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Before you blame your MacBook, make sure another MAC can read your player. If it can, then it's a hardware compatibility issue. Would suggest you back-up your data on the MAC and upgrade the OSx to the latest version. If you have Leopard, please update to Snow Leopard at least. The update disk costs very little and is very easy to do by simply inserting the CD and following the instructions. You will need to reimport your programs and data using the Time Machine program on your MacBook. Max out the memory in your MacBook while you are upgrading it. Crucial.com provides most of the memory for most mfrs, you can use their site configuration to determine the best memory for you MacBook.
Generally, MP3 is the most common music file format and can be recognized by all MP3 players, so you'd better download music as .mp3 file extension. I know an excellent tool used to search for and download music to Mac. It is a program running on Mac OS X 10.7 and the later. And it is really the best way to get music downloaded. Download it from the below link. http://anymp3downloader.com/
Not to sure about a mac but I think mac's use a mp4 format when it rips a cd, and the Sansa will use a mp3 file. You can download a free program to convert these files but again, I know where for a PC but not a mac. Look for free mp4 to mp3 converter program for Mac..
It look that your player is drawing too much current from your Macbook Pro: it is rather unusual nowadays but does happen even with some USB external 2.5in drives! Solutions: 1) Buy a USB Power Adapter Y cable that plugs into 2 usb ports on your Computer an thus allows double the current (shop around as they are expensive on Amazon but pretty cheap on Ebay) 2) Plug your player via a 'Powered' USB Hub that can provide higher current (from its 'own AC/DC power pack') to each USB port on the Hub
I plugged my aquabeat into my mac. It mounted and I deleted all the files onto it. Then, I copied a bunch of mp3 files onto it. The device registered as full and wouldn't let me add any more files even though the info window said there was 250 MB available but this was wrong or misinterpreted by the device. I couldn't make it work. I found there was insufficient capacity for the operational files to be built on the device. I deleted one of the mp3 files to free up space then ejected it which caused it to be unmountable on the mac - it wouldn't turn on at all. I pressed the reset button and it all came to life and now it works as advertised. The device needs to create a bunch of work files for it to start. I believe that it really was out of space and could not create the work files. When I deleted the mp3 it freed up enough space so the work files could be created, but it was frozen. The reset caused the work files to be created and all was well.
Itunes uses a file format called AAC. There aren't too many players other than the Ipods that can play AAC files. This is why your songs won't play on your Sandisk player. What you need to do is get a mp3 converter, I personally recommend DBPoweramp, excellent program and can convert nearly everything. Once you convert your AAC files to mp3, they should play no problem...
Even on a Macbook pro, you should be able to access your "my computer" option, where it shows you the local disk drives and everything. your mp3 player icon should appear there. then after you click on the icon it should bring up a page containing folders "on" your mp3 player. there doesnt have to be any music or videos or anything like that to have the folders already on there. now i dont have a mac but what i suggested you to do should work.