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Samsung Diversifying Line Of Internet Audio Portables

Samsung will diversify its portfolio of Yepp Internet audio portables in the summer and fall with its first MP3-CD portable, its first pendant-style flash-memory portable, and its first firmware-upgradable flash-memory portable, which will also be among the company’s first multicodec models.

A pair of lightweight 1.13-ounce models, and a second-generation shelf system with dockable flash-memory portable are also on the way, said product manager Rich Martens.

The MP3-CD player, due in July at $129 MAP, plays 5-inch MP3-encoded CD-R/RW discs and features 45-second CD memory buffer and 100-second MP3 memory buffer.

Samsung’s first firmware-upgradable portable, the YP-700S, is due in November at a tentative $229 retail with 128MB embedded memory. Only Rio and Intel currently offer 128MB portables, Martens said. As one of the company’s first two multicodec models, the 700S will play MP3, WMA, and AAC files and support WMA’s DRM technology. The unit can be upgraded to support additional codecs and DRMs. The device also features voice recorder, FM tuner and Smart Media slot for memory expansion.

MP3-CD players and 128MB flash-memory portables, like hard-drive portables, Martens said, are turning out to be hot categories because of the amount of music they can store in comparison to most flash-memory portables.

The pendant player, the $169-MAP YP-30S, plays MP3 files, features embedded 64MB non-expandable memory, and voice recorder. It ships in September.

The two 1.13-ounce models are the 32MB YP-20T and 64MB YP-20s. Both feature MP3 playback, nonexpandable embedded memory, and equalizer at retails of $99 and $149.

The shelf system with dockable flash-memory portable is the $399-MAP Combi Yepp, due in August. The microsystem rips music from its vertical-load CD player and encodes the songs in the WMA and MP3 formats. The music can be transferred to the included dockable flash-memory portable, which features 32MB embedded memory, Smart Media slot, and WMA and MP3 playback.

Samsung’s first such shelf system, the Wingo, supports only MP3.