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  #1  
Old 03-08-2008, 11:01 AM
Skinjob Skinjob is offline
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Default FYI - M3U Playlists do in fact work in MSC mode

Just got my 4GB Clip yesterday and am very impressed with the little device so far. One concern I had was whether playlists would work in MSC mode. Previous posts in this forum had conflicting reports. Some said it worked, others had problems. So I thought I would report that it does in fact work. I apologize in advance that this post turned into a novel, but I thought others might benefit from all the details.

Here's what I did:
1) Connect first in MTP mode and delete all the demo crap that comes with the player. Not necessary to get playlists to work, but once you switch to MSC you can't get to these files. The player still sees them, but you can't get to then via Explorer.
2) Switch to MSC mode
3) Get your files and playlists onto the device. I used Winamp's portable sync feature to do this. Basically you use Winamp to create playlists of the music files on your computer. Then you setup the sync preferences for your portable device. Here you specify which playlists to sync, transcoding options, file naming conventions, etc. Once you've done the setup you just hit the sync button and any changes you've made to the selected playlists are automatically applied to the portable device. Also, the playlists themselves are sent to the device. Winamp is not required for this to work. I just thought I'd mention it because I think a lot of people aren't aware of how good it's portable support is.
4) Here's where I think people run into trouble. The first time I did the above steps, the playlists showed up on the Clip but appeared to be empty. The problem seems to be that the Clip expects to have relative paths inside the playlist, but Winamp uses full paths.

For example, assuming the playlist is in the root of the player and all your files are under the \MUSIC folder in Artist/Album subfolders:
Relative path: MUSIC\Artist1\Album1\Track1.mp3
Full path: \MUSIC\Artist1\Album1\Track1.mp3

Note the leading backslash on the full path. This seemed to prevent the player from finding the files in the playlist. Removing the leading backslash solved the problem. So I think the paths in the playlist need to be relative to the location of the playlist file itself.

So the short version of the solution that worked for me:
1) Put all your music files under the \MUSIC folder on the player
2) Put your playlists in the root folder of the player
3) Make sure the paths in the playlists are the correct full paths to the files on the player, but without a leading backslash

Do that and the playlists will work perfectly. The one thing I noticed is that large playlists are a little slow to load on the player. Meaning when you select a 500 song playlist on the player it might take 20-30 seconds to open it and can be slow to navigate in the playlist. But once you start playback it works perfectly.

To deal with fixing the paths in the playlists I created a little batch file that uses a free command line search and replace tool. The tool is SSR (Simple Search and Replace).

Get SSR here: http://www.programmersheaven.com/dow.../download.aspx

Here's batch file contents:
@ECHO OFF
FOR %%f IN (*.m3u) DO ssr 0 \MUSIC\ MUSIC\ "%%f"

Put the ssr.exe and the batch file in the root of the player. Then after syncing, just run the batch file and all the playlists will be fixed.

Hope this help anyone else having trouble with playlists in MSC mode.

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  #2  
Old 03-08-2008, 07:34 PM
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epithetless epithetless is offline
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Great instructions, Skinjob! Thanks for taking the time to post them! For the unenlightened, how does one go about creating a batch file with the contents you provided?

  #3  
Old 03-09-2008, 01:15 PM
Peabody Peabody is offline
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I use Mp3Tag to do playlists, and put the playlists in the same folder as the music files on my computer. Then I just move all that in MSC mode to the Music folder on the Clip. And it works fine. Looking at a playlist, I see that the music files are listed by just their filenames, with no leading slash or folder name at all. This appears to work fine, but of course the playlist and the music files have to be in the same folder for that to work. So, basically, the music filenames have to be correct relative to where the playlist is, as Skinjob says.

I don't think it matters much where things are on the Clip. I haven't tried it, but I assume you could create new folders, or subfolders under Music, but I suspect that would have no effect on how things show up on the Clip. It's gonna show you all the playlists, or whatever, it has, regardless of where they are. If that's not true, I'd like to know.

  #4  
Old 03-09-2008, 08:41 PM
Skinjob Skinjob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by epithetless View Post
Great instructions, Skinjob! Thanks for taking the time to post them! For the unenlightened, how does one go about creating a batch file with the contents you provided?
You can just paste the contents into Notepad and save it with ".bat" as the file name extension (FixPlaylists.bat, for example).

  #5  
Old 03-09-2008, 08:44 PM
Skinjob Skinjob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peabody View Post
I don't think it matters much where things are on the Clip. I haven't tried it, but I assume you could create new folders, or subfolders under Music, but I suspect that would have no effect on how things show up on the Clip. It's gonna show you all the playlists, or whatever, it has, regardless of where they are. If that's not true, I'd like to know.
I believe you are correct. For me it was easiest to put the playlists in the root because Winamp puts the full path in the playlists. But I think your playlists and music files can be pretty much anywhere as long as the relative paths in the playlist are correct.

Also, the thing about Winamp using full paths is specific to the portables sync feature. If you manually create and save playlists in Winamp it should work as you describe with Mp3Tag. I just like Winamp's sync feature because I tend to update my playlists a lot and Winamp automatically takes care of syncing the changes to the portable. Also it automatically takes care of transcoding my FLACs to MP3. But if your library was already MP3 and you weren't constantly messing with your playlists, the manual method might be easier.

  #6  
Old 03-10-2008, 01:35 AM
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epithetless epithetless is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinjob View Post
You can just paste the contents into Notepad and save it with ".bat" as the file name extension (FixPlaylists.bat, for example).
Thanks. I figured as much, but I was unsure what file extension to use.

  #7  
Old 04-18-2008, 12:26 AM
Claudine Claudine is offline
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Smile Easy way to create Playlist on Sansa Clip

Hi,
I happen to be very computer illiterate and I'm not good at using a lot of programs, so for those of us that aren't very computer savvy, I did manage to find a way (after much frustration) to make a playlist easily.

1) Open the Sansa in 'My Computer'
2) Double click on the 'Playlist' folder
3) Drag the music you want from the computer into the 'Playlist' folder
4) Highlight all the files (or the files you want)
5) Right click
6) On the menu that pops up click "Create Playlist" - on my computer it's the very first option, in bold
7) Playlist will be created in the 'Playlist' folder
8) Name it whatever you want and enjoy!!

Now, my files were labeled numerically (ie: 01 Song, 02 Another Song) so they were in the order I wanted. If they're not in the order you want, follow these directions:

1) Right click on the playlist you've created
2) Select 'open' from the menu - on my computer, it's the very first option, in bold
3) A new window will open displaying the songs on the playlist
4) Highlight the song you want to move and click the arrows to move the song (you can also delete songs in this option).

Hope this helps some of you. ^.^

  #8  
Old 11-10-2008, 09:36 PM
MikeRob MikeRob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skinjob View Post
I believe you are correct. For me it was easiest to put the playlists in the root because Winamp puts the full path in the playlists. But I think your playlists and music files can be pretty much anywhere as long as the relative paths in the playlist are correct.
I use my old M250 to listen to OTR (Old Time Radio). Here's a WinAmp trick I use for the M250 which should work for the Clip as well.
I store my old shows in separate directories on the computer and drag-n-drop a set of shows sorted by date-aired onto WinAmp. This builds the M3U playlist which I then save in the same computer directory as the shows. That is the important part - when WinAmp saves the M3U file in the same directory as the MP3 files it does not put the absolute path in the M3U file. I then drop the MP3 files in the Music directory on the player and the M3U file in the root. Works great.

  #9  
Old 11-12-2008, 04:06 PM
Skinjob Skinjob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeRob View Post
I use my old M250 to listen to OTR (Old Time Radio). Here's a WinAmp trick I use for the M250 which should work for the Clip as well.
I store my old shows in separate directories on the computer and drag-n-drop a set of shows sorted by date-aired onto WinAmp. This builds the M3U playlist which I then save in the same computer directory as the shows. That is the important part - when WinAmp saves the M3U file in the same directory as the MP3 files it does not put the absolute path in the M3U file. I then drop the MP3 files in the Music directory on the player and the M3U file in the root. Works great.
Yep, I do the same for manually creating playlists. Just drag stuff from your player into Winamp's playlist editor, then save the playlist to the player's MUSIC folder. When manually saving a playlist to the same drive as the files in the playlist, Winamp uses relative paths.

However, Winamp always uses full paths when syncing playlists. So if you use the portable syncing features, you need to fix the paths in the playlists after syncing.

  #10  
Old 12-23-2008, 02:13 PM
fliegendekuh fliegendekuh is offline
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Default Mhm, I don't really get it working....

Thanks for all the information! I tried the same way, have a brand new Clip 8GB here on my desk - tried a lot of ways as I wanted to use MSC mode and playlists... failed at all. (almost).

I tried several ways but it seems the device and playlist feature is quite limited.

That's what I found out:
- Device somehow validates the playlist, all parts that are not "valid" are going to be removed, this results in "empty" playlists
- File names must not have special characters, especially German Umlauts ()
- Playlist is empty if it is in a sub folder and MP3 files are in same folder and relatively addressed (not path, just filename)
- Playlist is missing files which are not in root (Folder is given relative).
- Tried to fix path settings in M3U file as described, also tried "\" and "/" as well as "%2F" as path separator... no success

I only get playlists working when:
- Playlist is in root of player
- All files of playlist are in root of player.

I used WinAMP initially to create the playlists, so I assume the M3U file is correct. It is in deed ANSI encoded and uses Windows Line feeds. Is this correct?

Content of my working M3U file:
===========================
#EXTM3U
#EXTINF:25,Song ABC
Song ABC.mp3
#EXTINF:393,Song XYZ
Song XYZ.mp3

  #11  
Old 01-26-2009, 03:54 PM
dwaltz dwaltz is offline
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The content of the file you show seems right.
With a file like that, player in MSC and the file in the same folder of the mp3s it works.

  #12  
Old 02-26-2009, 03:28 PM
malaugh malaugh is offline
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I am trying to get my playlist file to work. My directory structure is

Artist +
|
+ Album 1 +
| |
| + Song 1.mp3
| |
| + Song 2.mp3
|
+ Album 2 +
| |
| + Song 1.mp3
| |
| + Song 2.mp3
|
+ Playlist.m3u

In Playlist.m3u I have

Album 1/Song1.mp3
Album 1/Song2.mp3
Album 2/Song1.mp3
Album 2/Song2.mp3

If I move the whole Artist directory into the MUSIC folder on my clip, the playlist shows up in the menu, but the playlist is empty. I use MSC mode.

Any ideas on how to fix this?

  #13  
Old 02-27-2009, 12:19 PM
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pixelot pixelot is offline
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Wink

I'd be interested to find out if there's a way I can have my playlists in the Playlist folder, but still get them to work. I don't know if I could maybe get a full path to work then, or if I could get it to go up a directory with ..\, or what.

  #14  
Old 02-27-2009, 10:09 PM
rrfpacker rrfpacker is offline
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I am going to assume, yes I know what happens when I do that, that you did all of this playlist work using an XP or Vista system.

I have windows 2000 and this is my second device that will not work with playlists. The first device is a newer Creative Zen and I know why it won't work. I now have a Sansa Clic. I really, really, really want to use the playlist function.

So far, any Playlists that I have synched, I use Media Monkey, again because I have Windows 2000, show up on the device but are empty. I have the Media Monkey set up to send the playlists to \music\playlist. I originally had it set up as \playlist\ and that didn't work either.

I am set up in MSC mode. Any thoughts.

  #15  
Old 02-27-2009, 11:15 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Check here and here for directions on how to get Winamp or MediaMonkey to make working playlists for the Clip (Clic?). The basic idea is the same for most any program that creates properly formatted .m3u playlists.

You have to save the playlist IN THE SAME FOLDER with the music. If you save the list in a separate \playlist folder it breaks the playlist.
Remember you don't sync the playlist you save the playlist as a .m3u.

  #16  
Old 02-28-2009, 12:54 PM
rrfpacker rrfpacker is offline
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I've done everything all these threads have said to do. I even deleted all files on Clip and started over.

I've spent hours and hours trying to get playlists onto any device that people say they can get playlists onto. I believe the problem, somehow, is due to Windows 2000 which cannot use WMP 10.

This latest venture of copying playlists to the root folder only seems to also add the songs, which are already in their respective folders. Even exporting a playlist doesn't work.

Unless you all are telling me that there shouldn't be any Artist/Album folders. I am at a loss.

  #17  
Old 03-02-2009, 02:55 PM
Skinjob Skinjob is offline
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@rrfpacker: You are talking about syncing playlists, which is not the same thing as manually creating playlists from songs already on the device.

Winamp and MediaMonkey will both use full paths in the playlists when syncing. This causes the "empty playlist" problem. You have to manually edit the playlist files after syncing as described in my original post at the top of this thread.

Using Winamp to manually create a playlist of files already on the Clip and saving it to the Clip works without any problems (no editing necessary).

  #18  
Old 03-04-2009, 09:25 PM
rrfpacker rrfpacker is offline
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@skinjob; Thank you so much for the first post, it was very well explained and thorough. I have found that not much works like it is supposed to with Windows 2000. NOTHING seems to work as far as playlists with W2k. In Media Monkey you can set up the sync process just as you say to do manually, with the leading slash missing from the playlist. It still did not work.

I bought a Sansa Clip because it was small and very inexpensive at Wal-Mart; 8gb for $49. Playlists aren't a necessity, but would be nice to have a few. I loaded what few songs I had from the Sansa to Vista computer, created a playlist and synched. There is was on the Sansa, sooo pretty!

So when I say I think it is a Windows 2000 issue, I think it is because MM uses lots of things from Winamp and WMP10 for functionality. Is your system XP or above?

All that said, I will try your system next week and post again. I'm tired of looking at empty playlists.

One more dumb question. When you say the playlist has to go in the root, you mean not in any folder at all, right? E:\"playlist"

I also noticed that if I sync a playlist on the Vista to Sansa, it duplicated the tracks. I thought playlists were just directories? Kind of a pain, if that's the way it is. Sometimes you just want to create a playlist for tracks already on a device.

I must still be missing something.

  #19  
Old 03-07-2009, 05:01 PM
Skinjob Skinjob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrfpacker View Post
One more dumb question. When you say the playlist has to go in the root, you mean not in any folder at all, right? E:\"playlist"
Yes. If E: is the drive letter of your Clip, then you can save your m3u playlists in E:\ or E:\MUSIC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rrfpacker View Post
I also noticed that if I sync a playlist on the Vista to Sansa, it duplicated the tracks. I thought playlists were just directories? Kind of a pain, if that's the way it is. Sometimes you just want to create a playlist for tracks already on a device.
Not sure what you used to sync, but in general songs should not get duplicated. I'm guessing it's probably a configuration issue with your sync software.

  #20  
Old 04-02-2009, 05:47 PM
S3T S3T is offline
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Default Sansastic! - Create dozens of playlists in a single click! (in MSC mode)

Hi!

Yesterday i've got this tiny lovely player and i just felt in love with it!
Ohh it almost broke my heart after i found out it doesn't supports directory browsing, ohhhh... So i've wiped the dust off my good old vb.net 2008 and then after few moments i had the cure!

This program is quite simple. It has just one button - for creating playlists for all the mp3/wma/flac/ogg tracks all over the /music/ folder on your players!

Click it - and each folder in the /music/ directory will get it's own playlist, so it's subdirectories wolud get playlists too.

For example:

That's what i have in my /music/:
Code:
├───House
│   ├───2007-2008
│   ├───2004-2006
│   ├───2006-2007
│   └───Old (200x)
├───Bic Runga
│   ├───Beautiful Collision
│   ├───Bursting Through EP
│   └───Drive
└───The Postal Service
    ├───Give up
    └───Le Chevre
And in single click i get these playlists in the root of my player:

All.m3u
House.m3u
House-2007-2008.m3u
House-2004-2006.m3u
House-2006-2007.m3u
House-Old (200x).m3u
Bic Runga.m3u
Bic Runga-Beautiful Collision.m3u
Bic Runga-Bursting Through EP.m3u
Bic Runga-Drive.m3u
The Postal Service.m3u
The Postal Service-Give up.m3u
The Postal Service-Le Chevre.m3u

That's almost if i'd browse the directories or even better!


Well there is a drawback - the player is a bit slow on selecting playlists...


Please report if it doesn't works - it's my first time publishing a program compiled with vb.net. It requires you to have .NET 2.0 installed on your system.

Be carefull with the options - they gonna wipe all your playlists off the player...

Enjoy!
Attached Files
File Type: zip Sansastic!Playlist.zip (8.3 KB, 504 views)

Last edited by sassafras; 04-17-2009 at 08:14 PM.

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