Tip & How-To about iRiver H340 MP3 Player

Song Formats for Mp3 Players Explained, Part II by Tha Mp3 Doctor WMA files are special. There are two types of WMA file, and the Mp3 or digital Audio Player documentation will not always tell which of these two types the Mp3 player will recognize. Type I is a non-licensed, or non-DRM-protected WMA file. DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, and it is Microsoft?s copyright system for music files. If you have a type of Mp3 player that will only accept non-DRM protected files, the product specs for your player will NOT mention the words "DRM" or "Windows Plays ForSure" on them (unless they are using it in the negative, such as "this player does NOT support DRM encryption"). In MOST cases (there are more and more exceptions), Windows Media Player will convert songs from CD?s that you personally bought from the store into non-DRM encrypted WMA format. The second type of WMA file is a DRM-encrypted WMA file, and there are several subtypes of these. Every DRM-encrypted file can have "play rights," "burn rights," and "transfer rights." "Play rights" mean you can play the song on your computer, "burn rights" mean you can burn the song to CD, and "transfer rights" mean you can transfer the song to your Mp3 player. Once again, not all WMA files are created equal. If you have a BASIC subscription to a music service such as Napster, you may download songs that have "play rights" ? you can play them on your computer without any problem; but they may lack burn rights and transfer rights ? so you cannot burn them to CD, or transfer them to your Mp3 player without incident. The solution here is to upgrade your music service to the premium, more expensive subscription that includes burn rights and transfer rights. Then there are "fixed-term" licenses and "unlimited" licenses on WMA files. A fixed-term license will expire after so many days, months, or years; and will require you to resynchronize your songs to the music service or to your computer in order to continue playing them. This is a key reason behind songs "disappearing." Napster and Rhapsody are two examples of music services with fixed-term licenses. You must resynchronize your Mp3 player to your computer every 30 days, and you must keep you music service subscription active. If you let your subscription lapse, then the songs that were once working will no longer be playable. Once again, the only remedies are to renew your music service subscription (legal), convert those songs into a different format that the Mp3 player will recognize (possibly illegal), or to use DRM-removal software (illegal and unreliable). One word needs to be said about burning your own personal CD?s and transferring them to the Mp3 player. CD?s naturally put song files into CDA format. Most Mp3 players do not recognize CDA format. So you will have to use Windows Media Player (easiest, IMO) or some other software to convert the CDA files into Mp3, WMA, or some other format that your Mp3 player recognizes, BEFORE you can transfer them to the Mp3 player. Real Audio files also have an encryption system, and may not work with most Mp3 players ? check your product documentation. Audiobooks are in their own format and bring their own special problems which fall outside the scope of this article. There are a ton of music services out there. iTunes uses AAC format. Napster, Rhapsody, Bearshare, Spiral Frog, and many others use DRM-protected WMA format nowadays. Limewire and Morpheus generally use Mp3 or non-DRM-encrypted files. Double check the formats that your player will support BEFORE choosing a music service. Conversely, if you already have a music service, choose an mp3 player that?s right for your particular service. Note: most store workers do not have the faintest idea of what I have been discussing in this article, so don?t trust their judgment ? educate yourself first. AS A GENERAL RULE OF THUMB (as always, there are exceptions), all Mp3 players recognize the Mp3 file format. The Mp3 file format is the least problematic of all the file formats. It takes up less space on your Mp3 player than most file formats ? so you can load more songs onto your player than if you were using other formats. So, if you download all of your songs into Mp3 format, or tell Windows Media Player to convert your own CD?s into Mp3 format, then you will rarely go wrong.

iRiver H340 MP3 Player Logo

Related Topics:

Related Questions:

1 Answer

i've downloaded songs but they don't show up on my player


Each mp3 player can only play songs in certain formats. A Philips GoGear, for instance, can't read iTunes format. Some players cannot read DRM-encrypted WMA files, which is what most music services use. When you load a song in the wrong format to an mp3 player, the song appears to transfer, but the mp3 player won't actually play it. The best workaround for this problem is to only load songs that are in true mp3 format - they are accepted by 99% of digital audio players. If you give us your manufacvturer/model #, and music service name, we can tell you exactly which formats your player plays.

-Tha Mp3 Doctor

Jan 02, 2009 | Audio Players & Recorders

1 Answer

Song Formats for Mp3 Players Explained, Part I By Tha Mp3 Doctor I have seen quite a few threads around Fixya in which the stated problem is that the Mp3 or Digital Audio Player will not load the songs; will appear to load the songs but will not actually play them in the Mp3 player once disconnected from computer; will skip the songs on the player, or show only ?0:00? for file length; songs ?disappear? all of a sudden (although this particular problem can be caused for many reasons not covered in this article); your store-bought/burned/ripped CD?s will not load into your Mp3 player; or get the error message ?File Format Not Supported.? All of these problems occur because the user is trying to download a song format that the player does not recognize. Every music file is in a certain format. The most common music file formats are Mp3, WMA, AAC, WAV, RA, etc. Each Mp3 player only recognizes a certain number of these formats. Every Mp3 Player is different. You will have to check your Mp3 player?s product specifications (specs) or user?s manual to find out which formats your particular Mp3 player recognizes. When you try to download or sync the wrong file format, you will get one of the errors that I mentioned above. First things first. If you want to know what file type you have, then you must find the location of the individual music file on your computer, right click the title of the song, and select the option ?Properties? from the menu. If you do not know how to do this, you will need to contact the manufacturer of your computer or go to www.microsoft.com. For all types of file except RA, RAX, and WMA, the ?General? Tab under Properties will auto-populate. If your computer recognizes the file format, it will say something like ?MPEG-3,? ?Windows Media Audio? (Windows Media Player), ?Real Audio? (Real Player or Real Network?s Audio), or ?Advanced Audio Coding? (iTunes) or some other such designator. If your computer does not recognize the format, then you will just see a generic ?Audio File,? and will have to download additional software. With WMA and some RAX files, there will also be a ?License,? ?Digital Rights Management,? or ?Media Usage Rights? tab. I will explain these licensing tabs later, in the discussion on WMA files. For every type of file other than WMA, the format error is pretty straightforward. You are trying to load a completely incompatible file format that is not recognized by the Mp3 player. To give you an example, there are currently no Philips GoGear Mp3 players that will load songs from the iTunes music service. The reason they will not transfer or play correctly is that the GoGear is that iTunes gives the users their songs in .AAC format. The GoGear cannot recognize .AAC format. To resolve this problem, you will have to convert the AAC song file into Mp3 format, or some other format that the GoGear recognizes (Note to the law-abiding: converting a copyright protected file into another format might be illegal. If you are concerned, I would just re-download the same song in Mp3 or another recognized file format ? this will require a separate music service other than iTunes, in this example). Please Read Part II for Critical Information...

Jun 09, 2008 | iRiver H340 MP3 Player

1 Answer

Songs won't go on mp3 player.


Song Formats for Mp3 Players Explained, Part I
By Tha Mp3 Doctor
I have seen quite a few threads around Fixya in which the stated problem is that the Mp3 or Digital Audio Player will not load the songs; will appear to load the songs but will not actually play them in the Mp3 player once disconnected from computer; will skip the songs on the player, or show only “0:00” for file length; songs “disappear” all of a sudden (although this particular problem can be caused for many reasons not covered in this article); your store-bought/burned/ripped CD’s will not load into your Mp3 player; or get the error message “File Format Not Supported.” All of these problems occur because the user is trying to download a song format that the player does not recognize. Every music file is in a certain format. The most common music file formats are Mp3, WMA, AAC, WAV, RA, etc. Each Mp3 player only recognizes a certain number of these formats. Every Mp3 Player is different. You will have to check your Mp3 player’s product specifications (specs) or user’s manual to find out which formats your particular Mp3 player recognizes. When you try to download or sync the wrong file format, you will get one of the errors that I mentioned above.
First things first. If you want to know what file type you have, then you must find the location of the individual music file on your computer, right click the title of the song, and select the option “Properties” from the menu. If you do not know how to do this, you will need to contact the manufacturer of your computer or go to www.microsoft.com. For all types of file except RA, RAX, and WMA, the “General” Tab under Properties will auto-populate. If your computer recognizes the file format, it will say something like “MPEG-3,” “Windows Media Audio” (Windows Media Player), “Real Audio” (Real Player or Real Network’s Audio), or “Advanced Audio Coding” (iTunes) or some other such designator. If your computer does not recognize the format, then you will just see a generic “Audio File,” and will have to download additional software. With WMA and some RAX files, there will also be a “License,” “Digital Rights Management,” or “Media Usage Rights” tab. I will explain these licensing tabs later, in the discussion on WMA files.
For every type of file other than WMA, the format error is pretty straightforward. You are trying to load a completely incompatible file format that is not recognized by the Mp3 player. To give you an example, there are currently no Philips GoGear Mp3 players that will load songs from the iTunes music service. The reason they will not transfer or play correctly is that the GoGear is that iTunes gives the users their songs in .AAC format. The GoGear cannot recognize .AAC format. To resolve this problem, you will have to convert the AAC song file into Mp3 format, or some other format that the GoGear recognizes (Note to the law-abiding: converting a copyright protected file into another format might be illegal. If you are concerned, I would just re-download the same song in Mp3 or another recognized file format – this will require a separate music service other than iTunes, in this example).
Please Read Part II for Critical Information...

Sep 20, 2008 | Audio Players & Recorders

1 Answer

Transferring Audio Filles


The songs are perhaps in the wrong format.  This player will not accept copy-protected iTunes (AAC) files.  Also, the license on your files may not permit transfer to mp3 players. Definitely check the bitrates on your files, b/c this Sony can only accept certain ranges of bit rate.
This is my general spiel about music formats, but note that your Sony does accept DRM-protected files with transfer rights, so not everything in the following blurb applies fully to you: All of these problems occur because the user is trying to download a song format that the player does not recognize. Every music file is in a certain format. The most common music file formats are Mp3, WMA, AAC (iTunes), WAV, RA, etc.  In addition, every file format type is in a certain bitrate, size, etc.  By far the most common issue is that the music file contains a license or copyright (especially with WMA or AAC file formats).  Each Mp3 player only recognizes a certain number of these formats. Every Mp3 Player is different. You will have to check your Mp3 player’s product specifications (specs) or user’s manual to find out which formats your particular Mp3 player recognizes. When you try to download or sync the wrong file format, you will get one of the errors that I mentioned above.   If you want to know what file type you have, then you must find the location of the individual music file on your computer, right click the title of the song, and select the option “Properties” from the menu.
Mp3 player product documentation is not straightforward.  If a player supports only non-protected WMA files, it will merely say that it supports WMA – it will not tell which type of WMA it supports.  A player that supports DRM-protected WMA’s will usually indicate such on the box (usually with a Windows Plays For Sure logo – which is actually an ironic misnomer).  DRM stands for Digital Rights Management, and it is a type of licensing system for WMA files.  It is used extensively by mp3 player music services such as Bearshare, LeapFrog, Napster, and others.  Not all DRM licenses are created equal – there are licenses with “play rights,” burn rights,” and “transfer rights.”  Play rights mean that you can only play the song on your PC – it will play fine on your computer, but it will not play in your mp3 player even though it appears to transfer.  Burn rights mean that the song can be burned to CD.  Transfer rights mean that the song can be transferred onto an mp3 player that supports DRM-protected files.  Then, there are unlimited licenses and limited licenses.  Limited licenses only allow you to play a song for a certain length of time. You would have to pay extra to continue using the song after that trial period is over – the time length ranges from a few days to several months or longer.
-Tha Mp3 Doctor

Sep 09, 2008 | Sony NWZ-S615F Walkman Video MP3 Player

1 Answer

JNC SSF-F310PNK Mp3


The song format is most likely wrong:
read my "Tips and Tricks" on Song formats for Mp3 players: too long to repost here

Song Formats for Mp3 Players Explained
By Tha Mp3 Doctor
I have seen quite a few threads around Fixya in which the stated problem is that the Mp3 or Digital Audio Player will not load the songs; will appear to load the songs but will not actually play them in the Mp3 player once disconnected from computer; will skip the songs on the player, or show only “0:00” for file length; songs “disappear” all of a sudden (although this particular problem can be caused for many reasons not covered in this article); your store-bought/burned/ripped CD’s will not load into your Mp3 player; or get the error message “File Format Not Supported.” All of these problems occur because the user is trying to download a song format that the player does not recognize. Every music file is in a certain format. The most common music file formats are Mp3, WMA, AAC, WAV, RA, etc. Each Mp3 player only recognizes a certain number of these formats. Every Mp3 Player is different. You will have to check your Mp3 player’s product specifications (specs) or user’s manual to find out which formats your particular Mp3 player recognizes. When you try to download or sync the wrong file format, you will get one of the errors that I mentioned above.

Or, it could be a "formatting" issue:
There are two ways to format an Mp3 player - one on the computer itself, and one in Windows Media Player. Both methods will end up erasing all the songs on the player, but the player will be "good as new" after that. Sometimes reformatting in this manner will override the player's native formatting and cause problems - this can be reversed in most cases by updating the player's firmware. Firmware upgrades are available from most manufacturers' websites.

WARNING: The following procedures will erase all songs on the player.

Check if the file system is NTFS. If yes, format it to FAT or FAT32. - Connect player to computer, double-click my computer, right click on icon of mp3 player and select format. This only applies to Windows-based computers.
You can also format the player in Windows Media Player itself:
Connect your Mp3 player to the computer and open Windows Media Player. Click on the Sync tab. Pull down the drop down menu underneath the Sync tab by moving your cursor over the Sync tab and left clicking on the little black arrow underneath the Sync tab. Highlight "name of Mp3 player here 1GB" (wording may vary slightly), and then select "Format." - this should erase everything.
-Tha Mp3 Doctor

Jun 10, 2008 | JNC Computers SSF-310 MP3 Player

Not finding what you are looking for?

1,747 people viewed this tip

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top iRiver Audio Players & Recorders Experts

kakima

Level 3 Expert

102366 Answers

Steven Wander
Steven Wander

Level 3 Expert

579 Answers

Shawn DuRee

Level 3 Expert

355 Answers

Are you an iRiver Audio Player and Recorder Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Loading...