SanDisk Sansa m200 Series MP3 Player Playlist Creation

I tried to figure out, over the weekend, how to set up playlists on my SanDisk Sansa m250 (and I would assume that this would work on other m200 series (m240, m230, m260) players as well). I have an iPod and a Pocket PC, both of which sync playlists to the player bringing the songs and the playlists to the player. Apparently only the songs from playlists come over to the m250. I asked their tech support email about this and this was the response I received. I wanted to post this in hopes that others buying this player, searching for this answer can find it on Google or A9. (2006.01.29: I just reformatted this post so that it is easier to read.)

Please forgive the formatting if the response but this is how I received it and I don’t have the time right now to make it nicer.

Your Question/Problem:

How do I create a playlist on my Sansa m250? I read the FAQ that indicates that Windows Media Player playlists are not transferred to the device but how do I do that?

SanDisk Response: (01/16/2006 05:27)

Thank you for contacting SanDisk Technical Support.

The Sansa m200 series supports favorites and can be configured with customized playlists.

Concerning Favorites: they can be created on the mp3 player itself. Set the player in Advanced mode (menu>settings>Advanced to ON). Once a song is playing, if you press and hold the center select button, it will say, 'Add to favorites' and have a check and a X. Select the check (default) and press the center button again. To remove it from the list, press and hold again; it will ask if you want to delete; again, select the check. This will remove it from the list only; however, the file physically remains on the mp3 player. To clear the entire list, go to menu>settings>playback>clear favorites.

Note: Each time the mp3 player is attached to the computer, even if nothing is added or removed, the favorites list is erased.

Concerning Playlists:

Playlists stay on the device even if connected to a computer or if the device content is changed.

The Sansa m200 series has 2 different USB modes:

--MTP (Media Transfer Protocol), a protocol released my Microsoft to support DRM (Digital Rights Managment), used for subscription Music services.

--MSC (Mass Storage Class), when using as a regular removable drive.

To switch modes, from your player. go to Menu > settings > USB >

The two options are MSC and AUTO DETECT (MTP)

You can create playlists on your player through Rhapsody, Napster, Yahoo, MusicMatch, Jukebox and Windows Media Player 10 if you set the player to MTP mode.

If you are using Rhapsody,

--Save a playlist (under the play tab in the mixer, select save).

--Take the playlist and drag it to the sansa player in the top left hand corner on the interface where the device shows.

--Do not drag it to the transfer tab in the mixer as this will transfer the files only and not the playlist itself.

If you are using Napster,

--Create or Save a playlist (bottom right of napster interface).

--Under 'My Playlists' on the left of the Napster interface, right click the desired playlist. Select the 'transfer playlist to portable device.'

If you are using Yahoo,

--Follow the procedures in Yahoo to create a list and transfer it to device.

If you are using MusicMatch,

--Create a playlist either by dragging files to the playlist manager or by right clicking the file in your library. Select send to>portable device.

--Open the playlist manager (view>playlist manager).

--Right click the playlist and select send to >portable device.

If you are using Windows Media Player 10,

--Create a playlist by right clicking a song in the libary, add to>additional playlists>new or by saving a now playing list.

--Select the Sync tab and click 'Sync settings.'

--Place a check next to the playlists they want to transfer to device.

--The Windows Media Player should then sync those lists once you hit 'OK.'

Playlists can also be added in M3U format when the player is in MSC mode. This not officially supported. The following is a suggested workaround:

--Make sure the player is in the MSC mode

--Create/save an M3U playlist file from any application (winamp, windows media player, etc.).

--Find file through My Computer, right click the playlist and Open With >Choose Program >Notepad.

--The first line of the file should be #EXTM3U. After that, you will see 2 lines of text for each song in the playlist. Leave the first line alone for each song.

--For the second line, you need to delete everything except for the filename (which is everything before and including the last).

--Repeat that step for every song listed. After that, save the file by going to >File >Save.

--Copy-and-paste the m3u file to the Removable Disk.

--Copy all the songs to the Removable Disk by making a folder on the Removable Disk called 'Music' and copy songs into there.

Regardless of method, the playlist will now show on the mp3 player under >menu >play music >playlist.

If you wish to delete created playlists,

If the playlist was added via the M3U method, deletion can be achieved by deleting the M3U file while connected to the computer in MSC mode.

For any playlist transfer via any MTP mode, you can either delete the playlist folder under Media folder on the Sansa M series on the PC (this will delete all MTP based playlists. They are not selectable, and on the PC, the folder will show as empty even when the playlists are present.)

You can view and delete the individual playlists transferred via MTP in MusicMatch regardless of which MTP method was used to create and transfer the list. Bring up the portable device manager (>view>portable device manager), right click the playlist to delete, and select 'Remove.'

Regardless of the method used, only the playlist itself will be removed. Any music referenced will remain on the mp3 player and can be manually deleted.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reply to this e-mail or contact our technical support department at one of the numbers below.

Have a Great Day and thank you for choosing SanDisk!



Sandisk Technical support


Brian said...

The .m3u playlist help was exactly what I was looking for. Nice... thanks!

Elglas said...

well then

I wonder if any linux media player can create these.. if not, wine I guess

Mr. Random said...

On any platform, you can use my Java-based playlist creator, Mr. Random (http://mr-random.net)

Anonymous said...

After a lot of trouble with this, I finally figured it out. Seems to be that if you edit your m3u playlist, you MUST delete everything on the filename line except the actual filename (no paths!). It is not necessary, however, to have all the files the playlist refers to in the same directory. You can organize the files anyway you like (duplicate filenames are a problem though). It also works to delete the EXTM3U:... line above each filename. Now if there were only some program that could make playlists like this, I'd be set!

Anonymous said...

If you have Windows Media Player 10 this is actually very simple once you can figure it out :)

**No need to adjust any settings on your device.

It is a matter of first creating the playlists that you want then go to the Sync Tab, then to Set Up Sync, put a check mark next to the playlists you want to go to your device (I at this point also mark whre it says "only playlists I select", just so I know those are the only ones getting sent to my device) and then press begin sync. FYI - When you go back to add more playlists to your player and start the process again I suggest that you do not uncheck the playlists already synced to your device that Windows Media Player will have check marked or your player will think you want to remove them (I learned this the hard way and had to sync them to the device all over again) of course unless you do want to remove them then uncheck them. Hope this is clear to those who had trouble understanding how this works and did not want to go through the process of the M3U way. (Which I tried and it works, but way more time consuming then what I have described above!)

sarvius said...

I can't get the .m3u method to work. I did finally get WMP10 to work (I think), but I'd rather use winamp. When you are deleting the second line file path in Notepad, do you delete ".mp3"? (I tried deleting the whole first line too and that didn't work...I think I tried every combination) Do you save the file as .txt to the mp3player? It doesn't seem to make sense to me. It is supposed to be done in MSC mode right? Any help would be appreciated. I feel I'm missing some vital step.

Anonymous said...

I went through a long process myself with Winamp and my Sansa m250. You can transfer a playlist successfully in the normal (MTP?) mode by using the "sync" function. Set up what you want to sync in the preferences under devices.
After trying everything, this simple sync function worked perfectly.

Dennis said...

Hello - hope this might be of help to some people browsing this article.

I found a piece of software called 'The Filter' that can automatically transfer playlists (as well as create instant playlists) across to my Sansa. The software is free and works in Windows Media Player 10 and 11.

You can download it from TheFilter.com and I thoroughly recommend it - saves a lot of time.

gwarden234 said...

To easily create playlist you must download the new firmware. Go to sandisk and download the firmware autodetect software and install on computer. Then get online and plug in your m260 to a usb port and it will upgrade your firmware automatically but you m260 must be in mass storage mode. This will add an autodetect mtp feature that I did not have before. Take your m260 off of mass storage mode and and on to autodetect mtp mode which the firmware added to my m260. Now you can create playlist like sansa has been claiming you can all along. When you are syncing your playlist folder will still be empty when you view it on media player 10 and all your music will be in your music folder but when you disconnect you m260 and turn it on and go to playlist, there they are. I tried this process over and over and it never worked until I upgraded my firmware. Now I really enjoy it because I have playlist for sleep music for plainrides and workout music etc. The new firmware did the trick

dbroomhead said...

OK, I'm slightly excited because I feel like I'm on the verge of figuring this out!

I have to get the playlist thing working in MSC mode, because for some reason in MTP mode my computer will not at all acknowledge the player at all (I have the new firmware, usb is plugged in the back).

I have the .m3u file, it shows up in the player, but when you select it, there are "no files". I opened with notepad and took out everything but the filename (I did include the .mp3 -- maybe I shouldn't??)

anyway, any other suggestions for msc mode??

dbroomhead said...

OK, I'm slightly excited because I feel like I'm on the verge of figuring this out!

I have to get the playlist thing working in MSC mode, because for some reason in MTP mode my computer will not at all acknowledge the player at all (I have the new firmware, usb is plugged in the back).

I have the .m3u file, it shows up in the player, but when you select it, there are "no files". I opened with notepad and took out everything but the filename (I did include the .mp3 -- maybe I shouldn't??)

anyway, any other suggestions for msc mode??

Mark said...

I found this link that explains a very easy way to create playlists directly on the E200 series using your existing music on the player. No need to do the sync thing at all. I've seen all the other work-arounds and found this to be the easiest.

Nhexima said...

Thank you for this post - it was very helpful! I use an m230, and switched to Mac recently and have had to make do without MTP or native iTunes sync.

I did realize something tripping me up with that the program I was using to sync with iTunes (freeware SyncTunes) was writing the filenames with the wrong casing - the uppercase/lowercase of the filename must be accurate in the M3U or the player will not play the file, even if it can read the playlist.

Bernie said...

Hello All,
My experience on playlists. Put the m240 in MCS mode. Create the playlist (playlistname.m3u) that looks like this:


On the m240, create a folder with a name you like, copy in the music files, then save the playlist file in the folder with the music files.

It worked with mine.

bloggermouse said...

I found that if I made the .m3u in linux-mounted m250 I had to unix2dos the .m3u before it and the filenames were all seen.

Maybe coincidental, but I only got it to work with .m3u in the same dir as the mp3 files, too.