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It is irritating that this openness is scuppered by a proprietary connector at the YP-Z5 end of things. A mini USB connector would have been so much more convenient.
When it comes to actually listening to music, sound quality is excellent. There’s an equaliser with plenty of presents should you want to refine it further. The provided headset is really very good, and if you don’t mind the in-ear buds then it should suffice. My own preferred Sennheiser PX-200’s delivered really nicely too. There is plenty of volume available and at the highest setting it was actually too much for me. So no complaints there.
The screen, too, is wonderful as it’s large, bright and clear. As you move around within menus they zoom towards and away from you in a manner that’s easy on the eye.
Pleasingly in the menus, there’s support for the composers tag – very handy if, like me, you are a fan of classical music and like to use Artist for the performer and Composer for, well, the composer.
But there is a major problem with the YP-Z5 and unfortunately that’s the control system. The area under the screen is made up of a central section and an outer ring. Each of the four edges of the outer ring has an assigned function and I had no problems with these. Play and Pause, and moving sequentially between and through tracks and getting to the main menu were all straightforward.
It was the central section that caused me problems. There are left, right up and down directional movements and the ability to ‘select’ but getting what you want will require either a harder or a softer press on the relevant area. You need a light tough to scroll, a firmer press to select and I found it incredibly frustrating getting the degree of pressure required just right. Additionally, scrolling through lists, be they menu options or tracklists, is incredibly fast – so fast, in fact, that it is easy to miss what you are scrolling for. All in all, getting round the player can be far more frustrating than it should be, but I did get the hang of it in the end.
Overall, the YP-Z5 succeeds because it produces very good quality sound output, has a lovely screen, and you can drag and drop music and picture files from your PC. Its long battery life is the icing on what is already a very nice looking cake indeed. But there’s a rather nasty taste left in the mouth thanks to that awkward control system, which lets the YP-Z5 down a little.