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This is taken out of a manual for the 209.
Is this the MP3 player that comes with unit?
if so then go down this list and see if helps
Troubleshooting (mp3 Player)
The player does not turn on when PLAY button pressed.
• Battery may be inserted incorrectly.
• Battery may be empty.
Skipping tracks or bad sound quality?
• Repeat or random function may be activated.
• There may be strong magnetic fields (e.g. too close to TV) near the unit.
• Low Battery level. Replace with new one.
Cannot perform playback?
• LOCK function may be activated.
• There may be no mp3 tracks in the card or internal memory.
• Memory Card may be damaged.
Cannot playback tracks on the player
• Make sure audio tracks are encoded in the mp3 or Windows Media formats at supported
bitrates.Bitrates support by the player: mp3 – 32 to 320 kbps
• WMA files may be DRM protected and you don’t have the proper rights (license) to play the
RCA once had them, but no longer carries them. You would actually have more problems than you would imagine with Win 98 and mp3 players anyways - no music services will accept Windows 98 anymore. The Windows Media Player 10 software that you would need to transfer songs is not compatible. It would have been rough anyway.
The following procedures will erase all songs on the player.
Check if the file system is NTFS. If yes ,format it to FAT or FAT32. - Connect player to computer, click my computer, right click on icon of mp3 player and select format.
You can also format the player in Windows Media Player tiself.
Connect your Mp3 player to the computer and open Windows Media Player. Click on the Sync tab. Pull down the drop down menu underneath the Sync tab by moving your cursor over the Sync tab and left clicking on the little black arrow underneath the Sync tab. Highlight "name of Mp3 player here 1GB" (wording may vary slightly), and then select "Format." - this should erase everything.
You may also want to check
for any firm updates - the above procedures in some cases undo the original formatting on the player, and a firmware upgrade will be required to replace the Mp3 player's formatting.
-Tha Mp3 Doctor
Did your music subscription service expire? That would cause it to read every song as zero. Definitely try the rest method first. Disable auto-synchronization feature for all programs that you sync the device to.