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About spex

  • Birthday 12/31/1965

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    NW-HD3, NW-A3000

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  1. ..and Sony just announced new Walkman models that are WMA Playsforsure that appear to have no ATRAC support and use Windows Media Player 11 for management. http://www.sony-europe.com/view/ShowPressR...;site=odw_en_EU
  2. I just received the following email from Sony: CONNECT Music Service to Phase Out To Our Valued Sony CONNECT Customers, Today Sony announced its intent to move to a Windows Media Technology platform for Walkman® products in the United States, Canada and Europe. We strongly believe that the decision to embrace a more open platform will enable us to provide you with a better music enjoyment experience. As a result of this change, we will be phasing out the CONNECT™ Music Service, based on Sony's ATRAC audio format, in North America and Europe. Specific timing will vary by region depending on market demand, but will not be before March 2008. All of Sony’s new Walkman music and video devices will be supported by a very wide range of third party services around Europe. We are fully committed to helping you through this important transition away from a proprietary music service. In the coming weeks and months, we will keep you closely informed of the status of the CONNECT Music Service phase out in your country, and provide you with the best possible guidance on how to successfully transfer your music library to an MP3 or Windows Media-compatible format. Periodic updates will also be posted on the CONNECT music store and on the Sony Europe customer service site, http://support.sony-europe.com We recommend that you use any outstanding promotional vouchers or account credits prior to March 2008. Thank you for all your purchases and feedback so far, and for your continued support as we work to complete this transition with as little disruption to you as possible. Yours sincerely, Sony CONNECT Europe Team
  3. I don't think he was playing dumb - just stating the reason for the limiter being in place. I had a conversation with one of the Sony service engineers a few weeks back about this subject. Even if there was a way of removing the limit they cannot tell people otherwise Sony could be held liable if a user suffered hearing loss as a consequence.
  4. The S700 I am testing is a 1Gb model - it has the noise cancelling feature.
  5. True. But in that case the noise cancelling circuitry inside the S700 is not used.
  6. Noise cancelling will only work with the supplied headphones (unless Sony release more compatible phones. The noise cancelling circuitry is inside the S700 and the earphones have an extra long jack with a raised section of metal near the base of the jack plug. This extra piece in the jack plug carries the signal from the microphones in each earpiece through to the Walkman. Normal headphones won't have the mic-in jack (or inbuilt microphones for that matter) and so they will not be able to support noise cancelling.
  7. I had a good opportunity to test the Noise Cancelling feature of the S700 yesterday. I listened to various tracks on a flight from London to Brussels. Initially I thought the feature didn't work - when you navigate through the menu to the Noise Cancelling option it displays the option 'ON' which I assumed was a button to turn the feature on. In fact it was showing me that the feature was already on and so I turned it off by mistake. Once I had rewired my brain to cope with the strange usability error I found that the noise cancelling worked very well. By turning down the volume on to 1 or 2 and then switching Noise Cancelling on and off I could hear a huge difference in the characteristic of the background noise. I also found that I could listen comfortably with very little outside disturbance at volume settings of 23 to 25. It's worth mentioning that Noise Cancelling doesn't remove all ambient noises. Instead it filters out high frequency noise leaving lower frequency noises in place. When you turn on your music the lower frequency noise gets lost in the mix. One strange feature - if you switch tracks with Noise Cancelling enabled there is a short (<1 second) burst of non-cancelled noise before the Noise Cancelling kicks in again. I guess this is becase the noise cancelling circuitry builds up a buffer of ambient noise before it starts cancelling. Another interesting feature I tested is the Dynamic Normalizer. This is intended to balance out the volume levels between tracks. In practice it seemed to give a considerable volume boost to most tracks that I played. Maybe I recorded them all too quietly in the first place ;-)
  8. I couldn't find the recording function - it could be that it is not enabled on the pre-production unit I have been loaned. I will check with Sony & report back.
  9. DSP - I just did a direct compare of the S700 with my NW-A3000 (with noise restrictions disabled). I used the noise cancelling headphones on the S700 and a pair of Westone UM2 high sensitivity headphones with the NW-A3000. Bearing in mind the Westone headphones cost about $200 the S700 performs very well in comparison. Bass response is good and percussion sounded very lifelike. The sound is detailed but not as loud as the NW-A3000 + Westones - given the sensitivity of the Westones that's hardly surprising. As I was testing in a quiet living room it was difficult for me to discern the effect of the noise cancelling features - I'll test again on a plane journey this Wednesday. The only real test of any MP3 player is whether you enjoy the music. I have had players in the past that I couldn't listen to for long periods because the sound somehow irritated me. This is not the case with the S700 - it's easy to listen to. 2 of the tracks I chose to test with are quite challenging - 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' and 'Orgasmatron' from Albert Kuvezin's Re-Covers album (Check out http://www.yat-kha.com/html/what/yat_kha_cd_recovers.php to download the tracks yourself). The S700 performed very well - the soundstage was very lifelike with individual instruments easy to place in the mix. The only downside was that I had to drive the volume on maximum to get a volume even approaching the NW-A3000/Westone combination. My final test was to play the S700 through the Westones. The unit automatically detected that the noise cancelling headphones weren't present and I was able to run the volume at 22 to 24 out of 30 to get an excellent soundstage. Overall conclusion - excellent sound quality but needs more volume. I really need to test in a location with ambient noise to evaluate the noise cancelling feature.
  10. The surround is real metal. Sound quality is good - similar to my NW-A3000. Thing is, I don't usually mess about with EQ settings so I couldn't really comment on its ability to present overly strong bass/whatever. I haven't had a chance to play with it since Friday - maybe tonight.
  11. I managed to get an extended loan so I will expand on my review next week sometime. One negative is the same as for NW-A3000 that I have - the OLED display is not bright enough in sunshine.
  12. I managed to borrow one of the new S700s for half an hour in the Sony Brussels office. Check out my first impressions at Silvabokis and a see couple of hi-res photos at Pbase.
  13. The NW-S200 series Sports MP3 players have been announced by Sony UK. Check out the comment at SilvaBokis (exclusive pictures to follow).
  14. I thought if you copied the files onto media (cd, usb, even walkman as data) and then loaded them onto a new machine then you could exchange files. What surprised me was that files that are 'checked in' to the walkman can actually be copied to another pc.
  15. Or more precisely, if you rip to ATRAC on one install of SonicStage CP with copy protection disabled you can then transfer those tracks off your Walkman to a different PC and they play back fine with no DRM warnings. More at Silva Bokis
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