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on 15 October 2010
I have had a Samsung YP-K5J for several years but now, just like me, it is starting to show it's age! For sometime I have been looking for a replacement and trawled through many sites to find something suitable. I have even ordered a couple different MP4 players but they did not seem to be good enough. Then I read, on this site, reviews about the YP-R1 and they sparked some interest.
To cut a long story short I placed an order and I have to say that I am more than satisfied. I transferred my music from the YP-K5J and was astounded by the quality of the sound. Even the supplied ear phones proved to be very good. Originally when I started to copy the tunes across I had an error message about a licence but a visit to the Internet resolved this.
I did have one 'accident' and this happened when I deleted a song. For some reason I managed to delete the whole folder of my music. Not sure what happened but I have not been able to do it again.
I note that there is a mention about the battery life. Initially this did seem to be poor but after a couple of charges there has been an improvement.
If you are looking for a really good player at a reasonable price then you won't go wrong with this player.
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on 18 November 2010
Bought this as a replacement to a philips gogear MP4 player as I wanted a touch screen interface.
I find the controls on the screen a bit fiddly due to the small screen size and having to remember to lock screen is a bit of a pain especially if you forget and accidently touch the screen moves to another app.

Headphones supplied with player are really disappointing, absolutely no good for small ears even with smaller buds and uncomfortable.

Sound again not as good as philips gogear system.

Radio tuner just doesn't seem to pick up the number of channels that my old player and even my phone can pick up.

Can't really recommended this product ok but nothing startling too many little faults
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on 11 November 2010
This is a lovely little player in terms of design, portability, functionality and - where it counts most - in the quality of its audio and video playback. There is however a large choice of MP3/MP4 players out there, many just as good in their playback of these basic operations, and many of them are cheaper than the Samsung. To set itself apart and provide additional value, the Samsung YP-R1 however has a very modern design with touchscreen functions and apps that are similar to those of an iPhone. Unfortunately, the usefulness of these apps is very limited, if not actually worthless in some cases, and there are severe limitations due to the low battery life.

MP3 audio playback, using Samsung's Digital Natural Sound Engine (DNSe 3.0) is impressive, with a manual equaliser and lots of presets - but the natural sound is more than good enough. The in-ear headphones that come with the player are not noise-blocking, but are of good quality providing good reproduction, if just a touch little lacking in fullness of bass. With 8GB, you can store a lot of music on such a small lightweight device, including FLAC format files. Video quality is superb, but there's really not sufficient space here to carry around any kind of library of programmes. FM Radio playback is also fine, and it comes with the ability to store and display presets. There is the ability to voice record (with a microphone - not included) and record from the radio.

In every case, getting to the right section is quick and easy, with attractive menus and GUI displays on its 2.6-inch screen. You can even fast-forward to the middle of a long track or podcast instantly with a swipe across the time-bar. It's beautiful, and if that's all you want the player for, the Samsung R1 has a reserved recommendation. The only drawback however is the battery life. Samsung claim 25 hours of battery life, but in practice, playing only MP3, I found it was closer to 10 hours. Video evidently is a considerably bigger drain, but even the radio sucks up power surprisingly quickly. It takes 2 hours to fully charge, via USB to a PC - a cable is provided for this - but there is no direct power cable for charging.

Considering the competition, it's the proprietary features are what are going to make or break this one, and they don't fare all that well. The EmoDio software caused some minor problems installing onto a PC, it was slow in operation and non-intuitive - which is a further problem since there is no manual provided for using it. You'll find yourself dragging and dropping using Windows Explorer, and it's much easier. The Flash player is out-of-date (version 8, August 2005) and it can't be updated, which means you can't add any new games to the four included. Most of the other functions you will more than likely already have on your phone - clock, memo, calendar - and they would be more convenient and easy to use there. The packaging indicates that the player is supposed to be compatible with the BBC iPlayer, but there is no documentation supporting this or any obvious means of downloading programmes. Some of the widgets are just pointless and clutter the screen, but this is customisable.

Overall, with its compactness, lightness and operability, its outstanding audio and video playback and a good range of formats playable, the Samsung R1 is easily worth a four-and-a-half star rating. It's a superb MP3 player and very competitive with similar players at this price-range. Unfortunately, it's very power intensive and battery life isn't particularly good, even for basic audio or radio playback, and few of the additional functions that should make this stand out from the crowded market are of little use at all.

UPDATE - After two months, a similar problem reported by several other people here, my R1 froze at 99% updating database and would not respond to a reset. Since it won't "boot-up", it is therefore unrecognisable when attached to a PC, so it cannot be reformatted. This is a bad design flaw and on that basis, the player cannot be recommended.
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VINE VOICEon 28 October 2010
This review has been updated: 10/01/11.

I required a replacement USB charger/connection cable for this item as I had misplaced the original. A common scenario, the particular type of cable is unique to this product range/ model. Samsung were unable to help me locate this despite 4 emails to their customer service department.

Without the ability to purchase spare parts, a device such as this can essentially become unusable.

I finally located a website that appeared to sell Samsung spare parts, however my model was not listed and the high price tag for the cable (assuming a similar model was correct) made it less than cost effective at about 1/3 of the total price of the MP4 player.

Buyer take caution. Loose this essential USB cable (needed for data transfer and charging) and a headache may ensue.

Original Review:

Despite stunning screen quality and sound/headphones that will impress
a seasoned audiophile - the player is not without imperfections.

Sound Quality:
Mind-blowingly good headphones complement this attractive device. The unusually designed headphones have an in-ear and an on-ear speaker joined together at an angle. They are surprisingly comfortable. Bass is deep, midrange is detailed - Joni Mitchell's 'Carey' sounds more vibrant than I have ever enjoyed it before. Randy Travis' baritone vocals are deeper and richer than ever. I am hearing guitar strings and vocal nuances I've never heard before. Audio Enhancement or 'upscale' is not a gimmick but a genuine feature that makes a noticeable difference to low bit rate tracks. One slight issue is that the headphones do tend to 'bleed' sound at higher volume so you may be sharing your music with the stranger next to you on the bus!

Transfer/Playlist Software - a let-down.

The software provided with the player is clunky, slow and to be blunt,
not fit for purpose. To provide no paper manual is fine but there does
not appear to be an electronic one either. At least, in this case there is no
file present on the player that contains a manual despite a mention in
the brief paper booklet. Having loaded the software, (I have a fast Win
7 PC but it still took several minutes and failed first time) the
programme does not tell you how to convert video files. Initial
transfer attempts failed.
Note: It is easier to bypass the software and just drag and drop for
audio files. Video usage requires correct transfer formats.

PC Connection:
For no apparent reason, a message appears each time the Samsung is
connected to PC, stating that the latest version of Windows Media Player
must be installed. My PC already has this and using WMP to transfer
files was a fruitless exercise anyway. In a nutshell, 90% of the files
I tried to transfer to the device, failed.
Users without a greater knowledge of file types and formats could be
left disappointed. Luckily I managed to find a workaround, using Real
Player conversion software that has a Samsung file format (for an older
Samsung model) that seems to work fairly well but not perfectly.

Playback using the Samsung is an inconsistent process. Some video files
are located in the video folder, some appear in a generic file list
under a separate icon. Some play, some don't.

Battery Recharge:
This is where things get messy. I made the mistake of thinking the
device was turned off when it was playing due to the default blank screen after lock is initiated. On a few occasions the device failed to turn on and then turned off on its own. Tapping the screen does nothing once
locked (not even a padlock icon) so you may believe it is turned off.

Connecting the Samsung to the PC requires yet another type of USB
connector (provided) just don't loose it as it's not your standard type.
A mate probably won't have one in their bag if you get caught short.
The recharge image displays for a short time and eventually the screen
goes blank. It can be unclear if the device is still charging or not. With
most portable media players you simply press a button or tap the screen
to bring it back to life. I found this temperamental. Sometimes it would
wake, sometimes not.
Battery life is disappointing to say the least.
To ensure maximum life, I charged the device fully before using it for
the first time. My reward was a few hours of music and perhaps 2-3 hours
of radio before it begins to loose power. Video is the largest drain on
resources of course. I estimate 90mins with some use of ff/rew, vol up and down and you are pretty much done.

FM Radio is a good feature. The ability to record radio is useful. The attractive graphic interface (a vintage radio with a button you press).

Gimmicks Galore!
There are some truly unusual additions such as the ability to be a DJ and 'scratch records' but this is not something I know anything about.
There is a host of sound features to play with such as reverb and pitch change. Hours of fun for the amateur record producer.

Screen: The touch screen is the crown jewel. With the 'iphone style' album cover scroll, it responds well to touch and is a pleasure to use.

Summary: Truly incredible sound quality combined with a well made media player that you will be proud to own.
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on 21 December 2010
I've had mine over a month now having exchanged it for my predictably faulty Creative Zen X-Fi. Predictable because out of several Creatives I've previously owned over the last six years, only one is still working more than three years after first buying it. But enough, this is a Samsung R1 opinion.

The R1 was considerably cheaper than anything else in the store, being an older model, and exactly half the price of the Zen X-Fi 2. despite being much smaller in size it still packs a screen not much slightly smaller than the Creative. It also allegedly has scratchproof glass thus eliminating the need for a screen protector or case (even though I always buy one anyway to guard against drops).

As a music player, it's functional if not spectacular. It sounds as good to me as the Zen X-Fi I previously owned, however the lack of tangible buttons is a pain. While you can turn the volume up and down with real buttons, everything else - skipping tracks, fast forwarding or rewinding etc - has to be done with the touchscreen. And this is where the R1 starts to fall over and where the other reviews are spot on. The battery life is nothing short of appalling. The screen doesn't darken and save battery power like the Zen: instead it either stays on fully lit or else goes into lock mode after so many minutes. This means having to fish it out of your pocket, unlocking it and relighting the energy sapping touchscreen each time you wish to skip to the next track. I reckon I could get five to six hours of music out of this with two to three of video. Samsung should be flogged for claiming twenty five of the former and five of the latter since in reality, you'll get absolutely nowhere near these figures. However, I can charge every night since I only need an hour of music each day to and fro on the train but if you need anything more than this then this is not the player for you. Also beware the proprietary charger cable though - yet another typical Samsung environmental oversight.

As a video player, it succeeds despite the aforementioned poor battery life. The image is superb for a small screen but it's the variety of video formats it can handle. Unlike most other players, I can copy native DivX and IPod files directly onto the player without the need for time consuming conversion. It also supports BBC iPlayer, however you need to have an active internet connection when doing so to comply with the DRM protection.

Ref the headphones, they sounded okay but I instantly ditched these in favour of my Koss Porta-Pros which are always superior to all other bundled ear plugs I've tried.

All in all, a very decent player let down by shocking battery life but if you can live with charging it every night (depending on usage), then I'd say it's definitely a recommended buy.

Updated 17th April 2011: Finally realised that this player DEMANDS the latest firmware update to extend the battery life and remove some shocking software errors. Once installed, it becomes a much better, longer lasting, more pleasurable device.
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VINE VOICEon 30 October 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is an attractive looking MP4 player, with impressive sound. It comes installed with games, a Flash player, a notepad and the ability to read text files. You can also add sound effects to your MP3s. For example, if you don't think a song has enough flange you can add some yourself. Not something I was looking for in an MP4 player, but I had fun anyway.

While the touch screen is fun, it takes a little getting used to if you haven't used one before. It can also be fiddly when you try to navigate the menus. You also need to remember to use the 'lock' function when you put the player in your pocket. The battery life is a little less than I would have hoped for, but the impressive visuals and varied functions are bound to take a toll on such things.

I didn't find the software that came with the MP4 player intuitive to use and I am too impatient to spend time learning a new system. I used the 'drag and drop' method, which worked smoothly.

While this isn't a perfect MP4 player, it does have impressive sound and visuals. It also has fun stuff to do while you are travelling, as long as your journey isn't too long.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 28 October 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Super slim and lovely styled, touch screen is quick and menus are very easy to navigate. Sound quality is outstanding, thanks in part to easy fit earphones.
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on 12 November 2011
Rated zero. 1 star is too much for a failed device.

The device failed after 20 days use. The screen jammed displaying R1 and would not reset even when allowed to discharge then re-charged. Disappointing

I will not be buying another Samsung and probably not from Amazon.

Question. How long does it take Amazon to refund the amount paid?
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on 28 October 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
There are two software packages that allow you to control the contents of the YP-R1: Windows Media Player and Samsung's own EmoDio. Neither is very satisfactory to use, with EmoDio being the worse of the two, feeling very half-hearted and even half-finished. I tried transferring my iTunes files into EmoDio and despite the fact that they are not protected and the R1 supports the format, it won't accept them, nor does it provide any errors to explain why. This means re-converting my whole library all over again.

The YP-R1 itself is a very fine little gadget: simple and attractive it packs a lot of technology into a small package. In fact it packs in a hell of a lot of technology - I'm not even going to try to list everything it can do, just pick out some of the high points.

The supplied earphones are very nice and provide great sound for bundled earphones, though they do appear to be very fragile. The data cable uses a proprietary connector, which means you'll have trouble updating the R1 on the go, unless via Bluetooth.

The screen is both large and small; large compared to an iPod Nano, very small compared to an iPod Touch. Being Samsung, the image is colourful and bright, but it does lack in resolution, being only 400x240 pixels. This is not a problem for watching videos, which look great, but for anything involving text it is only just adequate.

There are only 3 physical buttons; a power button that doubles as a screen lock, and 2 buttons for volume. This makes controlling music playback a little fiddly, because you have to turn on the screen and tap around with your finger. The screen is already a little small, but the playback controls are tiny, so quickly changing track becomes a bit of a chore.

In fact just about everything on the tactile screen feels like a chore because all the interface elements are so small. Samsung have obviously been inspired by Apple in designing the interface, but the screen's dimensions aren't up to the task. The interface comprises multiple pages of icons and widgets that you change via a sideways swipe. Icons are links to "applications", while widgets are little helper objects (such as a light bulb for controlling the screen brightness). This sounds very high tech and cool, but the tiny screen just makes it a bit of a pain to use whereas nice, clean, large icons would have been so much better. The look of it all is also discordant and a little childish.

The YP-R1's best features are, as expected, audio and video playback. I directly compared the music playback between the Samsung and an iPod Nano and the R1 definitely has a richer, fuller sound. In fact the iPod sounds brash at similar volume levels and I'd much rather listen for long periods using the R1.

Video playback is top notch, with support for a wide number of formats. I transferred some videos encoded for TV playback to the R1 and despite their size it played them back smoothly and without fault; no lag, jitters or dropped frames. I don't have the cable needed to output to TV (which is an OPTIONAL extra, it is not supplied in the box as per the Amazon product page), but from this demonstration I'm sure the results would be great.

Having a built in FM radio is already a plus compared to Apple's devices, but as an extra you can even record from it. There is a function to scan for presets, but it has never found any channels, so I can only tune manually. Reception is surprisingly good.

The thing that has really shocked me about the YP-R1 is the abysmal autonomy. With just music playback I get maybe 6-8 hours of battery life. Start watching videos or do anything else that keeps the screen on and this plummets to only a couple of hours. For a device that tries to do so many different things, the lack of autonomy renders all those extra functions moot - you don't dare use them because they'll suck the life out of the battery. And this is for a brand new, out of the box unit, after a few months the battery performance will be even worse. The R1 being a sealed unit you can't even carry a spare.

I'm in two minds regarding the YP-R1. I want to like it because it does everything you could want of it; it looks cool, is small and light and plays back all the file formats you could want it to. But the user interface is fiddly and messy and the battery life means you have to charge it up every day without fail. Samsung's lacklustre software support is not encouraging either. A lot of the web links I've tried either go nowhere or default to Samsung Korea (and I don't read Korean).

Only the audio/video quality makes the R1 stand out, so I'd recommend using that as your deciding factor for purchase. That, at least, shouldn't disappoint.


Supported formats:
Audio: Mp3, wma, ogg, asf, m4a, aac, flac
Video: Mpeg, avi, wmv, asf, svi, mp4, m4v, rm, rmvb, mov, smf
Photo: Jpeg, bmp
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on 27 August 2010
Really good Mp3 player, sound quality is excellent. Smaller than expected and very easy to use, don't need an instruction manual. Only flaw is that the touch screen can seem a bit odd at times. Download the firmware update to improve.
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