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Old 09-04-2008, 01:23 AM
fihart fihart is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Great Britain
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Default SigmaTel based Matsui problems and solution.

These are appearing for as little as 14 (say $23) on e-bay uk -- cheap for a 4gB MP3 player. The catch, as some vendors admit, is the MAT 140MR crashes.

In fact a number of Matsui models based on SigmaTel chipsets and firmware became notorious for problems and no-one at the original retailers (Currys, Dixon, PC World in the UK and similar in other parts of Europe) showed any interest in curing the problem beyond refunding customers' money. These returned products were (presumably) then auctioned in bulk, sold as seen.

Which may be where many on e-bay originate.

However, if you own one of these devices (or one of many cosmetically different SigmaTel based models sold under other brand names) and it shows signs of life with a fresh battery in, you may be able to fix it.

Connect it to your computer's USB socket and wait for the blue light to come on. When the screen says Ready, open My Computer.

When the MP3 player appears on the list of drives, try to copy any music files on it to your hard disk. In extremis, copying may not work and may lock up Windows until you remove the MP3 player.

Next click on the player's properties in My Computer and select Tools. Select Format and make sure you specify Fat32 (not NTFS).

Formatting takes seconds, remove the MP3 using the facility to safely remove USB devices (using the Widows Task Bar icon).

Power up the MP3 player -- it will takes some time to check the disk and rebuild the database, then (hopefully) the normal menus will reappear.

Reconnect to computer and load a few tracks into the Playlist folder.

Now comes the crucial part. Issues with this model arise mostly after loading tracks. I think this is because the designers failed to update the device fully to USB2 standards or because the memory is slow. So, when Windows closes the file transfer progress bar, you have to check the screen of the MP3 player to make sure that it's not still writing. Wait for the word Ready to appear before loading more tracks or removing the drive from the computer (using remove safely as mentioned above).

Get it wrong and the player may freeze the computer until removed and will not boot properly when disconnected from the PC.

But if you are patient your player should work -- and this is a perfectly good MP3 player, soundwise, if you replace the feeble supplied headphones. It supports folders, after a fashion. And it is spectacularly cheap. Mine was 8
($12) at a flea market.

Of course this doesn't address the other glaring problem with this and similar models -- a flakey user interface and a tiny screen font. Sadly, I have been unable to find a firmware update that works with the Matsui.

Finally, if you cannot get yours to restart as an MP3 player but you can load and copy files from it when connected to a computer, just use it as a memory stick..
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