Samsung Yepp 55i MP3 Player ReviewMobile, Music / Video Players, Storage / Hard Drives
Reviewed by: Admin
Reviewed on: July 10, 2004
Today we'll be looking at something which is quickly becoming a status symbol in today's world, and almost part of modern fashion. But we know better then that, ha! Today we've got our hands on the Samsung Yepp 55i, a 192M solid state MP3 player with a slew of fairly impressive features. So, without further ado, let's take a closer look at our newest toy.
- Multi-format Support (MP3,WMA) with upgradeable Firmware
- 192MB Built-in Flash Memory
- FM Tuner
- Blue Color Backlight LCD Display
- ID3 Tag Display (title,file name)
- FM encoding
- Voice Recording
- USB 1.1 Support (direct plug to PC)
- Over 15 hrs. of Playback (AAA x 1)
So, first thing is that the MP3 player came to me in retail packaging. I personally love it when companies do that for us because it gives me a lot better idea of how solid the unit is and how safe its going to be on its journey to you. Nothing sucks more then getting a busted product. Anyways, the YP-55i came in retail packaging, which was clamshell sealed plastic with the Yepp suspended on top and the accessories tucked neatly away in the bottom. The packaging was solid, and I even kicked it about a couple times to test it.
So, of course the only problem with sealed plastic is you have to destroy it to get to the insides, like some sort of inedible Kinder Egg of electronics. Of course, the prize inside is worth the effort. Once we get it all apart, we find:
- The YP-55i
- Jogging style earbuds
- One AAA battery
- One neck strap
- One carrying case
- Quick-connect USB attachment
- USB cable
- Instuction manual and installation CD
- Line cable
I should mention here that the instruction manual for this thing is incredibly detailed! I love it. Answered a load of my questions. However, the included software is both a) not needed if you have Windows XP (or basically anything past Win98) and b) pretty darn useless. I was trying to figure out if it was used to integrate and arrange your music on the Yepp, but no deal, its just a less then good piece of software whose funtionality is pretty much already available on the computer without it. So, I won't get into it, its pretty much a waste of time. Closer Look (Cont.)
Moving on, the Yepp itself has a whole load of features (as you can see above). One of the most interesting ones is the ability to encode on the fly. This is done from a variety of sources. First, you can encode from FM radio, which I personally find fantastic (there's a 4 hour continuous DJ spin on one of the local radio stations here) The file is encoded and placed in a seperate folder, which unfortunately means you cannot listen to it right away, but needs to be moved around on your computer first. Similarly, you can encode (with the Line cable) from another audio source - if someone else has an amazing tune on their CD player that you want, you can grab it off them without the bother of ripping it onto a computer first. Similarly, the Yepp can record voice using an integrated microphone. The voice recordings you can listen to right away, and you can listen to them right away, unlike the FM recordings. The microphone (which I tested) was extremely good, holding it! farther away and facing the opposite direction didn't faze it a bit. Personally I'm going to have to test it out in my lectures to see how well it picks up, but right now its looking promising, and maybe carrying this around will help me to remember things (I'm a notorious scatterbrain). The Voice recordings are recorded in WAV format, as opposed to the FM encoding's MP3 format. As previously mentioned, only the Voice recordings are immediately available - both the Line and FM recordings must be transferred out of their folders first (/LINE_ENC and /FM_ENC) before they can be listened to. Now, onto the actual layout of the Yepp itself. With all of that functionality (and the above is maybe half of it) you'd think the unit was huge - but its not - quite the opposite in fact, its about the size of a roll of quarters, which is pretty amazing.
So, there's a bunch of buttons on this thing. First off, your main button is the On/Off/Play/Pause/Ok button. Depending on where you are it has all of those functions. Its the main button, and sits right next to the LCD screen. Moving on, the WOW button allows you to change the sound around a bit. With SRS, you get a tinny 3D surround sound, not all that great. TruBass gives a deeper bass sound, but nothing remarkable. Next is the name of the button, the WOW, which combines SRS and TruBass, giving you a deep surround sound that sounds quite good, in fact. Last, there's an EQ setting, which give you a preset equalizer setting (Normal, Class(ical), Jazz, Rock, DBB (Dynamic Bass Boost), and User (which is a limited Bass/Treble adjustment)).
Moving on (jeez there's a lot of stuff), the Mode button allows you to change from Music to Voice to FM, or when held down brings you to the Settings menu. The Volume button is actually the same button, but a slider instead of a press button. At 0, the Yepp is Muted (unlike some players) and it features a pretty impressive top volume (as in, Ow, my ears volume). You can adjust pretty much everything on this player, from the length of the backlight to the speed of the slider changes. Also on this side of the Yepp is the Rec/Enc button, which, when slide to Enc will begin the recording of FM, Line or Voice (depending on how you have it set up). On the back of the Yepp is a simple Hold button, to ensure you don't go pressing random buttons when you want your Yepp off.
The Previous/Next/Scan button is actually a pretty smart innovation here, with the top of the Yepp actually twisting to provide the function (quick twist for Prev/Next, hold for scan).
The bottom of the Yepp has the battery compartment and the USB connection, both small and amazingly enough, with the 1 AAA battery in the Yepp giving you a massive 15 hours of playback. Unfortunately, even when you're plugged into the USB, the Yepp will still be powered from your batteries and not from the USB cable.
Last but not least, since the Yepp works on a very simple drag and drop system, you can also use it for a file transport system, basically a USB key. The drag and drop concept makes for very easy file transfer and MP3 upload, but its a bit of a pain because the files seem to randomly arrange themselves, which is troublesome for me because I love listening to live CDs, and the continuity gets broken. Finally, because the Yepp only works on USB 1.1 it takes a good 5 minutes to fully load it. Conclusion
You may have noticed I didn't once mention the carrying case. That's because, well, to be blunt, it sucks. It completely blocks the Prev/Next button and the Velcro strap isn't very well designed at all.
Other then the strap and the software, the Yepp is an incredibly solid piece of work. Truthfully, the only problem I had was taking pictures of this thing - its too small! Though 192MB won't exactly hold a ton of music, especially compared to the iPods (and the newest Yepp, a 20Gig model) the additional features and the size is an incredible benefit. I'm personally going to find a ton of use for the FM and Voice encoding, and I'm looking forward to taking this tiny MP3 player to the gym - finally some music! In conclusion, the Yepp 55i has some incredible functionality in a tiny package, and the 192M is more then enough for a couple hours of music enjoyment.
- Small size
- Tons of functionality
- Easy to Use
- Drag and Drop
- Looks amazing
- ID3 Tag compliant
- Incredibly well written and detailed user manual
- USB 1.1
- Useless software
- Horribly designed carrying case
- No way to arrange music!