Saturday, February 23, 2008

My cheap ($9.99) MP3 player

Memorex MMP3642 MP3 playerLooking for a cheap MP3 player? The Chicago-area Osco stores are dumping the Memorex MMP3642 for $9.99 (from a retail price of $59.99 or so).

Why so cheap? Because, I suspect, this unit's flaws are so strong that Memorex doesn't want to deal with it any more.

Here's a quick run-down of these flaws and how to get around them if you, like me, want your gadgets cheap.

  • The included software is lousy and it's been bought up and messed up by Yahoo!
    Workaround: Don't use the included sofware. You'll want to hang on to the install CD for the format utility (see the next item in this list), but aside from that don't install any of the software that comes with this gadget. You can use Windows Media Player or RealPlayer instead.
  • I get the message "Error! Reformat Internal media with SigmaTel formatter" when I insert my SD card.
    Workaround: See my post, How I fixed "Error! Reformat Internal media with SigmaTel formatter".
  • It doesn't come with a belt clip or anything like that.
    Workaround: It fits fine in the extra "cigarette lighter" pocket of your jeans.
  • Stopping or pausing a song means that, when you hit play again, the song starts at the beginning.
    Workaround: Yeah, if you're in the habit of pausing long podcasts you'll have to get used to using the fast-forward feature (which is accessed by holding the "next track" button down).
  • It uses a non-standard USB cable.
    Workaround: Yes, it does. If you want more than one USB cable you'll want to purchase a second unit.
  • It's got all kinds of other quirky flaws
    Yes, it does. You're just going to have to live with the facts:
    • It doesn't work with SD card cards larger than 512MB.
    • When you put an SD card in, the player see only that card and doesn't see the music on the onboard 64MB of RAM.
    • You have to remove the battery to swap SD cards.
    Whaddyawant for $9.99?

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