In South Korea, Samsung releases you. Ok, enough of the old meme slaughtering.
Sammy, biggest economical power in South Korea, just released their new YP-R2 – at least in Russia. It is a interesting device, in that it supports and audio codec no other portable device (and not many software players either) supports – MP3HD.
MP3HD is a hybrid lossy/lossless codec, similar to Wavpack. It contains a portion that is a regular compressed MP3 file, playable by any audio player – and it contains a lossless portion that’s only playable by the R2 to date, as far as portable audio players go. The merits of this strategy are debatable, since most people who care about these things simply keep their originals as FLAC on their hard disks and transcode them to whatever format they like for portable use – but it sure is laudable that Samsung dared to be different in including this codec that not even Rockbox supports. Even if MP3HD files are several times larger than regular MP3 files, with debatable improvement in audio quality for casual listening on the go, at least on this one player that supports them.
As for other specs, the R2 is a lukewarm affair: a low-res 240×400 screen, same as the Archos 32, no SD expansion slot (memory from 4 to 16GB), Samsung’s new ‘SoundAlive’ audio enhancements. On the positive side, battery life claims are decent: 40 hours for audio, 4 hours for video… well, not really great, but still ok.
Thanks to Lebellium for the tip. Read the full specs in the forum thread.