Howdy, Byron. I am definitely able to monitor the audio while using external microphones, but not the internal one. The rest of your issues are right on, as far as my unit goes. I tried to play an ogg file the other day, and ... No go!!! Also, the 96 KBPS issue is a well-known one! Sorry to tell you that your friend's problems are all true, except for monitoring the audio! I wish I had better news for you!