Yesterday I finally got around to 'ripping' some songs from a singer's cds to mp3 format so that I could hear them on my 'regular' headphones (not the noise cancelling ones). I extracted the memory card from the headphones, put them in an adapter and connected it to the computer in order to copy the mp3 files. Easy as pie.
The problems started when I went to put the memory card back into the headphones. This is always a tricky operation as the memory card has to be inserted in one specific way and I can never remember which way that is. This time, when inserting the card, it slipped from my fingers and fell into the innards of the headphones. I tried to extract the card but it seems that my efforts only made things worse by pushing the card further into the socket (or into the space around the socket). I tried widening the socket opening with pliers but again, my attempts to do so only worsened the problem.
Why was it so important for me to extract the memory card, even at the price of trashing the 'phones? After all, a new memory card would cost less than another set of 'phones. Well, as it happens, I have a spare set of 'phones doing nothing, so their cost is effectively zero. Also, the price of a memory card does not take into account all the time and effort I have spent in ripping songs to the card (there are something like 64 directories on the card, where a directory can hold between ten and a hundred files, so we're talking about a few thousand songs).
Somehow my wife managed to extract the card using nothing more than her nails. I popped the card very carefully into the spare set of 'phones and I was set. As I wrote before, the controls are harder to access than the trashed 'phones, and these don't fold, but then I don't intend to take them on train journeys.
One huge advantage which the traditional mp3 players have is that the USB socket has two functions: it both charges the internal battery and allows access to the file system of the memory card. In all of the mp3 headphones which I have bought, the USB socket is used solely for charging; one has to extract the memory card in order to add (or delete) files.
On the basis of this experience, I am going to be very careful if I ever extract the memory card from the new headphones.