I used to hate Ipod's and apple so decided to buy a Sony Mp3 player. I have now converted to apple's evil ways as I am too weak minded. Whilst I like the ipod I loved my old song mp3. Whilst the design seem very out dated now, when it was new it was one of the best players on the market.
The Sony's best feature in my opinion is the look and style of it. The player comes in grey, black or purple. The screen is very sleek with the names of songs etc being light up in a blueish light. Its difficult to describe but it looks very good. However the screen does have a problem in the sun. When walking down the street it can be difficult to see the words on the screen but its not a massive problem.
The player has no amazing features. It cannot hold photos, videos, games or anything else. It is a simple mp3 player, but it doesn't try to be anything else. The software it comes with is fairly easy to use and allows the player to be loaded with mp3's and wma's. However it is defiantly not in the same league as itunes which is a far better system.
The player was quite expensive when it first came out at around £130 for this version or £160 for the larger version (which is physically bigger as well as having a bigger memory). It is a good size and easily fits in a hand or pocket. However it is quite heavy which can become annoying. I bought a protective cover for mine as the screen can scratch fairly easily and I would hate to have a scratch running down the screen of such a cool looking piece of kit.
8gb is plenty big enough for me and held 1000's of songs.
I don't believe these are being produced and sold any more which is a shame. At the time they were an amazing mp3 player, now, whilst being out dated they are still a great looking a simple player.
It's a sony, in my opinion, you can't go wrong with a sony. I bought this product before the latest ipods came out, and to this date still use mine! It is around five years old and still works well! Now to the technical stuff, I found it was easy to use, i used the software which came with the device, it has been reported that this software slows your PC, but mine was not affected by it. The device (mine 20GB) stores around 14,000 tracks which is more than enough, and I think this version would store around 9,000, which again is more than enough! The battery life is also good, after a full charge it will last around 12 hours. The sony offers features like 100 most played and you can great ample playlists. It is also easy to browse through your library. There are some issues with the design, now with smaller MP3's available, It is rather chunky and I have had comments about my MP3, many thinking it was a phone! The screen is difficult to see in bright light, which is annoying... Finally it has great sound quality, I think its better than the ipod, and is certainly now cheaper than the ipod, and with build quality issues surrounding the ipod, the sony will not disappoint!
The Sony NW-A1200 is by now an ancient mp3 player style. It does not play videos, hold your photos or solve world peace as many of the mp3's on the market do today, it does not have many capabilites past playing music, however, weirdly enough this is the only capability I really need from my personal portable music player.
In the past few months I have become completely bamboozled by the current trend of mp3 players that can basically be mini laptops, worse are the mp3 players that are also phones, or the phones that are also mp3 players, it is difficult to tell which way round they are going for lately. At the end of the day, when I am shopping for an mp3 player what I am looking for is a device that can allow me to, oh I don't know, listen to music, maybe in mp3 form, whilst on the go. I do not shop for a toaster and expect it to double up as a kettle, I have a kettle for that. Considering this fact I cannot fault the NW-A1200, it does exactly what it says on the tin.
Clearly I may be old fashioned in my ideals, and I will possibly be the only person in the world in tears when they finally go the whole hog and invent a portable device that can do absolutely anything you can think of all whilst showing a flashy show of lights, fireworks and twirling constantly, however many of my friends have lately began to agree with me.
My point is this. The Sony NW-A1200 works. It plays my songs. The system to put the songs onto the player is pretty simple to use, after a few minutes you can easily figure it out. The player does also have some extra settings, it can tell you you're top 100 songs that you play in order, and from this play them in order or shuffle them. You can create playlists, and listen to songs via filtering through album, artist or even years and genres. I have had this player for over two years now and it still does all of these things without fault! The battery life is brilliant too, admittedly the battery level indicator lies to me, forever pessimistically thinking the battery is low when I still have a few hours left, however this is a minor annoyance and pretty acceptable considering the age of the player, and the amount of times I manage to drop it.
Sadly, from what I can gather this player is no longer available, which is what has sparked me to write this review. I decided I may embark on a new player, just for a change really, however have been utterly disappointed with the options. All are either hideously over priced due to the super powers of the players, or cheap and even more basic than this player (i.e no screen, limited options.) This player could easily be marketed, it is a fantastic product, it was a brilliant price if I recall correctly, and I would happily buy it again, maybe simply with more memory capacity.
The Sony NW-A1200 is a fantastic product that I cannot recommend enough, sadly all the recomending in the world will not bring it back to our stores. I do wonder sometimes if a catchier name wouldn't have helped save this from it's demise, I am no marketing executive myself, however the NW-A1200 is not exactly the most memorable name, and also worryingly makes this sound slightly more like a new breed of terminator than a music device, but considering the newest standard a terminator playor is probably only a week away at any rate!
As soon as the fasion of getting an ipod started up, I decided to venture into dixons to get an opinion on buying an mp3, to be told that buying the new (at the time) sony walkman was better than buying an ipod as the battery could be removed when it stopped working. So i brought one and downloaded all the software and songs. But after a couple of months, things started to go wrong. For one, songs were unable to be downloaded onto the mp3 and then the mp3 was unable to connect to the pc properly. So as a result I phoned up sony to be told that they hadn't heard of any situations of this occuring so they didnt take it in to check it over. As a result I went out and brought an ipod, which after a couple of slight hitches, has worked for about 2 years now.
So i sugget to stick to the ipod
I bought the Sony NW-A1200 in March for around £100, as it was well-reviewed and far cheaper than similarly specced iPods. I didn't need video, radio, games - just an MP3 player, with decent battery life and sound quality. Which is probably a good job, considering the NW-A1200 lacks all these features.
First impressions: Not as sleek or thin as the iPod, but still an impressive looking thing; a semi-transparent design resembling an oddly-shaped egg. The word 'orb' comes to mind, and a friend of mine initially thought it was a phone. Well, I like the looks of it. The screen is green writing on a dark background, which is very easy to read indoors, but a pain to view in sunlight. Furthermore, the unit is heavier than I expected: it's certainly noticeable in your pocket, and NOT suitable for running with. If you're a cyclist, it easily fits into rear jersey pockets and is of tolerable weight, but you might feel the pull on your collar.
This isn't meant to be a lightweight unit, however. Considering it features 8x the storage of my previous no-brand player, I can forgive it being several times heavier and larger. My focus was on the sound quality and storage, and here it didn't disappoint: not only are the included bud-style headphones genuinely high-quality and comfortable (if a little prone to falling out of the ear), they also convey the great sound of this player. Playing MP3 files at 192kbit/s (accept no less!) the bass is full, while vocals are crystal clear. As a guitarist and fan of rock music, it's great to be able to listen to such music with difficult bass guitar being played true to the original, while louder volumes remain free of distortion. I've listened to everything from traditional French music to modern dance, and have yet to be disappointed with the playback. The only faults I have come across are a lack of volume - even with the higher levels enabled - which can be somewhat frustrating when trying to listen on a plane, or in other environments with high background noise. I imagine it's probably for the best, though - with this style of bud-headphone shoved in your ear playing at high volume, I wouldn't be surprised if hearing loss was a risk otherwise.
Navigation between directories is easy, with well-structured menus making it a breeze to hop between artists and albums. Make no mistake, though - the button interface just isn't a patch on an iPod's scroll wheel. It's relatively slow, and just doesn't strike you as being intuitive in the same way the iPod does. Still, if, like me, you tend to listen to albums all the way through rather than flicking from song to song, this won't be a major issue.
The battery life could be an issue, however. While the manufacturer claims 'up to 20 hours', my experience has led me to expect much, much less - around half, if that. This is because the manufacturer's claims are based on listening to a certain bitrate, format, volume, and not turning the player off - which, obviously, does not reflect real-world usage. This isn't a dig at Sony, since all the manufacturers seem to do this, but a more realistic indication would be welcome.
Still, unless you're planning on taking long-haul flights with this player, that needn't put you off the NW-A1200. What WILL put you off it is the software - it's just awful. Having taken your money, Sony then forces you to use its terrible 'SonicStage' software for accessing & adding music to the player. Imagine iTunes - which, in itself, is by no means perfect - but add a few dozen crippling bugs and an ugly interface, and voila! You have SonicStage. The only reason I can possibly come up with for Sony making this software, rather than simply making the player come up as an external drive, is that they want to encourage people to use the integrated Connect music store. Well, SonicStage didn't even recognise the player it was written to support - when Windows would(!) - and I was left with a player that was unuseable on my main computer. Having said that, it did work on my 10-year-old 333mhz PC... very logical, Sony.
Fortunately, after trawling for hours on the net, I found an unofficial alternative to SonicStage that actually works. The bad news is that it is dependent on SonicStage being installed, but the good news is that it actually worked for me, and is a much simpler, drag-and-drop interface. Combined with foobar2000 for managing and sorting music, it turned out to be a fairly simple workaround for Sony's awful software.
Anyway, the software that'll save you hours messing with Sony's official music manager for this player is 'MP3 File Manager', also by Sony, but written for another of its MP3 player ranges. Google it, or find it on the 'SonicStage' Wikipedia page.
In addition to major software trouble, the player suffers from being prone to dust getting under its screen. I thought it might have been unique to my player, but the same has happened to several of my friends, who have the NW-A3000 player. While this doesn't make the player any less useable, it is VERY annoying, and it's a problem compounded by the fact Sony doesn't include any kind of pouch for the player. These can be bought from them separately - at fairly considerable cost - or preferably, cheapo alternatives are available on eBay.
In summary, this is a solid piece of hardware with good features and superb sound quality that's completely let down by awful software and other annoying niggles. If these problems aren't of concern to you, this iPod alternative will offer more bang for your buck than many players out there.
This particular peice of hardware is the latest and most powerful version ever of the Sont Walkman. It is not a phone\mp3 player\bluetooth device\internet browser\tennis racket\life raft. This is a 100%, sleek, ultra-powerful, bottomless memory capacity music machine. Its display is very stylish, no need for a screen when you could just put the music's stats on the very shell! It in my opinion is definitely more stylish than its category competitor, the iPod Video. It happily slides into my pocket, is surprisingly easy to navigate, and I would reccomend to anyone who loves their music.