I have been walking to and from work lately and have become increasingly
restless over not having anything to listen to, so I bought a small
media player, a Samsung Z5F. First impression is it’s tiny. Really
tiny and I used a little while to get used to touch-buttons. Upgrading
the firmware is trivial, both from Linux and Windows: the firmware
download is a
zip file, inside there’s
.dat file which you place in
the root directory. When you disconnect, the player says “new firmware
detected. Upgrade?“, I answered yes (who wouldn’t? It gives me 30%
better battery life and gapless MP3 playback), it rebooted, upgraded
itself and rebooted again. After a long (probably 15-20 seconds) wait
where it just displayed the Samsung logo, during which I was a bit
scared it was bricked, it booted up fine.
It works well, it plays music and podcasts, but I have run into one
strange problem with it. I was about 1⁄3 through the latest episode of
Lugradio when I wanted to go ten seconds back to catch
something somebody said, but it entirely failed to seek backwards. It
seems like it either doesn’t support seeking in big
.ogg files or
doesn’t support seeking in big files or doesn’t support seeking in
.ogg files. Anyway, annoying bug. I’m going to download the MP3
instead to see if it has the same problem or not.
Apart from that, it’s a lovely, tiny little player with 44 hours of battery life and 4GB storage. Nice little toy.
Update (2006-12-26): I got an email from one of the firmware developers about the problem of seeking in large Ogg Vorbis streams and this is now fixed. The fix isn’t public yet, but is somewhere in Samsung’s QA chain. And the problem is only large Ogg Vorbis files, not large MP3s, so it can be worked around in most cases. Yay!