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Editor's Note: This article was originally written in 2010 and reflects the author's opinions at that time.
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Philips MP3 Players: Problems and Solutions
Philips manufacture several different ranges of MP3 and video players, from the music-only RAGA to the full-video Muse player line. However, problems liable to interfere with your enjoyment of the players are common across the different lines of players. A malfunctioning Philips MP3 player can deliver lower-than-desired sound quality, refuse to sync with your computer or even not turn on at all. These problems can be caused by improper file formats, outdated driver software or player firmware, a disk error, or a full internal memory unit. There are a series of troubleshooting steps you can take to find and fix your problem.
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Low Audio Quality
No player can make a low-quality file sound fantastic. The information simply isn't there. If audio ripped from a CD sounds tinny or staticky, try re-importing it into your audio software of choice at a higher bitrate.
Open your software's "Options" or "Rip" menu and set "Bitrate" to a higher setting, then click "Ok" and insert the CD. Click your software's "Rip" or "Import" button to re-import the CD at greater fidelity then send the new files to your Philips MP3 player. Most audio aficionados agree that any bitrate lower than 128 Kbps will yield an unacceptably low sound quality. Some purists refuse to listen to anything encoded at a bitrate below 320 Kbps.
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If you're trying to use your Philips MP3 player but it simply won't respond to your commands, there are several things that could be going wrong. Is the player displaying a black screen, or stuck on a single song, video or menu item? If the former, the most likely solution is to charge your player. Plug the player into your computer's USB port or hub, or a mains power slot, and wait 8 hours before removing it, then turn the player on and resume operations.
If your player's clearly turned on but has frozen and won't respond, it just needs to be reset. Use a paper clip or ballpoint pen to press the "Reset" button located on the left or rear of the player (some GoGear players have a "Reset" button that can be pushed by hand). Wait 30 seconds for the player to reboot before using it.
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Player Won't Sync
If your Philips GoGear, Muse or RAGA player won't connect or show up on your computer, you can't send files to the device. To fix this problem, ensure your player's drivers and firmware are current and working correctly. Go to the Philips website and choose the type of MP3 player that looks most like yours. Scroll down to your exact make of player and click the name of the player. Click "All Software" on the right side of the screen and download both the "Device/Firmware Manager" and "PC Software."
To update the drivers for your player, double-click the downloaded "PC Software" item and follow the onscreen prompts. Once this file has been installed, double-click the "Device/Firmware Manager" to unzip. Connect your Philips MP3 player via USB and double-click the downloaded file to launch the software. The program will determine what files need to be updated or fixed, download and install them automatically. Don't disconnect your player while the "Device/Firmware Manager" is running, as this could permanently damage it.
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There are several ways a file can become corrupted. Maybe there was an error writing to the disk during the encoding of the file, or maybe the media on which the file was originally located - the CD or DVD - had a scratch or mark that prevented the file being correctly written. If the file was downloaded from the Internet, there might have been an error in transfer or when the original file was created. Whatever the case, if you have a file that crashes your Philips MP3 player whenever you try to use it, the most likely explanation is that that file is corrupt.
A corrupt file isn't as bad as it sounds - corrupt data usually can't "spread" to other files on the device or permanently damage the device's inner workings. But if you find your player no longer working after you've sent a particular file to it, it's worth deleting that file to see if this fixes the problem. Similarly, if the player consistently crashes whenever you try to play one file in particular - or skips the file, or returns an error message - you may need to delete that file off your player. If you own the CD or DVD the file comes from, try re-importing it. If you downloaded the file from the Internet, try getting a new copy of the same media from a source that you trust.