Handset Media Players difficult to use?

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One of the things RIM is known for is taking their time while developing products to get them just right. With BlackBerry discussion lately being focused on their upcoming multimedia offerings, RIM would do well to heed the latest report from the Usable Products Company. Conducting a study on media usability in new handsets, the UPO tested the Sprint LG Fusic, and Verizon Samsung SCH-a950 handsets from a media usability perspective. The results? The devices, which both have external controls for playing music while they’re closed, posted success rates of 62% and 67%, respectively.

“Despite polished visual design, usability participants had a terrible time purchasing and playing video and music on mobile phones,” states Scott Weiss, CEO, Usable Products Company. “In their rush to market, these services forgot basic usability principles. If more than a third of consumers fail at using these phones as media players, the phones will flop in the market.”

The UPO also tested these devices, along with the Amp’d Kyocera Angel, in terms of video service. Amp’d and Sprint video users had difficulty finding media within the catalogs and were confused during purchase transactions. While Verizon’s V Cast service was lauded for catalog simplicity and purchase process clarity, participants found its video slow, and the Samsung SCH-a950 repeatedly ran out of memory.

So RIM, if you’re listening: do what you need to in order to get Stealth and its brethren right the first time.