It is currently Fri Oct 24, 2014 3:29 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Samsung YP-S3 digital media player
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:26 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11908
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Samsung YP-S3 digital media player

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 22, 2008 9:47 pm
Posts: 196
Location: New York
Not that its not appreciated, but why review/preview such consumer electronics which have no apparent connection with noise

I'm guessing that Samsung asked you to do it and you got several free mp3 players


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:44 pm 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11908
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Not exactly no connection -- it makes sounds some people can perceive as noise. :lol:

No, they did not give me several mp3 players.

I've been interested in and using mp3 players for some time. Audio and music have been obsessions all my life. I've also been trying to find a way to introduce brief, pointed Short Take articles about products for some time. This Samsung media player offered an opportunity to hit the two goals at once.

If the topic doesn't interest the reader, s/he will pass by. If it is of interest, then it will be read. I offer the information and assessment in good faith, in the belief that there is enough general interest in such a product by SPCR readers, both new and old.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Last edited by MikeC on Tue Mar 31, 2009 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:02 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Posts: 780
Location: Croatia
No FLAC = fail :(


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:14 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11908
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Matija wrote:
No FLAC = fail :(

I don't think that's true, not if you use this player the way it was intended. The fidelity advantage of flac only becomes relevant in the context of a high end playback system -- that means either very expensive headsets or hookup through a discrete component stereo. The main function of a player like this is music on the move. You're surrounded by noise, so the ultimate fidelity is not as important as good usability -- and lots of titles. You just can't fit that much FLAC format music into 8gb.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 12:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:32 am
Posts: 486
Location: Poland
Not having FLAC/OGG support means you have to pay royalties in some way for your already bought music, that's one serious point. Also, this requires conversions before you can get your music on the player—you can't simply copy the ripped FLAC files you have. Last but not least, don't you dis' my Porta Pros. :P

MikeC wrote:
If the topic doesn't interest the reader, s/he will pass by. If it is of interest, then it will be read. I offer the information and assessment in good faith, in the belief that there is enough general interest in such a product by SPCR readers, both new and old.

I see that, and I think it is a good idea to attract more readers. However, you could note in article titles, or at least in forum links, that an article is not strictly silence related.

_________________
Can you keep it down? I'm having trouble hearing the artillery.

Current rig
Old PC


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 2:43 am 
Offline

Joined: Mon May 08, 2006 4:36 am
Posts: 497
Location: Linköping, Sweden
Modo: This one does play Ogg, though. Makes sense since FLAC is significantly larger in size than lossy formats.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:01 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Posts: 780
Location: Croatia
You still have to transcode from FLAC (or even uncompressed) to mp3/ogg. And in this day and age, nobody should be encoding lossy anymore.

8 gigs is plenty. Assuming 60% compression, that's around 20 hours of FLAC music.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 7:54 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11908
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
There aren't many mp3 portables which support flac, in fact, afaik, there are very few. About half the audio files I run at home via Squeezebox are flac, the rest is a mix of mp3s, m4a, a few wma. My wife has an iPod Nano which does not support flac, so she created a separate folder in her own pc to run iTunes, and converts albums from the pc running the Squeezebox software. It's a bit of a mess, because iTunes does not support flac, which means either conversion from flac via another utility before iTunes, or conversion to mp3 at the same time when the flac file is created from the original source. I was using a Sansa device for a while, and an M-audio digital recorder for portable music, neither of which support flac or m4a. It would be nice if flac was more widely supported -- and also if flac was smaller in size -- because this mess of audio files for home and away would be unnecessary.

The difference between flac and modern, high quality compressed mp3s is difficult to hear on a lot of material even on my home stereo, which is very high quality. You can hear it sometimes on some material, and usually, the flac is preferred. On the portable devices, in normal use, I don't think it's audible at all. No way I would bother with flac files on a portable with 8gb storage. 20hrs is not enough if you go on any kind of extended trip -- there is more than double that in the iPod, and it sometimes feels repetitive.

flac might be a requirement in portables for some, but it certainly would not be a deal breaker for most. The benefits just aren't there.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:44 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Posts: 780
Location: Croatia
I call that "damn, if I only...".

I've been collecting mp3s since the 90s. Back when everyone encoded at 112 kbps (anyone remember the first Fraunhofer encoder which caused very audible clicks?), I went to 160. When people started using 160, I was at 256 already.

Right now I wish I had a time machine so I could go back into the past and slap myself silly. I have encoded albums - very rare albums - that have been long lost; some have been misplaced by me, some by my friends, some have simply "died from natural causes". There is no chance of ever getting my hands on most of those albums (or DJ mixes) ever again...

I'm not a video freak, but I'd be very surprised if some people aren't regretting encoding DVDs to DivX/XviD. In a decade, there will be a lot of people who will be very sorry that they haven't ripped their Blu-Ray/HD-DVD movies into the original format, but instead compressed them massively to a fraction of their size and stripped the audio channels to simple stereo.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:48 am 
Offline
Site Admin

Joined: Sun Aug 11, 2002 3:26 pm
Posts: 11908
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Matija --

Your last post explains much about your attitude towards flac, etc, but you forget what function this yp-s3 plays -- it's not an archival device, it's a "fun" portable media player! Buying or using this device does not in any way exclude the archival activities you describe.

_________________
Mike Chin,
Editor/Publisher, SPCR
Support SPCR with your donations!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:19 am 
Offline

Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2007 3:17 am
Posts: 780
Location: Croatia
Yes, but you still have to transcode music for it to play ;)

I don't understand why FLAC and Vorbis are so badly supported. It doesn't cost any licensing money to do so...


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:28 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:32 am
Posts: 486
Location: Poland
Matija wrote:
I don't understand why FLAC and Vorbis are so badly supported. It doesn't cost any licensing money to do so...

It's probably just a matter of ditching some formats to cut production costs (less decoders to put on your device). You can vote with your money each time you buy. Some brands do support free formats in all models, so get those.

_________________
Can you keep it down? I'm having trouble hearing the artillery.

Current rig
Old PC


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:36 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 11:07 am
Posts: 35
Location: Eugene, OR USA
As I understand it, one reason Ogg Vorbis is less supported is simply because it requires more horsepower to decode: .OGG uses floating-point arithmetic whereas .MP3 is integer-only. Now, this is becoming less and less of an issue as technology advances, but at this point Ogg Vorbis has less traction with users, so there is less reason for manufacturers to include support for it, and it's a chicken-and-egg issue. It's a shame, too, because it really is better in every objective respect, but even though I have a lot of stuff encoded to .OGG I've given up on it for anything I rip in the future due to uncertainty of device support.

I think the lack of support for FLAC is just a matter of the average consumer not knowing about it, or why it's better ("Hey, why is this file so big?"). You'll find it in higher-end devices but not in "fun" portables like this one, and I doubt that will change.

Personally I'm still waiting for something to come along that is better than my (five-year-old and now nearly dead) Rio Karma; it hasn't happened yet.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 9:48 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri May 23, 2008 10:38 am
Posts: 14
Location: Devon, UK
Now I have everything archived in FLAC I can afford to be pretty flexible with lossy codec choice.
After all, the is only a set and forget all night job in order to get my whole collection into any format I fancy.
Ripping straight to a lossy codec is asking for trouble in the long run iyam. After all, it's not like desktop hard drives lack space these days.

_________________
Wolfticket: Ambitious, but rubbish.

"A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought." Dorothy L. Sayers (1893 - 1957)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:07 am 
Offline

Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 3:32 am
Posts: 486
Location: Poland
@blandoon

If you are looking for a replacement, you might find some products from Cowon interesting. The 16GB models were introduced last year, so I'd expect the 32GB versions to be around the corner.

_________________
Can you keep it down? I'm having trouble hearing the artillery.

Current rig
Old PC


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:54 am 
Offline
Friend of SPCR

Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2005 3:32 am
Posts: 444
Location: SF Bay Area, California
Honestly, you need a VERY nice setup to tell the difference between FLAC and a properly encoded V0 mp3's. If you don't believe me, try doing a double-blind test. On a PMP, it's pretty silly to store FLAC, and I think that a very tiny percentage of the consumer market (especially when including people other than us SPCR nerds) has the majority of their music in crappy lossy formats, anyway (even worse than V0). I understand that some people want niche products that appeal to their particular wants/needs... in that case, just don't buy this one! It's that simple. There's no point criticizing something that makes perfect market sense.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 12:20 am 
Offline

Joined: Fri Mar 28, 2003 7:12 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Ontario, Canada
I agree that there is no need to include lossless codecs for portable music players, just a waste of battery life and storage. Ogg is a niche format which most consumers simply will not take advantage of.

I've enjoyed the audio equipment reviews so far, keep'em coming if you don't mind :)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:24 am 
Offline

Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 2:17 pm
Posts: 214
Matija wrote:
You still have to transcode from FLAC (or even uncompressed) to mp3/ogg. And in this day and age, nobody should be encoding lossy anymore.

8 gigs is plenty. Assuming 60% compression, that's around 20 hours of FLAC music.


Why use lossless even when you can't hear the difference?

Modern lossy encoders, including good old MP3 using LAME VBR settings like V2/V0, are very very good. So good that few people can tell the difference when listening carefully on good equipment. Evidence from blind testing on forums like Hydrogenaudio.org backs that up. On a portable player used when jogging or travelling by plane/train, you just aren't going to notice any subtle loss of quality.

I rip all my CDs to FLAC, but even though my 24Gb (8Gb internal + 16Gb MicroSD) Sansa Fuze supports it, I transcode everything to fairly high bitrate (LAME V2) MP3 for portable use. I'd rather have the extra choice of music than slightly improved quality that's never going to be noticed.

As for the Samsung player, the touch sensitive controls instantly kill it for me. One of the nice things about my Sansa player is that it features tactile controls that allow it to be used blind. I can pause/play/skip tracks through the lining of my pocket, and change the volume, turn it off/on, or press the hold switch, without taking it out.

I also find that tactile controls, where you actually have to apply a small amount of force to push the buttons, are less prone to accidental activation. To me touch sensitive controls are a gimmick that's usually a significant step backwards in functionality.

Add the lack of memory expansion, the absence of any killer features, and issues like the unresponsive user interface, and I don't see anything particularly interesting about this player. It isn't even that cheap when compared with other non-Apple players.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 2:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:55 pm
Posts: 410
it takes pretty expensive gear to distinguish between lossless and good quality MP3s. not to mention most people won't be able to tell the difference even if they get that expensive gear.

$0.02 of my pointless wisdom :P

_________________
dothan 730 @ 2.6Ghz l p4c800ed l 4x512MB bh5 2-2-2-5 5:4 ~3v Antec Neo 480
e6600 @ 3.6GHz l P5W64 WS Pro l 4x1GB D9GMH (B6-3) 3-3-3-3-12 4:3 2.2v l PCP&C 750


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 01, 2009 7:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:49 pm
Posts: 185
Location: Stockholm
Steve_Y wrote:
Why use lossless even when you can't hear the difference?

Modern lossy encoders, including good old MP3 using LAME VBR settings like V2/V0, are very very good. So good that few people can tell the difference when listening carefully on good equipment. Evidence from blind testing on forums like Hydrogenaudio.org backs that up. On a portable player used when jogging or traveling by plane/train, you just aren't going to notice any subtle loss of quality.


This is very true as long as your MP3 player equalizer is not used.
Otherwise anybody will hear a difference instantly (no blind testing needed here).

So it all depends on your settings and your headphones.
All should be "frequency flat" (amplitude) if you shall not hear any difference.
This is also the way the producer intended you should listen to it. His mixing and recording equipment should be really audiophile (=frequency flat) amongst other things.

In reality headphones (mostly cheap ones) often limit bass response (that you will boost for compensation on your equalizer).

And in this case (often in real life) the sound will also be different than what the producer intended regardless if it is lossless or lossy encoded.
But it will sound worser with lossy encoding as a result of the (lossy) psychoacoustic model used to to make the file smaller.

Then (in such cases) you will hear a different sound using lossless compared to lossy encoded music.
With small earphones it will particularly be harder to get good bass response so then it can be more noticeable although you use expensive "good" earphones.
Nobody at Hydrogenaudio has ever said anything else as far as I know.

So in simple theory you are right but it actually depends on your equipment too.
In fact this is one reason it is quite difficult to build very good speakers because the elements and the resonance box (speaker box) will not be frequency flat. Because of that speakers use several elements and filters (for flatter frequency response) but although this is done it will destroy the sound quality to some extent because the end result is still not perfect flat response (although hopefully close to).
The engineering behind this (box, element, filter design) is thus relatively demanding to do, to please audio enthusiasts. The speaker position in the room and the room dimensions and furniture also matter for resonance. That is why room compensation algorithms are used sometimes too. With clever design good and not too expensive designs are possible (within some limits).

With headphones it is not equally hard to get good quality per $ because the produced sound does not need to be so loud and the distance to your ear will always be the same regardless of your position (in the room).

Edit: In short when you try to compensate for "bad" gear like small PC speakers with your equalizer you will hear a difference. Otherwise maybe not.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 10, 2009 3:16 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Apr 09, 2009 1:24 am
Posts: 38
Location: Italia
What's the point in comparing it to an old ipod classic?
This one should be compared to a new ipod nano, or a creative zen...

I own a relatively old (3gen) ipod nano 4GB and I'm not that happy with it because of itunes and its music management (I love foobar2000).
Other than that I think I would like to see different mp3 players:
1) SMALL like a creative stone BUT with: USB plug, 8GB micro sd support and a small display (It would be the perfect thumbdrive and I would bring it forever with me as a keyring
2) ipod-nano-sized but with more capacity (16-32GB thumb drive are current)
3) ipod-classic-sized with 250gb storage!


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 22 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group