But it's still August, and that means that everyone else wants to steal Steve Jobs' thunder. For example, Sony has announced new additions to its line of Walkman players: the new B-Series, E-Series, and S-Series. All models support MP3, AAC, and both DRM and non-DRM WMA audio. The video players accept WMV, H.264, and MPEG-4 video files.
The S-Series (pictured) is the primo stuff, and is slick indeed. For starters, it has Sony's noise-canceling system (the same one on the NWZ-S710). You can use the NC with the bundled earphones, and an accessory cable is included that lets you use the Walkman as a standalone noise-canceling box for other headphones of your choosing. Excellent.
Also on board the gunmetal-black finished player is a 2-inch color screen, FM tuner, WMV suppport, and a podcast menu for management of content. The S Series players also have a customizable interface that includes various themes, and you can use personal photos as wallpaper. A SensMe Channels feature analyzes music to create custom playlists based on the tracks' speed, mood, and rhythm. Battery life is rated at 40 hours for audio playback. The S-Series is available in 4GB ($149.95) and 8GB ($179.95) capacities.
The other series....
The middle E-Series players feature a 2-inch color screen and WMV support. Battery life is rated at 45 hours for audio and 8 hours for video. It is available in four colors: black, red, pink, or blue. It is available in 4GB ($99.95) and 8GB ($139.95) versions.
The budget B-Series players feature a USB interface, FM tuner, and voice recorder. A quick charge function allows 90 minutes of playback from a three-minute charge. The 1GB ($44.95) version comes in black, red, or blue. The 2GB ($59.95) version comes in black, red, or pink.
iPod? What iPod? —Ken C. Pohlmann
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