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Anyone got a Sony NWZA818 media player?

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I've been reading a few reviews for the new Sony mp3 players, and am concerned about a few suspicions I have of these machines, but cannot find anywhere that definitively answers my questions.

So, does anyone out there know?

1. I know it can handle ATRAC files (despite reading some user reviews stating Sony have abandoned the format). But can it handle the higher bit rates (i.e. 256, 320 and 352 kbps)? And can I simply drag-and-drop my 352kbps ATRAC3 files that I created in SonicStage into the machine? (I know the machine has the drag-and-drop facility; I'm referring solely to the ATRAC3 files I already have).

2. I have read that one problem is that it plays back segued (joined) tracks with a tiny little gap between them (as the iPod does apparently). I like to listen to a few concept albums that have many segued tracks (e.g. Sgt Pepper, The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, etc.) as well as live albums. Do these little gaps appear between ATRAC recordings, or just other formats?

3. Does it have a line input to record from an external source (like minidisc can), or can it only store recordings drag-and-dropped from a computer through the USB? (I suspect the latter...)

4. When playing back optimum quality tracks, does it sound as good as the best HiMD Walkmans?


Edited by KanakoAndTheNumbSkulls
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Theres two versions of the A8xx players. AFAIK the differences are. The older A808 (and 806 etc) supports ATRAC but requires SonicStage and can play gapless with ATRAC. The new A818 (and 816 etc) doesn't support ATRAC but doesn't need SonicStage and isn't gapless. I've read theres some difference in the menu options but I haven't read a definitive list of the differences. Hardware and earphones are the same.

None of them have a line in AFAIK.

iPods can play some form of gapless. I don't know the details.

I've heard that its sounds the same, (A818 vs RH1) but I've also heard the RH1 is better. I don't know which is true. Perhaps they sound different? For example. http://www.atraclife.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=4380

But the A818 is half the price of the RH1. The ideal would be to buy the A818 for commuting, throwing in a bag etc. But keep the RH1 for at home and recording. For me I already have a MZ-NH700, which I only use for recording. So I couldn't justify a RH1 aswell, they are very expensive, and there have been reports of some units failing. I expect the A818 sounds better than my MZ-NH700 though as some of my other MP3 players are better than it for playback.

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Thanks for that Sparky. Yeah, I was thinking of keeping my RH1 and NH600 for recording, and getting a hard disc unit for more convenience in listening to pre-recorded stuff - but a line-in would have been a nice bonus!

But since the newer models apparently do not support ATRAC (I'm gutted!) and they play back with gaps, it seems I'm just going to stick with my HiMDs for now. I'm starting to think now that Sony are just plain stupid. :crazy:

You absolutely sure ATRAC is not supported now? Only, it is mentioned in the product information on Amazon.co.uk...

Edited by KanakoAndTheNumbSkulls
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I'm not 100% certain. But even Sony has different product pages for them. Check out the tech spec tab. You can probably pick up a A808 which is closer to what you want.



In fairness dropping ATRAC and SonicStage has made it more popular. I'd prefer the 818 myself.

atraclife.com probably has more info on the details.


Edited by Sparky191
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