Samsung MP3 player crams useful features into compact...

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May 22, 2000

Samsung MP3 player crams useful features into compact package

Yepp, it's a voice recorder. Yepp, it's a phone number organizer. Samsung has packed a lot into this 3.25-by-2.75-inch MP3 music player.

Setup for the Yepp -- we used the YP-E64 model as opposed to the YP-E32 model with less memory -- was a snap. Pop two AAA batteries (included) into the side pocket, hit the start button, and you're off. The MP3 player came downloaded with tunes that could be arranged in any order.

Musical clarity was magnificent, and the player's functions were easy to control, thanks to a small volume knob and a seven-mode equalizer. The unit, which can store about 90 minutes of music, comes with everything necessary for digital operation. That includes RealJukebox software, used for retrieving MP3 files from the Internet. A parallel port connects the unit to a PC and earphones.

A tutorial and a photo-illustrated handbook walk users through the MP3 download process and the technique for loading captured files into the player. Tracks can also be taken from compact discs and stored as MP3 files.

Invigorated by the recorded music, we moved along to voice recording. The Yepp can hold up to 128 minutes of talk, more than enough to capture the longest of staff meetings. With so much competition, the YP-E64's $249.95 price (the YP-E32 is $169.95) might seem a bit steep, but most competitors come with half of its 64 megabytes of memory. The quality and range of customizable options make the Yepp a smart buy.

Information: 1-800-726-7864 or www.samsungyepp.com.

-- Bob Bersano/KRT

Add flash to your footwear with battery-powered laces

Reach for a pair of Plasma Laces the next time you want to snazz up your sneakers, dazzle your Doc Martens or turn on your Topsiders.

Billed as "the world's first electronic shoelaces," Plasma Laces are flexible plastic tubes filled with pulsating neon. They're fueled by a watch-battery pack that clips onto the tongue of your shoe. The pack has an on/off switch and can keep the laces flashing for up to 13 hours.

Plasma Laces are threaded through eyelets like ordinary shoelaces, but instead of tying their ends, wearers use a color-coordinated cord lock to hold them in place. They can be worn indoors as well as out, are resistant to light rain and are available in eight glowing colors.

The brilliant blue pair I tested was an instant hit with grown-ups and children alike. Not just a novelty, they are also an excellent safety device for nighttime joggers or dog-walkers. Plasma Laces also can be run through belt loops, tied to backpacks or worn as jewelry.

The product, manufactured by The Next Edge, is sold at its Web site for $24.95 a pair.

Information: www.plasmalaces. com or 1-877-810-9002.

--Jeanette Prasifka/KRT

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