I know, it’s rather bulky, and it’s kind of expensive for a 4GB mp3 player, and it’s likely that the syncing software for it is still crap compared to iTunes, but I still want it, dammit! Behold the Samsung YP-K5:
It’s a new mp3 player from Samsung that has built-in speakers that slide out from the back. I personally think it’s a great idea because there are many times when I’m listening to a podcast while driving home and want to continue listening to it after I’ve gotten out of the car. Yeah, it’s not a big hassle to put my earbuds in, but that blocks the “outside world” and is rather isolationist. At least if I had a little speaker on my Gigabeat S, it’s like having a radio play in the background, rather than me being in my own little world. I know I appreciated the speakers on my PSP whenever I played audio or video content on it. Anyway, sometimes I get tired of using my earbuds, and the speaker option is just a nice feature. No more waiting around for some manufacturer to make a dock for it (although a nicer dock with better speakers is always a welcome option).
The write-up at Gizmodo has a bunch of pictures and a nice quick Youtube video showing off its features. It’s so shiny and cool looking! From what I saw in the video, the touch controls look like they work pretty well. We’ll see how they hold up in regular use… I LOVE the cute menus on the OLED screen. The animations when you’re switching between modes are simple, but cool nonetheless. It can display pictures, but there’s no video support. I think that’s fine, considering the screen is so small. I wouldn’t watch video on an iPod nano or any similarly-sized device. I don’t even really look at pictures on my Gigabeat S. The Gigabeat S’s screen is the minimum size I’d consider for a decent, mobile video-watching experience.
Gizmodo also reported that Belkin already has a lineup of accessories for the YP-K5, and a couple other Samsung mp3 players. This bodes well for Samsung competing against the iPod juggernaut.
<rant> I wish Toshiba had lined up Belkin accessories specifically for the Gigabeat. There are some generic mp3 player accessories listed on Toshiba’s awful Gigabeat site, like the headphone jack splitter. OOOOHHH, that’s awesome…not. I keep harping on Toshiba, but I’m sorry, their lack of accessories, support, and software is killing any chance the Gigabeat S has of being a true contender to the iPod/iTunes combo. I hope Microsoft puts a lot more support behind the Zune than Toshiba’s support for the Gigabeat S. I’m going to keep saying it over and over again even if I sound like a broken record, because no product reviews out there are touting this information. And if Toshiba keeps getting props for having an awesome player (which the Gigabeat S is) and no dings for their lack of good syncing software, podcast support, or tech support, then Toshiba won’t change. They’re already listed as one of the PC manufacturers with the worst customer support (I hope my M200 doesn’t break down before I get an upgrade). </rant>
Anyway, if you’re interested in a mini-boombox mp3 player, this Samsung YP-K5 looks like a very interesting prospect. I know I’ll be checking this one out in the store once it’s available. 😀