Father’s Day: Losing Kids and Music Hardware

So Father’s Day is almost over. For me, it’s been over; since the main task for today was to get rid of one of my kids (for the week at Scout camp), we decided to have our fun a day early.

The kids got me a nice present: a gift certificate to Fry’s Electronics, the legendary California geek shop, which recently opened a store a few miles away. (To my knowledge, it’s the only one in Indiana.) The gifts were immediately put to productive use: buying a digital music player and associated paraphernalia.

I’m a bit weird. So, in keeping, my top feature for a music player was support for the Ogg Vorbis audio format. (If you really want to know why, ask.) Of the piles of inexpensive flash players at Fry’s, only two player families could claim the feature: iRiver’s 700 series players and Samsung’s Yepp series. Based on a recommendation by a sales guy, I picked the Samsung YP-MT6V, a 256MB flash player that’s a little smaller than a salt shaker. Based on the weekend’s use, I highly recommend it.

Unfortunately, the Fry’s sales prowness didn’t extend to the little FM transmitter I bought so I could listen to the Samsung in the car. The Belkin TuneCast was recommended, and actually looks well-made. Unfortunately, it has trouble putting out a quality signal that can reach my standard car antenna from the front seat; contributing to the problem is that it only has four station settings within a very narrow band, making it difficult to avoid bleedover. This one’s going back tomorrow, along with the third-party ink cartridge that made my printer very unhappy.

5 thoughts on “Father’s Day: Losing Kids and Music Hardware

  1. I’ve been looking recently for a mp3/voice recorder and came across a review of the YP-MT6V at CoolTechZone (http://www.cooltechzone.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=1437&Itemid=0&limit=1&limitstart=2). The review claimed the YP-MT6V did not play Ogg Vorbis, but you said in your post that it did. I just wanted to confirm that this player does indeed support Ogg Vorbis. This is my first time at your blog, I saw some other posts regarding Debian– so does this mean that the player also works well on Linux?

    Last question, I’m still a college student and the primary reason I am looking into purchasing a player is to record some of my class lectures. In your opinion, is the microphone good enough for this? Have you played around with how long it can record?

    — Devlin

  2. I can confirm that mine plays Ogg Vorbis files, as I have been playing nothing else since I got it. The player comes with two MP3 sample files preloaded; as far as I can tell, support is identical for the two file types, including even tag support.

    Check the packaging; it should say Ogg on it. Also, see the Xiph Wiki.

    And yes, it does work well with Debian sarge. From my computer’s point of view, the player is just like a flash drive. It even automounts with pmount/hal/nautilus.

    I haven’t had a chance to play with the voice recording function, so I can’t help you there. If I get a chance, I’ll follow up in these comments.

  3. Oh, one more thing: the player can record MP3 from the radio or line in, but evidently not via the voice recorder. Those are uncompressed WAV files, which should give you a pretty good idea regarding how much voice can be recorded.

  4. Well, I’ve got some more results.

    It turns out that my player does have the bug mentioned on the Xiph wiki. Files encoded with a certain version of the encoder (all on the same day, for me) cause the player to crash. So far, re-encoding solves the problem for me.

    I’ve also tried out the voice recorder. It seems to record from a distance (arm’s length) OK, though I don’t know about a lecture hall or classroom. Given that these are WAV files, you might need more than 256 MB to record longer lectures. Other models go up to 1 GB, which might be better.

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