Figuring out just where the problem lies can be a bit daunting, but let’s have a go at it, shall we?
First, I see that you have contacted Rhapsody and checked the DRM cache. If I understand correctly, you can transfer and play both older files and new transfers as well.
Are you getting the Synchronize to Continue Music Subscription message on the device each time it is powered up?
If the license is truly expired, the player will “roll” forward from an unplayable track, looking for the next playable one. On the device, go to Settings > Account, which will be available on a Rhapsody client authorized device. Read the date and days remaining on the authorization. Does this date match with the last time it was synchronized? The client should renew for a date 30 days after the last connection session.
While you are in the Settings manu, check that the time and date are correct. This information, contrary to popular belief, is not directly related to the device authorization, but if the machine doesn’t keep time properly, it can be a sign that the internal clock is amiss (both the clock you see normally displayed, and the internal Secure Clock rely on the same “heartbeat” within the device.)
Next, there are a few ways to “tickle” the DRM system into working properly. As they’re simple to try, I’ll list the possibilities here.
The Janus or WMDRM-10 system is used for these machines. There are two components to the systen, a base license for the device, and an embedded leaf license within each track sent to the player. The DRM system relies on Windows Media Player as well, though this is happening in the background, to address the player as a media device in MTP mode. Now that you’ve checked for a license date on the player, go to USB Mode, and be sure that Auto Detect or MTP are selected (if MTP mode is working on your PC, auto detect will connect the player in MTP for you).
Plug in your machine using the USB cable. The connected icon should appear after a moment or two, on the Fuse’s display.
How you’ll see the Fuze Plus on your PC varies a little bit based upon the installed operating system. If you’re runnning Windows 7, the Device Stage icon will appear on the taskbar with a Sansa Fuze icon. In Windows XP, it’s a little different. Open a Windows Explorer window (My Computer with XP). If connected in MTP, the player will list as Sansa Fuze Plus, and will not have a drive letter like E: assigned to it. Additionally, if you double click on the device, you will see Internal Memory next. If it has a microSD card mounted, you will also see External Memory. The device is being recognized as a portable device.
This difference in recognition is also seen if you open Rhapsody with the device connected. Have a look at the sources pane on the left of the Rhapsody client screen. If MTP is OK, the device will be listed with Internal Memory, and the listing will be in capitals and small letters. If in MSC mode, it will show up listed with a drive letter assigned.
First things first, as they say. The Fuze must be recognized in MTP mode for subscription media. If MTP isn’t working, the licenses will not update. Let me know if this is the case (we can fix this if needed).
As the Rhapsody client scans through the media on your Fuze, the “transferring” icon on this platform is the white Sansa logo that rotates, with the Do Not Disconnect message at the bottom of the screen. What should be happpening during this stage is a scan and renewal of the track leaf licenses. Once the Rhapsody client has scanned through the tracks on yout Fuze, see if the license date has updated on the computer side, by clicking on “tracks” in the sources pane, just below the Fuze title. The license date will appear on the lower right. It should be 30 days from the current date.
While the Fuze is still plugged in, let’s try a few things. First, did the Fuze license date appear correctly before, and you’d still get the “synchronize” message on the device after refreshing? Unplug and check the Account date.
The next step? Sync again, and transfer a single track to the device, a selection from the Music Guide. When this happens, it forces the Rhapsody client to send a new license over with the file. While plugged in, here’s a cool trick to try. Run the mouse to the Fuze listing, then hold the [ctrl] and [shift] keys depressed, then right click on the Fuze listing. Select Reset Secure Clock. Unplug, and check that song we just sent over to the player. Does it play? Has the account date updated?
It’s important to try this in steps, noting whether the message continues, and whether the account date advances properly.
Lastly, should the message continue, plug in. After scanning, right click on the Fuze and select “deauthorize”, then “authorize” again. All of the above steps, I should mention, don’t involve removing your music from the player. I like to try the easiest tweaks first. The “nuclear option” is to format the player. You can use the Format function on the player’s settings menu, or right click on the device in Windows Explorer, selecting Format. Then, unplug the device and see if any message appears.
You can then plug in and reauthorize the device. Just send a few tracks over this time, and see how it behaves.
Let me know what happens!