Samsung P2 (YP-P2) Digital Audio Player

I have been a Mac-guy for over a decade and have owned an iPod since the beginning.
I am currently using an iPod Touch and I take it with me everywhere I go. But
being the gadget-junkie that I am, I was getting a bit bored with my current
lot of tech-toys. So, I started looking into other portable music/video players
to play with. The Samsung
P2
looked like a worthy candidate; it had several features the Touch did
not, a nice form-factor, and it had received rave reviews. I read many reviews
praising the P2 as a less costly (some even said better) alternative to the
Touch. However, those reviews were definitely coming from the perspective of
Windows users. This review will be coming from a Mac/iPod user’s viewpoint.

Samsung’s presentation is nicely done. The plastic box is very sturdy and definitely protects the device. Included with the P2, is a nice set of earbuds (EP-370), data cable, application cd, screen protector, and stand.

Out of the box the P2 looks very nice. It is sleek & slim, constructed
of a hard plastic, and comes in black, white, or burgundy. At 100mm x 52mm x
9.9mm, it is smaller than the Touch and feels not much larger than the Nano.
It weighs in at just 3 ounces.

The P2 is approximately the same thickness of the Touch and nearly twice as thick as the Nano.

The first obstacle I had to overcome was figuring out how to get the device communicating with my Mac. I am sure there are other ways, but the first method used an application and the second involved a firmware hack. My biggest critism to Samsung is that they made it only XP and Vista compatible.

The application is called XNJB and allows Mac users to communicate with several brands of Windows only mp3 players. XNJB has a nice interface and accomplishes what it promises. It allows you to manage your music, videos, playlists, pictures, album art, text, etc.

The second method was a bit scarier. After dancing the P2 forums, I discovered that you can hack one file, changing the device from a MTP (Media Transfer Protocol) to a UMS (USB Mass Storage). This allows the Mac (or PC) to see the device as an external hard drive enabling you to drag & drop files into the appropriate folders.

The P2 is controlled primarily through its touch screen. The default interface
irritated me in the first 10 minutes. So, I changed it to a simpler, more (Touch/iPhone)
intuitive form. The touch screen/interface is not as sensitive or accurate as
the Touch and the plastic (vs glass) screen flexes a tiny bit where the Touch’s
glass screen is rock solid. Being plastic and the fact Samsung includes a screen
protector in the box, I am betting the screen scratches pretty easy.

Once I was able to put my music onto the P2, I was finally able to start putting the device through its paces. It can play the following audio formats: MP3, WMA, WMA-DRM, AAC. Overall, I would say the listening experience is as good as any iPod I have ever owned. I like the graphical equalizer that can be viewed while music is playing. The device is also able to display album art, files info, or Window Media Player types of lines and colors.

The P2 has a very nice 3" screen with a ratio of 480×272. And while the
P2 is not as bright or vivid as my iPod, it is able to portray 16:9 movies better
than the 3:2 Touch or iPhone (i.e. less black space or cropping). The videos
Samsung included on the device were clear and crisp, enjoyable to watch.

I would say the biggest hassle/headache for me with this device is the fact Samsung made it so finicky about video formatting (SVI (MPEG4/MP3, 480 x 272 @ 30fps) and WMV9 (WMV9/WMA9, 320 x 240 or 480 x 272 @ 30fps)). It took a while (and caused a few additional gray hairs) but I finally got a video into a format that the P2 would play. However, it looked terrible….. Based on the videos Samsung included on the device, I know it plays movies very well. If Samsung wanted Mac/iPod users to seriously consider this device, they should have enabled it to play h.264/AAC encoded videos natively. I am sure they would look incredible. I realize this complaint is partially my ability to convert videos well enough to make them compatible and at a quality worth watching.

Like the iPhone or iPod Touch, a majority of the navigation is done by tapping and swiping the touchscreen with your finger. The interface is not as responsive or as accurate as the iPhone or iPod Touch, but works well enough.

I really like the fact that Samsung engineered actual volume buttons on the right side of the P2. Controlling the volume via the touchscreen is not very easy or accurate. I much prefer the side controls.

The left side includes a hold switch and a button that turns the player on/off (press and hold) and controls the play/pause function (momentary press).

The only thing on the top of the P2 is a hard point for attaching a lanyard or wrist strap.

The bottom of the P2 has a microphone, proprietary USB connection port, and headphone jack. Since USB cables are a dime a dozen, it is a shame Samsung did not use a standard USB connector versus its own proprietary port. The mic does not allow you to record directly onto the device but through future firmware upgrades Samsung promises the device will be able to answer calls made to Bluetooth-enabled cell phones.

Below the display there is what appears to be a Touch-like home button. But sadly it is just a LED. It flashes blue when playing music with the screen off, blinks red when the player is turning on/off, glows red when the battery is charging, and turns green when the P2 is fully charged. According to Samsung the P2’s battery life is 35 hours of audio or 5 hours of video.

Now that I have discussed the basics, we can look at those added features the Touch does not have. And while the P2 does not have WiFi, it does have bluetooth 2.0. This was the feature I looked forward to the most in the P2. With A2DP (Advanced Audio Distribution Profile) bluetooth you can connect the P2 to A2DP supported devices, to include any bluetooth enabled speaker system, car stereo, or headset…..no wires!!! I paired the P2 with the Jabra BT8010 bluetooth stereo headset and a bluetooth enabled Pioneer car stereo (thanks to Darren at CarToys for his assistance). The quality of the sound was as good as if it was hardwired.

The radio capability is a really nice feature as well. You can set up many preset stations. The reception is good/great on the stronger stations but fair at best on the lower powered ones. The red button on the lower right enables you to digitally record what you are hearing onto the memory, another nice ability not available on many other players.

The Prime Pack includes the ability to view text, play games, set multiple
alarms, view your calendar & address book, and have a world clock with you.
There is also a file browser that enables you to look through exactly what is
on the P2 just as they are in the various folders.

Overall all I like the Samsung P2. It is a nice size with solid construction,
stylish, and sounds great. However, its lack of compatibility with Mac and very
restrictive video format makes it a pain to convert videos for it. In my opinion,
the ability to stream digital music to other bluetooth enabled devices is definitely
the coolest feature of the device (enough to seriously consider upgrading my
truck stereo to one with integrated bluetooth). I don’t think I will be giving
up my Touch anytime soon, but I might keep the P2 around to drive around with.

Price: $200 (4gb) or $249 (8gb)

 

Product Information

Price:
Manufacturer:Samsung
Requirements:
  • Windows XP or later
Pros:
  • Good quality materials and construction
  • Great sound quality
  • Stylish
  • Lightweight
  • Touch screen controls
  • Volume buttons
  • Bluetooth 2.0
  • Built-in FM tuner w/presets (recordable)
Cons:
  • Restrictive video formats
  • Only XP and Vista compatible
  • Touch screen could be more sensitive and accurate
  • Plastic screen
  • Proprietary USB connection port
Posted in: Audio, Video, TV Gear

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • polly December 23, 2008, 9:16 am

    you are wrong about the brightness of the p2. You can easily adjust the brightness

    1
  • Wain January 14, 2009, 6:36 am

    Yes, you can easily adjust the brightness BUT it isn’t as bright as you’d expect compared to other devices. Also, I agree with the H264 not being natively enabled. Such a pain to have to reconvert videos :(

    Finally, videos that are converted show some lag on the screen. Rapid scene changes often “flicker” briefly, something that’s quite annoying when watching a movie and something I don’t see on my ipod touch.

    It’s a nice device for music (and now Apple are selling non-DRM AAC files) that part works great. Just the video part could be a LOT better if only they’d upgrade the software… please!!!

    2
  • Shawn February 16, 2009, 12:55 pm

    The software that comes with the P2 will automatically convert video files when you upload them, but I’m guessing that since you are a mac user, the software is not compatible.

    We all have our own preferences, and they each have their pros and cons. I would say the Touch and the P2 are pretty equal players, the choice is simple… if you are a mac user, buy the touch. If you are a PC user, buy the P2. No harm, no foul. :)

    3
  • elizabeth April 11, 2009, 9:46 am

    THE BATTERY LIFE SUCKS !!! IF YOU WANT A PLAYER THAT YOU
    DONT HAVE TO CHARGE OFTEN DO NOT BUY THE P2 IT IS NOT
    THE MP3 FOR YOU!

    4
  • Jesper Juhl April 27, 2009, 6:51 pm

    Hi,
    I recently purchased a Samsung YP-P2 for use with Linux and had to change if from MTP to UMS. I wrote a small guide on how to change the YP-P2 to UMS and thought you might want to see it.
    Nice player and after a firmware update and change to UMS it works perfectly with Linux :-)

    5
  • rei September 24, 2009, 2:24 am

    whose having a yp p2 cd installer,, can u just send it to my e mail.. reiybanez@yahoo.com,, i cant watch movie on my p2 coz i lost my installer.. if u having a good heart,, pls send me..

    6
  • Conor October 10, 2009, 4:14 pm

    I have a Samsung p2. The brightness of the screen can easily be adjusted and I does look very bright (just not in direct sun)

    7
  • sisten December 21, 2009, 5:35 pm

    How do I get my yp-p2 to work with paralells or my snow leopard? I need help…

    8
  • rijes December 26, 2009, 7:01 am

    Hi, i have a samsung digital audio player old version. when i tried to listen to the songs it is not coming. I have formatted the Player and re loaded the songs, and when i opted to listen song or music gallery it says no entry. it does not support Mp3 files or not? any body could you please provide an answer for this how do i listen to songs please………

    9
  • nix August 24, 2010, 6:14 am

    rijes.. it happened to me in my Samsung P2.. just press the reset button at the back..

    10
  • Matt September 25, 2011, 3:31 pm

    I have a mac a need to get the music from the P2 to the mac. I am pretty computer illiterate so I don’t know how to “hack” into the P2 to make it recognizable as a USB device. Can you describe what I need to do in order to convert the P2. Any help, or even a link so some website with such info would be totally appreciated.

    Thanks!

    11
  • PATO October 27, 2014, 10:02 am

    please help me to figure out the video format for it. it cant play any video.

    Thanks

    12

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