Sony quietly announces new MP3 players

Lost in the hub-bub of the Apple iPod nano and the ROKR (don’t get me started on that) was Sony’s announcement of some new products. One can’t help to wonder if this release was planned or if simply a response to Apple’s latest offerings.

First up is Sony’s new Walkman. Available in a somewhat odd 6GB or 20GB configuration, the new Walkman brings a new design that utilizes Sony’s latest theme of what I call the “Mirror Magic OLED” interface. Basically, it’s a super shiny unit that has the monochrome OLED screen hidden underneath the surface. It’s extremely cool but somewhat difficult to see in bright lighting conditions.



Available in a variety of colors such as violet and silver (20GB models) and pink and blue (6GB models) with color matching headphones, the units introduce a few new play modes for more intelligent randomization, a newer easy to use control scheme, direct WMA support, and compatibility with a new line of select accessories. Though not explicitly mentioned, the battery life is likely to be 20-30 hours at a minimum.

Also announced was the “new” NW-A series of flash based digital audio players. These are basically new NW-E series players with a new 2GB model and some new colors including the very sexy limited edition Emerald colored unit. Other notable features include high-speed USB 2.0 connectivity (finally!), new play modes, and a new direct WMA file support.


A direct link to the press release can be found here

More real pictures of the units can be found at Atraclife.

Unfortunately, the new HDD based Sony unit isn’t completely jawdropping and not a droolworthy candidate. It certainly looks interesting in an organic Bath & Body Works Soap sort of way but it really didn’t introduce anything new. I was hoping for a color OLED screen (a killer feature), larger capacities, and new functionality.

I will probably add the NW-A6xx series under droolworthy status since it already takes a darn good product and makes it even better.








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