Feeds

Sony adds hard drive 'airbag' to MP3 player

Drop it and your music's safe, apparently

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Sony will this month ship its latest hard drive-based personal digital music player, this time adding a removable battery to the feature set and an anti-impact system to the unit's hard disk.

Sony NW-HD5 digital music playerThe NW-HD5 is equipped with a 20GB drive, which sports a "G Sensor" to detect sudden drops and cushion the storage medium to prevent damage and data loss. IBM recently added such a mechanism to its ThinkPad hard drives, as did Apple with it laptops, but this is the first time we've seen the technique applied to portable music players.

The unit uses a monochrome 128 x 128 seven-line display that can be set to black text on a white background or white text on a black background. The display can also flip between portrait and landscape mode, depending on whether you want to hold the unit upright like an iPod or sideways as you would with the NW-HD3 and previous Sony hard drive-based players.

The player itself measures 8.9 x 6.0 x 1.4cm - shorter than Apple's monochrome iPod, but otherwise the same size. The iPod is heavier: 158g to the Sony's 135g.

The NW-HD5 plays Sony's own ATRAC 3 and ATRAC 3 Plus audio formats, but also boasts native MP3 support. You still need Sony's own SonicStage jukebox software to transfer files to the player. The bundled 880mAh battery provides between 30 and 40 hours' continuous playback, Sony claimed, depending on whether you're using MP3 or ATRAC 3 Plus formats, respectively. The battery can be charged via the player's USB 2.0 connector.

The player goes on sale in Japan on 21 April for around ¥35,000 (£172/$324). There's no word yet on European or US availability, but we note the Japanese unit incorporates English, French, German, Spanish and Italian language support, so a broader roll-out has to be on the cards. ®

Related stories

Griffin launches iVault to encase iPod Shuffle
Matsushita readies iTunes-friendly music player
Apple's iPod stokes MP3 player market 'boom'
Sony preps iPod Shuffle 'killer'
Apple faces iPod, iTunes patent violation claims
Sony Ericsson launches 'Walkman'
Sony preps 'iPod killer' - again

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Simplify SSL certificate management across the enterprise
Simple steps to take control of SSL across the enterprise, and recommendations for a management platform for full visibility and single-point of control for these Certificates.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.