New Jan 2010. Beware that many unbranded, supposedly 8GB, 16GB and 32GB MP3/MP4 players being sold on ebay from Hong Kong and China may actually contain 2GB flash or less. They have been hacked by the sellers to look like 8 / 16 / 32GB. This may not be immediately obvious until you start to fill the memory up with new songs or files.
Please don't leave positive feedback for these sellers until you have tested your player to check that the
flash is genuine.
The best program to test for fake flash is H2testw 1.4 , search this or for the web site SOSFakeFlash to find a copy. You may have to download this from a German web site but once you've installed it you can set the instructions to English. Run the test, which will take a while.
Once it's finished:
If your flash is fake then you will get a message saying "The media is likely to be defective", DATA LOST and a full log of how much memory is genuine.
a) Use the Copy to Clipboard button to copy the output of the H2testw 1.4 test program
b) Capture a screenshot of the result, also showing the contents of your flash drive, which will now have files 1.h2w 2.h2w 3.h2w etc each 1GB in size (not essential but helps as evidence that you have tested the player)
If your player fails this test then you should complain to the seller. They will probably claim that you are just unlucky and have got a faulty one, possibly offer you a partial refund or to return it to them for a refund. Note that in these circumstances you shouln't have to leave positive feedback to get a refund.
After the seller has replied, if you are not happy with what they say, escalate your case to ebay customer support and tell them you have bought a fake/counterfeit item. They should sort it out for you. In my experience this is better than putting in a Paypal claim, although you can do this as well. In my experience Paypal will ask you to return the item to Hong Kong by tracked 'Signed For' post. This will cost you at least £5 from the UK, (and did you know it is against the law in the UK to put fake or counterfeit items into the postal system.) The seller can then sell your fake player to some other poor unsuspecting buyer.
Ask ebay why they aren't doing more to crack down on this business, which harms sellers of legitimate items.
[2011 update: As I understand it Paypal are no longer requiring buyers to return counterfeit items, but check their updated terms and conditions]
Don't get me wrong, some of these are nifty little players if only the sellers wouldn't hack them to 'big up' the amount of storage. There are legitimate mail order companies in Hong Kong who will sell you a non hacked player for a similar price (albeit you won't get 16GB of memory, but 2GB or 4GB). I won't advertise them here but contact me if you want a recommendation. Alternatively ask your seller first if the item has the genuine amount of flash and tell them you will complain if not.
*** Most of all, test your new player before storing any critical files on it ***
*** Files you copy in above the genuine memory limit will be lost, and may corrupt the rest of the Flash memory ***
There are still bargains to be had if you are a canny shopper so good luck and keep one step ahead of the fakers.
Beware of FAKE 8GB, 16GB and 32GB MP3/MP4 Players
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25 February 2011
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