Well, the wife received a Pixie Power Disney mix-stick for Christmas this year. I know, it is marketed for kids, but it an interesting shuffle like MP3 player. Yeah, no screen, but with a 1GB of flash RAM, expandable with an SD card, it appeared to be a great little player. That is, if you can get the music on it to play!
First problem was none of our computers would recognize the mix-stick. The LED on it was stuck on red and neither of the computers we tried it on would install the drivers. When I noticed that I couldn't power it off, I assumed it was hung. There is a little reset hole on the side which I promptly shoved a pin into. Bingo! The mix-stick now installs and shows up as a standard removable drive. Well, two drives actually -- one for internal memory, and one for the SD card. So far so good.
Now, the wife went on to add a ton of music onto her new mix-stick. It only took a day or two. She ripped her new CD's so she could put that music on it as well. Only problem is the music doesn't play! What! Okay, I can explore the drive and play the music direct, so that doesn't appear to be the problem. The manual and web site doesn't offer any useful information either. After about an hour of useless searching, it was time to experiment. First thing to try is to see if it is a bit rate issue. I copied a 64kbs WMA song over to the drive. Second bingo! The song played! I noticed that Windows Media Player places the songs in folders. I wondered if this might be the issue, so I moved one of the songs, ripped at 192kbs, to the top level directory. Third bingo! The song played! Now it was just a matter of moving the rest of the songs and deleting the folders. All done in time for the wife to take it to the gym.
Windows Media Player provides a simple option to not sync with folders. It would seem pretty simple to have mentioned that somewhere in the manual. Seems the manual was written for WMP 10, maybe only WMP 11 used folders. I guess the moral of the story is, you get what you pay for. At least the mix-stick has a really nice Disney themed look!