"A large slice of audio heaven in a small package"4.5 starson by rubus
Pros: Size, battery life, audio quality, ease of use, price
Cons: Armband and/or belt clip not included
Summary: I've had this player for a few weeks now and I must say this is the BEST investment I have made! It really is an adorable little device that packs a HUGE audio punch. The sound is superior to any portable music player I have tried, and you can fully adjust the treble and bass to how ever your preference prefers. For such a small device, it has many features that make this device very interesting and enjoyable to work with and listen to. It's also a handy, portable, plug-n-play storage device that allows you to drag and drop files.
I read all the reviews I could before I purchased this device, and many people complained about the lack of drag-n-drop of music files. Sony has made such software capabilities available for past players, so perhaps they will for this player in the future as well. For me, it doesn't matter because Sony's SonicStage software just is NOT that big of a deal for me to use. Over the years I have amassed a HUGE MP3 collection of my own CD's and CD's I check out from the public library (a better option than downloading if you live in a larger Metro area with a HUGE music collection in their library). It is quite simple to get the music on the player. I imported the MP3 versions into SonicStage, converted them all to ATRAC3plus 48 kbs and dumped them on to the player.
I'm fairly picky about the quality of music I listen to, but I can NOT state firmly enough how absolutely GREAT the sound quality of even 48 kbs of the ATRAC3plus versions sound on this player. By converting my MP3 collection to the ATRAC3plus 48 kbs files system, I still have my MP3 collection AND a MUCH reduced in file size set that I can burn on to CD's for a backup. Blank CD's are inexpensive, and it's good to have another backup of my music collection. By converting my MP3's to the ATRAC3plus system, I now have around 750 songs on my Network Walkman player. Sony indicates 695, but there certainly IS room for more than that. It's just AMAZING that I can listen to my music on this player at work for two weeks and not hear the same song twice AND all of this from one AAA battery. INCREDIBLE!
Yes, it will be nice when Sony finally gets the armband released for this player, but I have a brain and can figure out a way to make my own until then. That's called ingenuity.
If you want an FM tuner, Sony has a 1 GB player with that feature either out or soon to be released. I purchased this player because I do NOT want to have to listen to the radio. I just can not say enough good about this player. The onboard features are excellent, the operation of the player and yes, even the SonicStage software are quite intuitive if you take a few seconds to actually make the effort to look (and heaven forbid - read!) through the menus. I have an older and slower computer and when I imported and converted my MP3's, it did take a while to convert them to the MUCH better sounding and efficient ATRAC3plus 48 kbs, but I simply began the process right before I went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning they were done and transferring the ATRAC3plus 48 kbs files on to the player was very quick, even with my slower USB 1 transfer capabilities. It was literally only a matter of minutes to fill up my player with over two weeks worth of high quality sounding music pleasure.
If you don't care about listening to the radio, you don't need your player to be a mini-recorder, you don't mind having about two week's worth of music to listen to all from one AAA battery, then I HIGHLY recommend you purchasing this player. I have absolutely NO regrets and am 100% satisfied with my purchase and the performance of this player. If it came with an armband and/or belt clip, I would have needed to give a rating of a 10. Thank you Sony!