Last month, I purchased a 1GB Sansa Express, which I intended to use for FM recording. However, I found that when I played back my FM recordings, the audio would sometimes sound broken up. I tried the obvious (updating the firmware, reformatting the memory, searching the web, and contacting technical support) but couldn’t get rid of the problem. I assumed this was a problem with the FM recording feature, so I exchanged the device for a second one. I found that the second one had the same problem, so I returned it for a refund. I assumed that either this model wasn’t very good at FM recording, or the store I bought from had a bad batch in stock.
Recently, I bought another 1GB Sansa Express from a different store. It had a different serial number and the latest firmware preinstalled. However, it still had the same problem. After searching the web some more, I found this thread, which describes a recording problem that occurs once the display turns off. After experimenting with my device, I found that its FM recording feature actually worked fine, but its playback of wave files became broken up after the display turned off. I confirmed this by playing my FM recordings on my computer (they sounded fine) and by copying a perfectly good wave file from my computer to the device (it sounded terrible whenever the display was off).
To summarize: It seems that 3 out of 3 Sansa Expresses had a serious problem playing back wave files, including their own FM and voice recordings, which would occur once the display turned off. This problem could be corrected by setting the Display ON/OFF time to 3 minutes and pressing a button every several minutes during playback, or by copying any wave recordings to a computer, encoding them as MP3s or WMAs, and then copying them back.
This is a strange problem, but I suspect it could be fixed with a firmware upgrade. I would suggest to SanDisk that they issue a firmware upgrade correcting this problem as soon as possible, before more people return this device after assuming the recording feature doesn’t work well. Other than this problem and the tendency to freeze/crash occasionally, I think the Sansa Express is a great device. I intend to keep my third one.