Sony W-series Walkman MP3 player
Eat this, Shuffle
Sony's handy – but Windows only - Content Transfer widget comes pre-loaded in the W202's memory and once installed on your PC lets you drag and drop files directly from iTunes or Windows Explorer – though not WMP or Songbird. It's a simple little application but it makes life a lot easier for those of us who use iTunes to organise our music libraries.
To round things up, it's worth saying that we had no problems accessing the W202's storage via either Mac or Linux machines, and that while Sony reckons a full charge is good for 12 hours of playback we found that to be a little optimistic - the best we managed was a little over nine. Sony also says that a three-minute charge from flat will give you 90 minutes' playback, a claim that this time we found to be almost spot on.
If the W202 has a downside, it's that wearing it makes you look a bit like Lando Calrissian's mate Lobot from The Empire Strikes Back or a wannabe Cyberman. Street crime may also be an issue – with the player on display from the rear and lacking a headphones cable it would be a pretty straightforward snatch and grab for any felonious urban youth that you happened to encounter.
Sony will sell you a 2GB W202 for £59 - though we suspect you'll be able to find it cheaper in due course. That's the same price as a 4GB iPod Shuffle, but then the Sony is the better sounding player and is altogether a more funky and clever bit of design.
As a player for use when you are out and about, in the gym, jogging, sh**ging or travelling, the W202 is hard to fault. It's light, comfortable, sounds good and does away with the need for earphone cables or Bluetooth connectivity. ®