Separately, it seems the reason my PC became unable to assign a drive letter to my ViBE is not because Songbird poisoned my PC, but because Songbird switched the ViBE from the MSC (USB flash drive) interface to the MTP mode, which I was able to switch back (Settings > PC connection preference). I still don't like the way Songbird took over management of my gear, but my panic above was excessive.
Thank you for the additional feedback you have provided regarding the shuffle feature. I have passed your findings to the development to look into.
Regarding the issues reported in Songbird: the reason for the switch to MTP mode is that the mode is required for some functionality of Songbird (eg: file conversion).
However, I understand you not wanting the change to be automatic, I guess a pop-up asking whether you wish to do this would be better? I have fed this back to our development teams also.
At this stage, I am not able to confirm what will be done with regards to either of your points.
Thank you, Andrea. Songbird does seem to think you hired it to manage all your toys, and this may frustrate experienced computer users. Pop-ups or additional dialogue with the user would be an elegant compromise. Songbird should also take care, if uninstalled, to return things the way it found it; leaving the ViBE in MTP mode gave me the impression Songbird refused to uninstall completely. (What to do if the ViBE is not connected at uninstall? I don't know!)
You guys win! Because I decided that rather than wait for engineering to get back to you, I'd bet $20 at Walmart that two more years of engineering fixed the problem anyway--and am now the proud owner of a blue SA3 (says it's Mix/37 running version 1.08).
In my test, it never repeated the same songs that played before a shutdown. But there was one case (PS--Figured out in next message) where on resumption it dumped the play list entirely and made me reshuffle. Couldn't get back to what I was listening to even with Now Playing. When I reshuffle (Music > All songs > Shuffle all), I get an alphabetized list by FIRST WORD of track name; the 20 of my 449 favorites that begin with the word "The" are songs 372 through 391, but they are in random order. Close enough, I guess, but there ought to be enough horsepower in that small package to compare long strings correctly. When the unit initializes or dumps the playlist, the new list seems to be sorted by artist and it always starts at song 1.
Other observations: The 180-degree screen rotation is neat, but the power-up logo doesn't obey it and displays upside-down. It is not a problem to put the option on the menu, versus a sensor like the one that lets my camera sense which edge is up. I hoped for 90-degree mode because my SA2 is mounted vertically in the car, but it might have been messy to code every screen two different ways.
I hear a brief fade-out when skipping to another song; that's classy. But none when pausing or powering down.
The fifth button (probably the result of the frustrated CNET reviewer) is expected, but it changes the method of operation for SA2 users, which is frustrating. I'm inclined to keep the SA2 in the car because the screen and the controls are larger and I like the "clock" screen-saver (though I have to recalibrate it twice a month). Both units give you one-touch resume most of the time--except when their respective bugs kick in.
PS--Walmart.com has Customer Reviews and Customer-to-Customer Questions. These are reviewed before publishing but may be positive or negative. Reps from SanDisk and HP look at conversation about their products and answer the questions authoritatively. Philips should have someone watch the pages on its products.
Last edited by Spike; 12-09-2011 at 09:24 PM.
Reason: Revise based on discovery in next message
Figured it out! If the SA3 is playing and if it is displaying the Now Playing screen, you can shut it off and resume at the same point (though it is paused until you press ||>). If you are working the menus or have paused the song when you switch it off, you lose your sequence and must reshuffle. This can't be what the user wants--but it is now clear how to coexist with the SA3.
Well im glad youve got to a stage that semi suits you, i dont think however that having to spend more money on products should be necesary- i agree with your point about companies researching feedback and it would be useful as there seems to be(perhaps as expected but still not the point) no point in this instance,
Ive resid=gned myself to the fact that its not gonna be sorted plus now the loose headphone jack socket makes the thing extra annoying to use so much so i hardly bother with it any more- i took it to a local tech shop and refused to try to fix it, so then i too am wondering about other products- but then it seems like money wasted but i guess thats inevitable- tell you one thing though for me to buy another Philips device it would have to be something extra special and id certainly never buy another mp3/4 player of theirs
Technotobe, to Philips' credit, this site helped us exchange information that got me to "semi" peace with my unit--partly by inducing me to keep poking at it. But we never got answers from Engineering. Philips is not alone in touting the ability to upgrade firmware (and indeed there was one available upgrade, if I could tolerate Songbird). But reality is that there is no money in dealing with minor customer dissatisfaction, comparing to moving onto the next blockbuster product. (Agreed, too, that no tech will want to fix your loose headphone jack--It's "totaled.") Also, there's so much computing power and tendency to insert guess-what-I-meant features that someone will always be dissatisfied, and you can never try out the gadget in the store.
The SA2 is still in the car with my Top 450; I use it occasionally and always reshuffle. The SA3, due to tiny size and the unwanted fade-in at the start of songs, is now an extra thumbdrive on the shelf. I don't regret the $20; it's a great little product but just doesn't fit; perhaps will be good for bicycling this summer. I recently got a netbook and had hopes of putting it and Winamp 2.9 in the car, but it doesn't hide on the dash or anywhere below. Perhaps an iPad or tablet would fill this role, but nearly none run real Windows.
Am not soured on the Philips brand as you are, but am hesitant to buy a marvelous new product--and wrestle with a new set of idiosyncrasies--though I was, too, before buying the SA2.