I have had good luck with the Fuze+, with the exception of one that had a battery suddenly refuse to hold a charge over 48 hours. The little guy went from happy to ill almost overnight, thank goodness for the warranty.
If the Fuze+ is running OK without the card mounted, it’s possible there’s something amiss with the card, the data on it, or the reader within the Fuze+.
Other than occasional connection glitches, it is possible to have a corrupted file on the card than can “freeze” the player. Usually, using chkdsk on the card recovers the file allocation table, and the card is once again readable. I have tried corrupting files by transferring remnants, header data, and other bits to the cards intentionally, to see how the Sansa is affected.
Usually, if the data is valid going to the microSD card, you should be fine. I have even exposed the little guys to some serious static discharges, using a favorite Lands’ End jacket, one that gets me every time I extract my arms from the sleeves without first taking off the earbuds. My wife swears I’ll set my hair on fire someday, as the crackle coming from the connected Sansa is quite amusing.
The best way to test the Fuze+ is to clean the microSD connections by swapping the card in and out a few times. This clears the contact surfaces. Leaving a card mounted for months without removing it once in a while has caused me more grief than ones that I swap around. I think that humid pockets and lint works its way into the connection.
I agree, the Fuze+ is an entirely different machine compared against its earlier namesake. I really like the size and shape of the original, and the soft feel of the scroll “wobble wheel”. The only thing I didn’t like was the softer image quality of the display.