How do I get a broken Rio Carbon MP3 player fixed?
January 28, 2009 9:36 AM   Subscribe

How do I get a broken Rio Carbon MP3 player fixed?

I bought a new Rio Carbon few years ago. After about 6 months of use, it broke.

When I attached it to my computer to refresh rights to the music, my pc couldn’t read my player. And the player would shut down.

I tried using other computers but had the same problem each time.

Rio, the manufacturer, folded right around the time this happened.

Now my Carbon won’t even turn on.

So how do I get a broken Rio Carbon player fixed? I’m not as interested in a site that shows me how to repair it myself, as I just don’t have time (working college student). What I do want is a way to pay someone a reasonable rate to repair my player.
posted by Jennifer S. to Technology (7 answers total)
It would turn itself off? Sounds like the battery.
posted by orthogonality at 9:52 AM on January 28, 2009

If it's not the battery, it's probably not worth repairing. A replacement 5gb mp3 player can be found for under $50. You won't get any sort of electronics repair for less than $35/hr, 2-3 hours min just to disassemble and maybe tell you there's something they can fix, for another $200 in parts & labor.
posted by nomisxid at 9:55 AM on January 28, 2009

Will it turn on if the power adapter is plugged in? (if it has one)

Replacing the battery in my Rio Karma was as simple as soldering the two battery contact points, something even an amateur like myself had no trouble with; the battery was about $25 on Ebay. Does your college have an electrical engineering program? I imagine this is the kind of work you could advertise on craigslist or on a school bulletin board and get done for $20 or a case of beer. At that point you are spending more to fix it than it would cost to buy another 5G player, so unless you're really in love with this particular player (which is understandable, my Karma is irreplaceable) it might make more sense just to replace it with current tech.
posted by bizwank at 10:46 AM on January 28, 2009

It's really too bad that Rio was smashed by the Apple marketing machine. Rio did make lovely players (I'm still using my Karma). Probably you'll end up buying a new player; however there is a Rio users forum that hasn't quite died off yet. If you're really wanting to get your Carbon fixed, you might try asking around there. I also see one working Carbon on Ebay.
posted by washburn at 10:49 AM on January 28, 2009

Throw it out. If you don't have the time or knowledge to fix it yourself, any non-battery problem means it's effectively trash. Like an Ipod, it's designed to break with a non-replaceable battery, and unlike the Ipod where you can still feasibly buy a new battery and void your warranty putting it in, it seems like working around this instance of corporate malfeasance is less practical than just buying a new MP3 player:

I have chased the battery manufacturer in China and as the Carbon batteries were custom made for Rio there is no equivalent available.

It would be easy to find a battery with close enough electrical characteristics, but depending on how custom the battery design was it will probably be hard to impossible to find one that properly fits the case.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:02 AM on January 28, 2009

If you're interested, I happen to have a Rio Carbon 5 GB that I'm not using and am willing to part with for very little money. (I've gone over to the iPhone camp).

MeFi Mail me if you're interested, though as someone already pointed out, similar players are probably available for very little money.
posted by schrodycat at 2:55 PM on January 28, 2009

I used to have a carbon. That thing was like a rock; it was the most reliable electronic device I think I've owned (before my dad broke it with his car).

To answer your question, I'm going to toss my vote in with tossing it. Getting it repaired at this stage will be nearly impossible considering how long those things have been out of production.
posted by pandemic at 3:53 PM on January 28, 2009

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