Is the Clip Zip's hardware inherently unreliable? Or is it the software?
May 26, 2012 at 12:49 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8


100+ Head-Fier
Sep 19, 2010
I see tons of posts on HF with love towards the Clip Zip. It does look like a very nice value player. Really! 
But if I go on Amazon, nearly half of the reviews are "Died in 2 days" "Dead in the middle of a song" "Wont Turn on".
This sounds very much hardware oriented, to me at least. But there are so many people with these on here that don't seem to have these problems! Are the people on Amazon just incompetent, or do you guys have really good luck?
I like some of the new Rockbox themes created by HF user TCD1975. Really look nice! Thanks!
So is it the the software/firmware that causes this unreliability or is the hardware? I know the hardware has to be cheap, but then again , there isn't a whole lot to it, unless its SoC is really that flaky and crappy. Otherwise, from the teardown pictures I've seen, it doesn't look "bad". I'm an electronics guru myself, and well, frankly, there's not much that could go wrong besides a chip just going kaput on you.
What's the problem here?
May 26, 2012 at 2:52 PM Post #2 of 8
 Mine runs just fine on Rockbox.....has for months!

May 26, 2012 at 3:40 PM Post #4 of 8
While I do not put much weight on amazon reviews, base on your post here I took a look and see 460 reviews of which break out like this: 174 five star, 111 four star, 45 three star, 28 two star and 102 one star reviews. So I took a look at the one star reviews, while I wasn’t going to read them all I did skim a few.
You’re right, a good portion do complain of it dying but do not give enough information to identify the problem. While there are some easy ways to fix the clip, the uninformed give up fairly quick and don’t put in the time to find out how to fix it. If they took the time to google, there's all kinds of great information about it in the anythingbutipod clip forums. Player issues are one of the reasons that ipods are so popular, but IMO you can find many issues with ipods as well. That said, I have own 6 clips since the first v1, then v2 and now the zip and I’ve never had a problem that I couldn’t fix myself and still own all 6 working fine. I did have to RMA the v2 once but that was a bad battery issue in the first few days of owning it and sandisk had a new one in my hands within a week.
Unfortunately I can’t tell you much about the sansa firmware because all of my clips have been rockboxed out of the box since the early beta days and that gives this player a lot more flexibility, you can read about it here. But IMHO the Clip is a great value player and with good IEMs & volume matched the sound quality is comparable to any other top tier digital audio player ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
May 26, 2012 at 5:45 PM Post #6 of 8
Thanks a lot for the replies. I think I am going to purchase one. Seems like an excellent value. CZ + a 32gb SD should do me very well.

Enjoy it, BTW you can also go with a 64GB microSD if you format it to FAT32. That said if you don't rockbox it with either a 32GB card or higher you may not like the db refresh time when you change tunes on it.
May 26, 2012 at 7:29 PM Post #7 of 8
Is FAT32 slower than NTFS?
I still find it absurd that they can pack 64GB of storage into a a microSD card. I'm not old. I'm 18, and I remember when my computer's hard drive was like 400MB. Sheesh.
May 27, 2012 at 6:45 AM Post #8 of 8
Is FAT32 slower than NTFS?
I still find it absurd that they can pack 64GB of storage into a a microSD card. I'm not old. I'm 18, and I remember when my computer's hard drive was like 400MB. Sheesh.

While NTFS maybe faster, that isn't the question regarding microSD expansion cards that work with the Clip+ or Zip. Every card needs to be formatted in FAT32 to work with mp3 players and the phones I've read about. I'm not sure what would happen if they weren't but I'd venture to say that they wouldn't work for sure. I made the statement above because the newer 64GB cards don't come formatted in FAT32 and would not work in the player unless reformatted. On the other hand if you're asking about pc file systems then you should read here

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