I had bad experiences with MTP players. Therefore, when a friend (usually using Windows XP) asked me which kind of player she should buy, I explained the differences of MTP and UMS. Of course she decided to search for UMS players afterwards because it has major advantages compared to MTP devices: the ability to simply plug in the device without the need to open any additional application. This includes also to use the device on most enterprise Windows setups like at work or at university where you still have Win2k or WinXP but without the newest Media Player. Not to mention alternative operating systems like Linux, BSDs, Mac OS, etc.
She finally decided to buy the quite new YP-T9JQB. And the trouble started.
From the beginning, the main problem was Samsung itself: everywhere I checked they describe the player YP-T9JQB as UMS – which is exactly what everyone wants.
However, despite what Samsung says the player is not an UMS device but a MTP device. While in these days MTP devices are not an unsolvable problem with newer Linux distributions (libmtp comes to the rescue here), the device did not even work properly (=showing up on the desktop) on a fully updated (!) Windows XP computer.
I guess this was because you have to agree to the Windows Media Player update at some place, it doesn’t come automatically…
Anyway, as you can imagine the result wasn’t so funny because it made the device pretty useless: the user of the device had to use corporate computers pretty often – all not able to talk to the MTP device in a sufficient way.
I decided to call Samsung why they say it is an UMS device but sell MTP devices. Samsung told me that this was due to the firmware version: the player had 1.26 but Samsung said it would usually be 1.16 which would be UMS. They told me my reseller might have changed that, but that they could not give me the old firmware version, I would have to speak to my reseller.
I believed it – but later on found out that all German and US/UK Samsung homepages had no UMS firmware at all. Nowhere! Only MTP firmwares in different versions.
So I think the Samsung people tricked me and simply didn’t want to admit that they screwed it up. Pretty poor for such a big company…
I was now short before giving the player back and taking the money to buy some other UMS device out there (like the U3 from iAudio maybe which can switch between both modes). But then I found a page saying that someone had found a UMS firmware somewhere. Curious of that I searched as well – and found it in Singapore!
There the download section provided even the newest firmware version (1.68) with UMS support. One reason to hesitate though was that the player was described as YP-T9BQB – mark the J replaced by a B. I don’t know what that change is for, but since the “YP-T9” was still the same I tried the firmware update anyway. And it worked perfectly. The firmware even features a German interface and since I doubt that there is such a need for German interfaces in Singapore I guess this is just the usual Firmware but with a switch set to UMS instead of MTP.
$ mtp-sendfile SYSDATA.bin /
$ mtp-sendfile MUON.ROM /
After disconnecting the device from the PC I simply had to start it, and the firmware was updated without any problems. And it works without any problems. The only strange thing is that the device has two partitions in UMS mode, but who cares anyway.
But since everything worked so easily this leaves a couple of questions:
- Why did they lie to me?
- Why didn’t Samsung at least tell me about this Firmware which could be used easily?
- Why doesn’t support Samsung this Firmware when they have it anyway?
- Since it is a software only thing, why don’t they add UMS as an option as it is reported for other players?
- Why do they use MTP as the main choice when so many computers (like Win2k) out there can’t handle it?
I think I will call the Samsung support again and complain about first how they treated me as a customer, how they provided me false information and second that they do not add UMS support as an option. That will cost me some cents, but that’s worth it.
Otherwise, it will be iAudio again next time.
The usual last words
Everything you do with firmwares is *always* on your own risks. These are not official Samsung information!