List of Sony Walkman products

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The following is a list of Sony Walkman products (but does not include cassette tape devices).

MiniDisc Walkman[edit]

NetMD[edit]

Sony expanded MiniDisc's possibilities with the introduction of NetMD (NetworkMD). These allowed the use of a PC to convert music from CDs or MP3s into ATRAC3 format, and use a USB cable to transfer the music to the MiniDisc at a much faster rate than was possible when using a line-in cable.

The MZ-N10 was released in 2002. It was Sony's '10th Anniversary' product, released 10 years after the introduction of the MiniDisc format in 1992. The case was made from a magnesium alloy, and the unit featured a built-in lithium-ion battery which provided 24 hours of battery life. The MZ-N10 allowed music to be transferred from a PC at up to 64 times actual playback speed, not including the time required for audio re-encoding. It was also the first MD Walkman to incorporate the ATRAC DSP TYPE S codec, and is today (2006) the lightest recording MD Walkman ever produced. The accompanying 10th anniversary playback-only MiniDisc Walkman, the MZ-E10, was also released. It is the lightest MD Walkman ever produced, weighing 55 g (including built-in rechargeable battery) with a thickness of 9.9 mm.

Hi-MD[edit]

In 2004, Sony introduced the Hi-MD format. Hi-MD Walkmans use 1 GB Hi-MD discs in the same form-factor as regular MiniDiscs, and allow 1 GB of files and/or audio to be stored per disc. They also accept regular MiniDiscs, which can be initialized in Hi-MD mode for 305 MB capacity per disc (with the added ability to store audio and data, like Hi-MD discs).

Unlike NetMD, Hi-MD Walkmans allow two-way digital transfers to and from PCs virtually unrestricted. Hi-MD also allows the option to record and transfer audio in lossless linear PCM on standard MiniDiscs and Hi-MD discs. This offers sound quality equal to CD (as opposed to lossy ATRAC codecs used on standard MiniDisc/ NetMD).

Hi-MD Walkmans introduced from 2005 onwards allow direct playback of MP3s without the need to transcode the MP3s to ATRAC format. However, SonicStage is required for transfer onto the disc itself. Playable audio cannot be transferred to the devices without SonicStage.

Network Walkman[edit]

NW-MS7[edit]

The NW-MS7 was released towards the mid of 1999 as Sony's first hit at the portable music player industry. They produce this first model shipping with a white 64MB MagicGate Memorystick and built-in battery, selling aside with NW-E3 (32MB built-in and uses AAA battery) and had unfortunately released this which the memory is not enough for most people, and needed to transfer songs with bundled software OpenMG Jukebox (only works with Win98SE and later known as SonicStage). Later they produced upgrades NW-MS9/MS11 bundled with 64MB/128MB and uses a Gumstick type battery, and then the NW-MS70D with 256MB built-in, however at the same time as Apple released the iPod. NW-MS70D had 256MB of built-in flash memory. It could also be expanded by its MagicGate MemoryStick Duo port. But at the time, the Memory Stick PRO Duo had not been released yet. So therefore the NW-MS70D could only yield 384MB at any one time. The other downside to it was that it was incredibly expensive, costing as much as a 15 GB iPod. It also used a very buggy software, Sonicstage, and only played Atrac3, Atrac3plus and WAV files. However, it was the smallest digital audio player at that time. It was also solidly built with an aluminium shell. It boasted a 44 hour battery life. Despite a heavy marketing campaign, its sales were limited.

NW-MS90D[edit]

The replacement model, the NW-MS90D, used the same software as NW-MS70D, and yielded a maximum of 640 MB at any one time, but was also extremely expensive. The most eminent change was the 512 MB inbuilt memory and its new black shell. Due to its price and limited capacity, it was still largely ignored by the general public.

ATRAC HDD[edit]

NW-HD1[edit]

Sony's first attempt at equalling the iPod's success was the NW-HD1, which was smaller and was advertised as having better sound quality than the iPod at the time. However, the unit would only play Sony's proprietary format, ATRAC3, whereas other players on the market would play the much more widely used MP3 format without having to be converted to ATRAC3. Sony did upgrade the HD1 to play MP3s but it still needed SonicStage to transfer the files. The NW-HD1 did not sell as well as Sony had hoped. Its successors, the NW-HD3 and NW-HD5, also failed to make a major dent in the iPod's sales.

NW-HD3[edit]

Sony Walkman NW-HD3

The successor to the hard disk-based NW-HD1, the NW-HD3 was a very similar design; however, despite the fact that the unit would play MP3s natively, the PC software was still buggy, and the unit was therefore equally poorly received.

NW-HD5[edit]

Sony's next model, the NW-HD5, was an updated design from the HD1 / HD3, and boasted a simpler control system, a user-removable lithium-ion battery, better file format compatibility, a unique "Follow Turn Display" that would automatically align itself based on how the player was held on startup, and updated software. A main feature was its advertised running time of 40 hours, when using low-quality format settings, i.e., 48 kbit/s ATRAC3 files, and no player-based audio enhancements (although the player does include these). Playback of 128 kbit/s MP3s was rated at 30 hours. The player was available in black, silver and red and was not sold in the Canadian market.

Unfortunately, the NW-HD5 was shipped with a cosmetic design flaw which meant that the buttons developed small visible cracks under their plastic coating. Although this did not affect functionality, many customers complained. Sony United Kingdom Limited allowed owners to send the units back to be re-fitted with slightly raised, crack-resistant buttons. Perhaps because of this problem, the NW-HD5 was on the market for a very short time before being pulled in preparation for the next model.

In January 2006, the NW-HD5 became unavailable as a normal purchase from retail electronics stores and was relegated to online auction sites and used-electronics warehouses as a consumer item. Eventually the whole of the Network Walkman line would be discontinued for Sony's new solution.

Walkman MP3[edit]

NW-A Series[edit]

Sony NW-A1000 6GB MP3 Player

The NW-A series Walkman is a digital music player available in 6 (NW-A1000), 8 (NW-A1200) and 20 gigabyte (NW-A3000) versions and features an EL-technology screen. Battery life can reach 20 and 35 hours respectively. The player supports ATRAC3, MP3, WMA and from firmware version 3.00 it also supports AAC.[1]

The primary means of putting music on this device is to use Sony software: SonicStage and Connect Player (now withdrawn due to too many problems). The software only works on Microsoft Windows. Other common platforms such as Mac OS and Linux are not supported. SonicStage has received much criticism. It is only possible to move tracks from the music player to the PC's hard drive, and thereby from one music player to another, if each device/computer is "authorized" to the user's account with the Connect Store for their country. Users from countries that do not have the Connect Store service are currently limited to one device/computer.

There are a number of features to select music according to a variety of criteria. The "Artist link" function prompts the Walkman to search, find and display similar artists in that genre. There are two new shuffle modes. By selecting "My Favourite Shuffle", the device automatically selects the 100 most listened to songs and plays them at random. The "Time Machine Shuffle" function randomly selects a year and plays all of the songs from that particular year currently held on the device. A recent firmware update (V3.00) added the "Artist Link Shuffle" function to the list of Intelligent Shuffle modes, along with a clock and calendar.

NW-B series[edit]

Released in July 2007, this was a line of 1 GB (NWD-B103/B103F) and 2 GB (NWD-B105/105F) multifunction MP3 player and voice recording function. It was the firm's first-ever MP3 player to be liberated from the SonicStage software, but it has been shorn of the ability to play back ATRAC and AAC music files.

The Auto-Transfer option allowed this Walkman to search for all the MP3 files on the PC and then copy these files directly to the Walkman. It also could record CDs directly from a Sony compatible Hifi system via USB connection without any PC (the NWD-B105 also supported WMA files).

It also came with a three-line colour display; the voice recorder (MP3) came with bit rates of low (96 kbit/s), mid (128 kbit/s) and high. Models with the built-in FM tuner ("F") had 30 preset stations with a frequency of 87.5–108.0 MHz, with the capability to record and play FM content. The five preset equaliser also had a custom setting option.

NW-E Series[edit]

NWZ-E443F

The E series was a pure MP3 player without a large LCD display to play videos. It had a similar design to a USB flashdrive, and it was offered in many different colors. The E020 series released in Japan featured a changeable case.

In August 2006 Sony released the NW-E00X series, filled with 512MB, 1 GB or 2 GB of flash-memory. Very compact, this Walkman offered a battery life of up to 28 hours. It had a built-in USB key for easy file transfer. The battery charge/recharge was through USB connection. It was also equipped with a bright and clear 1 line OLED display for easy navigation. Dimensions were: width 24.6mm, height 79.0mm, depth 13.6mm and weight 25.0 grams.

Supported multiple codec ATRAC (ATRAC3 66 kbit/s, 105 kbit/s, 132 kbit/s, ATRAC3plus 48 kbit/s, 64 kbit/s, 256 kbit/s) MP3 and WMA (and later AAC), via SonicStage 3.4 software for music management and transfers of tracks for Windows.

This series also worked with Linux and Mac using the free software originally called NW-E00X MP3 File Manager, that eventually become in Symphonic, and now JSymphonic. JSymphonic is an open source, cross-platform program (that runs on any Windows/Linux/Mac machine with java 1.5 installed), that, once copied into the Walkman enables the transfer of several audio files, including MP3, to/from several flash based Walkman Series. It can be downloaded from here and is in continuous development.

In March 2007, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, some countries of Europe and Canada had the Walkman NW-E01X series (NW-E013, NW-E015 and NW-E016) a small USB flash player. Weighing only 23 g, the NW-E01X was available in capacities from 1 to 4 GB and came in five colors: pink, violet, teal, black, and gold. Its features included a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, built-in FM tuner, a three-line color OLED display, calendar and time function, and Clear Stereo and Clear Bass technologies to enhance the audio quality. A release date and pricing for the NW-E01X in the United States was also unknown.

The NW-E02X series, were released in Japan in March 2008. The memory sizes were 1 GB for the NW-E023, 2 GB for the NW-E025, and 4 GB for the NW-E026. Each size was available in a five color assortment: white, pink, green, red, and black. The faces of the players were designed for admit changeable color and design templates. The supplied earbuds were the MDR-EX82 earphones in white for the white, pink, and green player and black for the red and black player.

These could play ATRAC, PCM, WMA, MP3, and AAC, (DRM'ed WMA and AAC couldn't be played). As in older models the connector, was the standard male USB. The screen was LCD and displayed three lines along with an optional album-jacket function. It had a five-band equalizer and Sony's "clear stereo" which means pre-set EQ function.

They had a built-in Li-Ion cell which had a quick-charge for approximately three hours playback from a 3-minute plug-in and a complete charge takes about one hour. Sony mentioned the capability of FM reception, (Japan band of 76 to 90 MHz), usually devices with an F at the end of the model number. Dimensions were 83.7 × 22.3 × 16.2mm and weigh 30 grams.

Available accessories for all E series included lanyards, armbands, A/C adapters, metallic and silicone cases.

NW-S Series[edit]

The Sony "NW-S700" series is the first flash-based Network Walkman with built-in Active noise control technology. It blocks surrounding noise with integrating mic in its EX-earphone. This player is one of only a few other DAPs that have a noise cancellation feature at this size. The earphone has a proprietary design specifically made for this player, thus making it impossible to plug into other DAPs, even the ones that come from Sony. This Walkman has a small OLED screen capable displaying album art and some text information about the song and the player features. The S700 comes in 1 GB (NW-S703), 2 GB (NW-S705), and 4 GB (NW-S706) capacities; some countries sell the 2 GB and 1 GB models only. Selected models are also equipped with a Stereo FM Tuner.

NW-Z Series[edit]

The Sony NWZ-A826 is one of many MP3 players belonging to the Walkman Z-series. This edition features 4 GB flash memory, as well as a large 2.4-inch (61 mm) monitor; in addition the MP3 player offers several audio options in a housing with a thickness of 9.3 mm. The EX earplugs come packaged. There are four audio options: Clear Stereo, Clear Bass, VPT Surround and DSEE Sound Enhancer.The ear plugs are a combination of earplugs and a normal earset in one.

W series[edit]

Sony Walkman W series

The W series is a wireless MP3 player built into a set of water-resistant headphones with 2 GB of internal memory. It can play 11 hours of music and can "quick-charge" for three minutes to yield up to 90 minutes of playback. It can play back MP3, AAC (unprotected only), and WMA (subscription included) files. It features Zappin, which allows the user to browse through tracks by playing a snippet of the chorus of each song.

Walkman Video MP3[edit]

NW-A800 series[edit]

Main article: Sony NW-A800

The Sony NW-A800 series is a video-enabled Network Walkman player. This series has a metallic build. A chrome-like strip surrounds the edge of the device, and accenting of the same style surrounds the buttons and makes up the logos on the front. It features a QVGA display with ID3 tag and album art support.

It is available in 2 GB, 4 GB, and 8 GB capacities. The interface is similar to that of a mobile phone. The screen is a 2.0-inch (51 mm) QVGA (240×320) colour LCD and can be used either horizontally or vertically. The Lithium-ion rechargeable battery can last up to 30 hours for music and 8 hours for video.

The NW-A800 has been released in the European Union, Asia, New Zealand, and North America. As of 19 May 2007, Sony Canada has released the 8 GB and 4 GB models.[2] The 2 GB model was released on 13 June 2007.

This player is an ATRAC Audio Device which relies on SonicStage to manage music. For photo and video management it uses Sony's Image Converter.

NW-A810 series[edit]

Main article: Sony NW-A810

While hardware wise is the same as NW-A800, this series introduces some substantial changes in its media manager software. First, this player introduce drag and drop feature to transfer media. This update eliminates the need of Sony's proprietary SonicStage program and uses Windows Media Player instead. Also, this player no longer supports the ATRAC format.

NW-S710 and S610 series[edit]

Soon, Sony launched another series of Walkman video player, type S, standing for "specialized". This was considered as a lower end product to Walkman A series.

NW-A820, A910 series in Japan[edit]

At the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, Sony tried to further extend the product line of Walkman, with the debut of A910 series, A820 series. Among them, A910 and A820 should be the successor to A810, which feature larger LCD display and memory, and built-in wireless function (for A820 only).

The NW-A919, a 16GB video walkman with a digital '1seg' TV tuner. The player has a touch screen, measures 47.2mm×86.0mm×12.3mm and will be available in black or silver. It was released in Japan in November 2007.[3]

NWZ-A820 and A720 series[edit]

In March 2008, Sony debuted A720 and A820 series in the United States. These two models seemed to have exactly the same external design. The only difference appeared that the A820 series was equipped with a Bluetooth module which can be used to connect wireless headphones. The upgraded A820 and A720 had a 2.4" LCD display and a selection of memory from 4 gigabytes to 16 gigabyte. This also includes the popular 8 GB version. In some regions the package will contain a pair of Sony In-Ear Earbuds with sound-reduction technology. The EX85 series earbuds are included in the US retail package. It will not include an FM radio, additional memory storage, or a voice recorder. After Sony upgraded the Walkman A model, the A810 series was no longer viewable at SonyStyle online store.

Walkman X series[edit]

Sony Walkman X Series (2009)
Main article: Walkman X Series

The Sony Walkman X series was a touchscreen audio and video player from Sony. It has a 3-inch (76 mm) OLED touch screen, internet access through Wi-Fi and digital noise-cancelling as well as applications for Slacker and YouTube. It is available in 16 GB and 32 GB versions.

Media files can be transferred using programs such as Media Manager, Windows Media Player 11 (both programs are on the CD), and Content Transfer (Sony made), but they can also be dragged and dropped from the computer to the device using a file manager such as Windows Explorer (if drag and drop is used, some id tag information is not included, such as the year). If MTP is not installed on the computer, the Walkman switches to UMS/MSC mode.

Like all Sony players sold outside Japan since 2007 (since the NWZ-A810 series), the player is not gapless (there is a gap between tracks, unless WAV/PCM audio files are used), it does not support lossless compression, and there is no on-the-go playlist feature (playlists can only be created on a computer).[original research?]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A series (WALKMAN® MP3 & MP4 video)". Sony. Retrieved 4 September 2011. 
  2. ^ "Sony Style Canada". Sonystyle.ca. Retrieved 2011-01-14. 
  3. ^ "NW-A910シリーズ | ポータブルオーディオプレーヤー WALKMAN "ウォークマン" | ソニー". Ecat.sony.co.jp. Retrieved 2011-01-14.