Lexar LDP-600

I got the Lexar LDP-600 that I bought on eBay when I thought the mobiBLU was irreparable. I haven’t given it a total shakedown, but I can say right now that the interface on this thing is so hilariously bad that I kind of like it. It’s the Monty Python of UIs. Nothing is going to work in any reasonable fashion, so might as well give in and go with the dada.

Here’s some examples. It has 256M of built-in memory, and takes an SD card. You have to go into a configuration memory to tell it which memory to make active. That takes about 5 clicks on various controls to do. It doesn’t save this permanently, so every single time it powers down you will have to repeat this process. If you store your audio files in folders, it doesn’t recognize them so everything must be in the root of the card or memory. Once you do that, I can’t ascertain what sort of ordering it does, but out of 18 files, Sun0130.mp3 is 1st, and Sun0200.mp3 is 15th. Right on! Doing things alphabetically or even coherently is old school, man! Nowadays we are all about the inscrutable and non-deterministic. I might say that this interface blows donkey dick, but that’s using the lens of this “post-modernism” and “desire for things to work.” How passe. ¡Viva el reproductor loco!

Now I’m wondering how hard it would be to port RockBox firmware to this ridiculous thing. Failing that, it is basically unusable except as a device to break someone’s will. The irony is that the FM transmitter works pretty well, better than I was expecting. It is kind of beside the point if I can’t make it play anything in any reasonable fashion.

(Note, I’m trying on a Bruce Sterling-esque blogging voice of enjoying things more the worse they suck. How’m I doing?)

Update: Here’s someone with the identical experience as me.

Update #2: There actually is a firmware update for this thing hidden on the Lexar site. Since it is not actually a driver I didn’t think to look under “Drivers”, and since the LDP 600 isn’t listed in support I assumed there was nothing available. I had to find out from a CNET review of the firmware update that it was available. I don’t take back everything now, but this thing is actually usable with the 1.07 firmware, and it does things like default to using the SD card when one is inserted, remembers your settings across power cycles and other stuff that should be the bare minimum (and really should have been done before they ever shipped this thing.)

Update #3: I somehow Kiboed Bruce Sterling into commenting on this post. Well, either him or a reasonable facsimile – one never knows in this kind of thing. Had I ever dreamed that such a cheezy technique would actually work, I’d have tried it years ago. (Actually, the IP address is from sbb.co.yu so I think the question of provenance is settled. Welcome, the Real Brother Bruce. A Texan is haunting the specters. )