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Old 07-28-2004, 05:49 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Sony NW-HD1 - Sony's iPod Killer?

According to WSJ, Sony's new digital walkman could (not) be the new iPod Killer. The NW-HD1 is a sleek, slim, silvery, magnesium-clad gadget inelegantly called the "Network Walkman NW-HD1," which holds 20 gigabytes of music and is set to go on sale in mid-August for $399. Sony plans a massive ad campaign to back the new Walkman, and to try and revive the once grand, but now faded, Walkman brand..

So far so good. But the reviewer goes on: While the new Sony is smaller than the iPod and has much better battery life, it is markedly inferior overall. It has a confusing, complex user interface that makes it hard to use; weak software for the PC; an oddball music format [yes, it CANNOT play MP3s or any of the other standard formats!] that makes loading it with songs tedious; and a companion music download service that offers less than Apple's. The iPod wins this round, and remains champion.

At least, the Sony is a bit smaller and lighter (3.8 ounces vs. 5.6 ounce) and has a better battery life (27-22hrs play compared to iPod's 12 hrs).
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Old 07-28-2004, 07:29 PM   #2
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Competition is still a good thing, and helps drive prices down and features up. I'm a bit disappointed it won't support mp3 or other popular formats...

And maybe one day I can talk the wife into letting me buy one

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Old 07-28-2004, 08:23 PM   #3
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No way I buy anything that does not supply MP3 support. They need to re-think this.
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Old 07-29-2004, 12:27 AM   #4
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That's the whole point...

Sony is all about trying to get the world over to their propriety formats and products, forcing people to choose either their whole electronic family to network amongst itself or to juggle different formats and conversion rates and stuff. For example, I liked some of the Clie's I saw, but I'm a die-hard SD guy, so no memory stick for me.

I think Sony is a marketing company who does electronics and will still make money on this product by appealing to the great unwashed masses who fall for shiny advertising.
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Old 07-29-2004, 04:07 AM   #5
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Sony will never learn. They are doomed.

DBS. Don't Be Stupid, Don't Buy Sony.
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Old 07-29-2004, 05:43 AM   #6
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Spoken like a true Clie owner!!

Craig.
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Old 07-29-2004, 08:28 AM   #7
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I don't know what the Japanese market is like, but it is madness to use a proprietary music format here in the States. What can they possibly gain from that? What can they be thinking? If they came out playing mp3, wma, and ogg they could stand a chance of taking Apple's crown. But like this they are just wasting their time.
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Old 07-29-2004, 07:16 PM   #8
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I'm starting to get the impression that Sony doesn't really care all that much about it's market outside Japan. I still love my slow little T615C, but it doesn't see much use any more; the ipaq is my main tool of choice now.

Craig.
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Old 07-30-2004, 02:46 PM   #9
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I wonder when Sony will learn. Why must they insist on a music format (Atrac) no one wants ( I think we all know the answer). It is the same mistake they made with the Clie line of proprietary hardware.

Thank goodness some very smart people out there got around their mistakes. I enjoy my Clie even more now but I will not buy a Sony product that is so restrictive.
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Old 08-02-2004, 08:13 AM   #10
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I've been contemplating myself on whether to buy the i-Pod (it's expensive no matter how you look at it), a 2nd rated product from Creative, i-Rivers, Panasonic, etc., or just buy a new Tungsten/Zire which supports mp3. I would have expected SONY to come with it's own "fashion statement," something different, a "wow factor." But I guess this product will belong in the 2nd rated group, and worst, it may end up becoming the Betamax of portable music player. Did they learn anything from that mistake?

Oh yes, another option is to retire my 6610 and get the latest hand phone with an mp3 player function. But for serious music, why would any one choose other than an i-Pod?

Regards,
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Old 11-17-2004, 07:59 PM   #11
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Of all the comments, I guess it's always the last one that people reply to or comment on....

Quote:
I've been contemplating myself on whether to buy the i-Pod .... blah blah blah blah blah .... I would have expected SONY to come with it's own "fashion statement," something different, a "wow factor." .... blah blah blah .... it may end up becoming the Betamax of portable music player. .... blah blah...."
You don't have an i-Pod and you have never even compared it to the Sony HD1, so your personal views really don't matter. FYI.... Betamax was actually the better format (by far), but unfortunately lost the battle against VHS only because most of the other manufacturers wanted to compete against Sony rather than sell out to it. Unfortunately for us consumers, we have suffered it for the past 30'ish years.

Quote:
Oh yes, another option is to retire my 6610 and get the latest hand phone with an mp3 player function.
It's pretty obivous that a dedicated personal music player is going to be better than a phone that also plays music, and takes photos, and has games, and all the other dumb stuff that a so called "phone" really does not need to do!!

Quote:
But for serious music, why would any one choose other than an i-Pod?
Well, maybe because it converts MP3 into ATRAC, so in fact does in a way support MP3. Also it has a battery life!!!!!!!!!!

But don't worry about my silly comments, you go out and buy yourself an i-Pod. Have fun with it, stroke it, kiss it, lick it, insert it wherever you feel is necessary, but there is no need to pass judgement on it's rivals. Especially when it is either the closest challenge to date, as good as, or better.
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Old 11-18-2004, 09:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheFalcon
Well, maybe because it converts MP3 into ATRAC, so in fact does in a way support MP3. Also it has a battery life!!!!!!!!!!

But don't worry about my silly comments, you go out and buy yourself an i-Pod. Have fun with it, stroke it, kiss it, lick it, insert it wherever you feel is necessary, but there is no need to pass judgement on it's rivals. Especially when it is either the closest challenge to date, as good as, or better.
But it doesn't support MP3. The fact that that software converts it says the device does not support it. It either does or does not, and it does not.

Now I like the Sony unit, especially the size. But let's face facts; the iPod is the best and everyone else is trying to catch up.
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Old 11-18-2004, 12:57 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by brahamt
But it doesn't support MP3. The fact that that software converts it says the device does not support it. It either does or does not, and it does not.
Just because the MP3 files have to be converted to ATRAC does not mean that MP3 is not supported. Let's go over it again.... The software converts MP3 files into ATRAC, then uploads them to the HD1.... meaning that it most definitley DOES support MP3. If it didn't support MP3, then you would not be able to convert them and upload them.

I have all my CD's on a PC in top quality WAV files as I am not a fan of the quality of ATRAC or MP3. But both of these formats are fine for a personal, as top quality isn't exactly a must. So either way I would have to convert them so that I can compress and get more on either the i-Pod or the HD1. I was ready to buy an i-Pod about 3 months ago, but the HD1 changed my mind. As a consumer I want the best device for my needs, but obviously everyones needs vary.

My argument is not if the HD1 or the i_pod is better, but the bull from the muppets that think they know which is better and try to ram it down everyone else's throats. It's a shame that "up themselves" owners of the i-Pod feel the need to slag off everything else just for the sake of it. Especially now that there is something on the market that really is challenging it.

I really can't wait until early next year when Sony release the new version of the HD1 that does support MP3 without converting it to ATRAC. Then we'll see your next poor excuse to slag it off!!!!
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Old 11-28-2004, 01:31 AM   #14
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It can play MP3 and other formats, you just need to convert it. In fact it covers more formats than ipod.

Before you trash Sony on their decision to stick with ATRAC3, let me tell you some reasons why they decided to do it.

First of all songs encoded in ATRAC3 produces much better sound quality than songs encoded in the MP3 format. Listen to a song encoded at ATRAC3 256kps, and compare it to a song encoded at MP3 256kps. The ATRAC3 format sounds phenomenal (truely digital) whereas the MP3 format simply sounds louder...

The ATRAC3 format also results in a significantly smaller file than the MP3 format which in turn allows the player to fit in more songs. Additionally the ATRAC3 format is less draining on the battery than the MP3 format which is why all modern Sony players have such superior playback life.

People complain about the the time it takes to convert songs/MP3s into ATRAC3 and then onto the player. However programs such as Simple Burner allows for the simultaneous conversion and burning to happen at the same time. It's incredibly quick.

The verdict is that ATRAC3 allows for better sound quality but at the same time a smaller file than the MP3 format.

Sure it takes time to convert and transfer the files. BUT the extended playback battery life means you'll have to charge your player less often, which in turn balances everything out. In fact the new Sony NW-HD1 has a battery life that lasts 3.75 times longer than the iPods.

You'll basically find that most MP3 players have tedious battery durations. I HATE the fact that my ipod needs charging every two days! and the fact that it won't even last me half way on my flight from L.A to Sydney!

On another note my Sony Hi-MD player (yes I'm a gadget freak) has an astounding 100 hours playback and I only need to charge it about once a month. All due respect to the ATRAC3 format.
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Last edited by Fredreck; 11-28-2004 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:02 AM   #15
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