Feeds
80%
Sony X-Series Walkman

Sony X-Series Walkman

Does it kick the iPod into touch?

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Sony audio goodies include Clear Stereo and Clear Bass and the Digital Sound Enhancement Engine (DSEE). The latter aims to emulate sonic elements lost in compression but – unless you’ve got so used to that tight bandwidth MP3 sound that nothing else will do – you'll never want to switch it off. With this additional processing, and a quality set of headphones, the sound was rich and rewarding, and just about the best we've heard from a portable player.

Sony X-Series Walkman

Noise-cancelling headphones as standard

Conveniently accessible from the music player, the five-band graphic equaliser features five presets, plus a further two that you can customise. There’s also a selection of ambient treatments provided by Sony’s Virtualphones Technology (VPT), which offers effects such as studio, live, club, arena etc. These offer clear differences to suit the type of music you’re listening to, although some seem a bit gimmicky. We can’t imagine anyone subjecting themselves to the ultra compressed and seemingly flanged sound of the karaoke setting for long.

Supporting a broader range of formats than Apple's alternative, the X-series accommodates Microsoft's WMA, plus MP3, AAC and lossless PCM, although you won't be able to play FLAC, or, indeed, Apple Lossless. For video there’s H.264, MPEG4 and WMV9. Sony’s Media Manager software certainly lacks the grace and far-reaching capabilities of iTunes but it is easy to use.

Unlike Apple’s iTunes, Sony’s Media Manager only works on Windows PCs. If you haven’t got a Windows XP or Vista machine, the flash drive will still mount as a storage device for drag and drop use on Macs and Linux machines. A facility that runs contrary to Sony's own website FAQ claims that there is no Macintosh support. In use, Media Manager can be set to automatically sync data with your PC, or you can drag and drop files individually. It’ll also automatically pull in any tracks you already have on your computer, even from your PC version of iTunes.

Wi-Fi proved to be easy to set up, but when it comes to web browser design, Sony would have done itself a favour by having a quick consultation with Sony Ericsson on its excellent phone-based versions. Alas, the X-series browser is sadly wanting, with an awkward interface for inputting URLs that uses a phone-style keypad rather than a QWERTY keyboard. Also, we were shocked to discover we had to physically enter ‘http://’ at the beginning of a URL – it was like something out of the nineties.

Sony X-Series Walkman

Smaller than the iPod Touch, but a smaller screen too

The bundled Youtube application works well for playback but, when browsing, the pages didn't always render properly, so it was a bit of a disappointment overall. On the plus side, you can swap the resolution to landscape mode and zoom in and out of pages, but it’s really not as easy and intuitive as it should be for a modern handheld browser.

Top three mobile application threats

Next page: Verdict

More from The Register

next story
NEW Raspberry Pi B+, NOW with - count them - FOUR USB ports
Composite vid socket binned as GPIO sprouts new pins
Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad
Apple's fondleslab is the tablet dermatitis sufferers won't want to take
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Mobile application security vulnerability report
The alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, and the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.