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iRiver woes

A friend gave me a hand-me-down iRiver H100 when they first came out. It was such a great 20GB mp3 player that I bought a friend the iRiver H320 for Christmas a few years later, back in 2004. It was a bit expensive, but seemed worth it given my anti-mainstream (anti-iPod) mindset. The device was perfect: USB – comes up as a drive, can record FM radio or voice with the buil-tin mic or with an external mic.

iRiver HD players

Then I felt the need to upgrade mine and get an H340 (40GB).

Fast forward to present day: my friend’s player keeps cutting out – seems like the battery is shot and won’t hold a charge. Then, a few days ago, I plug mine in, the screen freaks out, then goes white, and the device gets REALLY HOT to the touch. I didn’t smell any funkiness (aka burnt silicone), but it’s obviously not happy.

So I call iRiver support – I’m impressed: some dude answers the phone after a very brief wait on hold. (not off-shored either). Here’s the skinny: the iRiver comes with a 1 year warantee, and they don’t offer repairs due to the cost – not even if I’m willing to pay. They e-mail me some web site where I can log in and they’ll give me some e-credit towards one of their new H10s. Oh gee. I’m thinking: why replace a product that breaks in 15 months with another?

So then I think maybe it’s time to sell out and get an iPod… I mean, there’s an adapter for it to integrate seamlessly into my Mini… they offer battery repair /replacement kits, and there are tons of really cool accessories etc. etc. etc.

But then I think – NOOO! I can’t sell out to iPod and iTunes and their proprietary nonsense – I mean, why must I put iTunes on my PC just so I can use the iPod? More importantly, why must their application default to their proprietary digital audio .aac format rather than the industry standard .mp3 format? Why can’ t I just upload my own mp3s as if onto a USB flash drive – kinda like the iRiver? Why do they use some proprietary connector rather than an industry standard mini-USB? Ahhh, so there is the incentive to try and solve this iRiver problem.

A quick search of eBay reveals they many replacement batteries for $30! A quick search in Google reveals step by step instructions on how to do this. AWESOME! I love the internet.

And then, almost as if on queue, I my friend (whose H320 won’t hold a charge) tells me that she plugged it into the USB, and charged it that way (rather than use the wall wort) and it hold a perfect charge again. Could that mean the charger is defective, and not the iRiver?

HOLY CRAP! My iRiver shit the bed when I plugged in the charger – actually, I kinda did something that I know I shouldn’t have done – I plugged in my iRiver before flipping the switch on the power strip… I’m thinking the surge is what fried the iRiver but this brings up a very interesting issue: could their devices be great, but they just have cheap ass chargers!

So now I get to pull apart my iRiver (from those awesome instructions) and see if there’s anything I can salvage :-/

Posted under Personal
  1. Jeantet » iRiver hope Said,

    […] Inspired by my unwillingness to sellout and get an iPod after my iRiver woes from last week, I searched around the internet for spare batteries.  To my surprize, eBay is crawling with them.  I guess there’s a real aftermarket! (thinly vailed dig at iRiver) It would stand to reason, therefore, that somebody out there knows how to crack open the iRiver and replace the battery.  Sure enough! […]