp3 to 06.mp3. All tag information is blank for all files execpt where noted:

 

Blank (no tag info)

In Order: 03 02 05 06 04 01
Reverse: 04 01 02 05 03 06
Special: 01 02 03 04 05 06

 

Ascending: (Title set to "01" through "06", same order as file names)

In Order: 03 02 05 06 04 01
Reverse: 04 01 02 05 03 06
Special: 01 02 03 04 05 06

 

Descending: (Title set to "06 01" through "01 06"; opposite order of file names with original # preserved for checking)

In Order: 03 06 05 02 04 01
Reverse: 04 05 02 01 03 06
Special: 01 04 03 02 05 06

 

"In Order" refers to copying files one at a time, in ascending order. "Reverse" is doing the same thing backwards, copying 06 first and 01 last.

 

"Special" refers to copying files in the order of how they appear in the "In Order" list. So, for example, looking at the Blank list, when copying in order the files show up like this:

 

03 02 05 06 04 01

 

The special order for this list is:

 

06 (the first file copied shows up last)

02 (02 properly shows in position 2)

01 (the third file copied shows up in first position)

05 (fourth file copied shows up in position 5)

03 (fifth file copied shows up in the third position)

04 (last file copied shows up in fifth position)

 

As can be seen from the results, copying files in this "special" order does indeed list the tracks in my desired order. So that is progress. This same technique works great for copying files that actually have title information that matches the desired play order, as seen from the results of the Ascending group.

 

For the Descending group, which has title tags in the opposite order of the filenames, this technique breaks down. However, if we look more closely:

 

Descending

In Order: 03 06 05 02 04 01

If we swap out the filenames for the actual tag order we end up with:

 

Descending

In Order: 04 01 02 05 03 06

 

I happened to notice that this matches the "blank" results when copying files in reverse order:

 

Blank

Reverse: 04 01 02 05 03 06

 

This gives me an initial hypothesis that the title tag info overrides the filename if it exists.

 

 

One other note of high importance: I confirmed that the order you copy files over can be simulated by moving files to a temp folder then moving them back in the "special" order. This makes life much, much easier. For example, I selected all six "blank" files and bulk copied them to a temp folder on the player under audiobooks. (I called it Unsorted) Next, I opened Unsorted in explorer and manually dragged each file, one at a time, into the audiobooks folder using the special order: 06 02 01 05 03 04. Then I deleted the Unsorted folder.

 

The Clip Jam then properly showed those six tracks in sorted order.

 

 

Next up is to figure out if I can predict the Jam's play order ahead of time, so I don't have to manually figure out the special order and manually move files around every time I copy files over. But that will have to wait another week, until the next time I copy (new) audiobooks over.

 

Also, I'm confused why copying files in reverse order doesn't just reverse the results. I'm not overly worried about it, though.

SanDisk Professor
Posts: 507
Registered: ‎09-12-2015

Re: Audiobook File Order

You are certainly patient, persistent and committed to getting your Clip Jam to play audiobook files in a logical order.

     I am impressed !!

You seem to be the perfect person to try out the updated firmware (1.05).  Please report back and let us know what happens.

    Be careful to follow the manual update method as described.

    There are a few scary reports of frozen Jams after the update was attempted.

 

http://forums.sandisk.com/t5/SanDisk-Clip-Jam/SanDisk-Clip-Jam-Firmware-1-05-Download-and-Installati...

Newbie
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎06-26-2010

Re: Audiobook File Order

Awesome!

 

Quick and painless to upgrade, and now audiobooks are listed in proper order. WOOHOO!!!!

 

Thanks much for the head's up, I really appreciate it.

 

Note: The firmware upgrade resets all your options to factory default, so maybe refresh your memory about your current settings before upgrading so you can quickly set them back how you like it. Took me around 5 minutes total from start (clicking your link) to finish (writing this post.)

 

Thanks again! So happy!