After spending a couple of months enjoying listening to music on my Sansa e280, I tried to transfer videos to my Sansa e280 last night for the first time. It didn’t work. The Sansa Media Converter didn’t recognize my device (a common issue based on numerous postings I since read).
I immediately searched the Internet for solutions for my situation. In the forums I read people suggested several solutions to this issue, ranging from reinstalling Sansa Media Converter to reinstalling Microsoft XP. A number of solutions talked about switching from MTP to MSC mode on my player, but I didn’t even have that menu/option on my player. Wow, I was frustrated. Other postings suggested to read the instruction manual. I did, and that led to further frustration. Like many postings, the manual also referred to the option of switching from MTP to MSC mode, which wasn’t available on my player. I was about to give up but persisted further (what else could I do in the middle of the night? – Rhetorical, please don’t answer.)
After a few hours of reading through message boards and finding nothing but shared frustrations, I turned to SanDisk’s site to see if they had posted any solutions. On their main site I found a forum that had outdated on how to “force” the device into MSC mode. After more looking, I found the REAL solution, which I am now posting everywhere possible to save everyone else who is still confronted with this issue some trouble.
There are only two things you need for the solution:
Download the firmware updater from SanDisk: http://www.sandisk.com/Retail/Default.aspx?CatID=1376
Download the most recent version of Sansa Media Converter (v. 4.220 at the time I downloaded it): http://www.sandisk.com/driverdownload/drlogin.asp?driverId=184 (free registration/login required)
First download and install the firmware updater. The installation requires you to start without the device plugged in and then requires you to connect your device via USB to complete the process. When successfully installed, the updater’s icon shows up in the system taskbar (by your clock). Impatiently, I clicked on the icon and selected the option to “Check for updates now.” It worked. I soon received a message that my device firmware was updated and to disconnect the device to complete the process.
The result? I now had the option, “USB Mode” as one of the options under “Settings.” I could now select Auto, MTP, or MSC. I thought that was progress. I then tried transferring files as indicated in other postings, but the videos didn’t appear in the catalog when I tried putting them on using a drag-and-drop transfer method. I then read the new manual I downloaded and read that the ONLY way to transfer videos and images to the device is through Sansa Media Converter.
I then downloaded the Sansa Media Converter software, which was a larger download. Once downloaded, I ran the setup installation process. The process was fairly slow and seemed to be stalled; however, it did succeed.
Of note on the media converter software is that it is now developed by InterVideo, a company that also produces an excellent DVD player that I use on my PC. I plugged in my player, and EVERYTHING worked as expected. I was able to transfer videos without a hitch. The Sansa Media Converter 2 seems to be an excellent piece of software. I am guess that SanDisk ditched the previous media converter software, which was produced by ArcSoft and went with InterVideo. Just for kicks, I visited the InterVideo site and noticed they were recently purchased by Corel.
Additional information: SanDisk apparently launched a new site at http://www.sandisk.com/sansa/
to help people learn more about their MP3 player products and to receive support. The site is extremely easy to use and helpful; however, it’s a Flash application, so I can’t link directly to the Sansa 280e support page, which is the right jumping-off point for all of the information you need. Getting there is easy. Just select “Support > Software and User Manuals” on the home page. On the “software + user manuals” landing page, select “Sansa e200” (all of the e200 series players use the same drivers, firmware, and media converter program, which was another of my concerns last night.)
You will be taken to a page with all of the downloads related to the e200 series, which include the links referenced above. The site also includes forums and other support information. I don’t have an answer to why this solution is posted first and foremost on the site, but that’s another issue.
I hope this helps everyone who was experiencing this issue. The product seems to be work well now that these updates have been installed and applied. I can’t explain why SanDisk has forced its customers to go through all of this pain and these maddening gyrations, but I’m glad they have provided solutions that address these issues.