back to article Sony Walkman S-series MP3 player

Releasing two MP3 players onto the market at the same time doesn't strike us as a wholly smart thing to do. Releasing two that look pretty much identical and have equally silly names could well be the acme of foolishness. If you put them side by side, the Walkman S series and E series are not actually identical. At 89.5 x 43 x 7 …

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Cheap as chips

Think it's worth mentioning that the 16 Gb version of this player is available for £86 at amazon.

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Coat

All the current crop of Sony players sound great..

I picked up a NWZ-A729, 16GB, No FM radio, bigger display, same OS, no SenseME for £89 from Argos (£99 + £10 voucher back). Sounds absolutely fantastic. It does seem Sony have a very large range of players about right now, that all sound great, and offer very similar functionaility. Slightly confusing.

Every iPlod i have heard sounds horrendous by comparision. Personally, All Sony have to do to make these players the perfect choice for music lovers, would be to include FLAC support, and make the storage upgradable via MSDuo or SD cards. The could also add LastFM Scrobbling support, if they really loved us :-)

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Even better deal at the moment

Looks like Sony have a "double your memory" promotion going on currently with the online retailers (Play.com et al) - 16GB players for the price of 8GB units, making the price look even better (I just paid UKP 87.99 for a 16GB model)

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Anonymous Coward

Why only 16GB?

If only sony would release a 32GB flash based player :( i need 30gb plus for my current collection

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iPod comparison

Do we take it from the iPod comparison that these models don't have gapless playback? Forgiveable on a cornflake-packet giveaway, but not on products with three-figure price tags. Shame on Sony, if true. Get the playback right first, then worry about the gimmicks.

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re: David Gosnell

Can't you specify Gapless playback in the properties page in iTunes?

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Stop

re: iPod comparison

The current Sony players can only do gapless on PCM. Not AAC/WMA/MP3, it's a shame, that is true, but given the choice of gapless on a iPod and it sounding crap, or small gaps, but sounding great, I would choose the Sony any day.

I really can't understand how anyone that loves their music would play it back on an iPod, unless of course they priortise their "coolness" over sound quality. To many Jason Bradbury iSheep in the world unfortunatly....

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Copy from iTunes?

You mean, like, manually? Yeah, right. You mean, like, after I — also manually — made a dedicated playlist with stuff I want on it which I then, manually, convert from ALAC down to AAC. You mean, I will happily sacrifice gapless playback and especially superbly efficient metadata based host/device synchronisation for something that sounds a little better.

In one word: No.

Don't get me wrong. I'm an audio nut and I used to love Sony portables. I had them all the way through the 90s, when they still made outstanding MD and CD portables. Very well made, superb sound quality. We are a decade into the 21st Century now. What I want is an iPod that sounds as good as a Sony without warranty voiding modifications. I am not spending three figures on a device that would make my life more complicated.

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Audiobook support?

The big question for me is - does it have fast forward and rewind? The number of times I've been listening to an audio book and accidentally skipped back or ahead and then have to relisten to 20 minutes of spoken word....

My own fault with the hold button of course - but would be nice to fast forward to where I was.

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@ re: iPod comparison

Well, iPods do not sound "crap" exactly, they just do not sound as good as they could/should. Maybe you want to explore what is possible within the combination of iTunes+iPod, especially in the realm of "smart playlists", as there you will find enlightenment regarding your lack of understanding for why anyone would use it. It is indeed about coolness, but a different kind of coolness than you expect.

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Jobs Halo

another tedious apple fan

On behalf of the ipod touch (which of course is a fair bit more expensive), the ability to use the BBC iplayer over my wifi network at home is brilliant. I use this extended functionality more than playing music.

This Sony player may be a better out and out audio player, but my needs have moved on...

I now really do want the web browser, iplayer, Nike+, guitar tuner, bloomberg app, maps etc

This looks like Sony is winning last years battle again.

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Jobs Horns

@sam

You sound as though you are impressed that the Ipod touch can do stuff like maps and apps, something many portable devices were capable of doing years ago...

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Too expensive to just play some music!

Why do we have to pay £90+ to play our music?

Do we really need video playback and things?

Can we just have a music player (perhaps with a simple but effective display) that sounds as good as these reviewed models, that have memory slots (8GB SDHC cards are only a tenner now), but are much cheaper than these models?

Maybe Sony do have such things but you never seem to see reviews on them, as such, I don't know if the sound quality is as good etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Bargain

Nobody is asking you to pay £90 to enjoy music. In fact I think £86 (Amazon UK) for a 16GB DAP with great screen, great battery life and great SQ is a bargain. The equivalent iPod Nano 16GB costs around £140+ and comes with crap earbuds.

Still people have different requirement than others. In your case may I suggest Sandisk's Sansa Fuze. It has a reasonable display, great SQ and with support for micro SDHC cards. £49 at Play.com for 4GB. Or maybe the Sansa Clip.

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sam

the radio is good too...

I have an S series Sony MP3 player, and I can confirm its rather good.

I recieved it as a present, and whether under normal circumstances I would pay extra for the sound quality, and usable interface, and physicaly well engineered feel, I couldnt say.

However the radio is rather good. It apears to use the headphone leads as an antena, so golden eared freaks with shielded wires may be out of luck, however it auto-tunes well, and can pick up a good stable signal where cheaper dedicated radios cant. FM only.

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