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Challenging the iPod: Samsung YP-Z5

Samsung may finally have sown the seeds of Apple's demise. Throw dust sheets over Cupertino and send the staff home Big White, there's a new sheriff in town and he smokes without filters

Samsung's had a tough time in the MP3 player wars. Not long ago the company looked like a little boy with two broken legs hobbling down the avenue of despair, but now it has risen to its feet and begun hurling insults at the dominant MP3 player, Apple's iPod nano. The interface on the YP-Z5 is slick, far slicker than Apple's. It's approximately the same size as the nano, but its battery life is a mammoth 38 hours, with 24 hours of continous music play.

The sucker punch here may be the transfer software -- there is none. Samsung has wisely avoided the self-destructive policy of companies like Sony, which uses a proprietary transfer software hot from the depths of hell. Samsung's new player is drag-and-drop, which means it works just like an external hard disk -- making the YP-Z5 completely platform independent.

It's all the Crave monkeys can do to stop jumping up and down and screaming like gleeful cheerleaders. This is what we've been urging manufacturers to do for ages. Finally a company has woken up and taken real steps towards nailing Apple to the wall.

The YP-Z5 is available in 2GB and 4GB versions. Crave tested it out this afternoon and the UI transitions give even Mac OS X a run for its money. Samsung exclusively revealed to Crave that it has run video on the YP-Z5, but has chosen not to include this in its initial release pending further testing. At last it looks like an MP3 player from someone other than Big White may actually be worth using. Nice one, Samsung.

Visit our CES 2006 Special Report for more coverage. -CS