halgorithm wrote:I bought this ONLY for doing a rockbox on it and to play FLAC; however, this is the v02 model and as such it cannot be rockboxed (at this time).
Sure you can. I've had my V2 Fuzes Rockboxed for quite some time now, and they work great -- even better than my V1 Fuzes (I can't get Doom to run on the V1 Fuzes -- I've seen some people report success running Doom on the V1, but most of the stuff I've read seems to suggest that most people can't -- finally, I'm with the IN crowd! ;)
Moving right along... the one I received today is apparently brand new. The manufacture code on the label indicates that it was built last month -- it was sealed in the factory wrapper -- has the laser-etched "R" in very faint micro-dots.
I do NOT believe this is an actual refurb, I believe that as is often the case with various manufacturers, a number of units are pulled from the line before going through the costly packaging steps, and reserved for use as warranty replacements.
It's well known that Sansa does NOT do ANY repairs -- they've explained that they don't sell parts, they don't repair out-of-warranty units, and, any in-warranty units that are covered are REPLACED.
I believe it's standard practice for warranty replacement units to be "officially" supplied as "refurbished" units (I have read that this is the case with Seagate, but am not sure if I've seen Sansa's official policy on this.)
In a situation where the policy is to replace with "refurbished" units, but, in a scenario where there are NO actual "refurbs" -- what to do? Handy dandy laser-etcher to the rescue!
Since this sale has occurred a couple of weeks after the official announcement that the product has been discontinued, I think it reasonable to assume it likely that they are clearing out surplus spares that they do not anticipate needing for warranty replacement use. (They know how many they've sold within the warranty period, and, they have statistics that can easily provide an accurate projection as to the number of replacements they will need based on the number of units sold and the known rate of failure. Take that number, then add a "slop factor" to it, to account for units sold by third parties (due to those warranties not starting until time of retail sale, which cannot be known in advance by the manufacturer) -- and then, subtract that from the total number of reserved units on hand, and there's the number of "extra" units that can be sold via liquidation channels.
One other reason for marking "extras" as "R": If new items, MARKED as new items -- in full trade dress -- are sold at markdown liquidation prices -- this will demolish ACTUAL retail sales, and engender beaucoup badwill with retail partners.
One of the several benefits (to a manufacturer) of using this system is that in addition to quickly selling off the surplus stock, without paying for the retail dress (generally a surprisingly expensive fraction of the total cost of production), they are ALSO spared the liability and expense of COVERING the units via retail warranty! By selling them off in bulk with NO warranty (or, a very limited warranty, and requiring the middleman to HANDLE the logistics), they have even greater savings (and, don't have to carry the liability as an ongoing/future expense on the books).
Alternatives are to fork out the nontrivial amount necessary to complete the retail packaging steps, and then sit on a LOT of inventory for a LONG time (which will also cut into sales of the NEWER models), or, donate them to a "bottom-feeder" liquidator (my term for those outfits that "accept" such donations in exchange for a tax-writeoff, and then sell the merchandise to restricted markets -- I've known of places that will ONLY sell to units of government, or nonprofits).
Anyway, the point of all this is that I think we've got a heck of a deal here -- in the opinion of many this is the finest player they've ever built, or are likely to build, and I know a lot of folks are scrambling to buy them when/where they can -- and prices seem to be going UP as the supply dwindles.
Now, the caveat: Since this IS so new (mine, at least), I can NOT do the "easy" route to install Rockbox. The automated installer does not yet recognize this "undocumented V2 Type 2" (yet).
Right before they stopped production, they made a change to the HARDWARE that restricts what firmware can be installed. These last few (and apparently ALL newer Clip+) are SO restricted that they cannot even accept NATIVE Sansa firmware, other than the MOST recent versions.
So, to install Rockbox on these players, it's necessary to use the manual ("mkamsboot") method.
See this page for explanation and instructions if you try to install Rockbox on your player and "nothing happens" after an apparently successful install:
PS: To those experience actual problems running the stock firmware, here's the "EZ-Fix Sansa Cribsheet":
1. Try a hard OFF/Reset -- push the power switch to the OFF position and HOLD it there for about a minute or so (the actual time varies by model, sometimes as low as 15 seconds, sometimes close to a minute). If it turns off, KEEP holding the switch for the full time -- this will do a FULL "off" to the circuitry -- which means that the next time you turn it ON, it will need to do a clean boot (rather than a "resume from standby" as is normally the case).
2. If you're still having problems, go into settings, and make sure it's set to "MSC" mode (for the USBMode), and NOT set to "MTP" mode.
3. If you're still having problems, connect it to your computer using a USB socket on the BACK PANEL of your computer (many computers do not deliver full power via the FRONT panel USB sockets).
4. If all else fails, don't bother asking Sansa to replace it under warranty, since it does not HAVE a Sansa warranty -- it has a Woot warranty (as clearly revealed on the product sale page!) Woot is really good about taking care of this stuff. My very first Sansa was actually defective -- the quickly sent me a replacement player AND a call-tag to ship the dead one back to them.
Can't ask for better treatment than that!
In closing, I urge people to buy Squaretrade extended coverage for these -- NOT because they're prone to early death, but, because with ANY product, a certain percentage are going to fail prematurely.
Since there's no easy way to do most repairs (since there's no readily available source for replacement parts, other than cannibalizing other players), IF the unit fails, it's gone - but, Squaretrade will refund what you paid for it. (This has happened to us exactly once out of all items we've done this with, and they sent out the check in a couple of days, really rapid turnaround.)