3 June 2007
It doesn't look like an iPod
Actually, it looks more like a cheap convenience-store lighter, or maybe a cuttlefish:
It is, in fact, an MP3 player in Sony's eternal (or at least endless) Walkman line, and one of these showed up Friday at slightly less expense than one might expect. (Amazon.com is selling the 1GB version for a stiff $189.95; Woot was selling it briefly for $39.99 plus the invariant $5 shipping. Mine is a 4GB model.) It is, though, almost exactly the size of that lighter.
How much you can cram into four gigabytes is, of course, dependent on file size. As an experiment, I sent it a few actual .wav files, and they take up every bit as much room in flash memory as they do on hard disc. They do work, though. At the present time, I have 574 tracks loaded into about two-thirds of the available space. (I tend to encode stereo tracks at variable bit rates, which can slide all the way up to 320, and mono tracks at a fixed 96.)
Two things that came out better than expected:
This being a Sony, cool(ish) design is valued more greatly than workable interfaces, and Sony's SonicStage application, besides being Windows-specific, is quite a bit clunkier than, say, iTunes. Still, it transfers at close to full USB 2.0 speed, and there's a "Don't Disconnect" message on the OLED display when things are happening, which is handy if you're not paying attention, which I'm usually not.
And the sound is quite good. Two different sizes of earbuds are provided; there's an equalizer of sorts built in. I expect this will be my backup audio device on the next World Tour, feeding an FM transmitter to Gwendolyn's Bose system. But first, I have to find 300 more songs. (Piece of cake.)Posted at 12:30 PM to Fileophile