Sound issues (popping/scratching)

I love my clip so far, except for one HUGE problem: ever since the upgrade to 1.01.29, I have experienced a very large drop in sound quality. Regressing the firmware did not help, or at least to 1.01.20, I guess I can try even earlier ones if that might help. The sound is something like if I took a knife to a vinyl after holding it up to a candle. It warps and squeaks, then there are loud pop sounds, just like a record skipping. I know that it is not my headphones (tried several different ones) or the music files (at least not the original files, anyway, could be a transfer issue or something). Any idea what could be causing this? It’s made the player unusable. I think it may still be under warranty, but as I said, this didn’t occur before I upgraded. And anyway, RMA to newegg is a hassle I’d rather aviod.

EDIT: oops, forgot to give some specs. I’m using the 2gb black clip, and my OS is Linux (i386). 

Message Edited by MrAwesome on 06-05-2008 09:32 PM

Could be a faulty headphone jack. Try gently moving the headphone plug when listening and see if you can get it to sound OK.

Changing FW should not cause this and downgrading shouldn’t help.

Otherwise it could be faulty hardware, in which case you will need to RMA it.

Any other ideas out there?? 

Well, the entire reason I got a Clip was because my last player (a SupportPlus which I loved dearly) started having headphone jack problems, and this is nothing like that. This happens no matter where the headphone is held, and it doesn’t sound like a hardware thing much at all, despite my probably bad vinyl comparison. It sounds almost like the music isn’t being decoded properly or something along those lines.