"Sony's True Ipod Killer"4.5 starson by sohc
Pros: Drop-safe hard drive protection, extreme battery life, smaller & lighter than ipod, bright backlight, removable battery, comes with A/C adapterstylish
Cons: silver models have a problem with cracking buttons, plastic topside is fragile- as is the usb/power cover (tiny plastic strap holding it), exclusive sonicstage software is quirky, cheap "bag" included
Summary: $300 will get you this 20gig alternative to an ipod. I'd say the biggest advantages over the $300 20gig ipod are 40 hour (atrac 48kbps / 30 hours mp3 128kbps), and better bass response/eq (6 band eq only available to atrac converted files, mp3 gets bass/treble adjust only) than ipod.
Get a leather case, this velvety bag of a case wont take a drop very well- will protect from scratches, thats about it.
I left the unit on by accident overtnight the first night i had it, after 9 hours playing 128kbps and 192kbps mp3s- it still had 75% battery life left.
Files transfer very fast. My only complaints are that you cant manage files from the player.. And when renaming files on the player from sonic stage, it takes 10 seconds to refresh the list every time. Playlists have to be made using the software, kinda tedious process. Great player, good bang for your buck- I wish Sony would include an FM radio and recording features, but I guess they dont have to do that to sell this, the Sony name sells itself.