12-15-2008 01:26 PM
I was very disappointed to find that the Sansa player (mine's a Clip) would not allow me to search through my music by filename. As I've ripped and accumulated my songs, I've spent quite a bit of time making sure my titles were named as "artist - song.mp3". I use a very simple but tremendous little player called 1by1 for listening to music on the computer while I work, and the Folder/Filename convention it follows allows me to quickly find what I'm looking for. Unfortunately, many songs have either missing, incomplete, or corrupted ID3 tags, so this makes the Filename mode preferable. Editing the ID3 fields for each song is a potential solution, but is yet another lenghthy project. I want something NOW...
Since Sandisk has not provided this mode of searching, I'm using a couple of different workarounds. Neither is ideal, but they're relatively simple to impliment. Basically, they involve the use of m3u Playlists. I use 1by1 for that, as well, since it presents all the songs in a directory and allows me to easily sort, tag, and create or add to playlists.
The first thing I did was create a single playlist. I sorted by filename, then created a playlist called "( Filenames ).m3u", without the quotes, in the MUSIC folder. The parentheses in the name makes it show up at the top of the Playlist folder. Then I used a text editor to add #EXTM3U as the first line in the file. That's it. Now I can go to Music, Playlists, ( Filenames ), click >>, then rather quickly scroll through the playlist for a particular song.
Here's where the first 'problem' crops up. Scrolling through a playlist is slower than scrolling through the list of Artist, Albums, or Songs, etc., so it may still take a while to find wht you're looking for. So I tried another idea. That was to create several playlists named [ A ].m3u, [ B ].m3u, ... [ Z ].m3u, all in the MUSIC folder. Each playlist will have the sorted list of filenames that start with that particular letter. You'll need to add the #EXTM3U at the top of each one. Obviously, creating a 'directory' of playlists like this makes it faster and easier to find what you want.
Unfortunately, whenever you add or delete songs on the player you'll need to edit or re-create the appropriate Playlist(s). The single-sorted-playlist is easy to recreate. I like the [ A ] through [ Z ] idea the best, but it's the hardest to maintain. Which raises a question...
Is there anyone willing to write a small program that will scan through the folders on the Sansa and create the necessary m3u files automatically? I'm certain it would be greatly appreciated by many Filename-deprived Sansa users. )
I hope this helps some...
12-15-2008 01:53 PM - edited 12-15-2008 01:55 PM
eliasf has created this already.
Message Edited by sansafix on 12-15-2008 01:55 PM
12-15-2008 02:28 PM
I was hoping for the program to automatically create the 26 playlists, [ A ].m3u ... [ Z ].m3u then scan the MUSIC folder and place the appropriate alphabetized filenames in each playlist. One click to do it all, so all the playlists would be recreated after songs are added or deleted from the Clip. Does eliasf's program do that?
12-15-2008 07:06 PM - edited 12-15-2008 07:12 PM
Sorry if this is only a partial solution, but several programs can "repair" your tags by following your naming convention. In particular, I'd recommend MP3Tag...which you can simply tell to fill in the Artist and Title fields by reading the filenames as you've formed them! It won't complete the other fields (e.g., Album, Year, etc.) but it's a good start, plus the Clip will then allow you to search by artist easily!
I should add...if you don't mind living dangerously...you could select your entire library in MP3Tag, and just let it edit all of your tags in one fell swoop! Should be fast.
Message Edited by sansamatt on 12-15-2008 07:12 PM
12-15-2008 10:45 PM - edited 12-16-2008 11:09 PM
If I understand what you mean, then yes, it does. In one click, it will update all the playlists (meaning that it will delete the old versions and replace them by new ones).
Eliasf's little program has proven a life -- or, at least, sanity -- saver for me. Like you, though, I really wish I could simply browse by file and folder, but Sandisk insists that ID3 tags are the way to go and we'll learn to love the absence of folders. Well, I've had the Clip for months now, and I still very much regret said absence, as do many other customers (the lack of a folder-browsing option is the #1 recurring complaint on those boards). Sandisk seems to believe we're all mistaken and will end loving the absence of folders, or are all criminal deviants.
Message Edited by Sinocelt on 12-16-2008 11:09 PM
12-16-2008 06:15 AM
I find the inability to see folder and file names inexcusable. I've already spent hours messing with my new Clip trying to get it to do what it should do, including trying to use elias program (but I can't access the Clip via the Source browse window). I think I'm just not willing to spend any more hours on an item that should just work but doesn't (see all the problems listed in this forum). So it's going back to Best Buy tonight in the bag it came in.
Is there an mp3 player that just works?
12-16-2008 07:32 AM
"...should just work but doesn't..."
The Sansa is designed to interface with just about anything that has a USB port. Getting used to working with the device is the trick, since there are so many variables in the equation.
Where is your source music? If you have imported your music using Windows Media Player, it's as simple as opening WiMP and clicking on the Sync tab, then setting up your device.
If you are handy with Windows Explorer, it's a simple matter of plugging in, and drag your music files to the Music folder.
The Clip will play MP3, WMA, Ogg, FLAC, Secure WMA, and Audible files, both constant and variable bit rate media. The trick is to have valid ID3 tags. The venerable ID3 Tag everyone frets over is part and parcel of the MP3 or WMA format anyway.
As many like to use filenames, you can indeed use MP3Tag, a free utility, to import the filenames as the ID3 tags if you wish to do so.
The issue is twofold: Getting the PC to recognize the device, as it can communicate in two USB modes, and valid ID3 tags.
Where is your music from?
12-16-2008 08:59 AM
>Where is your source music?<
I simply copied folders containing mp3 files from my hard drive and pasted them into the Clip's Music folder.
>If you are handy with Windows Explorer, it's a simple matter of plugging in, and drag your music files to the Music folder.<
That's essentially what I did.
>As many like to use filenames, you can indeed use MP3Tag<
Hmm, I downloaded and tried to use another program from elias(sp?), but don't have the name of it at this time. The problem there was that, although the Clip and its folders appear in Windows Explorer, they didn't appear in the Windows file browser that's presented to select the source of the music. I also tried copy/pasting (got an error message after clocking to run the program) and also dragging the Music folder (got the "unable" icon).
>Where is your music from?<
Both downloaded mp3 files and mp3 files I converted from CD's I have.
12-16-2008 03:12 PM - edited 12-16-2008 03:12 PM
When I got my first DAP, I saw the tide and just bit the bullet, and started tagging music automatically as I got it. I still prefer folders, but it's not the way life has gone, and in this instance, it's easier just to bite the bullet.
Message Edited by Miikerman on 12-16-2008 03:12 PM
12-17-2008 01:19 AM - edited 12-17-2008 01:20 AM
The problem was the MTP mode as we discussed in another thread. My program only works with MSC mode.
However, it still won't do what you want, i.e. create playlists for file names A to Z. It can make playlists from folders, though, and you can manually create 26 folders named "A" to "Z" and move the files there, but that's a bit too much work.
What you need can be easily done with a script (VBScript, Python, Perl, etc.), but I'm only familiar with Python and I doubt that you have it installed or that you should go in the trouble of installing it. It could also be done with plain old batch files, but I'm a bit rusty with those and couldn't come up with an easy solution.
Message Edited by eliasf on 12-17-2008 11:20 AM
Auto-generate folder playlists for the Clip: AutoM3U v1.1