Pros Cute looks, fabulous sound, ease of use, nice screen, good video playback.
Cons The bundled headphones are not comfortable, isn't as desirable as an iPod Nano.
Summary This Walkman is a very good effort from Sony. If marketed in the right way, it could put up a good fight to the iPod Nano. The headphone design needs improvement. It could also use a few out of the box features. But, a step in the right in the right direction for Sony.
-Noise canceling features and earphones
-Music Quality better than IPOD
-No one click videocast and PODcast uploading
-No mp4 converter software provided nor does a regular mp4 work.
-Proprietary headphone connecter
Summary This is a great piece. I have owned a IPOD and other mp3 players but this one is the best so far. It had loads of features, dedicated volume control and is as small as a IPOD nano. The black brushed metal finish gives it a classy and expensive feeling. The walkman has a AVLS feature which if you turn on helpd you keep the volume of the player below a certain safe level (keeps your eardrums and sanity in place). It has an awesome bass. It works like a charm with media player 11. The noise cancellation is active and passive. The active helps keep the low frequencies out and yes it work well. The passive is due to the high end earphones that come along with the walkman. The bad about the head phone is that its got a small projection at its adapter pin which makes it proprietary. I havent researched on what the price of a replace would be but am sure that they will not be inexpensive. You can delete music and videos straight from the walkman.
Regarding Windows media player-
-Great for uploading/syncing music
-Cannot upload videos (you will have to use the windows explorer for that)
-No podcasts or videocasts available
-Box comes with various size earplugs to meet your ear size.
-Come with several extra cables whose purpose beats me. Manual provides no ino.
-Comes with a walkman stand. Once again no info as to how to use it.
-No software provided for mp4 conversion nor does it provide the specifications of the mp4 video conversion settings that would work with the playr. They leave to yourself to figure by trial and error.
Once you have figured out how to use it, its a great product.
Now regarding the mp4 conversion that would work on the walkman:
II downloaded the free pazera psp mp4 converter from www.download.com http://www.download.com/Pazera-Free-PSP-Video-Converter/3000-2194_4-10820194.html?tag=mncol&cdlPid=10885869
Also to make sure that the converted mp4 works on the sony walkman, make sure that you follow the following rules:
-Choose mp4 mpeg4-AAC as "Output format"
-In the "video Resolution" choose 320x240 QVGA.
-The fps (frames per second) of the new converted video, should be the same as it was on the old videofile, to figure out the fps of your videofile, drag and drop it or simply add it using the tools onto the filelistbox. Then right click on the added file and select the properties to know the fps and used the same fps in the video options.
-Set the bitrate of the video and audio to not more than 500 and 128 kbps.
-Do not change anyother settings.
It was pain to find this out and Sony could have done a better job to tell its customers on how to do that. I had to visit a lot of webforums to finally get it right. Thanks to ratman for helping me with his posting at http://www.ratman87.com/archives/62
To summarize, the Sony NWZ-S738F Walkman (8GB, black) is a great player with a few drawbacks. It beats the IPOD on music quality, style and noise cancellation. There is much left to be desired on syncing videos and podcasts. However, if you can do it manually using the above mentioned steps, you shall enjoy the player.
Pros larger capacity, great sound, dedicated volume controls, noise reduction at a VERY affordable extra price, great out-of-the-box headphones.
Cons fussy over video size - would be great if it could on-the-fly scale larger videos down to fit the 320x240 screen (it can downsample 320x240 video to play smaller in "vertical" play mode). would be great to use iPod friendly sized videos...
Summary Sony usually make great sounding Walkman players (the new B-series though are shockers!). The drag and drop loading of files works well. Not as nice as using iTunes to store your library but you can drag from iTunes (except DRM tracks). The EQ settings and FM radio are good extras. iPods are a great COMPLETE ecosystem to live in but if you want awesome battery life and sound, go with this player instead!
Pros Nice, sleek..great screen. Great earbuds and sound..good features.
Cons Must buy for an extra $15 software (Media Manager PRO) to convert podcasts & other file types. It is S-L-O-W , can't schudule podcast downloads, and once downloaded you have to attach the walkman for it convert the files, thus being stuck for 1/2 hr
Summary Ahem...Sony...SONY ARE YOU LISTENING?? We bought the walkman,..so give us the software already!!!! And add just a tiny bit of functionality to it, geez. Charging us $15 for something a teenager wrote. I should be able to set it to download my podcasts that I want and then walk up to my computer, attach the walkman and transfer the files quickly and be on my way! Duh!
Pros Manual EQ and sound enhancements plus the included headphones make the audio quality top notch. It turns on nearly instantly and has lots of listening options with playlist support, SenseMe, time machine shuffle, and an FM radio
Cons SenseMe doesn't work perfectly, it's a little pricey, noise canceling isn't that great, included software isn't that helpful. Battery life doesn't seem to be quite as great as claimed.
Summary I bought this to replace a Sansa that had an unfortunate encounter with a washing machine. I chose not to go with Sansa again because the player lagged when changing songs, etc, and had limited playback options.After six months of fairly heavy use, the wires on the earbuds have cracked. I've doctored it up with electrical tape for now, but it is still extremely disappointing.
I took a hard look at the 4G nano and the touch, but the nano didn't have the features I was after (FM radio/custom EQ) and the touch offers way more features without improving the sound quality and costs ~$50 more (as of right now at least).
1. Externals: Player is thin!! It fits really nicely in my pocket and the hold switch and dedicated volume controls are really nice. The screen is brilliant, although it has picked up some minor scratches in a few weeks of riding in my pocket. So if that's important to you you should definitely get a case. The headphones have incredible sound, but don't stay in my ears well, so they are NOT for exercising, but they're great for studying/riding the bus. They also make chewing extraordinarily loud and I notice my footsteps while walking. Contrary to popular opinion, they DO plug into a normal socket, but they don't stay in very well. For a quick youtube vid they'll work in a pinch. I am concerned that they will wear out more rapidly than I'd like, but they are a fairly robust design.
One thing I found odd is that the (proprietary, grr) usb cable attaches itself firmly to the player, but then the only way to get it out is to rip it out. I felt like there should have been a button. We'll see if it wears out in the next year.
2. Loading files: The included software is very lightweight and works decently for drag and drop from folders or from iTunes, but I went to Windows Media Player so that I could get playlists as well. An annoyance was that I use iTunes primarly for music playback, but I found that I can drag songs from an iTunes playlist into a new playlist in WMP, so that works okay now that I've figured it out. I did have to fix all of the artist names that had different capitalizations because the player sees them as different artists (Ace of Base vs. Ace Of Base for example). I also found that the Sony software and WMP will copy the same song to the player without noticing that it's already there.
I found a decent freeware video converter (Pazera Video to IPod converter) that will convert a 2 hour movie in less than an hour and it works wonderfully, although the player's screen is quite small for movies, I haven't used this feature yet, but I may.
3. Operating System/Features: are amazing. SenseMe analyzes each song in your library and sorts them into channels like Lounge, Classical, Extreme, and so on. There's even a Morning channel in the morning that switches to Daytime and then a Night channel as the day goes on. It isn't perfect, I have a couple acappella songs that made it into the Electronica channel, but I enjoy the ability to do a controlled random mode. Time Machine shuffle demands that your music have a year associated with it, but I enjoy it as another way to randomize the tunes. The FM radio will automatically scan for stations and assign a preset to each one, so you can change from your music to a radio station to another radio station really rapidly. Video playback is also very smooth. Pause the video to fast fastforward, double tap while playing to slow fastforward, and so on. Of the sound enhancements, The EQ is the only one that I've found to be really practical, although the others are fun to play around with, for sure. Podcast support isn't anything to write home about, but at least it keeps them in a different folder.
4. Noise Canceliing: It doesn't really deserve it's own number. If I'd known about it, I probably would have saved $30 and got the NWZ-S638F, which is the exact same thing minus noise canceling. Although so far the only color you can get it in is "red" (cough-pink-cough). However, since I have it, it does make constant sounds much quieter. If you fly a lot (or ride a car/bus a lot) this could be really handy. It doesn't do much against voices or any complex, high frequency sounds.
All in all I am really happy with this player. I wish it was cheaper, and I wish I didn't have minor scratches on the screen, but I also wish I was making twice as much $$ as I am now.
Updated on Feb 28, 2009