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  (Source: Sony)

  (Source: Sony)
The world's industry leader is dethroned in Japan... for now.

The Sony Walkman, a popular portable music device in the '80s that dropped into obscurity in the '90s , is back on top again -- in Japan. 
A survey by the Tokyo-based marketing research company BCN Inc. indicates that Sony -- which had consistently placed second to iPod -- placed first for the month of August.  

Sony’s share of the market for digital music players beat out Apple with a 47.8 percent market share last month, while the iPod captured 44 percent according to
 AFP and BCN.

"This is the first time that the Walkman outsold the iPod in monthly sales," said BCN analyst Eiji Mori.

BCN has been tracking monthly MP3 player sales in the country since 2001.  Sony was able to walk away with the lead for one week in September of 2001, but fell short for the month.  

Sony gained momentum
 in May with the release of its new Walkman S line. Mori speculated that consumers were holding off on buying an iPod ahead of the release of its newest generation.

"Sony's strategy to market relatively affordable products may have also contributed to the turnaround in the ranking in market shares," Mori added.

The iPod is expected to recapture the market again soon.  The highly anticipated, latest version of the device was revealed this week, but Sony could remain a contender for the top spot.  

The company also had a revelation this week.  Sony announced its plans to introduce new digital music service Music Unlimited.  The service will stream music over the internet to Sony TVs, PS3s, Blu-ray players and other devices.

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You were NOT cool...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/3/2010 10:55:21 AM , Rating: 5
Unless you had a Sony Walkman. At least, that was the case back in the early 90's. Well, as they say, fashion operates in cycles lol

To be honest I had completely forgotten Sony actually made MP3 players. Gotta look up the new Walkman and see if it's as "cool" as my old 2 pound suitcase sized AA battery eating tape playing one!

RE: You were NOT cool...
By siberus on 9/3/2010 11:07:12 AM , Rating: 4
Was it the yellow waterproof one?

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/3/2010 11:08:31 AM , Rating: 5
Was it the yellow waterproof one?

No. My parents were poor :(

Not-Cool kid

RE: You were NOT cool...
By drewidgho5t on 9/9/2010 6:56:04 PM , Rating: 2
@ Reclaimer77

So true. So phukkn true.
I laughed out loud at the poor kid comment. Now my kid wants to know whats so funny. Everyone who knows, gets it. To the young ones who are reading and don't get it, serves you right for being born to the generation you were born to.

Me? Didn't even get the "not yellow one". At least I had one though. It actually worked quite well to. I think it was a panasonic.

So with all that said...

Thanks for the nostalgia and the laugh. I really enjoy it when something makes me laugh sincerely. And your comment did

Good on you

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Lord 666 on 9/3/2010 11:59:43 AM , Rating: 2
The super uber-cool one was the Outback; it had gray instead of yellow and was more ruggized.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By theArchMichael on 9/3/2010 12:27:36 PM , Rating: 5
No no no, the super mega cool one was the hand me down that you:

-> put a rubber band around to stop from opening

-> use rubbing alchol to clean the little silver drum thing that the tape slides across.

-> hold the "|>" Play button half way down to "Remix" your favorite songs with slow motion sound effects. If you're really good... do this while halfway holding down ">>" fastforward to make the chipmunks remix.

-> would crackle a little (like a vinyl record) at a certain point of the tape wheel every rotation.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By quiksilvr on 9/3/2010 2:58:21 PM , Rating: 2
God my body is tingling wit nostalgia! Thank you, good sir, for the reminiscent thoughts.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By quiksilvr on 9/3/2010 2:59:03 PM , Rating: 2
I'll just get this out the way:
"Dur, that's what she said! Huhu!"

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/3/2010 4:58:03 PM , Rating: 2
AHAHAHA oh man. I did that shit! Oh the nostalgia hehehe.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Granseth on 9/3/2010 11:07:29 AM , Rating: 5
they are not cool at all anymore, just another MP3 player. They play music very well, have a radio, good battery life, easy to organize your music and easy to move it from a computer.
Hopefully more makers of MP3 players will help pushing down Apples device until it doesn't require Itunes anymore. I really hope for the worst for all products that have restrictions like that.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Reclaimer77 on 9/3/2010 11:12:21 AM , Rating: 2
They aren't cool!? They just outsold the iPod in one of the most tech-trendy places on the planet! They gotta be cool! :)

RE: You were NOT cool...
By baysa on 9/5/2010 7:42:33 PM , Rating: 2
Because this has a mickey face. And Japanese girls could die for that.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By BZDTemp on 9/3/2010 11:39:03 AM , Rating: 3
They are cool. And they are not just another MP3-player.

Even the small basic ones offer very long battery life, super fast recharge, build quality is good and they are easy to use. If you move above the base models you find features like noise-canceling which you will appreciate greatly when traveling or commuting in a none-driving way.

PS. Sony did bring out digital music players very early only back then they were using a Sony compression format and required software on the PC (just like with Apple gear). I bought a 64 MB unit the size of a cigarette lighter, it was powered with a AAA cell and ran for about 5 hours on one battery. It cost me like $600 or so which was stupid money but the only other thing that small was a radio.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Granseth on 9/5/2010 11:41:21 AM , Rating: 2
have you not noticed that cool and good quality and top tech doesn't need to have anything to do with each other.
I agree that walkmans are excelent mp3-players, and do what they should very well, but that doesn't make them trendy and cool.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By JimmiG on 9/6/2010 4:54:46 AM , Rating: 1
The reason they wanted to use a proprietary format is that generic MP3 players scared the shit out of everyone associated in any way with the record industry. They actually wanted them banned, or heavily taxed... and this was in the late 90's, when most came with 32 or 64MB of flash memory...about enough for half an album. This is why companies like Creative, Microsoft and Apple were able to completely take over the market from companies like Sony.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Obujuwami on 9/3/2010 11:42:01 AM , Rating: 2
Hopefully more makers of MP3 players will help pushing down Apples device until it doesn't require Itunes anymore.

While I do hope this happens too, I can't see it. Apple does what apple does best, be a closed system. If they have to force you to use their software to run their products, then they can get you to use other software for ripping DVDs, making videos, etc that all are made by Apple. Other companies try to do this, but Apple has become the reigning champion in that arena.

iTunes does have terrible x64 support (though iTunes x64 for Windows does exist) and it would be nice if there was a iTunes like program out there that worked in a x64 only environment.

I can dream....

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Spivonious on 9/3/2010 12:40:14 PM , Rating: 2
What about the Talkboy? Now if you had that, you were guaranteed coolness.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By someguy123 on 9/3/2010 2:40:52 PM , Rating: 2
Oh man, that huge walkman in my pocket caused imbalanced growth in my leg muscles. my left leg can lift 500lbs and my right can barely lift my body weight, it's quite a sight to behold.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By mooncancook on 9/3/2010 3:02:21 PM , Rating: 5
The new Sony mp3 walkman will never be as cool as the original one, because once you get one, you'll end up in an uncool conversation like this:

- what's that? Is it a new iPod?
- No, it's a Sony walkman
- so... is it an iPod?
- No, it's from Sony, and it's better than iPod
- why don't you get an iPod? I like my iPod.
- ......

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Camikazi on 9/3/2010 8:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
That is when you do a Picard Faceplam and just walk away shaking your head.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Silver2k7 on 9/4/2010 3:56:05 AM , Rating: 2
I don't get how people can start calling a mp3 player, or a portable music player PMP for an ipod, when its clearly a different brand ??

Ipod is just a mp3 player, there where atleast 10-20 brands out before the ipod. im not sure what the pod is all about, its like peas in a pod right.. I don't even like peas whats so cool about the ipod from any other player out there..

RE: You were NOT cool...
By Silver2k7 on 9/4/2010 3:58:02 AM , Rating: 2
So they got a new Freestyle ;-)

hehe people do look funny sometime if you call an mp3 player a freestyle.. but anyway if ive got mostly flac on the thing, why not call it a freestyle or a pmp.

RE: You were NOT cool...
By sprockkets on 9/4/2010 6:07:27 PM , Rating: 3
It's the same people who called portable tape players "Walkmans". The most popular product's trademark becomes a generic term.

Sound quality
By KIAman on 9/3/2010 11:45:25 AM , Rating: 2
Honestly, considering most MP3 offers pretty much the same features, what is left to differentiate between then except sound quality?

If these can pull off a "Sansa" like balance between cost and sound quality, I can see it being a winner in the USA as well.

RE: Sound quality
By Omega215D on 9/3/2010 12:17:34 PM , Rating: 2
There are plenty of reviews out there. They have one of the best sounding players on the market, battery life and build quality in the higher range models. The higher end also comes bundled with a nice set of headphones that also do noise canceling.

RE: Sound quality
By vol7ron on 9/3/2010 1:36:25 PM , Rating: 2
Are you serious?

Things to compare:
    - size (dimensions)
    - weight
    - battery life
    - screen in sunlight
    - water/sweat resistance
    - sound quality
    - storage size
    - price
    - software features (ability to share media with other devices, wireless sync.)
    - hardware features (camera, wifi)

The list goes on.

RE: Sound quality
By KIAman on 9/3/2010 3:27:27 PM , Rating: 3
Find me a modern compact mp3 player that doesn't feature...

1. small size
2. lightweight
3. long battery life (20+ hours)
4. visible screen
5. decent storage size (4gb+ )

All of them do nowadays. Your other mentions software and hardware features aren't becoming of an mp3 player. I'd use my phone for that. Besides, those unnecessary lead to an inflated cost.

What is the mp3 player's primary role? Playing music.

RE: Sound quality
By Reclaimer77 on 9/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Sound quality
By Omega215D on 9/4/2010 3:31:06 PM , Rating: 3
uhh no. I have an $80 pair of Klipsch Image S4s and I definitely notice how "off" some players sound. My ipod touch is the weakest sounding player while my Sansa clip+ does a better job and my Cowon D2 wins hands down. No need to spend that much.

RE: Sound quality
By Reclaimer77 on 9/5/10, Rating: 0
RE: Sound quality
By Omega215D on 9/8/2010 8:26:15 AM , Rating: 2
The Sony upper range players come with good headphones, enough so that most people don't get rid of them. Most other manufacturers ship $5 buds even with their high end players.

Even still I did use the phones that came with the D2 and plugged it into the iPod, D2 and clip+ and guess what? I noticed how each player sounded different from each other with the D2 again winning hands down.

RE: Sound quality
By protosv on 9/5/2010 9:22:12 PM , Rating: 2
On my pair of Grado SR80i's I can easily hear the differences between players, clear as day. For that matter, I can clearly hear the differences between sound cards on different computers as well. Forced me to upgrade from my Creative SBLive 24-bit to an HT Omega Claro+. World of difference! They're also $100, not $500.

More to your point, you can easily find a pair of Creative EP-830 earbuds on ebay for under $10 including shipping that offer sound that is head and shoulders above what the white iPod earbuds give you. And, using those, you will immediately appreciate a better-quality sound from your mp3 player. When you compare an iPod with something like like a Cowon D9, iRiver, Sony or Creative Zen, even with the $10 Creatives, you will appreciate just how poor the SQ of the iPod is.

RE: Sound quality
By vol7ron on 9/29/2010 11:02:42 PM , Rating: 2
1. small size

"Small" size. What is that? That's not dimensions. Surely there's a difference between the iPod nano and 1Gen iPod. Both are small. In today's world every millimeter counts.

2. lightweight

Again "lightweight" is vague. Every ounce counts - you especially notice it while running with it in your hand.

3. long battery life (20+ hours)

Every mp3 player has 20+ hours of battery life? Really?... really?

4. visible screen

In sunlight? Really? They don't have a glare and they're all using LED?

5. decent storage size (4gb+ )

4GB is laughable. If you call that decent, you aren't listening to music and you most definitely aren't listening to lossless burns. 32GB holds 10% of the lossless music I want to store, which doesn't even include movies or tv shows. 300GB would be better in my pocket. -- and weight/size has a funny way of making a mention again, funny how comparing the storage matters.

Your other mentions software and hardware features aren't becoming of an mp3 player. I'd use my phone for that. Besides, those unnecessary lead to an inflated cost.

I have to say, I wasn't planning on disagreeing with your total response, but it seems like that's happening. Software and hardware ARE important. Show me only an MP3 player today. My watch and sunglasses are the only things that just play MP3s, everything else can play movies, show pictures, etc.
Hardware IS important especially when comparing it to different devices - that's what put Apple in 1st, the touch-wheel.
A lot of software code is reused and companies only need to charge more if they see fit. Google seems to make it look costless to the the consumer.

What is the mp3 player's primary role? Playing music.

I agree.
My home speakers plays music, though. My turntable plays music. It doesn't mean there aren't other things to compare.

RE: Sound quality
By Alexstarfire on 9/3/2010 3:32:55 PM , Rating: 2
We all know that only one thing really matters when comparing a popular Apple device to a non-Apple device.... does it have an App Store? Battery life comes second. If it has neither of those then it seems to flop every time. Seems like the SE Walkman has battery life going for it.

RE: Sound quality
By fic2 on 9/3/2010 3:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
I gave my niece and nephew Sony mp3 players 2 Christmases ago. They were 1/2 the cost of an iPod - about $60/each. I think the ones I got them were 8G. You can drag/drop mp3 files on them which made it real easy for them to use. Only bad thing was that supposedly you can watch video on them, but I could never find anything that would convert it to exactly what the Sony player needs. All the forums I search couldn't either.

RE: Sound quality
By Reclaimer77 on 9/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: Sound quality
By MrTeal on 9/3/2010 5:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
Depending on how you use it, even with really good in-ear monitors you won't notice the difference 90% of the time. The only people who might are those who use their PMP as their primary media player and listen in a quiet, relaxed environment. Other than that you won't notice the difference in SQ between well-made PMP when you're in a car or on a plane, when you're jogging or even walking on the street. Even HiFi PMP's like this one...
won't make a difference unless you're willing to sit down and actively listen.

Like you said, for most people sound quality for a PMP is a complete non-issue, unless there's something really objectionable. It's not what they're designed for.

RE: Sound quality
By Omega215D on 9/4/2010 3:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
the mid - upper end Sony players come with decent to nice headphones. It would do you good to read some of the reviews or look up the players themselves first.

Looks like no walkman I know
By chromal on 9/3/2010 12:02:05 PM , Rating: 2
Where do you put the audiocassette tape? Isn't the whole POINT of a walkman to be able to play audiocassette tapes? Better functionality in 1984, geebus. ;)

RE: Looks like no walkman I know
By vol7ron on 9/3/2010 1:39:07 PM , Rating: 1
That is true; afterall, after the Walkman , the Discman played compact disk.

I think Sony needs to keep with it's naming convention: Digiman.

RE: Looks like no walkman I know
By Camikazi on 9/3/2010 8:07:22 PM , Rating: 2
Too close to Digimon, would get lawsuit for that one.

RE: Looks like no walkman I know
By vol7ron on 9/29/2010 11:04:16 PM , Rating: 2
It wouldn't get a lawsuit, they don't compete in the same industry, but I wasn't being serious either :)

Apple's Response
By rstove02 on 9/3/2010 12:45:44 PM , Rating: 5
Jobs: This survey is void because they are obviously counting people upgrading from the original Sony Walkmans.

Sony has better quality
By Nyu on 9/3/2010 4:41:24 PM , Rating: 1
I own both ipod touch (iphone... without the phone), and one of NW line of sony mp3 players. quality-wise there's no comparison, the sony player is crystal clear pure quality, im not buying anything apple again.

RE: Sony has better quality
By bim27142 on 9/3/2010 8:34:06 PM , Rating: 2
if you really want an mp3 player for playing music then sound quality will be the first thing to consider.

walkman's (and their earphones too) sound quality is far better than ipod's. rich, crisp, clear mid-highs and pure deep lows... the ipod??? damn sounds like tin can and their earphones really suck!

if someone gives me an ipod free? i'll sell it back anyway, sound quality sucks big time...

RE: Sony has better quality
By Nyu on 9/4/2010 4:17:16 AM , Rating: 2
yup im loving the earphones too, they give you those new types that plug right into the ear with some kinda round'ish plastic, you push them right in. they are usually expensive sepparately. can't see myself using any other type ever again :)

Who cares
By fishman on 9/3/2010 2:31:10 PM , Rating: 2
Apple probably doesn't care that much, because many people who would have bought an ipod bought an iphone.

Sony Rulz
By morphologia on 9/3/2010 3:25:47 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Sony NWZ-S615F Walkman that I got 2 years ago, and it's absolutely indispensable to me. I got it when my iPod Nano died for the last time (after numerous glitches). Since at that time I had grown so sick of iTunes...a.k.a. the worst piece of software since Windows ME...I decided to try something different. And I never regretted it. It's so easy to use and works so well, and you don't even need any special programs to use it. It syncs through Windows Media Player, but you can also just browse it like a drive and drop files into the "music" folder, and it works just fine that way. It will even play my old AAC files if I use this drag-and-drop method. :D

mp3 battle
By whickywhickyjim on 9/3/2010 4:59:36 PM , Rating: 2
Sony attacked ipod weak point for massive damage

It's a sony
By Zensen on 9/4/2010 12:05:55 AM , Rating: 2
it's probably only going to get better now for sony and other pmp/mp3 player manufacturers with that lacklustre non-event that was the ipod "refresh" the other day.

Who paid for the survey?
By Phynaz on 9/3/10, Rating: -1
RE: Who paid for the survey?
By MrTeal on 9/3/2010 11:24:24 AM , Rating: 5
It's the same as NPD data, which is also compiled by a market research company (NPD).

Relax, and breath. I know it's tough to accept that an Apple product could be outsold in one market for one month, but it can happen. It's not a conspiracy.

If you're still having trouble coping with the assault on your reality distortion field, just forget you ever read this article and all will be better.

RE: Who paid for the survey?
By bupkus on 9/3/2010 2:29:52 PM , Rating: 2
IOW, take the blue pill.

RE: Who paid for the survey?
By MrTeal on 9/3/2010 2:39:08 PM , Rating: 2
Hey, rabbit holes are scary, and Steve never told him it was safe to go.

RE: Who paid for the survey?
By Lazarus Dark on 9/4/2010 2:34:44 PM , Rating: 3
A better question:
When two evil companies fight, who do you root for?

RE: Who paid for the survey?
By themaster08 on 9/5/2010 2:24:13 AM , Rating: 2
The one that's not Apple?

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