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Sony launches 1GB Flash MP3 player

Yes, really MP3

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Sony will ship its latest Flash-based music players at the end of November 2004, the company said today.

Sony Network Walkman NW-E99Both offered under the Network Walkman brand, the two new players, the NW-E95 and NW-E99 offer 512MB and 1GB of storage - the latter enough for 46 CDs, the consumer electronics giant claimed, presumably encoded in ATRAC3 Plus at 48Kbps or less, so don't expect to the sound quality to be too great.

Sony said both players will support MP3 playback, but didn't make it clear whether they offered native support for the format. However, since the existing 128MB NW-E55 and 256MB NW-E75 players are set to get native MP3 support through a software download due to be made available early November, it's likely the NW-E95 and NW-E99 will have the code pre-installed.

Both offer a battery life of 70 hours and they weigh just 40g. European pricing was not disclosed beyond the claim that it will be "competitive". With Creative's MuVo TX 512MB costing £90, the NW-E99 will have to come in under £180 to match its price-per-megabyte score. And that will leave it priced only a little less than the 5GB Zen Micro. ®

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