Troubleshooting Guide Version 1.1 (all models)

Customers are able to solve many of the problems experienced with the SweetPea3, without the need to return the unit for servicing. This guide attempts to provide step-by-step instructions to solving the most common problems. Additional information can be found in the support section of the SweetPea website.

Please follow this guide in the order presented.

1. Make sure you have the latest firmware installed

Your problem may already be solved with the latest firmware. We are constantly improving this product with bug fixes and enhancements. Please check your firmware according to the model number of your player.

SP3-200 firmare update
SP3-103 firmare update
SP3-102 firmare update
SP3-101 firmare update

2. Check the battery

The new models (SP3-200, SP3R-200) have a rechargeable, non-replaceable lithium-ion battery. To charge the battery, simply plug the unit into a USB port on a computer, a USB hub or a USB wall mount power adapter. The unit should be fully charged in a couple of hours.

The older models have a replaceable AA alkaline battery which needs to be replaced when depleted. This battery is not charged if you use a power adapter or plug the unit into a computer. If the SweetPea3 can only power up part way (does not get past the Loading and Starting screens), it could be an indication of a low battery. Do not rely on the SweetPea3 battery status indicator in this situation, as the program may not get far enough along to read the battery voltage accurately.

Also, if you recently updated the firmware because of a locked player, the battery may no longer be good because a player in the locked state can deplete a battery within a few days.

3. Check the song formats

Many problems on the SweetPea3 are caused by unsupported music formats. Check that the songs you loaded are supported by your version of SweetPea3 hardware. Playing the songs on the SweetPea3 through your computer (over the USB cable) is NOT an indication that the songs will play on the SweetPea3 directly because in this situation it is the computer that is doing the song decoding and the SweetPea3 is simply acting as a hard drive.

See the supported format lists:

SP3-200 Supported Format List
SP3R-200 Supported Format List
SP3-103 Supported Format List
SP3-102 Supported Format List
SP3-101 Supported Format List

Here are a few common problems:

  • attempting to play Audible (.aa, .m4b) or iTunes (.m4a, .m4p) on a SP3-101
  • attempting to play protected WMA on a SP3-102, SP3-103 or SP3-200.
  • attempting to play Overdrive books (library books) on a SP3-102, SP3-103 or SP3-200.
  • attempting to play un-compressed music formats such as AIFF or dragging files straight from a CD (.cda) files.

Simply removing the offending file usually resolves the problem.

4. Problems with Audible

*** Audible is no longer supported in the latest SweetPea3 model (SP3-200) because is no longer supporting MP3 players. The SweetPea3R supports Audible by downloading the Audible App. ***

Audible is an encrypted (protected) format that requires a license file to play. For this reason, you cannot simply drag an Audible book to the SweetPea3 like you would a normal song. The license file needs to be managed.

In order to manage the license files, Audible files must be transferred to the SweetPea3 using Audible Manager. This program only works on a PC and is available at

It is not possible to transfer Audible files using a Mac. Audible normally relies on iTunes to transfer their files on a Mac using the iTunes "Sync" function. However, iTunes will only sync with iPods and not with other MP3 players, including the SweetPea3.

The only way to transfer Audible on a Mac is to load Windows on it using BootCamp or an emulator such as Parallels.

Please contact technical support for any other issues regarding Audible files and license issues.

5. Update the firmware and reformat the SweetPea3 drive

If you have determined that the problem is not caused by any particular song, try reloading the firmware and/or reformatting the SweetPea3 hard drive.

If the SweetPea3 appears to be starting but then gets stuck, try reformatting the drive first. If it doesn't appear to be doing anything, try updating the firmware first.

Instructions to reformat the SweetPea3 drive can be found at:
Reformat SweetPea3 drive

The procedure for updating the firmware depends on your version of hardware.

SP3-200 firmare update
SP3-103 firmare update
SP3-102 firmare update
SP3-101 firmare update

After successfully reformatting the hard drive, the SweetPea3 will indicate "Playlist Empty". This is a good indication that the player is working properly and you simply need to reload music back on to it. You may also need to go into the settings menu and reselect the playlist that contains the songs.

Remember that the battery may be dead if the SweetPea3 has been in a locked state for a day or two.

6. If your computer does not recognize the SweetPea3

Sometimes, usually with Windows 7, your computer does not recognize the SweetPea3 so you can't reformat the drive or update the firmware. For some reason your computer did not recognize the SweetPea3 as a Mass Storage Device and didn't assign the correct driver to it. Please try the following:

a) Open Device Manager - (Windows 7, Vista) Click on the Start button (bottom left of your screen) and type devmgmt.msc in the search box and then hit the Enter key.
- (Windows XP) Click on the Start button (bottom left of your screen), then Run... and type devmgmt.msc in the open box and then hit the Enter key.
b) Remove the battery from the SweetPea3 and plug it in to your computer
c) A new device should appear in the Device Manager list, either as an unknown device or listed under "Universal Serial Bus Controllers".
d) Right click on the device and select Update Driver...
e) Allow Windows Update to search for the correct driver.

Once the player has the correct driver, you should be able to reformat the drive and/or update the firmware.

7. Issues that require the unit be sent back for repair

  • issues with the plastic enclosure (peeling, delaminating, seams coming apart). We will fix these issues free of charge even past the warranty period.
  • Battery heating up
  • Speaker not working (but appears to be playing otherwise)
  • Headphone jack not working (or very low volume)
  • Blank LCD (but music plays)
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