I've bought a couple of these over the last year or two, and despite dire warnings of fraud, I've generally been quite pleased with the results. If you bear in mind the price you're paying, you don't mind that the "english" manual is unreadable, and follow one or two of the recommended checks on the functionality before you buy ( See this guide) then you should be OK.
One thing to watch, is that many of these players have 2.5mm jacks for the earphones, which are hard to get in the UK if they need replacing. You can get adaptors for the more common european 3.5mm Jack, but get one that has a wire between 2 connectors, not one that is a solid block - they're really awkward to use!
More seriously, though, is that I did find on one MP3/MP4 player I bought, that it came complete with a trojan horse/virus... I noticed it because I first used it plugged into my Linux box (which did not run the autorun file), and I saw three files on the device : an "autorun.inf", a "host.exe" and a "copy.exe". Being suspicious I scanned the exe's and the host.exe contained links to a website connected with virus infections.... The "copy.exe" program copies the host onto your computer, where it --- well, who knows what it does!
So, I deleted these files and the device has been OK ever since!
So, if you buy one of these devices, and plug it in, in Windows 2000/XP the normal dialogue will pop up asking you what you want to do - on the top of the list is a entry that probably said something like "click here for loads of free music" (probably, I didn't try it..) - If you do so, then you will probably get your PC infected. Instead, choose the browse for files option, and check there are no EXE's on the device. If there are, you will find they are read-only, so you'll need to right-click on them, choose the "properties" dialogue, and unset the 'read-only' attribute before deleting the files.
MP3 Players from China - Warning!
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21 June 2007
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