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on August 30, 2011
I am a big old fat geek that recently got into doing...(GASP!)...exercising.

I have many MP3 capable products and reasons why I am very fond of this little one for my new found effort. I have the following list of products and have tried my:

Nexus S (too big and heavy for running, no physical buttons)
iPod touch 4th Gen (Big, expensive at the storage size i wanted and no buttons for music controls)
iPod Nano 4thGen (little, has a clip, but why the hell can't they include buttons?)
iPod shuffle (not enough storage and I don't want to mix in my metal songs from lifting weights into my up beat running songs...)

The clip Zip sounds great, is very small, has a clip and has physical buttons.

It fits every need i want. The bonus is the MicroSD slot, I can not stress this enough. Skip the 8GB version and get the 4GB and pair it with a 16 or 32GB card. Bam 20-36GB of storage, insanely small and still clocks in under $100.

FLAC support.

Low rez color screen does what it needs to. Won't knock people over but tells you whats playing with album art.

As for the other areas, the stop watch works like a stop watch...It keeps time and does splits. Not a huge thing and if you are using a polar watch or at a gym, the machine you are on will do just as well and be more convenient. In a pinch it works.

The FM radio works fine. I live in a rural area, so my station choices are limited. From my experience, it works just fine if you are in an area with good recption.

*UPDATE* MM works on updated firmware...still broken on stock firmware. Drag and drop also works, so you have that going for you.

General gripe: The included headphones are perfect for giving to people you hate. You can use them, i guess, if you want to torture yourself, but like any MP3 player, Apple or otherwise, get some better phones...your ears and your music will appreciate it.

Considering you would need to pay twice as much for an iPod with fewer features, no physical buttons and no storage expansion, just to run in a hampster wheel, save your scratch and get this guy. You will be glad you did, as it looks good, sounds good and does a it in a small package that just screams to be used in your fitness routine.

Update of an update: A new firmware patch was released, make sure to update your new Clip Zip or you will experience the "Static Blast" between some of your songs...not fun, but it has been addressed, so make sure to update right away.
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on April 3, 2012
Let me start off with the bottom line. Buy this player. Period.

Ok,with that out of the way let me tell you why. I am a complete tech geek. I built my own computer AND server and have the usual assortment of laptops, mobile phones, netbooks, and other assorted tech items. I decided I wanted a compact music player because there are times I don't want to use my mobile phone as a music player. Sometimes I want something really small and light. With my tech background my standards were pretty high for what I wanted out of an MP3 player and of everything I looked at, including the various iPods, this was the ONLY player that met all my criteria.

PROs: Super small and light. In fact, if it had been any smaller it would have been TOO small. One complaint some people have with the newest generation iPod is that it's so small they have a hard time manipulating the controls. The Clip Zip has actual buttons you can press which makes control very easy. And don't worry about accidentally hitting a button and screwing up your music. If you tap the power button on top it locks all the buttons except the volume control so that won't happen.

Has a small screen so you can actually select what you want to hear and displays album art if you have it installed.

All the usual music selection options. You can search by artist, album, song, genera, or even by folder or playlist.

SD CARD SLOT!!! This was the most important feature to me. It will take up to a 32 GB MicroSD card. 32 Gigs. Do you understand how much music will fit on that? I have every CD I own installed to an SD card, over 7500 songs, and it only takes 18.5 GB using Windows Media format. Even better, when you pop in an SD card the player takes only a few seconds to scan it and update its internal database. So even if you have 50,000 songs you could just copy them all to a couple of different SD cards and switch them in and out. There are only a small handful of players on the market with this feature and it gives you AMAZING flexibility in using your player. Want to just cram a ton of music on there? Go for it. Want to use a lossless, high quality format like FLAC so your music sounds perfect but don't want to be stuck with only a handful of songs on your player? No problem, grab a few cards and take as much as you like.

When you first get a blank card install it in the player and go to "system settings". Chose "format" and select "external card". The player will format your card for you and install a folder titled "MUSIC" on it. Just drag and drop any music folders you have saved on your computer here and install it in your player. The player reads the card, organizes the files, and you're ready to listen to music.

File Options. It accepts an amazingly wide range of file formats. MP3, WMA, Flac, even the various iTunes formats.

Built in FM radio. Less important these days but still a nice option to have sometimes. And it even does autoscan for stations.

SANSA Updater. If you go to the Sandisk website to the clip zip page you can download their installer. First, it upgrades the firmware on the player. DO THAT. But more important it also installs a small updater program. When you connect your player it pops open and gives you different options including syncing with different folders or just dragging music onto your player. You can use it to create playlists right on the player. Or, if you already have playlists on your windows media player you can sync with those instead.

CONs: Nothing is perfect and this is no exception. First, it is a very light plastic player. If you step on it or sit on it you WILL break it. Duh.

It seems to have a problems with songs recorded in iTunes format. Checking on line it has to do with the way iTunes tags certain songs. A few years ago iTunes adjusted the way they tag songs based on if they were DRM protected. I had a mix of old and new songs in my iTunes folder and if I tried to install them the player would hang up. Deleting the music from the player solved the problem. There is no such problem with ANY windows based format. Personally, I have seen this as yet another problem with Apple being not quite compatible with everything else and not a player problem.

Slow file transfer. Dragging music onto your player is kinda slow. Not a huge deal since you are unlikely to do it very often. It's even less of a big deal because you can take the SD card out and copy music directly to the card, then just pop it back in. In truth, even burning directly to an SD card can take a while if you have a lot of music. I copied 12 GB at once at it took almost an hour. But again, how often are you going to need to do that?

CONCLUSION: The bottom line here is this is an amazingly good MP3 player. Is it perfect? No, obviously not. But there are a lot of players on the market with fewer options for a lot more money. I spent several days researching every player on the market and the Clip Zip has the best combination of options at the best price, hands down.
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on May 12, 2013
I'm on the road...a LOT (150-250 miles a day). I love listening to audiobooks while I travel from one appointment to the next. For the past two years, I've been using my Samsung tablet for listening to those audiobooks and it does a very respectable job as far as it goes. The only problem with the tablet is that it's big and clunky and very distracting (read dangerous) to deal with while driving. I was looking for a decent alternative; something that was smaller and easier to control, but something that could still hold all of my audiobooks and that had decent sound quality. So...I looked and read many reviews. Money really wasn't that big an issue with me; I was willing to pay for the best if that's what it took. Bottom line is that it came down to either the Apple iPod Touch (4th or 5th generation) or the Sansa Clip Zip. So I figured, what do I really have to lose by choosing the Clip Zip since it was $250 cheaper than the iPod Touch?

So I bought the 4GB model along with a 16GB microSD card and gave it a try. I am blown away! I went to Audible and downloaded all of my books, ran a cord between the ClipZip and the Aux input of my van and away we went. Okay, so the controls are a little less than ideal, but they work and aren't so distracting that I feel as if I'm in danger if I have to pause it in order to answer the phone. So the screen isn't the latest retina scan whatever; what it has it works just fine. You can easily move between your downloaded music and radio and books and stop watch and even control what you see on the screen. I haven't used the Stop Watch nor do I expect to anytime soon and I could choose not to see it on screen by simply going to the Settings Menu and instructing the ClipZip not to show it. But I've left it on there for now just because.

When I get home, I simply plug the ClipZip directly into my home stereo to continue listening to my audio books or to the FM radio. Let me talk about the FM radio for a minute. It's wonderful! My home system isn't able to pick up on one of the Houston stations that I like, but the ClipZip is able to pull it in perfectly. That's just frosting on the cake for me (I was ready to go out and invest in a new home stereo system; now I don't have to).

If you've read any other reviews about the ClipZip, you've probably already read a couple of hundred times about the lousy headphones that come with it. Ditto. It isn't that the sound quality is that bad; it isn't unless you're some kind of audiophile in which case you shouldn't even EXPECT them not to suck. But the FIRST time I went to unplug them, they pulled apart at the plug even though I was pulling on the part of the plug that directly connects to the unit. I refuse to take off a star based on that, however, because the ClipZip itself is such a great little unit. Just as a side comment, I read one of the so-called "professional" reviews going on about the "build quality" of the ClipZip being something less than sterling. Listen, I'm here to tell you that I am very tough on electronic gadgets and I've already put this thing through it's paces. It's built like a little tank. I've already dropped it and banged it around in my van; I've gone to sleep with it pinned to my shirt and rolled over on it. I'm quite certain that it will hold up well for those of you who are into exercising. The clip on it seems to be very sturdy. I mean, I don't know what these other guys are expecting, but for crying out loud, the build quality for an MP3 player under $50 is AMAZING! One reviewer made the old, tired, typical comment: "You get what you pay for.." I completely disagree. You get a whole helluva lot MORE than what you pay for with this little thing. For UNDER $50, I got a very decent 20GB MP3 player! That is a bargain and a best buy in my book

One final thing: I've read a couple of Amazon reviews griping about the fact that you can't play audiobooks on the ClipZip. Perhaps that was once true. I don't know. But those gripes are no longer relevant, so you might as well completely disregard those ratings. In fact, those comments almost prevented me from buying this since that was what my own personal focus was about to begin with. Fortunately, in the course of my research I discovered others who put that concern to bed. So, for any of you audiobookaphiles out there, I highly recommend this little guy. And for anyone who wants something to listen to while jogging or working out, this would be perfect (except for the lousy headphones, of course; there are plenty of nice replacements out there and you'll still barely have to top $50).

So there you go. Highly recommended.
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on December 2, 2013
Purchased for audio books only. I was looking for the best type of bookmarks as I often have several books going at once. My CC Witness is ok, but if you leave the file, you must fast forward back to the book mark when returning to that file/book.mp3 file. With the clip zip, the bookmark (dot on the progress line) marks your spot, but if you leave that file and return later, it will ask you if you want a "new start" or "resume". If you resume, it takes you right back to the same spot where you left off without having to fast forward. Also, with the CC Witness, and many other players, you're limited to the number of bookmarks you can have. Using bookmarks in up to 20 in different files in the Clip Zip, I have never experienced any restriction.

A supposedly bad aspect of this machine was the inability to be able to place your files in the subfolders you desire. I have a workaround. If you make a subfolder under audiobooks, as an example "books" change the properties of your file (before you transfer to the computer). Make sure the file name is the same in the general tab and the details tab. In the details tab erase all the descriptions except the file name, length and kbps. Then, in the album space type "books". If you do this with all the files you want under books, it works every time. What you've done is make only one "tag" or filter for the machine to consider. If you want another subfolder, example "Niven", then just name the subfolder, then all the files for that subfolder name "Niven" in the album space. I guess you could do the same with different tags, say "artist" to separate, or use more than one to fine tune your divisions.

Can't belived how much I like this (these) players. I now have 3, they're so cheap that instead of worring about a battery running out (14-16 hours), I can carry one or two spares. (If I don't want to copy all the same files to each machine's permanent storage, I just put them on my 32GB card, and stick the card in the player with the good battery. Also, carry a spare in the car in case I get stuck somehwere when I wasn't expecting it. Use it for cycling, working in the yard and garage, and working out at the club. I wear it on a shoelace around my neck and don't even notice it's there. Most audio books are recorded at a fairly fast talking rate (usually too fast for my preferences) so the "slow" speed on this player slows it down to a more conversational level. I use Freemake Audio Converter (to convert down to 32 kbps which is just fine for audio books, to take much less storage space in your drive, or MergeMP3 to make just one file for each book, and it makes the whole world easier.With the 4GB player and a 32GB SD card, at 32 kbps it give me about 3800 hours of books at normal speed. With an average book of 200mb, it means I can carry over 300 books in the space of a small matchbook. This is a really good item(s) to have. My CC Witness is now my 4th backup, and I haven't touched it (except to keep the battery charged) in a year. Skeetpick, 66 yr old triathlete.
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on November 27, 2013
Piece of junk. Very disappointing. I have owned many versions of the clips over the years and this one is a complete failure. Worked the first time used and died in the middle a run with a full charge on the second use. It would not take a charge for 24 hours then started charging and and worked again only to die again within 2 minutes of my next run.

To make matters worse I contacted SanDisk for a replacement. After a miserable customer service experience varying from ignoring my emails to giving me excuses why a replacement wasn't shipped. I got another one nearly two months later. Of course the second run I went on it dies 10 minutes in in the same fashion. I suspect they just charged the one I sent them and sent the defective product back to me. Completely dissatisfied. Product quality and customer service on Clip Zip is in the toilet.
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on April 22, 2014
The Sansa Clip Zip seems to be mostly solidly-built. The size is small, and the buttons are easy to press.


Small size.

Good sound quality.

Supports multiple file formats, including MP3, FLAC, WMA, WAV, and more.


Color screen, which is a little low-res, but still does the job of displaying important information.

Supports album art.

Supports MSC mode.

Battery life seems to be good.

Allows charging and playing at the same time.

Uses standard micro USB connector.

Expandable via microSD card up to 32GB.

Allows you to display all music from both internal memory and microSD in one list.

Menu UI is simple and easy to use.


Firmware has some problems. Freezes up on some MP3 files, seems to be an issue with tags. The player has a problem with certain tags. Shipping firmware reintroduces a bug from a former version, sometimes a burst of static or noise will be played between tracks.

Does not support PNG files for album art, only JPG. And album art has a limit of 100KB.

Changing tracks on a microSD card has a delay of several seconds. If the song has album art, it's even longer. Each time you switch tracks if the track doesn't have album art, the player loads up another generic background image. So if you have several tracks without album art, it will reload a new image each time, slowing it down. There is no way to turn this off.

No time elapsed/time total or track position info when playing music, despite being requested over and over on SanDisk's customer forums.

Player removes "A" and "The" from the beginning of the display of track titles. This cannot be turned off.

Every time you connect the player to a computer, when you unplug it, it refreshes its database, and goes into "Refreshing your media" mode, where the player is unresponsive, and unable to be used until this completes. The more music you have, the longer this is.

The "up" button is slightly harder to press than the others, but that's because the others have a free side, and the "up" one does not, so it's not a really big deal.

Included cable is ridiculously short, like all Sansa Clip players. It's 3 inches long. Fine for a laptop, but no other applications. Be sure to buy a longer micro USB cable if you intend to use this with a desktop computer, or charge it with an adaptor.

The firmware which is included with it is problematic. I had a specific MP3 that it would freeze on, and the player wouldn't do anything until several seconds had gone by, and it would skip to another one. The firmware which comes on shipping units is a version number higher than the available one on SanDisk's website. It is recommended if you get this player to downgrade to the previous firmware, because the current one introduces several bugs, and sometimes plays a burst of static or noise between tracks.

Features such as elapsed time/total time and track position info for music have never been implemented, despite being asked for for years in threads for feature requests by SanDisk employees on the SanDisk forums.

I haven't had it long enough to see if there is any longevity problems, but it seems like there are hit and miss players. Some work fine, others stop working fast.

The hardware of the player is good, but the firmware is flawed. Using Rockbox is recommended. It fixes all of these problems but one (album art still cannot be in PNG format, but there is no size limit.) Boot time is also much faster. The stock firmware takes 10-15 seconds to boot. Rockbox 1 second. Shutdown also takes about 1 second, where the stock firmware takes about 5 seconds. Battery life has been reported to be even longer under Rockbox in most cases. There is also a theme available which reproduces the default firmware look about 90% (it doesn't reproduce the main menu of the firmware, it uses Rockbox's instead), if you are interesting in keeping the default look. My rating for the player with the default firmware is 3 stars. But I didn't think it was fair to rate it that. My rating is the player with Rockbox installed. If you get this player, Rockbox it.
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on January 30, 2014
I use this exclusively for working out. I personally hate bringing my phone with me on a run or to the gym, so I bought this little mp3 player to use instead.

There are many great selling points that make it ideal for this situation:
1- expandable micro sd card so you can add all those extra albums that wont fit internally
2- supports FM radio
3- can record FM radio
4- well sustained battery life and charges via micro usb
5- small size and clip make it easy to attach to clothing without falling off, and is barely noticeable while maintaining easy control and access during activities.

I love this item. I would rather run with it than my Galaxy S4 because it is small, easy to control, and attaches to a sweatband I put on my forearm. The UI is very friendly, and adding things like podcasts or audiobooks regularly is no problem.

I would definitely recommend this product for anyone who wants a good workout mp3 player for cheap, or for anyone looking for a simple mp3 player for someone who is a bit older and not great with technology. Easy to learn and very useful.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on March 3, 2014
I had high hopes for this SanDisk player, but it disappoints.
First- The controls are so small that it is difficult to control its functions. Also, the cryptic symbols do not make any sense. I abandoned the silicon sleeve I bought for it, making it a little more controllable, but only a little.
Second- My main purpose for using an mp3 is to listen to books, which I get from the library and copy to the device. Apparently SanDisk has never heard of such a thing, because they only allow for Audible in their formatting. Creating a playlist for a book involves a 32-step process, the instruction for which do not match the reality of my Windows 8 file folder. I could go on and on about this, but the short version is: Stay away from this player.
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on February 26, 2012
I bought this so I could listen to music while undergoing chemotherapy. I read all the previous reviews both good and bad. I also took note of the recommendations to go for the 4Gb version and add a 32Gb micro SD card.

So I ordered one in black ($10 cheaper than other colors) a 32Gb Micro SD card and a pair of Grado SR-60i's.

The pictures on Amazon don't come close to showing how small this thing really is. It's not much bigger than two postage stamps (snail mail) and as thick as a stack of four quarters. The clip which I was concerned about lies flat and is unobtrusive.

The battery had a small charge so I was able to use it as soon as I cut it out of it's plastic prison. I was able to program in the local FM stations easily without using the manual or quick start guide. It has plenty of volume for the Grado headphones. I've heard they are not an easy load for some devices. The supplied ear buds? The best I can say about them is they work. This thing deserves something better than bargain basement buds. I connected it to one of my PC's using the supplied USB cable and it was picked up immediately (Windows 7). Drag and drop from PC to Clip Zip worked just as it should.

How does it sound? Well, I'm a serious audiophile. When I'm home I listen to a surround system with three sub woofers and four tube driven full range electrostatic speakers. I didn't even own a pair of headphones until now. Several years ago I gave away a pair of Stax electrostatic phones to a friend. His apartment leaked sound like a sieve and his neighbors didn't want to hear his stereo. I don't know if it's the Sansa or the phones but the combination works for me. The sound is very good with smooth response from top to bottom. I'm hearing very good bass and a clear clean very smooth midrange.
Electrostatics tend to do midrange especially the female oice particularly well. Grado and Sansa get it mostly right. I'm particularly sensitive to excessive treble. The treble is there but it's not in your face and I don't hear any ringing. The Clip Zip and Grado phones sound quite good in comparison to my home system. My home system is in another league so that's a real compliment to Sansa and Grado. I recommend this Sansa/Grado combination to anyone who wants good sounding music on the go.
I have not used the audio book or recording functions so I can't comment on them. My only regret is that I didn't spend the extra $20 and get the SR-80i's. Maybe I'll give my brother the SR-60i's and order a pair of SR-125i's!

I compared the Grado's to some Skull Candy buds and a pair of Dr. Dre's beats. The Grado's are better then both for less money.
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on June 28, 2015
If you love music like I do and download a lot, this is the ticket. I like the fact that it clips onto your pants, belt, or whatever so you don't lose it. Let me share with you a money-saving tip. The 8GB is about twice the price of the 4GB. You can buy a 32GB memory card for about 20-25 dollars and get 36GB for just a little less money and you'll probably never fill it up in your lifetime. Two words of caution; buy the class 6 version (it won't take anything above that) and NEVER order the hassle-free packaging. Always get the factory packaging because their are a ton of counterfeits out there, and if it comes from San Disk,you know it's legit. Order both of them and go crazy loading music. Oh, and there are a few bonuses that come with this unit. A radio, which is programmable for AM and FM, a stop-watch (I don't get it either), and a feature that allows you to record your own voice. I use it when I go shopping, so I just record what i'm supposed to get, play it back in the store, and never forget anything. I think it has a pod cast feature, or some other feature I never use, but it's a bargain It also has a feature which allows you to see how much 4GB space and external memory card space you've used and have left. I have 600 songs on mine so far and love to check my external card and see that I've barely used any space. It's a real grin!
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