This seems to be the one great weakness in these players. I bought mine primarliy for listening to audio books while commuting, and it’s true that it always starts up where I left off, but if I connect to a USB port or do anything other than continuing to play the book, it will lose my place. The fast-forward speed seems to be about 10x, so to forward 8 hours, you would need to hold the button down for 48 minutes. Yikes. Also, if you need to go six hours into a 10-hour book, you can always hold down the reverse button and back in from the end. (This will work if you have only one file on the player. If you have more than one file, skip to the one that follows the one you want to listen to and then hold down the reverse button.)
An interesting observation: I use my player to listen to books checked out from my library (wma format), and also books purchased from audible.com (aa format). The player treats these two types of files completely differently. The Audible books are not visible from the main menu. In order to get to them, I have to press the menu button, select “Play Music”, and scroll down to “Spoken Word.” Then I can select Audible files. Some other differences: The player ALWAYS remembers where I left off in an Audible file (even if I change batteries, or connect to a computer, or whatever). Also, There is no sound when you are holding down the forward or reverse buttons. It’s like the player realizes that the Audible file are (possibly long) books, so it’s more careful, but it thinks a wma file is just a song, so why worry?
It would be nice if there were a way for the player to recognize that a particular wma file is actually a book, and to treat it accordingly (ie, don’t lose my place under any circumstances). This would not fix the slow-fast-forward problem, but it would be an improvement.