After several years of using the MPIO FL100, my trusty old MP3 player was starting to show its age. It was time for a change and I decided to go with Samsung’s YP-T9. At first glance, this is a great player. Sleek design, 4GB of flash memory, great battery life, video, mic, and it has an FM-Tuner as well. The only kink in the armor is that the device only supports MTP file transfers. While this may not be an issue for most casual Windows users, it was a problem for me because I predominately use Linux. I was really starting to miss the FL100’s SD card slot.
First I tried libmtp which, at present, is the only library for MTP support in Linux. While this library already has support for dozens of MTP devices, support for my Yepp is still experimental. At least one user was able to successfully connect to his YP-T9 using this library but experienced problems with the last few bytes of each song being truncated. Since Amakor, my Linux audio player of choice, already had support for libmtp, I decided to give it a try. Being able to connect got my hopes up at first but I was soon greatly disappointed. The transfer crashed after each song, the songs were truncated by a few byte, and the songs did not appear in the player’s playlist (only in the file browser). Although I could live with some if these problems, transferring one song at a time is unacceptable. Updating the firmware didn’t help. I ended up having install the software that came with the device on my spare Windows laptop and reformat the drive because playing with libmtp left the filesystem in shambles.
My next attempt was to connect to the player from a Windows installation that I had under VMware on my desktop. I was able to browse the content of the device without any software or drivers (which some people online mistakenly though was UMS support) but as soon as I tried to copy a file to the device, Winblows crashed (no surprise there… thats why I use Linux). I think it was something to do with an address conflict between the host machine and VMware when connecting to the USB. I can connect to other UPS devices so I don’t know what made this one so special but, since the behavior occurred every time I tried to connect to the device, I decided to give up on the VMware approach. Powering up a virtual machine each time I wanted to connect to the MP3 player would have been a hassle anyway.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any solutions to my problem online. However, there were a couple claims online that people were in fact using the YP-T9 as a UMS device. So, before sending the player back, I tried one last thing… flashing the firmware with the Asian version. Miraculously it worked! Appearantly, only the US version (YP-T9JAB) uses MTP while the equivalent device overseas (YP-T9BAB) is UMS. Even better is that the menus are still in English. Note that if you are going to do this, make sure to get the right firmware version (Samsung has a number of these players with different capacity and with Bluetooth support).
Now my YP-T9 is behaving beautifully and I definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a quality MP3 player. Hope this helps someone in a similar predicament.