Hi. I know I’m not the OP but since I seconded some of his suggestions I’ll try to answer some of your questions, namely the one concerning AA or AAA batteries.
The advantage of rechargeable NiMH batteries are as follows:
much higher capacity. The Li-ion battery in my Fuze lasts 15-20 hours on a single charge, whereas one 2300mAh AA battery in my old i-River lasts over 40 hours, which is more than double the capacity.
longer life and replaceability. NiMH batteries typically last longer and, much more importantly!!!, they can easily be replaced and are widely available. Li-ion batteries lose a significant proportion of their capacity each year (up to 20%) from the date of their manufacture. So what am I supposed to do with my pride and joy FUZE when the battery goes kaput or loses 50+% of its capacity in about 3 years?
The answer would probably be to buy a new one, but I don’t want to do that. I’m happy with my player and I do not easily subscribe to the consumer mentality. The only reason I replaced my old i-River was because of the amount of its memory (256MB), which was a bit too low for many audiobooks. 8 GB is more than enough for audio and I’m not really interested in video so it’s unlikely my appetites will soon increase.
As for buying rechargeable AA batteries, actually most people do buy them. It’s an economically more viable solution than any alkaline battery, so people will unwittingly protect the environment as well.
This said, I am aware of the advantages of Li-ion batteries, and if only they were NOT proprietary and easily replaceable (like mobile phone batteries) I wouldn’t worry so much. This way, when the battery in my FUZE dies on me, I’ll have to pry it open and do all sorts of unsavoury things to it in order to either replace its battery or jerry-rig it so that it works on AA batteries and thus create a Frankenstein’s monster out of my poor FUZE. Also, people who don’t live in the developed world (like myself) have difficulty accessing some of the goods (like a sansa battery replacement kit) that you take for granted so that is why NiMH AA batteries have a strong advantage over Li-ion or Li-poly ones.
Edit: I’m not bothered about AM radio, namely the lack thereof and I also prefer using microSD cards.
Message Edited by vidra on 09-30-2008 02:06 PM