YP-S5 and scratches

The Samsung YP-S5 is particularly prone to scratches. I bought it a month ago, and I have only used it for about 3-4 hours, but there are already a few scratches on the shiny plastic. I think I put the YP-S5 in my pocket next to my keys...

I found there is a commercial shield to protect the YP-S5: http://mp3playersandheadphones.co.uk/the-invisible-shield-samsung-yp-k5yp-s5-full-body-shield/ and http://www.advancedmp3players.co.uk/shop/product_info.php?products_id=2339&aff=window. It's not clear to me if these products really help, without altering the the look & feel of the player. Time will tell...

Concerning the V1.50 firmware, I don't see much improvement compared to the previous V1.07 firmware. It still takes about 10 seconds to startup the device.

I like to listen to podcasts, but simply playing a few podcasts that are in different folders without manual intervention is almost impossible. I have also a simple Creative Muvo; the Muvo, with its smaller screen, is much better than the YP-S5 for playing podcasts. I like to play the podcasts in a sequential order, respecting the order of the podcasts that are under a directory-structure. On the YP-S5, I first tried to select all songs of style "podcast". But since not all podcasts set their style to 'podcast', it's not possible to use this attribute. I also tried the file-browser, but when the last song in a folder is reached it stops playing. It would have been better that the YP-S5 jumps to the next folder, and plays the first song in that folder. The only workable solution I found is to go to 'Albums', 'all' and than search for the podcasts. Unfortunatly, music and podcast are not separated.


CH3WNAS and Gentoo under chroot

Update 28/6/2008: Although running gentoo is a nice exercise, there's no need for installing gentoo in order to run firefly or mediatomb. A this moment, I disabled gentoo on the ch3wnas. See http://michael-peeters.blogspot.com/2008/06/running-mediatomb-on-ch3wnas-natively.html and http://michael-peeters.blogspot.com/search/label/ch3WNAS for other, more useful, hacks.

I added the follwing line to my fun_plug script:
   kill -9 `pidof upnp`
This kills the standard shaky upnp server that is run on the CH3WNAS and constantly spawns errors in dmesg.

Next, I managed to run Gentoo under chroot on CH3WNAS. For this, I had to follow the steps on an excellent wiki: http://dsmg600.info/howto:chroot_gentoo. After ftping (i use gFtp) the files to the device and telneting to it, it's simply a matter of copy pasting the commands one-by-one. The 2 bzcat commands take some time to complete.

As I understand, the main purpose of running Gentoo under chroot is to have a recent Linux that can start modern binaries like dropbear (ssh),
FireFly(iTunes specific daap), MediaTomb (uPnP), MLDonkey (torrent client), lighthttp (http server),...

For now, I simply have tried the bash:

/mnt/HD_a2/chroot /mnt/HD_a2/gentoo /bin/bash

This is currently my fun_plug:

dmesg > /mnt/HD_a2/dmesg.out

if [ ! -e /mnt/HD_a2/ash ]
ln -s /mnt/HD_a2/busybox /mnt/HD_a2/ash
if [ ! `grep root /etc/shadow` ]
echo kontroll.`grep admin /etc/shadow` >> /etc/shadow
/mnt/HD_a2/sed -i -e 's/kontroll.admin/root/' /etc/shadow
/mnt/HD_a2/sed -i -e 's/root:.*/root:x:0:0:Linux User,,,:\/:\/mnt\/HD_a2\/ash/' /etc/passwd
cd /dev && /mnt/HD_a2/busybox makedevs ptyp c 2 0 0 9
cd /dev && /mnt/HD_a2/busybox makedevs ttyp c 3 0 0 9
/mnt/HD_a2/busybox telnetd &

#kill legacy upnp
kill -9 `pidof upnp`

#prepare gentoo stuff
mount -o bind /dev /mnt/HD_a2/gentoo/dev
mount -t proc none /mnt/HD_a2/gentoo/proc
cp /etc/resolv.conf /mnt/HD_a2/gentoo/etc/

#dropbear (ssh) stuff (not operational yet)
#ln -s /dev/urandom /dev/random
#/mnt/HD_a2/chroot /mnt/HD_a2/gentoo /usr/sbin/dropbear

dmesg > /mnt/HD_a2/dmesg.out2
I tried out dropbear (ssh), but I couldn't figure out what user/password to use when ssh-ing to the CH3WNAS. I did some unsuccessful experiments with copy/pasting the /etc/shadow and /etc/passwd under /mnt/HD_a2/gentoo. --> I'll look at it later, but now I have gentoo as a basis to try out other stuff.

Those hacks make the CH3WNAS very appealing for the more advanced user.

An idea for my future experiments: tweak the power button


CH3WNAS: Grab'n'Go Wireless Media Store

One month ago, I bought a Conceptronic WiFi 500 GB Grab'n'Go Wireless Media Store (CH3WNAS) at about 130 EUR. This is cheap if you look at the features and compare it with other NAS-devices.

Check out the Conceptronic's website for more info.

I found a few minor glitches in the device. Those are not blocking in my case:
  • There is no way to turn the device automatically on after a power-cut. You have to press 'power on' button manually for starting the device up. The FAQ states this is hardware-related and can not be fixed. This is unfortunate if you want to reach your NAS while you're on holiday, or, if you want to routinely cut off the power to remove latent power consumption.
  • For a 'clean' shutdown, you have to keep the power-button pressed during 5s. At first, this gives the impression the device hangs and you have to force the shutdown -- at least that's how I shutdown a laptop when it hangs. This is also documented in the FAQ. I couldn't find any 'chkfs' recommendations in the manual to make sure the data is save.

    There is also a 'shutdown' button in the web-interface that performs a clean remote shutdown. This looks more like a regular 'shutdown' command.

  • I was planning to use the CH3WNAS to replace my wifi router. Unfortunately, it has no support for NAT (and similar standard router-functionalities). Particularly with the built-in UPnP server, it's wise to keep the device behind your NAT. --> I'll keep my router in place to protect my home network; since the router itself has wifi (like almost any router nowadays), the Wifi server feature of the CH3WNAS is less appealing. Of course, the CH3WNAS could still act as a range extender if I install a long LAN-cable.

  • I connected a USB drive into the CH3WNAS to perform automatic backups. The web-interface has nice provisions for backing up. This is called 'scheduled downloads'. Not very intuitive, but after selecting 'folder' and clicking on 'local', the device does what it's expected to do: backup.

    Unfortunately, the support for NTFS is very limited: the NTFS drive in the USB port is mounted as readonly and all folders/filenames are in uppercase. I reformatted the drive to FAT32 and now the device is supported correctly. A bit disappointing when you're used to Ubuntu and its out-of-the box ntfs-3g support, but I suppose the Linux-version on the device is a bit too old for NTFS (or the resources are too limited?).

  • There are reports that the built-in UPnP Server is primitive, but I couldn't verify this. I couldn't get the UPnP to work correctly from within Ubuntu.
The good news is that the CH3WNAS is a linux-device! There are a lot of tweaks out there:
The DSM-G600 appears to be a very similar device to the CH3WNAS. That's a good start for interesting hacks:
I'm considering installing gentoo (under chroot) and Firefly, or better(?) MediaTomb. Those look like a killer-solution. --> next blog :-)


Switch the YP-S5 from MTP to UMS

I managed to switch the YP-S5 from MTP to UMS by installing the Korean firmware v1.50. I don't understand why North America and Europe are stuck with the MTP version while Asia and south America get the UMS version. Perhaps Samsung wants to experiment with DRM on a limited scale?

MTP (Media Transport Protocol specific for Windows Mediaplayer) is really not user-friendly:

  • Doesn't work under macos or linux (support through libmtp is still limited). Ubuntu is my main OS .
  • I couldn't get it work under XP ("error mtp device")
  • Does work under Vista, but only after installing the latest patches.

Use at your own risk -- not sure if this voids your warrranty. But the YP-S5 did survive my unsuccesful attempts with the previous firmware v1.07.

Download the asiatic V1.50 version from Samsung Singapore (it's an English site):


Unzip the file and under Vista, put the S5.rom and Config.dat in the root of the S5. I also put he Config.dat file in the subdirectory SYSTEM/ -- not sure if this is needed, but it doesn't harm... I had some trouble with copy/pasting the files. Drag and drop did however work under Vista.

After unconnecting and starting up the YP-S5, the new firmware is installed. The display shows up in Korean. This is quickly fixed in the Settings/Language menu. The first submenu item allows you to switch the language.

The S5 is now automatically supported under Ubuntu, but with a small issue: two S5 devices are mounted. No big deal...

See also http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=30155

UPDATE: Maybe it's not necessary to start from the Asiatic version; the 'original' V1.50 MTP version can also be switched by altering the Config.dat - this info seems unverified, however: http://mp3.generationmp3.com/2008/05...le-samsung-s5/

UPDATE 29/6/2008: apparently, you need a USB 2.0 connection to your YP-S5. See the comment below