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Everything posted by gr00vy0ne

  1. Memory sticks aren't that expensive. The 1GB included is fairly generous. 4GB memory sticks are now as cheap as $40-50 USD. Sure that's more than other formats but it's not unreasonable and 4GB would give you a fair number of songs.
  2. The Walkman phones are actually surprisingly good. Now, I'll agree that a phone is a phone and a mp3 player is a mp3 player; however, the Walkman phone is a very good mp3 player. The player software is competent, easy-to-use and offers some features not found in their consumer electronics MP3 players. Most notably, I like the following features of my Sony Ericsson W850i Walkman Phone: 1. NO SONICSTAGE - Even better is that you have a bunch of different ways to load music. You could use the included Disc2Phone software (which is UNICODE FRIENDLY) which allows for manual transfers or auto-shuffle transfers. You can also simply use Windows Explorer to drag and drop music to the MUSIC folder with whatever sub-folder structure you want. Forget your cable? No problem. You can wirelessly transfer music via IR (InfraRed) or Bluetooth and the software is smart enough to put the file in your MUSIC folder! 2. GREAT UI - The interface is pretty and easy to use. You have album cover views like the newer non-phone Walkmans. You can sort by Artists, Albums, Tracks, and Playlists. The nice thing about having the phone keypad is that you can use text inputing to jump through your lists faster. 3. CREATE/MODIFY PLAYLISTS - You create playlists on the phone but it's extremely easy to mark songs to put on your list. 4. EXTERNAL SPEAKER - Makes a great impromptu mini-boombox. It gets pretty loud too. I use it while riding my bike so I can hear traffic noise (LA drivers suck and are oblivious to cyclists). 5. BATTERY LIFE - If the phone is used as a MP3 player only, it's rated for 30 hours playback with actual being 24-28 hours. That's pretty darned good. With the phone on, playback drops to about half with normal phone usage. So, you're looking at 12-14 hours which really isn't that bad. 6. EXPANDABILITY - It comes with a 1GB MS Pro DUO flash card and it's compatible with 4GB (and 8GB allegedly) MS Pro DUO cards as well! Even better is that the folder structure is similar to the PSP structure so you can simply swap DUOs when you want to listen to other music. The sound quality is on par with most Sony MP3 players. The included headphones are actually pretty decent. I think they could make the sound quality a little better as I feel that my VAIO Pocket, NW-E507 and NW-S705 sound a little better but it depends on the type of headphones you're using. The FM tuner is good but i'll agree that the reception of dedicated Sony MP3 players seems better. However, the TrackID function is neat for helping you to figure out what song you heard on the radio. If want to know more, check out my review of the Sony Ericsson W850i Walkman Phone.
  3. Just to let you know, I did end up sourcing a NW-S705F today so I will be doing a review at some point.
  4. Yeah, I wouldn't mind testing the S705F as well. Well, I'll keep it in mind for the next couple of reviews. Thanks!
  5. It took me a while to finish this review but it's finally done. The great thing is that they've lowered the prices on these things now so they're still a great deal considering what it can do. Avid runners will probably take a liking to it. The bottomline is that I think the unit itself is wonderful. However, the included headphones are not good and poorly designed and you still have to use SonicStage with it. Other than that, it does exactly what it's supposed to do and does it well. G-Sensor is very accurate! http://www.siliconpopculture.com/articles/...lkman_nw_s205f/ Enjoy!
  6. Sony just updated their Media Manager software! http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/products/...uct.asp?PID=423 It now has a lower price and there's an upgrade price as well for owners of version 1.0a. The new version has a new interface, OFFLINE encoding (yay, finally!), native support for ATRAC, and new support for dvr-ms files (I'm still trying to figure out what this means exactly). This page shows the new features detailed: http://www.sonymediasoftware.com/products/...3&PageID=35
  7. If you want a waterproof MP3 player for swimming then you're going to find that your choices are extremely limited. You could go with SwiMP3 which uses bone conduction so you can actually hear the music underwater. Of course, it's not as nice looking as other MP3 players but it gets the job done.
  8. Ok, I'm going to try to answer a bunch of these questions together. To my knowledge you cannot create a playlist on the player. You can however create playlists in SonicStage and transfer those over just fine. The jogdial works a lot like the original NW-E507 series. It swivels left and right and can be pulled up two notches. The first notch toggles songs within your playlist, genre, etc and the second notch toggles your entire lists, genres, etc. In it's normal state, it acts as the HOLD. I'll have more info soon on this as I need to put it through more trials before I can pass judgement. If anything, it's superlight, it feels good in the hand, it's well-made and the screen is actually readable in daylight (not great but way better than my NW-E507). Regarding the colors...that's my number one complaint about Sony. I don't think they realize how much they close themselves off from the market by not releasing the same color models that they have in Japan. With more and more demographics buying electronics (i.e. women/girls/non-geeks-like-us), you can totally attract more customers by offering a wider selection. Everyone sells a silver colored digital camera! Perhaps Sony USA is lazy and don't want to have to deal with offering different SKUs.
  9. I've had the US domestic black model (NW-S205F) for about a week now and it transfers and plays tracks with Japanese characters and kanji just fine. It's not a limitation of the player but rather of the venerable but still atrocious SonicStage. I'm running the Japanese version of SS 4.0 CP on one system and the US version of SS 4.0 CP on another. The one thing that annoys me is that the Japanese version doesn't like accented characters and refuses to import or recognize their existence. Therefore, I must resort to using my other system to transfer. Otherwise, the hardware itself is great. Seriously, they need to start a brand new codebase using Unicode from the beginning. I suggest asking the guys who wrote the MP3FM to start off the project since they did such a wonderful job making such a tiny little program work so well. Or perhaps they should nab people from the Sony Media Software who actually make good software such as Vegas, Acid and SoundForge.
  10. Ys: Ark of Napishtim. Not my favorite but an enjoyable game that brought me back to old school console action RPGs. I was a huge fan of the original Ys so this was nice. HOWEVER! I don't know how they let this game out of the studio as it is. The load times on this title are horrendous beyond belief. I suspect my poor PSP's drive mechanism lost a couple years of life just getting through the game. Every time you enter/exit any area (and there are a lot) if takes anywhere from 30-90 seconds just to load the next scene. The worse is when you step into a new area and begin your 1.5 minute wait. Of course you probably lose focus during this time and get attacked immediately upon entering the new area and get pushed back to where you came from. Uh oh...another 1.5 minute wait. Now you go back and you've wasted nearly 5 minutes. Imagine that you'll have to go through areas time and time again since these games are notorious for making you backtrack and you can imagine the pain. The game itself isn't graphically challenging so one has to wonder why they couldn't cache more than one area at a time. Other than that, the game's story is decent and the cutscenes are nice. The music was ok...nothing beats the original Ys Book I & II soundtrack. Up next...finishing Bleach: Heat the Soul 2 (now that Heat the Soul 3 is coming out) and then looking for a new game to play other than the LocoRoco “ロコロコ" demo (which I play over and over again in search of getting a perfect score).
  11. What sony needs to do is go back to the drawing board and they really need to think about what the customer wants and what kind of value they can give us which will make us want to buy their product. Sony's Value Proposition (in order of importance) should be : 1. Ease-of-use - This is where they've completely dropped the ball over the last couple of years. The end-to-end user experience has been pretty bad. I'm not too fond of DRM and it seems to be a necessary evil that's not going away any time soon. Sony should be a ease-of-use leader and support (even if they have to license it) ATRAC, WMA (DRM) and Apple's Fairplay (assuming they can swing a deal). Support for other's DRM could make DRM acceptable since it would seem seamless to the user. All the online music stores win and Sony wins since it's supports everything. 2. Technology - Sony has always had pretty good technology. Sometimes they're a little too smart for their own good but they make good stuff. They're pretty innovative as it is in the handheld electronics sector. Sony's foray into OLED is nice but it's time for them to start getting color OLED before everyone else starts using it. I love the mirror finish/hidden screen idea but it's really not usable outside. If they can solve that problem then it will be even more killer. 3. Design - Sony design. Not much to say here other than it's pretty good! Thank goodness Sony still actually takes time to work on design and aesthetics. They know how to make products that "feel" good in your hand. I think it's in Sony's best interest to build a brand new media player from scratch; however, it should be extensible enough so that an "add-on module" could be made to support the legacy ATRAC players. Additional modules could be added to support other DRM protocols or other players. Of course, they'll win a lot friends by making the API available to developers. The ability to add a module that plays FLAC, Monkey Audio, Ogg, etc. would certainly give them more "credibility" among enthusiasts and influential technology leaders. The need to start from a fresh codecase is imperative and the program should not spawn processes called TinyHTTP.exe that take up 150MB of memory even though the program isn't doing anything. Hopefully, Sony takes their time on this and comes up with something that's really good and has the user in mind.
  12. I'm currently playing Boku no Watashi no Katamari Damacy and Bleach: Heat the Soul 2. The Katamari game is the best PSP game I've encountered so far. It has the right combinations of solid game elements and it's plain hilarious. The Bleach game is ok but nothing special. It gets extra points since I'm a fan of the anime.
  13. The interesting thing about the one I have is that it doesn't seem to have any size problems like the ones mentioned in the link above. It fits in all my devices so it is an extremely good fake. Even the silkscreen on the device is dang good. I'll upload pix tomorrow so everyone can see what it looks like.
  14. Thanks for posting this! Of course, I saw this after I purchased one of those allegedly fake Duo cards. Anyways, I have one of those that registers as 1958MB in my PSP. I decided to see what the performance was like and to see if it could actually hold that much data. In terms of holding that much data, it's perfectly fine as one my tests involved filling it up to the maximum. For speed, I ran some informal tests with some of the MS PRO Duo cards that I have. I have a SanDisk gaming one which is known to be the fastest on the market. I have an official Sony PSP 1GB that came in my GigaPack and I have the questionable "High-Speed" 2GB one. Copy Test 925MB (Mixed files) SanDisk Gaming MS PRO Duo 1GB - 5.41MB/s (86.55 Mbps) Sony GigaPack PSP MS PRO Duo 1GB - 5.32MB/s (85.05 Mbps) Sony "High-Speed" MS PRO Duo 2GB - 5.29MB/s (84.57 Mbps) Copy Test 1900MB (Mixed Files) Sony "High-Speed" MS PRO Duo 2GB - 4.47MB/s (71.53 Mbps) So, with SanDisk cards being the benchmark it's encouraging to see that the "High-Speed" card more less performs on par. Sony states that the "High-Speed" moniker means that it achieves up to 80Mbps and my tests seem to more or less confirm that. A "normal" Sony MS Duo card is supposed to only get up to 15Mbps so these cards are definitely faster than that. I was surprised that the PSP card performed like a High-Speed model since I thought it would be "regular". I also ran a test with single large file (650MB) and speeds exceeded the mixed files test so every thing looks good. So, while it may be fake, it's a damn good fake since it works as advertised. Of course, I'm wondering how it will do in the long run but we'll see. For now, I'm still happy with the purchase.
  15. Sorry, I have to disagree a little. From my experience, all of my Sony products made in Japan have been of better quality and longevity than my Sony products not made in Japan.
  16. Wow, the unicode support seems to work now...that's cool. Now they need to do a couple of more fixes... 1. TinyHTTP.exe - Why are they using it? If it is necessary then why does it use so much memory and processing time? 2. Device support - Add support for legacy devices. Even if they don't support all the devices but it should at least cover all the ones that have MP3 support. We want a unified client. It will make it less confusing for consumers and even existing customers who have old and new products. Oh, what's sort of neat is the fact that Connect Player will play all of the songs on my VAIO Pocket if I manually "force" Connect Player to play .OMA files. The songs show up in Connect Player with the album art and correct titles. That leads me to believe that they could very easily add support for other devices if they wanted to.
  17. I'm not sure if this was mentioned on the forums yet, but I've noticed a very huge difference between SonicStage installs from the US (aka Connect) and Japan. If this has been discussed before then I apologize in advance to the admins for this. I've predominantly used SonicStage JA version since I listen to a lot of Japanese music and want the titles to show up correctly and can interact with the interface. I have noticed for some time that I never had all of these initialization/authorization issues that I see people having trouble with. I have suspected for a long time that the US version has this artificial limitation/hassle/etc that drives people insane. Today, I was refreshing my desktop system and had to reinstall SonicStage and decided to install the US version for shits and giggles. To my horror, SonicStage wanted me to reinitialize all my devices and wipe out all the existing files. Good job Sony. I quickly uninstalled the US version and performed a clean installation of the Japanese version. Guess what? SonicStage (JA) simply recognized my devices and let me access them and play music off of them and transfer new tracks without ever asking me to "reinitialize" my devices. That's how it should be in the first place! So, first of all, I'm pretty sure there is some registry key where one could change the US version to behave the same way. I still haven't found it but it has to be there since the install files are essentially the same. (I could be wrong though). Secondly, I wonder what the ultimate reason is behind this. Is it that Japanese users are more trustworthy and are less likely to pirate and thus have less DRM restrictions? Are Japanese users less likely to stand for these lame DRM restrictions? US customers seem to be treated like second class citizens. I do wonder if it also has to do with the fact that the Mora.jp and Connect.com music stores use different DRM restrictions/engines (with the Japanese one being less restrictive) and thus the Japanese version is much more friendly. Anyways, I thought I'd bring this to everyone's attention if they didn't already know about it. At least we have MP3File manager and the new GYM programs to help get around all of these anti-customer-friendly practices.
  18. Any plans to add unicode support to this neat piece of software? My Japanese titles are all jumbled within the program.
  19. Great point! Seriously, the only major flaw of the Vaio Pocket was the lack of a standard USB2 port or at least a "proprietary" cable that connected directly to the unit and charged the device. Forcing people to have the cradle for charging and transferring was the only major drawback. Imagine that with Vaio Pocket Firmware 3.0 and they would have had a competitive product. People still look at my Vaio Pocket and are like, "what is that?!" They think it's very stylish and think the screen is amazing. Considering how "old" it is, it really is amazing. Oh well, things are getting better overall but they still have a long ways to go. Fingers crossed.
  20. Kurisu, feel free to share this thread with your Sony contact. They should know that the community is behind them and we want them to succeed in releasing a quality product. Obviously, their most vocal supporters will be people who are more "technically inclined" and many of us seem to be bi- or multilingual users who influence other buyers. Regardless, no modern program should be without unicode support especially in this day and age. Heck, their own hardware supports multilingual characters while the software doesn't. That's a serious disCONNECT! As of right now, I simply can't recommend Sony products to a lot of my friends since most of them are multilingual and simply want a product that "just works". All my friends are enamored with my Sony gear and are tempted to buy...until I explain to them how they transfer songs onto the devices. Sony is going to need to switch to the User Experience first instead of the Hardware first otherwise no matter what they do, it will just be a hack. When does Connect 2.0...err....2.1 come out?
  21. Ok, here's some retarded news...I can now get my non-English (aka Japanese) music to play properly. If I load up Connect Player using Applocale set to Japanese then it magically plays my Japanese MP3s. The interface remains in English but now it can play most of my MP3s now. Of course, if I set the Applocale to Japanese then Connect Player won't play any songs that have accented characters. The issue really isn't the files themselves but rather the directories that they're in. I have most of my directories sorted iTunes style with artist folder and album sub-folders. So, for instance, Michael Bublé has his own folder but Connect Player can't play any of the songs in his folders it if I have Applocale set to Japanese. I have to switch back to regular English if I want to play the songs. Likewise, if I want to play songs by HOME MADE 家族 then I have to switch to Japanese. This is extremely disappointing. The two major players (iTunes and Windows Media Player) handle unicode files way better. This is a glaring issue that needs to be resolved in the next version.
  22. Sony should just get in contact with Kurisu and have members of this board beta test their software before they release it. We all genuinenly want Connect (and even the venerable SonicStage) to succeed so that we can have an alternative choice of software to use with what we consider very well designed portable digital audio hardware. My early impressions are that Connect Player is moving in the right direction but the implementation isn't very polished yet. They should call it "Limited Connect Player" since it doesn't connect to a majority of their devices. Issues so far (for me) - The pseudo unicode support was such a tease. It can load/read my non-English audio files but it won't play them. Good job Sony! - High memory/CPU usage. The tinyhttp.exe process takes up way too much memory, it doesn't seem like it can be disabled, and there's nothing in the interface that tells you what it's doing. 180MB of memory usage + 180MB of VM usage makes no sense for a simple audio player/transfer tool. - The Connect Player doesn't handle missing or removed files in the Library very well. Instead of telling you that the file is missing, it just says there's an error. Even SonicStage asks you to look for the file. There should be some sort of visual indicator that a file is missing and it should ask you what you want to do about it. - Lack of support for previous ATRAC devices. This one is huge! Sony shouldn't be trying to alienate their existing customers. Yes, we already have SonicStage 3.3 but they should be trying to unify their product lines to use a standard interface. SonicStage 3.3 supports my MusicClip (2000) all the way up to my NW-E507 (2005). I don't see what the technical issue is with adding such support to Connect Player and I don't see the business sense of excluding "legacy" players. What's worse is the confusion with the NW-E5xx/4xx and the NW-A6xx since they basically look the same but currently "use different software" to operate.
  23. What's up with the TinyHTTP.exe process? It consumes 180MB of memory and it seems to chew up a lot of CPU time. That's no good.
  24. I assume you read my original post...? You CANNOT install it directly from the download. You must extract the files from the 13MB download. To extract the files you must you an extraction program first. I used WinRAR. If you have WinRAR installed, you simply right click on the file and tell it to extract it to a directory. Once extracted, you navigate to the "files" directory and look for the "installer" subdirectory. Inside there you will find the Connect Player.msi installer file. You should be able to run that by itself. There's also a Connect Player Language Pack.msi file you can install. I'm not sure what it does exactly but I figure someone smart here will find that out. Once installed, you simply run it. You may experience a javascript error screen the first time you run it. It seems to go away after the first time you run it.
  25. Doh....somewhat bad news... It seems to display my Japanese language files fine but it refuses to play them. Darn. There goes like 40% of my library...
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