Users can drag and drop playlists from any MTP music player to either device with extreme ease. We aren't sure how many playlists each supports, but it's certainly more than three. The Samsung steals a march on Sony, though, by letting you create up to five playlists on the device itself.
The cap's just waiting to be lost
While on the subject of loading content, we are happy to report that we don't need to give the U4 the same kicking we gave the Samsung Q1 for being Windows only. Lurking in the U4's settings is a “Removable Disc/MTP” switch and by flicking to the former we got the U4 to show up on the desktops of our Mac and Linux machines. The Sony has no such switch, but just like other Sony MP3 players it worked as both an USB Mass Storage and MTP device no matter what sort of box we plugged it into.
Asking which pair of bundled earphones we would rather use is like asking who we would prefer to have throw up in our car, Amy Winehouse or Pete Doherty. The answer is neither. If threatened with violence, we'd go with the Sony 'phones because they sound marginally better and, being smaller and lighter, are more comfortable.
Using the trusty office Griffin TuneBuds for a direct comparison neither device really covered itself in glory as a music player, both sounding rather low rent when compared to their more expensive brethren.
The Samsung's retractable USB connector could be more robust
By way of sound modification, Sony gives you six EQ settings - one of which is user-definable - along with a separate button marked simply Bass. Samsung goes the whole hog and gives you its usual ten “DNSe 2.0” EQ settings. Again, one is customisable and you can also alter the 3D and bass sound effects settings. Like other Samsung players, you also get Street Mode and Clarity sound modifier settings, but again like other Samsung players these are best left switched off.
I use a Creative Zen and ran into the Linux - MTP dubious friendship thing a few years back, since then Amarok (KDE App, should be available for your distro) has added full MTP support and is by far the best app that I have found for transfering to MTP / USB / Ipods
go for one of the 1.4 versions as they are currently working on 2.x and media transfers are supposed to be a bit cagy
SD memory based MP3 players
What happened to the MP3 players that used SD cards as their memory? I bought one from Micro Direct about four years ago for just £15. Now that you can get a 2GB card for under a fiver you can easily do this on the cheap. My player also had a little LCD to show the track name.
What is it with El-Reg these days, taken over by cheapskate chavs? The Sony is a better sounding player, and costs a few quid more. Sound quality is a primary factor, so why did the Samsung win out? Because it's cheap tat.
If you want quality, you have to pay for it. I for one don't buy TV's from supermarkets, I certainly wouldn't touch a Xbox either as that's also cheap tat.
So what happened to all the large capacity players?
Most of the old HDD iPods have been shelved and everyone else seems to be flooding the market with 2-4GB models.
What's the best modern player for the music lover that wants to carry their entire (50GB+) collection with them?
(Extra points for it not being apple, as the latest generations of apple stuff are not Linux friendly)
More on Linux compatibility
Just because a device might be MTP and not Mass Storage doesn't necessarily mean it's not compatible with Linux. Case in point, my Creative Zen X-Fi works a treat with "gnomad2" using libmtp. This could be something you folks at El Reg could include in your tests.