"A tiny stroke of genius."4.0 starson by operantbehavior
Pros: Great sound and friendly interface at a damn good price.
Cons: Poor radio reception, completely lacking podcast support and questionable standard issue earbuds.
Summary: This little thing is glorious. I hadn't really done any in-depth research on the Sony when I purchased it; staring down the iPods and SanDisks at BestBuy, the little red Sony jumped out at me with what looked like a good balance of price and function.
I'm glad I took the chance. While not as flashy as the Nano, the Walkman has absolutely everything I had hoped for in a player. There's no opportunity for memory expansion, but 8G is way more than I need for the time being, and the sound quality is absolutely ace.
What I really dig is the interface. It's a pretty standard design, but it's intuitive and takes no thought at all. No fighting with a scroll wheel or fumbling with unresponsive buttons. The menu is super classy and easy to use, albeit a bit dull, but the player itself is shiny enough to make up for this particular shortcoming.
It's light, durable and the battery life is great. I know it's a marked reduction from the first of this line, but the thirty hour playback estimation is no joke. Getting music on and off is simple; even the software is friendly.
My one gripe comes in the FM radio. Most of the stations I get come in so weakly and with so much static that I'm not sure it's worth having the function at all. The earbuds, of course, are uncomfortable, unreliable and produce mediocre sound, but I swapped mine out with a new pair of Skullcandies and couldn't be happier.
It's a great player. For what you get, the price is an absolute steal. I'm glad I lucked into something reliable.