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Tonight, we turned right on to the street outside our flat. Three fliers and four minutes later we had made it as far as Candlemaker Row and before we knew it, had been ushered into Greyfriars Kirk House by the piano player of a cut-price show, which was due to start in minutes. I’m happy to report that Playing With Myself was a hit in mine and Steinunn’s book. Go see it! The music, the lyrics, the story and, of course, the performance were all first class.

Here’s the blurb:

Taste the whirling life of a jobbing actress. Ingredients: 2 professionals – theatre, 9 zany scenes, a snatch of songs and a hint of magic. Method: Fold in laughter, drizzle with sauce and serve on a bed of quirkiness. A recipe for success!

Sarah Desmond sings and acts whilst Paul Moylan accompanies her on piano. The musical is a collaborative effort between Sarah and Paul, and some family members.

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I bought myself an mp3 player from Amazon last week. It was £69.99 for the 2GB black version, which included headphones, a neckstrap and driver cd. The file types supported are:

  • mp3
  • ogg
  • wma
  • wav

and it has a built-in mic that lets you record by simply pressing a dedicated button located next to the play button. All manufacturers of digital music players should take a leave out of Samsung’s file transfer process. No bloated software is required to upload music to the YP-U1, or for that matter, copy it back to another machine (something not allowed with Apple Ipods). All you need is Windows Explorer, or if attached to another operating system, a file browser. You do have to install the supplied driver to access the YP-U1, after which it simply becomes a removable USB drive, not limited to storing music files.

Many digital music players require you to install an application so that you can more easily manage your music collection. What’s more easier than copying it from A to B, dragging and dropping using a file browser? Packaged applications, in my experience, confuse the process, and are must when the music files must be converted to a proprietary format before transfer to the music device. Sony and Apple are guilty of this, the intention being consumer lock-in.

Returning to my new purchase, it is of good build quality, everything feels sturdy, except the cover that slides over the flip-out USB jack. The battery life isn’t great, but for me, this is not important as I charge the device each day at work, which, according to the manual, takes 2.5 hours to charge from a completely flat battery.The display, though compact, necessary because of the size of the player, is well lit for 5 seconds after each button press. Navigating around the menu is simple and it is simple to build a playlist from the songs stored on the device. You’re limited to a single playlist.

For the first three days, through my cheap £10 Sony headphones, there was a distinct lack of bass, with everything sounding far too harsh and top heavy. The sound was vastly improved by setting up the custom 9 band graphic equaliser – boosted the bass levels, reduced the mid levels and slightly boosted the top-most range.

All in all, I think the YP-U1 is a steal at £69.99 with postage and packaging. Well done Amazon! The next best price I could find was £99 at my local electronics specialist.