iRiver H340

I love my iRiver H340 which has 40 gig of disk space to store my music and podcasts. I bring it to work almost every day but I do have a list of issues with it:
  • When you turn it on, it doesn't start playing. So I have to turn it on, put it away, wait about 30 seconds for it to boot up, then take it out and press play. I hate my car stereo for the same reason, when I put the panel in it should play.
  • If the screen goes blank, I need to press one key to activate the device and then another to do what I want, like pause. It shouldn't matter if the screen is blanked out or not. In fact to save on juice I'd be happy if there was a "screen" button to turn on and off the screen, so I can skip the song or change the volume without turning it on, and sucking the juice.
  • After you have downloaded (uploaded?) songs to the player it forgets where you were. I mean, come on! In fact, on my device it always goes back to the same song, which I must have heard the first few seconds 100 times by now. Sure I can understand that maybe during the download I also deleted the file I happened to be listening to, but that's a special case.
  • The keys are way too overloaded. Even though I've used this thing every day, I still make mistakes with it's clunky interface, where sometime you have to press and hold or just press.
  • No way to delete a song on the device. It would be nice if I could say "I've listened to this podcast, so I'll delete it"
  • No way to detect which songs you've listened to. There's no time stamp, archive bit or any other hint that I can gather that says that this song or podcast has been played once since downloaded. I could have used that information to delete podcasts that I've already listened to via a program that I create. In fact I did write such a program in wxPython. I use it everyday. But I have to be rigorous in listening to my podcasts in a certain order so it's easy for me to remember which ones can be purged.
  • No way to rate something. It would be nice to be able to give a 5 star rating to a song or podcast as it's playing.
  • You can either listen to sound or browse pictures, but not both. It's even worse than that - you have to change modes. It would be so bad that if you browse to a picture it stops your music, but no. You go to one mode or the other and will either see only pictures listed or only music.
  • There's no page-up/page-down keys. There are two keys that could be overloaded to simulate page up and page down: the nicely labeled "." and "A-B" keys
  • Forgot this one: When you connect to you machine you have one of two options, you can recharge or you can connect. When you are doing either you can't listen to music. So if you are low on battery and want to recharge using the USB port you can't recharge and listen at the same time. Multitasking definitely isn't one of the iRiver's strengths.
I think most of the problems I've listed could be fixed in software, it's not the hardware that's the problem - it's the software. Maybe if I get a linux device in the future I can program it the way I want.

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