Samsung adds pics to MP3 player

We're not talking about video here -- that would be truly impressive for a device of its size, but probably also prohibitively expensive and very tough to do with the limited capacity of today's memory cards. The Photo Yepp player can display a series of still images to accompany any audio track on a built-in, 2-inch color liquid crystal display panel that has a resolution of 280 x 220 pixels.

This means you can enjoy pictures of your favorite pop star as you bop along to their latest hit, see the lyrics to songs so that you can sing along, or even, away from the world of music, study a foreign language by listening to sample sentences while watching them flash up on the screen.

The images are in standard JPEG format and, using a supplied software package, users can sequence their own selection of images along with a few songs, load the result into the Photo Yepp and hit the road. The product can hook up with a PC through a USB (universal serial bus) cable connection.

Samsung is hoping the format gets adopted by commercial music producers, online service providers and others, who could offer content of their own that users can download to the device.

To keep the product ticking, Samsung has installed a 133MHz central processor, although the unit has no built-in memory. Instead, the company supplies a 32M-byte Smart Media card. The new Photo Yepp measures 64 x 98 x 20 millimeters and weighs 110 grams.

The Photo Yepp is available now in South Korea, with plans for a release in Asia in the fourth quarter of 2000.

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