Rhapsody has dropped the RAX format media that was used on the R-series device, unfortunately.
Your Rhapsody Sansa operates in two communications modes, Rhapsody and Plays For Sure. On the device, go to Settings, then USB Mode > Plays For Sure. This will switch the player to MTP Mode, or Media Transfer Protocol, allowing protected media or subscription tracks to be transferred.
The only thing you’ll need on your computer is Windows Media Player 10 or later installed on the PC. If it’s a Windows 7 system, you’ll have Windows Media Player 12 already installed. If you are running Windows XP, upgrade your Windows Media Player to version 10 or 11 for MTP capability. Windows XP came packaged with Windows Media Player 9, so this will need updating if you haven’t done so. It’s free, available from Microsoft’s web site. You can upgrade by opening Windows Media Player, click on Help > Check For Updates, or just type WIndows Media Player in any search engine, to find it from Microsoft.
To use your R-series device, once it’s in “Plays For Sure” mode, open the Rhapsody client, and plug in your device. It will appear in the sources pane on the left. Right click on the player and select authorize. It’s now ready to load with music from the Music Guide, or from your library.
The tricky part is setting up the device to work with the new Rhapsody media, which is, technically speaking, _160kb/s secure Windows Media Audio (WMA) format now. _Previously, your subscription format was 120kb/s RAX format. If you have Rhapsody tracks on the device right now, the license for the format isn’t available any longer. Delete these older files, and retransfer from Rhapsody in the current secure wma format.
Trust me, I understand your confusion. Rhapsody streamlined their media to the single format in an effort to support the widest range of devices. The Rhapsody Sansa used RAX format, which employed a single device license, compared with the new system that uses embedded licenses. In 2004, Microsoft debuted the PFS system. The Rhapsody Sansa uses this description in the USB mode menu; later devices use MSC and MTP to describe the same modes as Rhapsody and Plays For Sure, respectively.
Now for the one tricky part. In the Rhapsody client, there’s one setting that should, by now, have been changed. Then again, it can’t hurt to be safe. In Rhapsody, click on Tools > Preferences > My Library, and click on the button “Let Rhapsody decide the format for subscription tracks”. Just be sure that RAX (Real Audio Format) is not selected.
From this point on, you should be good to go. There’s one function no longer supported for the R Sansa, the Rhapsody Channels feature. You can let a favorite channel play for a while, then select a group of the played tracks on the lower left “mixer” pane. The list can be transferred to the player as a playlist if you like.
Let me know if you get things running OK on your machine! Should you have ny questions, please feel free to ask here!