First of all, the fact that you need to leave free space on your Clip is the most irritating issue I’ve ever seen on a modern electronics device. I’m sure there are thousands of people out there who have thrown their Clips in the garbage because of this.

Anyway, here is the situation:

You’ve got the “Not enough space for Music DB, please free 30 mb“ message on your Sansa Clip.
You have a Mac

Read on for the fix.

Here is the fix:

Open Disk Utility
Click on the Sansa Clip listing on the left

  • Not the disk itself, the DEVICE.
    Click the ‘Partition’ tab
    Under Volume Scheme, choose ‘1 Partition’
    Click the ‘Options…’ button
    Choose ‘Master Boot Record’, then click ok (this is IMPORTANT!)
    Click the drop down next to ‘Format:’ and choose “MS-DOS (FAT)”
    Click Apply

When this is complete, you can eject the disk if needed, and your clip should be back to normal.

I found that by default the formatting process doesn’t use the ‘Master Boot Record’ partition table system, so even though I had formatted the disk repeatedly, it wasn’t working correctly till I manually specified to use an MBR.