Pros Great value for the dollar.
Cons Can't fastforward in songs, just a basic MP3 player, Sonicstage sucks
Summary I just picked up one of these at Frys, paied $199 for a 20gb mp3 player. only problem is that the only ones that were on sale were pink, but I don't think I could get a better deal. The included Sonicstage software is horrible, but that is your only option to transfer music.
Pros It makes a nice 18.6 GB USB drive. It's not made in China.
Cons Bugs make it not work with some computers.
Summary The NW-HD3 is Sony’s answer to Apple’s IPOD. Plug it into the USB port on your Windows XP computer and it appears as an 18.6 GB hard disk. You can use it like any external drive, for backup, and to move files between computers.
Sony is also a record company and, perhaps because of that, has built copyright protection into the NW-HD3 that is severe enough to get in the way of using it for legitimate uses. You can only play audio (MP3, or Sony’s proprietary Atrac) loaded into the NW-HD3 using Sony’s proprietary software called “SonicStage.” Being limited to that particular app wouldn’t be so bad, except that SonicStage has known bugs that keep it from working on some computers. I have two very standard Windows machines, one running XP and one running ME. Both are quite typical, standard machines with no exotic software or hardware installed, but I couldn’t get SonicStage to install and run on either one. I spent hours downloading newer versions of things, uninstalling, reinstalling, shutting down process in Task Manager—all the usual stuff—with no luck. The primary symptom is that when I run SonicStage, the computer reboots. The last time I used an application that could unintentionally reboot the machine, it was under DOS. It takes some doing to accidentally reboot Windows XP.
I spent over an hour on the phone with Sony, during which I was passed up through three levels of support. The highest-level person said I should reformat my hard disk, reinstall the operating system, install the Sony software, and then install all my other apps one at a time until I find the one causing the problem. I already which one is causing the problem: it’s called SonicStage! All the other apps on my machine are quite happy with each other. Searching the Internet with Google for “SonicStage” and “crap” produces 989 hits. That should tell Sony something.
Sony offers an alternative to SonicStage called SimpleBurner, which is only for copying CDs. It has a well-designed interface and runs without crashing the computer. Unfortunately, the “Copy” button is grayed out, apparently because it can’t see the NW-HD3 even though the NW-HD3 appears in Windows Explorer as a hard disk.
It’s amazing to me that Sony knows about this bug (or set of bugs) and has let it migrate through multiple versions of the software. A company with more dedication to quality would hire some good programmers to figure out what’s going on and fix it. Sony is probably spending more money for support calls and returned product than it would cost to fix the bugs.
As for me, I’m taking it back. It’s a bit pricy for an 18.6 GB external hard disk.
Pros Excellent sound
Cons Software could be better
Summary This is the best hard drive mp3 player out there. It has the longest battery life of any hard drive player in the market, the sound is excellent, it is super-light and super small, it fits perfect in any pocket, it is beautifully designed, and the quality of assembly is incomparable. The only downside; the software needs improvement. But if you are planning to buy a hard drive player, forget the hyped-up i-pod, this should definitely be your first choice.
Pros everthing is better than an ipod has 30hrs of batter life 18 more then a ipod holds more then a 40 gig ipod a little bit bigger then an ipod mini
Pros Very nice design. Able to import and loading mp3 files. Great battery life. Easy to use. Good sound quality.
Cons The adapter for power source and usb is not durable as it's made of cheap plastic parts. I broke the adapter the first day I bought the player (while trying to get it out of the player). Lousy warranty: only 90 days labor, 1 yr parts. Most competitors