Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sansa Clip: Good support for Podcasts, with Bookmarks:

I’m listening to podcasts with a newly purchased mp3 player, the Sansa Clip. The sound is better than the larger Zen player I used to use, and the bookmarking is excellent; you do not have to take any explicit action to mark your place in a podcast. The Clip just remembers your place, for (apparently) an enormous number of podcasts.

If you acquire a Clip or Clip+, the first thing you must do is go to the Sansa website and download the current firmware. If you look at the “data folders” in the Clip memory before you do this, you will see a folder for music but none for podcasting. After you upgrade your firmware (follow instructions, it’s easy), you will see more folders, including a Podcast folder. Copy your podcasts there, and you’re in business.

BACKGROUND: I wrote this blog item because it was so hard for me to find a player that was good for podcasting. I hope that other people who want podcast players will find this blog item! (If the Apple situation has not changed, Apple iPlayers bookmark files you download via iTunes, but not mp3 files that you acquire otherwise.) Some people have been kind enough to post info about which players are good for podcasts, but such webpages are YEARS out of date. The manufacturers of mp3 players do not boast that any of their products are good for podcasts, as far as I know. And info from reviews is scarce.

I found out about the Clip by rummaging in the Sansa forums, where you can find posts in 2008 and 2009 about problems with the improved firmware support for podcasts. You might want to rummage there yourself before hunting for a Clip. Sansa, for all I know, is including similar bookmarking firmware in their more recent products. You may be able to find this out from their forums, or by downloading their manuals, all of which are online.

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