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Sony whips up fresh Walkman players

Zappin', apparently

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Sony has unveiled a pair of new "entry-level" Walkman music players.

The E440 series sports a 2in, 320 x 240 LCD display and is video-capable, playing back MPEG 4 and H.264/AVC files copied across from... iTunes. Yes, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Sony Walkman E

Sony's Walkman E: Clear sound, apparently

The 9.3mm-thick Es will play WMV videos too, plus WMA, AAC and MP3 audio. They've an FM tuner on board, a five-band equaliser and a stack of Sony automatic sound-tweaking technologies marketed under the Clear brand.

The E-series players will show JPEG photos too.

Available in 4, 8 and 16GB capacities - not to mention red and black colour schemes - the E440s provide up to 30 hours' music playback and will run for six hours showing videos, Sony claimed.

Sony Walkman B

B series: Shuffle-plus

The B140 line-up comprises slim 2GB and 4GB models in a host of colours. Some models have FM tuners, others don't, but they all have a three-line LCD, WMA and MP3 playback, five-band equaliser and an 18-hour music playback runtime.

The players have a feature Sony calls "Zappin'" - who comes up with these names? - which "plays a few instantly-recognisable seconds from within each song" so you can quickly pick tracks without having to peer at the screen. In which case, why put a screen in?

Sony didn't say how much the various new models will cost here, but they'll be out by the end of the month. ®

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