Now I’ve heard everything

After yesterday’s errands, I retrieved the little Rockbox-equipped Sansa music player from the car, and noticed across the display screen: “4964 of 4979.” Evidently over the preceding weeks I’d gone through the entire playlist, except for 15 songs.

Which, of course, raised a question: “What happens after the playlist runs out?” I strapped on a headset and let the machine run for the next hour. The last five:

  • 4975: The Sound-Offs, “The Angry Desert”
  • 4976: Johnnie Taylor, “Who’s Making Love”
  • 4977: Jon and Robin and the In-Crowd, “Do It Again (A Little Bit Slower)”
  • 4978: Dion, “Abraham, Martin and John”
  • 4979: Smash Mouth, “Walkin’ on the Sun”

As that last song started, the “Next:” callout was ominously blank.

And then it reset to the top of the Main Menu, awaiting further instructions. (Pressing “Resume Playback” was met with “Nothing to resume”.) This was, I decided, the ideal time to rework the playlist. (Basically, I replaced a couple of tracks with better-quality versions.)

To restart was a simple (eventually) matter of going to Files/Playlists and clicking on whatever playlist was named. First song out of the box was “We Belong Together” by Robert and Johnny; I ordered a reshuffle starting at #2, just because.


  1. McGehee »

    23 March 2014 · 8:17 am

    I remember you’ve posted about how long it takes for Gwendolyn’s sound system to index the music on your player. It led me to some concern about how practical it would ever be for me to play music through my phone if/when I ever got USB connectivity in one of my vehicles.

    Turns out my current ride uses Bluetooth, and somehow when I tell it to play music from my phone it just essentially tells the phone, “Send me what you’ve got and I’ll play it as it comes.”

    Which means if I want to do a playlist I have to figure out how to set it up on my phone. Meanwhile my alerts and ringtones get played along with the music.

    Although, many of my ringtones are clips from songs in my library, and I have yet to encounter one of those.

  2. Dan Tobias »

    23 March 2014 · 8:49 am

    Over my decade-long history using iPods and iPhones, I have on a few occasions managed to keep a lengthy playlist shuffle in place long enough to get through it in full, though I don’t think I’ve ever done it with one so long as 4979 songs.

  3. Dan Tobias »

    23 March 2014 · 8:52 am

    While early iPods did the same as your player and simply returned to the main menu on completion of the playlist, I think the current iPhone just re-starts playing it (can’t recall if it re-shuffles or uses the same order as the first time). Keeping a shuffled playlist going for the extended period needed to complete a play of a 1000-song-plus list is challenging, since lots of circumstances will reset, reshuffle, or lose your place in the list (though things have somewhat improved; nowadays podcasts are in a separate app so you can switch between music and podcasts without losing your place in either).

  4. Dan Tobias »

    23 March 2014 · 8:57 am

    Now Playing: Not anything on my playlists; I’m listening to a local radio station through its iPhone app (its signal isn’t strong enough to easily get on most of my actual radios in my house), which is just finishing up a 1977 American Top 40 with “Love Theme From A Star Is Born” by Barbra Streisand at #2, and now they’re playing the #1 song, “Rich Girl” by Hall & Oates.

  5. Dan Tobias »

    23 March 2014 · 9:02 am

    Actually, I *do* have that Hall & Oates song in my iPhone playlists. I don’t think I have the Streisand song, though I have some of her other stuff.

    Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars!

    The station has now finished the AT40 countdown and is launching “Beatle Brunch”, a show that features that mis-spelled insect-named group.

  6. CGHill »

    23 March 2014 · 11:52 am

    What I have learned, basically, is that it’s easier to connect the music box to the desktop and edit everything through there, rather than to try to fix it on the fly.

    The trick with Rockbox is that it assumes everything is a playlist: if you pick out one song, it creates a playlist of one, plays it, and quits. Next song, next procedure. There are good sorting mechanisms available in Rockbox, if you’ve carefully tagged all your files. (What are the chances of that?)

    So basically what I did was put everything on the box into a playlist, saved it as MUSIC.m3u8 (the extension being a Winamp-style playlist with Unicode encoding), and let it go from there. Smaller playlists could be done, so long as they have different titles.

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