Saturday, September 26, 2009

Tutorial: Creating playlists on Sony Walkman (and other MTP devices)

I recently received a comment critical about Sony's apparent lack of will to create a music management software for their Walkman DAPs, and the difficulty in getting playlists on them. Whilst I understand that Sony is a bit foolish for suggeting people to use Windows Media Player to manage their music and playlists when they are tons of better and free alternatives out there, transfering music (including embedded album art) and creating playlists is actually pretty easy.

All western bound Walkman DAPs (designated NWZ) has been MTP/UMS compliant for the past two years. On a modern Windows machine (running XP SP2 and up), the Walkman will show up as a MTP device. Here, dragging and dropping your music files is the easiest way to get music inside. Using a software like MediaMonkey or Songbird is also another alternative. I personally use MediaMonkey as I love the amount of features it offers to power users. It may lack the glossy facade of iTunes, but it works just as well and you do not have bloat to content with! It will even send any compilations you have with the proper tags/album art, putting them in the 'Various Artists' folder whilst also retaining the individual artist tag.

Creating a playlist on a Walkman (or all MTP compliant DAPs like those made by Creative, Samsung, SanDisk, iRiver, Cowon etc.) device is even easier. No Windows Media Player, MediaMonkey, iTunes or any third party software are needed. Just right click on a track or album folder, and select 'create playlist', then drag it (it has a *.pla extension) to the playlist folder. Open it and then just drag and drop any music you already have on your device to the playlist, no matter which artist, album or genre they are from, as well as removing or reordering them. It would not create any duplicates files as the music files are already on the device, it merely creates a link to the file (with embedded tags and all). I have been using this method for the past year and never had any problems with it - it is that simple.

Another thing I want to add is Sony does have a music management software. It is called SonicStage and Sony made it a requirement to use the software (like iTunes and Zune Desktop) to transfer music to their Walkman devices. Unfortunately it kinda sucks, causing crashes and whatnots. Basically SonicStage was a PR disaster for Sony, and their market share fell further. This is why all western-bound NWZ Walkman DAPs for the past two years do not work with them, even when SonicStage has improved tremendously. Not many people wanted to buy a Walkman with it (including me). We like it when we can choose how we transfer music onto our DAP.

Note: I do not work and has never worked for Sony or any of their subsidaries. This is just a tutorial for those who has trouble creating playlists for their Walkman. Thanks for reading.

13 comments:

Steve said...

I think you will have to have Windows Media Player v11 installed on your machine to be able to do this. Although with this method you are not actually using WMP, Windows Explorer uses some of its files to give this functionality.

Anonymous said...

I can do this once, but then after doing some update on the device (something about a driver software) because its not displaying on my computer, the "Create Playlist" (whe you right click) option is gone!!! why is that?

Anonymous said...

Man if only I had read this a week ago, Id have more hair and some of my equipment would still be in working condition.. :0)

Jenny said...

Have to say I have been trying without success to create a playlist for a few weeks now!!! Thanks so much for this - it works!!!! Can't say much for Sony though - its far from user friendly........Thanks again
Jenny

Aru Jr said...

Thanks very, very much for having posted this. It's saved my life!!!

Anonymous said...

tnx. i alredy tried dis but my sony wireless walkman plays only one playlist wen i shuffle it but dnt know y it cant play more dan one or next playlist as it jumps 2 all songs menu wen i try...

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I tried using windows media player to create playlists, but they wouldn't transfer. This is perfect!

glimpseoftheother said...

As Anonymous said way back in 2009, I also don't have the "Create Playlist" option when right clicking. Is this a Windows 7 thing? Can I get it on to Vista, and how? I don't want to use WMP for anything, EVER. As well as crashing without fail, it messes up my cover art, even to the extent of affecting the art when I open the same file in iTunes (my preferred player).

Please help, as I'm about ready to chuck this Walkman (NWZ-A867) out the window in righteous anger.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this... this is amazing! i've been trying for 2 days to just add my playlist and folders as i want! not as media go or media player wants to be! now my player could be used... million thanks

Jon Choo said...

Glad to help! :)

Jon Choo said...

Incidentally this was on Windows XP. I haven't tested on Windows 7 yet, but I will get back to this.

Anonymous said...

WOW! It works and its so easy. I'm so pleased I found your advice. Thanks a million Jon.

Anonymous said...

ditto to the other comments....have had this device for years and never really knew nor understood how to create playlists. you made it not only easy, but clear. thanks!! :)