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SanDisk Sansa e270 MP3 player review - Sansa e270 software Print E-mail
Written by Hanners   
Thursday, 07 September 2006 00:00
Article Index
SanDisk Sansa e270 MP3 player review
Packaging and bundle
Sansa e270 MP3 player
Sansa e270 software
Sansa e270 interface, Conclusions
- Sansa e270 software

Sansa e270 software

Once you're done charging the Sansa (which, from an empty battery, typically takes around three to three and a half hours), the first thing you'll be wanting to do is actually transfer some media to the device.  Of course, MP3s are most likely to be your first port of call, and thankfully putting the music you want on to the Sansa is simplicity itself.

Once the device is plugged into the USB port of a Windows XP-based system, it will be detected and show up as a device under 'My Computer'.  From here, you can browse to it and drag and drop files to your hearts content - That's right, if you don't want to use any other software, simply dragging and dropping music to the player is all you need to do.

Alternately, you can use any media player software which supports MTP devices with ease to transfer music to the Sansa, with Windows Media Player 10 being a prime candidate for this.  Via Windows Media Player, you can build up or select the files you want to store on the player and then 'sync' them up.  This also allows you to keep the tunes on your device up to date, as (if you so wish) you can set Windows Media Player to automatically synchronise every time the Sansa is connected, removing and adding songs as necessary to keep it up-to-date with the software's own list of play lists that should be available on the device.

There is one downside to this simplicity however, and that is - Play list support.  You cannot copy existing play lists over to the Sansa, nor can you create new ones (via either drag and dropping or Windows Media Player at least), which leaves the player leaning heavily on the assumption that you've been very astute with your MP3 tagging.  If all of your MP3s are correctly tagged with their artist, album, track name and track number, then you're guaranteed an easy ride as the Sansa organises your music for you.  If you haven't though, expect to find yourself scrabbling around trying to find the right song on the player, or ending up having to listen to albums out of order.  The golden rule when using the Sansa then is to spend some time getting all of your music's ID3 tags just right before you start copying to the device.

Sansa Media Converter

Although we've noted that no software is supplied by SanDisk for transferring MP3s to your Sansa, this isn't the case with photos and video files - As these need to be converted to the right dimensions and sizes to be displayed on the device, the Sansa e200 series comes complete with a very easy to use application called Sansa Media Converter, allowing you to convert and transfer video and pictures in just a few clicks.

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The ease with which this software can be used should be apparent simply from taking a look at the screenshot above.  You start the processing by selecting all of the files you wish to transfer to the player, courtesy of the 'Add Media' button.

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You'll then be presented with a screen that allows you to browse your computer and select the files you wish to add.  Both photos and videos can also be previewed from this window to check that you're picking the right files.  Alternately, you can skip using the 'Add Media' button altogether and just drag and drop the files you want into the Media Converter window.  All of the major formats for both images and video are supported, so regardless of whether you store JPEGs, GIFs or PNGs, and MPEG, MOV and WMV files, you'll be able to shift your favourite files to the Sansa.

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Once you've added everything you desire to the list (and you can preview both videos and still images again within this area of the software), hit convert to start the process.

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You will then be greeted with a progress bar as the files you've picked are converted, before being written to the Sansa.  Obviously, how long this takes will depend upon the files and file lengths you've selected - Converting and copying still images is an almost instant process, but video files can take several minutes per piece for a half hour chunk of video.

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At the end of the process, you're given a report on how many files were converted successfully or failed (and what reasons if so), as well as the time taken.  On our dual-core Athlon 64 X2 4200+, you can see here that conversion of a half hour video file took just over eight minutes, so make sure you leave some time to do this sort of thing before you jump on that train or plane!

We've got our player, and it's now packed to the rafters with music, movies and pictures - I guess we'd better fire it up and start entertaining ourselves then!

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