I went out & did it. It appeared to already be on the most recent firmware so I didn’t update it manually.
Here’s my long-winded review of the Jam with audiobooks:
It’s adequate for audiobooks \ *if * you
1) load all your books into internal memory, or load them all on your uSD card (don’t put books in both places)
2) ONLY use it for audiobooks.
If you do both of these, the only oddness you may run into is that when you finish an audiobook, it auto-starts track one again. No biggie.
The Battery life is much better than the Zip - I’ve read two 7 track MP3 books and it’s still at 40% battery (16 hours+ maybe?).
- No integrated databases (internal memory + external uSD card are not combined) -
a) In order to use the “Books” menu item, all your books must be loaded on internal memory.
b) Any books loaded on the uSD card will only be accessible via the “Card” menu item.
c) Same thing for the “Music” menu item, music on the card will only be available via the “Card” menu item.
d) The “Folders” menu item is unsorted and not good for audiobooks (no attempt at bookmarking). Not recommended.
- Limited bookmarking capability if you use anything other than audiobooks. When you switch to any other menu item (Music, Card, Settings, etc), it forgets your last book and track. Hints:
a) Keep the book playing if you need to go into Settings so it doesn’t lose your spot.
b) if you need to play something else (music, radio), make a mental note, or write down, the book’s track.
c) When it loses your bookmark, it does remember your place within the last track; as long as you can navigate back to the correct book and track, it’s capable of asking “Resume?” (In the few days since I got this Jam, I’ve already *several times* had to search track by track for the one which offered “Resume?” It can be done, but it’s annoying.)
There’s one *minor* improvement in the Jam over the Zip, the Jam’s audiobook display does show which track number you’re on. The Plus and earlier models also displayed the book’s track number, but the Zip didn’t.
- uSD card issue:
This could just be me, but I’d recommend backing up your uSD card before putting it in the Jam (if there’s anything on it you value). The first thing I did was pull my audiobooks uSD card out of my Plus and stick it in the Jam. The Jam was not able to read the uSD card; in addition, the card got corrupted by the Jam, so that when I put the card back in my Plus, it could no longer read my books. I had to reformat the card and load it back up again. It’s fine now, but this situation could have been a real bummer if I didn’t have backup.
I put all my audiobooks on internal memory in order to use my Jam’s “Books” menu item, and all my music on the uSD card.
I customized the display to show only the options I use: I turned on Books and Card, and turned off the rest including Music, Radio, Folders, and Sport. Since I have all my music on the card, the “Music” menu item is empty anyway, so I have to access my music via the “Card” option. In this way, I avoid tabbing through a lot of unused menu options.
I only use MP3 books (and pretty much exclusively from my library’s Overdrive collection now, no Audible).
I also audit the MP3 tags out of habit (mp3tag utility).
I’m not happy with how much the Jam has regressed from the functionality of the Zip, but it will work, and the battery is much better. For me, I don’t think my phone will ever replace a player such as this for the following reasons:
1) my phone’s battery
2) size factor
3) built-in clip
If there’s a firmware update to combine the internal/external databases or expand bookmarking capability, I’d be thrilled to update my review! Let me know if anyone finds work-arounds and I’ll update it!