Using headphones other than the ones that come with the Fuze could cause you to get just a ticking sound. The problem is in the design of the headphone plug. If the base is wide enough, it could short to the metal case. This could have been avoided if the plastic part of the jack protruded a little bit more or the metal case didnt have a ridge at the jack. The problem can be solved with tape or clear nail polish on either the plug or the case. If you only use the Sandisk earbuds which have a narrow plug you probably won’t experience this problem. Luckily it doesn’t result in permanent damage to the audio output circuitry. I recommend using the Sandisk earbuds because they sound outstanding. Better than ones I have paid $30 for.
“Using headphones other than the ones that come with the Fuze could cause you to get just a ticking sound.”
This is due to the headphone jack being tight when the player is new. Use a bit of force to push the headphone plug all the way into the jack.
It can also be caused by defective headphone jacks that need the plug pulled out a very small amount to avoid partial shorting. Many reported this problem and were shimming their plugs out slightly to avoid it even though they should have returned their players. My original 4gb Blue Fuze mainboard had the problem and I used a split ring retainer from a VCR hardware kit stuck on the headphone plug - worked perfect. I have since swapped the mainboard with an 8gb board that has a good jack.
A headphone jack that shorts out with a typical headphone plug is defective. It should be returned.
For most users, dropouts, “skipping,” ticking, etc. are the result of the plug not going all the way into a tight headphone jack.