A few months back my Insignia Sport died and I had to look around for a new low end MP3 player as my podcast device. I settled on the SanDisk Sansa Clip+ 4 GB as the best fit for me. Every time I change players, I end up having to tweak my routine a little in syncing, in how I play them and such.
The Sansa Clip+ was a good news/bad news story for my podcast workflow. The good news is that it has a PODCAST directory built in and files that go in there are treated differently than music files. It maintains your place in the file and you can return to the same spot, even after listening to other files or even leaving podcasts and listening to some music. The bad news is that the directory structure under PODCAST does not honor m3u playlists. That had been my method of listening to shows in the order I wanted to hear them. My syncing script generates a chronological playlist as the last step, but the Sansa Clip+ won’t recognize it. It does recognize the playlist if I put all these files in the MUSIC directory but then it wouldn’t restart and do the other stuff.
I stewed on that for a few days until I realized that the “Play all files” plays them in alphabetical order by filename. I added into my syncing program a little counter that it prepends to the filename and voila! When I play all files in the podcast directory, they play in that order once again. It is a stupidly simple method of achieving that goal but I’m not too proud to take it when it works.