The latest in sexy pocket bulges this week comes from the masters of Korean gadgetry, Samsung with their latest MP3 player that touts a 2.4" screen with a resolution of 320x240. Available in 4,8 and 16GB flavours, you can be sure of fitting all your episodes of neighbours on it to watch on the train.
Did I also mention that it's compatible with BBC iPlayer for us lucky Brits? Well, it is so you can take your favourite shows with you anywhere you go!
Here's a quick lowdown on the specs for those interested (lifted from Samsung's site):
A Word on Interfacing
The player has a great look about it with the gloss plastic shell accentuated by the ultra-bright blue LEDs embedded beneath the touch zones. The biggest let down, however, has to be the way the touch interface works.
The zones are not very clearly defined on the touch interface and I have often hit the context menu instead of skipping a song or trying to turn the volume up. I should think one of the key points of an mp3 player's interface is to be able to use it without looking at it.
What with the active lifestyle we all lead, I don't like having to look down at my player while I'm walking along a busy street, for fear of running into people or more importantly running into the big metal wheeled things that are most definitely harder than my squishy frame.
Despite my nay-sayings, however, there is nothing wrong with a touch interface, but it needs to be more intuitive than this. A change to the button layout could ensure that there are fewer mistakes and a physical feedback could make the world of difference to the way we interact with our gadgets.
Enough of the bad, let's talk about how good this player is at actually pumping out your tunes!
Loading up the player with some bangin' tunes and Samsungs quality audio electronics are obvious once it's going. The sounds in pure mode (no DNSe or street mode enhancement) come in crisp and clear to the ears.
The player also has the ability to drive some serious headphones, not just a pair of ear buds. Plugging in my Sony reference cans, you do have to up the volume a little more, but the sound quality remains awesome right up to the full end.
Using the DNSe to enhance the sound helps if you want to help bring out certain aspects of your music, like the bass if you are a hardcore d'n'b nut or maybe to accentuate the high end if you get down with your classical side!
Street mode adds that nice bit of depth to the music by pushing up the EQ on the frequencies that are most likely drowned out by background noise in a street environment; this to give you a richer sound-scape.
A nifty feature is also the inclusion of a screensaver in the form of a real-time EQ bar graph set, with the added ability to pulse the lights of the touch zones rhythmically in time with the music.
Ying to the Yang
Installing Samsungs EmoDio software was easy enough by downloading the newest version online and running it.
However, I find the interface clunky with not enough emphasis on functionality over looks to make it a viable switch from Windows Media Player or iTunes.
This is something that manufacturer's feel they have to tag on to a portable media product and it's really not necessary any more. People are too used to using the more widely distributed media management tools like WMP, iTunes, Winamp and Song Bird to want to re-import and re-sort their media libraries and playlists into another 3rd party software.
Thankfully this player integrates seamlessly into Windows Media Player 11 and you can sync your songs, movies, images and playlists with ease.
The clever clogs at Samsung have also made sure their player is compatible with BBC iPlayer as well; this so you can download and watch your shows on the go. Very handy if you are a commuter on the train to work or a student wanting to brave out the hangover at the back of class!
Top marks go out to Samsung on this solid player with excellent integration. It's well worth a look at if you would like to take your favourite BBC shows on the go.
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