In the Sansa drive in Windows Explorer select the songs that you want in the playlist. Right click and create playlist. You can do minimal playlist editing through the playlist file properties. Drag files to the references tab to add files.
There is a free playlist creator which creates playlists for each folder on the sansa player with one click. it is written in .NET and does not alter the music files (http://www.infosys.tuwien.ac.at/staff/cp/playlist_creator.zip
There is also one written in Python that should work on both linux and Windows (http://people.ifm.liu.se/yohell/make_playlists.py
Try Musicmatch Jukebox
. Both of those should be able to create a music library using only files from the device. Then sort them by artist and album, and delete them from the library, deleting the files as well. Transfer new files to the device as files (MSC USB mode on the player), not by syncing. You can create a new music library on the fly if you've made extensive changes. It doesn't take much time. Playlists should not contain drive letters or folder names, so edit them in Notepad, unless you have an app that makes them on the fly (suggestions?).
You can keep your main database in MediaMonkey, and open the Sansa device (see the plus and click on it). You'll be able to delete files from there. But if you double click on a song on the Sansa device, the wrong song will play. Dunno why, but that's what happens on my computer. But deleting files works.
Rename all your tracks so artist (look for batch renaming feature in your software. Add example of freeware editor?), album and song name is in the file name. That won't be visible in the player, but can aid administration if you use the player in MSC mode.
A how-to for using Windows Media Player
and syncing to make playlists can be found here
added by thatsRich 04-08-06 -
I was having trouble sorting on my Sansa m250 using drag and drop with basic file management for mp3s. After seeing this article, I tried Windows Media Player (version 10) and found that perfect for the job. Since you can drag mis-sorted files in the left pane, they "sync" in proper order.