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Sony A810 series in white, pink and black  (Source: Sony)
Sony A810 Video Walkman is ugly but does the job

Anyone who was young in the 80’s will immediately think of the big, square cassette tape players when they hear the words Sony Walkman. The younger geeks will be glad to know that no longer is 80’s tech alone associated with the Walkman moniker.

Sony today announced its new NWZ-A810 Walkman video player. The A810 series features three different size capacities – 2GB, 4GB and 8GB allowing it to store a goodly bit of music. Sony equips the A810 series with a 2-inch QVGA display sporting 320x240 pixels.

Everything seems to be going pink these days, with self-defense weapons taking on the feminine hue, the female readers will be glad to hear that Sony offers the A810 series in pink as well as black, blue, silver and white.

Looking at the images of the A810 it is not going to win any awards for style, but it packs in some decent specifications. Audio formats supported are MP3, WMA, AAC-LC, and Linear PCM10. MP3 should make it compatible with the Wal-Mart DRM-free store and LimeWire’s upcoming store.

Also included is a five band equalizer and playback of MPEG4 and M4V video playback along with JPEG image support. The device charges via USB and needs three hours for a full charge and 1.5 hours for 80% charge. Playback time is around 33 hours for music and 8 hours for video.


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Yawn....
By h0kiez on 8/30/2007 11:26:52 AM , Rating: 1
Are there really not other products already on the market that do everything these do, probably with more style, and for less money? Yeah...there are.




RE: Yawn....
By omnicronx on 8/30/2007 11:45:19 AM , Rating: 2
with 320x240 displays? Does anyone know what the screen rez of the ZEN, ipod video are?


RE: Yawn....
By theapparition on 8/30/2007 1:05:58 PM , Rating: 2
Believe they are also 320x240


RE: Yawn....
By Sallan75 on 8/30/2007 6:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
They are all 320x240 but the Zen Vision M has a downscaler, so you can drop most DivX's on it and it will play with no problem. I have yet to have a DivX/Xvid that wouldn't work. I believe with the Apple Video you need to re-encode everything at 320x240 to get it to work?


RE: Yawn....
By Kougar on 8/30/2007 1:24:18 PM , Rating: 2
I guess you didn't read the article. I do not know of any that match the 33 hours of audio playback or 8 to 9 hours of video playback.


RE: Yawn....
By Canizorro on 8/30/2007 2:18:55 PM , Rating: 2
The Cowan D2 has 50 hours of audio playback and 10 hours of video playback. http://reviews.cnet.com/mp3-players/cowon-d2-4gb-b...


RE: Yawn....
By Omega215D on 8/31/2007 2:48:40 AM , Rating: 2
I can back this up by stating that with EQ and constant track changing I still managed 43 Hours MP3, 7+ for video and 38 Hours both with constant changing.

The D2 has a touch screen that has a resolution of 320x240, has 16.7 million colors and a 30FPS video playback.

Plus the IRiver (this company has been out before the Ipod was created) has the Clix2 with its great looking AMOLED screen with the same resolution as the D2 but it is 2.2 inches and battery life is around 18 Hours.


RE: Yawn....
By rcreyes on 8/30/2007 2:42:12 PM , Rating: 2
You're prolly one of those people who own a pink iPod. Gross.


SonicStage?
By TomZ on 8/30/2007 11:46:21 AM , Rating: 5
Anybody know if these new products require you to use SonicStage? If so, then it's a no-go for me!




RE: SonicStage?
By DonkeyRhubarb on 8/30/07, Rating: 0
RE: SonicStage?
By rcreyes on 8/30/2007 1:22:46 PM , Rating: 3
No, the US version does not require SonicStage. It is being phased out. It uses an open format. Sony is changing to open standards for all its audio products. A press release to this effect was given today.


RE: SonicStage?
By Canizorro on 8/30/2007 2:16:20 PM , Rating: 2
Actually according to this blog, http://crave.cnet.com/8301-1_105-9768410-1.html , it has given up on sound stage and is now a play for sure compatible device.


RE: SonicStage?
By rcreyes on 8/30/2007 1:24:50 PM , Rating: 2
No SonicStage. The Connect music service is also being phased out: http://esupport.sony.com/perl/news-item.pl?templat...

Now there's absolutely no excuse to buy a crappy iPod. Unless you want to be as sophisticated as pre-pubescent little girls.


RE: SonicStage?
By Roy2001 on 8/30/2007 4:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
No, but it need a stick to run, I mean the memory stick.


By rcreyes on 8/30/2007 1:19:56 PM , Rating: 3
iPod is so American. Sony is the real thing. Check out this review, for example: http://reviews.cnet.co.uk/digitalmusic/0,39029994,...

Excerpts:
"Audio playback is stunning..."

"Battery life is better than the nano"

"What's really good, though, is that the battery can be fully recharged in just 3 hours. Video played for an impressive 7 continuous hours in our test."

"All ranges in the audible spectrum are reproduced well, but especially bass."

"The Sony NW-A808 is one of the sleekest, sexiest MP3 players we've seen in, well, ever. On looks alone, it's a worthy contender to Apple's iPod nano and Samsung's YP-K3."

"It's ever so slightly smaller than the nano and weighs a mere 10g more, despite being capable of playing full-screen video."

"What separates the A800 series from anything else in its class is its support for H.264 videos you've converted and transferred from a PC. Other flash-based MP3 players can cope with video, such as the Creative Zen V Plus, but they use proprietary video"

"Videos are rotated to fill the whole screen and look stunning."

Conclusion: the only drawback is SonicStage, but the US version has been dumbed down to not require SonicStage.




By TomZ on 8/30/2007 6:08:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Conclusion: the only drawback is SonicStage, but the US version has been dumbed down to not require SonicStage.

I would say that eliminating the requirement to use that crappy and invasive software makes the product "smarter," not dumber.

But thanks for the link to the review - sounds like they were pretty taken by the device.


By retrospooty on 8/30/2007 8:56:40 PM , Rating: 2
an iPod is not at all appealing to me, but this is even less so. Apple and Sony can both go jump in a deep lake as far as i am concerned.


By oTAL on 8/31/2007 6:08:12 AM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't consider any Sony product if the competition can come up with something similar.
I would only buy something Sony if it truly had no similar competing products and there were plenty of good reviews from sites I trust. Plus, I would only risk installing Sony Software on a Virtual Machine - just in case...

(Yup. I've had quite a few Sony products and I feel quite strongly about that.)


By EclipsedAurora on 8/31/2007 7:34:45 AM , Rating: 2
>>>I would only buy something Sony if it truly had no similar competing products and there were plenty of good reviews from sites I trust.

Frankly speaking none of the iPod, Zen or Zune can competite with Sony in terms of sound quality and battery life. What a u waiting for? Throw ur iPod to the rubbish bin and buy Sony!


By oTAL on 8/31/2007 11:49:09 AM , Rating: 1
I do not own an iPod. Never did. I did not buy into that hype same as I'm not (at least for now) buying into this one. I've owned a Creative Zen Micro (first batch) and I currently use my cell phone for music - pretty nice quality and even the included speakers sound good enough. With Mini SD at such low prices I have loads of storage. Battery life isn't very good though and it is shared with the phone...

Cool your hype dude... Sony tends to disappoint it's costumers and I've been burned enough times. Won't easily trust them with my money again.

Example: Anyone who owned a netMD and tried converting MP3s to the proprietary Sony format knows the nightmare involved. MP3 to ATRAC sucked and their software was HORRIBLE (one of the worst applications I've used in my life and I'm a developer).
So, the solution was to go around this. How? Illegally download the simplified app that was removed from the market by Sony and allowed you to rip from a CD to an MD with little hassle (still shitty but a lot better). Then you used an app to burn the MP3 files into audio CDs (I used an image file) and another one to take the tags out of the MP3 files and simulate a CDDB link. Then, if you used a CD image, you would need another one to mount the image into a virtual drive. Using the first app (from Sony) you would rip the songs from your disc and use your fake CDDB to provide the tagging info. Is that a nightmare or what? I lived with this for a year (mainly because I have a nice CD collection and it worked well ripping those) and then I just gave up... it was a very nice peace of hardware that Sony ruined completely with their other interests. It was supposed to be easy and comfortable!!

I have other stories but this was the one that pushed me over the edge and I haven't bought Sony ever since...


By EclipsedAurora on 8/31/2007 7:17:20 AM , Rating: 2
I totally agree with u. This model had been launched in Asia-Pacific region for nearly half year earlier. It is well known that neither iPod Video, Zen or Zune can beat her video and audio quality. And of course, Sony's tradition of excellent battery performance that Apple and M$ can never match!


sense
By Shadowmaster625 on 8/30/2007 11:20:08 AM , Rating: 2
if they made these things so that you could play your movies onto any tv withouts having to rip apart someone's entertainment center in the process, these products might actually be worth something! How about an rf transmitter for the video? so that I can turn the tv to channel 3 and be good to go? omg that would make too much effin sense...




RE: sense
By Master Kenobi (blog) on 8/30/2007 1:17:54 PM , Rating: 2
It would also rape the battery.


RE: sense
By lennylim on 8/30/2007 11:42:35 PM , Rating: 2
Assuming you're playing it onto TV, you're probably also near an AC outlet. I don't think battery life is the issue. Most likely it is about saving the $5 in manufacturing cost that translates into $25 of additional shelf price, that will drive 80% of potential customers away. All figures totally fictional, grabbed from where the sun doesn't shine. I'm an engineer, not a market researcher.


RE: sense
By Etsp on 8/31/2007 8:01:08 AM , Rating: 2
Couldn't an RCA adapter suffice? I mean really, do you need wireless everything? Most TV's have an easy access RCA or component video port anyways.


U G L Y ? ? ?
By DonkeyRhubarb on 8/30/2007 11:28:47 AM , Rating: 3
My friend has one of these and it is far from ugly. I think its a great looking MP3 player with great sound.

You might wanna reconsider what your idea of ugly is Wolfgang Hansson!




RE: U G L Y ? ? ?
By Cobra Commander on 8/30/2007 12:05:15 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, "Ugly" is too harsh.
I'd like "goodly" to be found in a dictionary while we're at it too. :P


RE: U G L Y ? ? ?
By DonkeyRhubarb on 8/30/2007 12:10:06 PM , Rating: 2
Goodly:

large in amount or extent or degree; "it cost a considerable amount"; "a goodly amount"; "received a hefty bonus"; "a respectable sum"; "a tidy sum of money"; "a sizable fortune"

(Doesnt really sound like sony) :P


Divx/Xvid?
By hinchesk on 8/30/2007 11:49:45 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The new NWZ-A810 and NWZ-S610 series of Walkman digital music players will support an open platform, providing more choices for downloading and managing music and video collections online.


Yet there's no mention of divx/xvid support. Hard not to love marketing and corporatism. Ah well, at least Creative Labs is on the right track... the new Zen is promising.




RE: Divx/Xvid?
By killerroach on 8/30/2007 12:13:47 PM , Rating: 2
I'm more upset at the lack of support for OGG/FLAC... anymore I rip most of my albums to FLAC, and they're a pain to re-encode to something lesser. At least there's more than a few freeware utilities that do an excellent job of re-encoding XviD to supported MP4 formats.


RE: Divx/Xvid?
By Oregonian2 on 8/30/2007 2:36:55 PM , Rating: 2
I thought xvid/divx was MPEG4 compatible when being read. No?


ATRAC!
By Slaimus on 8/30/2007 1:18:42 PM , Rating: 5
What? A Sony portable music player that does not support ATRAC? What is the world coming to?




Doesnt it look like the w800i
By totallycool on 8/30/2007 4:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
Looks like they are using the same chassis (body) as the w800i. And it sure doesnt look ugly.




Don't like the phone look
By ZipSpeed on 8/31/2007 11:47:22 AM , Rating: 2
The thing looks more like a cell phone than audio player.




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