Nuggets is a daily update on the latest software and hardware releases provided by our very own gadget man, Mr Justin Pearse. At the end of the month we will provide a roundup of our favourites which you could win in our monthly Nuggets competition.
Heard a rumour about a plan for a new gadget or software? Seen a device on your travels you'd like to know more about? Tell 'Nuggets' and we'll get you the facts.
Samsung to go Rio bashing
Samsung has cottoned on to the idea that MP3 is cool and plans to release its own Rio bashing MP3 walkman which is, for some unimaginable reason called the yepp.
Unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show, the yepp features a Smart Media slot compatible with PC file formats. In English that means it can store text and graphics files in addition to MP3 files. The credit card sized device uses an LCD display to show the artist, track and playing time. The yepp comes in three models with different capabilities. Series E has 16MB of embedded flash memory and voice recording ability and Series B has 24MB embedded memory and a PC docking station. Coolest however is definitely the Series D - 40MB of flash memory, a digital FM radio tuner, voice recording and also the ability to record up to 10 hours of external sound.
Once you've got a taste for digital music you can encode tracks into MP3 from CDs and cassettes using the accompanying recording station. The yepp should be available in the UK this Spring. Can't wait.
No UK prices available yet.
A DVD in every home on only one chip... marvellous!
A new DVD-On-A-Chip solution, Pantera-DVD, from Mediamatics should help bring down the cost of consumer DVD players. The Pantera-DVD brings all a DVD player's back-end functions together on a single piece of silicon. With all of a DVD player's typical components, including CSS decoding, MPEG video decoding and PAL encoding brought together on one chip there's no need for an external host CPU. It's this brilliant hypothesis that should, hopefully, translate into much lower prices for consumers.
Mediamatics reckons its new solution should lead to sub-$300 players being able to match the audio and video quality of $700 machines. A DVD player in every home? It may happen sooner than you think.