Sony plans expansion of Network Walkman line

Sony will begin the first major expansion of its Network Walkman line later this month when it puts on sale flash memory players.

Sony will expand its Network Walkman line of digital music players later this month with the introduction of three new players based on flash memory chips, the company said Tuesday.

The use of flash memory is new for Sony's Network Walkman players. Its previous players have all use hard-disk drives to store music files.

Weighing 37 grams, the new Network Walkman players are circular in shape and measure just under 6 centimeters (cm) in diameter -- slightly smaller than the diameter of a soft drink can -- and are 2 cm thick. All three players include a LCD (liquid crystal display).

The new players -- the 256M-byte NW-E103, the 512M-byte NW-E105 and the 1G-byte NW-E107 -- will be available in Japan from March 21 and should be available worldwide by the end of March, Sony said. In Japan, the players will cost YEN 10,000 (US$95), YEN 14,000 and YEN 20,000, respectively.

The introduction of these three players marks the start of Sony's expansion plans for the Network Walkman line. On April 21, Sony will launch an additional four players in Japan and these players will be available in the rest of the world by the end of that month.

These four players are all based on a stick-type form factor. They will be available with either 512M bytes or 1G byte of memory and offer the option of a built-in FM radio. These players use a three-line OLED (organic light emitting diode) instead of an LCD as the main display.

Prices for these players will range from YEN 17,000 for the 512M-byte NW-E405 without a built-in FM radio to YEN 25,000 for the 1G-byte NW-E507 with an FM radio. The players measure 8.5 cm by 2.9 cm by 16 cm and weigh 47 grams.

All seven of these upcoming players support MP3 music files as well as Sony's ATRAC3 and ATRAC3plus file compression format, which is used in the Sony's MiniDisc players and its online music store. MP3 support was missing from the company's first Network Walkman when it was launched in mid-2004. However, Sony began offering a Network Walkman player that supports MP3 late last year and has offered to upgrade earlier players to include the function.

Both battery life and number of songs that can be stored varies depending on the file compression format that users choose, according to Sony, which said the Network Walkman players offers the longest battery life when used with ATRAC3plus.

An ATRAC3plus file encoded at 48K bps (bits per second) offers audio quality that is equivalent to an MP3 file encoded at 128K bps, Sony said. However, ATRAC3plus files take up less memory which means users can store more songs in a player. This difference can be significant. A player with 1G byte of memory can hold 47 hours of music encoded in ATRAC3plus format but only 17 hours and 40 minutes of music encoded using the MP3 format, Sony said.

All seven flash-based Network Walkman players use AAA-type batteries. In power-save mode, battery life can be as long as 50 hours for the stick-type models during playback of music encoded at 105K bps in ATRAC3 file, Sony said. Under similar conditions, the circular-shaped models offer battery life up to 70 hours, it said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?