For anyone who intersted in the currant mp3 craze this is a must, yes a expensive bit of kit but if the music costs nowt then who cares. This is the first MP3 player I have ever owned. I also have a Sony Vaio. I like Sony products and buy them all the time. I admit, the software that is set up for this unit is easy to use but limited to Sony products only. I have not downloaded any music from the online site to put into the memory of the MP3 player. But, a friend emailed a song to me in MP3 format and Sonicstage (Sony's software) would not let me open it to transfer. I have to look into this. I have been transferring songs to the unit buy recording from Cd's to my hard drive using the Sonicstage software and then transferring the songs to the unit. It takes 2mins per song if that! Really cool. I like the small design. It looks and feels nice. Only problem is there are some function buttons on the side that are really small and to click them you have to examine them closely and then hope your finger pushes the button when you press. The LED is cool lighting up blue and it will scroll the music information (song, title, album, genre, artist, time remaining, speed recorded) if you program it before recording with Sonicstage. The USB plugs right in and no problems with the cover that is metal and easy to open/close. Battery time could be an issue. I might buy an extra battery just to have two in case one dies. I have another memory stick on order but figure this: I put 12 song on the card I have now and recorded them at medium quality (105 bpm) and I still have 84MB of space left on the card.
Before we get started I think I should state that I am praising this item but I do have some criticisms. I got the Sony NW MS-11 Walkman as a Christmas present at the end of January, a little bit late I must admit but at least I eventually got it. I had been waiting in anticipation for this because it was my dream to be able to carry my music around with me wherever I go. Music is my life, I can’t go for a day without listening to my mp3 collection. This certainly has been the best piece of technology I have had in a long time. There are many factors, which are so great about it: SIZE – it is so small and light that you hardly notice it sitting in your pocket as you walk to school, out on the slope and in the skate park. MEMORY – it comes with a 128mb Magicgate memory card as standard. This will hold roughly 43 tracks of music files of the size 4mb (standard size). It is possible to buy multiple memory cards, which would be interchangeable at a cost. DESIGN – it has a very stylish modern look about it, which means that it is not an embarrassment to own one. FUNCTIONALITY – it has no moving parts inside of it and therefore it is skip-free and thus you can enjoy listening to your music without it being interrupted when you are being active. PRACTICALITY – I think that I have already gone over these points but just to reinforce them: small, light, skip-free and easy to record. It is very easy to upload the tracks you want onto the Walkman. All that you need to do is to have the software installed onto your computer, plug in the Walkman using the USB cable provided and copy the tracks across using the installed software. It is then possible to rename the tracks using the software on the computer for your own convenience. Then when you are on the move the track names will be displayed on the backlit screen. You are provided with a plug to charge t
he battery up with. All that it takes is to take the battery out of the Walkman and slot it into the plug and leave it until it is fully charged. You are given: Walkman 128mb memory card Rechargeable battery Battery charger Headphones Protective bag Key chain Software Instruction manual -All for £300. Now down to the bad points: ·If you do not take good care of the Walkman it can become damaged very easily. I am very careless and leave it lying around everywhere and I have got a big dent across the front of it. ·It can be a bit of a burden trying to change the play list regularly. ·It seems very expensive for what it is. The price will probably be half of what it is in 6 months. But overall, the good points far outweigh the bad points and so I highly recommend it.
This is something of a double-whammy - the first review of this product and my first review for DooYoo! On reading other reviews, it seems to me that a lot of people are trying to be way too eloquent and in many cases, don't concentrate enough on the actual item they're reviewing. When I look at a review, I don't want to finish reading it thinking "Oh, wow, I wish he/she'd go the extra mile and make that into a full blown novel", I want to know if my hard earned cash is going to be well spent on whatever it is that's being reviewed. I'll choose content over style every time.....that said, I'll stop being a hypocrite and get on with it... I spent a lot of time searching for a decent digital audio player and finally decided on the Sony NW-E10, (which I still think is a better player, on paper at least, than the MS-11 as it natively supports MP3), but had problems sourcing one as Sony had just decided to discontinue it. Just my luck. The MS-11 is very similar to the NW-E10, but uses a 128Mb 'MagicGate' memory stick as storage (as opposed to the NW-E10, which uses flash memory) and only natively supports Sony's ATRAC3 encoding (the NW-E10, as I mentioned above, also natively supports MP3). At the end of the day, I've got a fair amount of Sony kit and find that in general, you can't go wrong with it. I've only had it up and running for a few days but have to say that so far, I'm really impressed. This is actually my second MS-11. I couldn't get the OpenMG software (used for managing your music and transferring files to/from the unit) to recognise the first one, even though the operating system (WinME) seemed to think everything was connected fine. I'm an IT engineer and without sounding like I'm blowing my own brass instrument, if I had problems getting it to work, I expect most people would have had problems with it. The replacement (which coin
cided with me buying a new PC running XP Home - and no, I'm not made of money!) installed, connected and started working first time. Reviews about the NW-MS7 mention problems running under ME, so bear that in mind before making your decision - unless, of course, you don't mind re-installing the O/S on your PC in order to get the MS-11 to work! The MS-11 itself, is about as long as a packet of cigarettes, half as wide and probably weighs only a fraction more. It comes with a rechargeable battery that, according to the manual, will last for 10-11 hours (you'll have to charge and re-charge it a few times before reaching optimal battery life - which takes about 2 hours). It's silver/grey in colour with a single line (but scrolling) blue backlit LCD display. This is used for the simple menu system and to display information about the current track (or a nice little graphic equaliser!). There are the usual random play options, a volume limiting system that can be customised for 3 different settings (LO, MED and HIGH) and a really useful 'MegaBass' feature which can beef up MP3s that have been created with too much treble. Controlling which track is played is achieved by using a 'seesaw' control that rolls back & forth to skip/fast-forward/rewind tracks (and to move around the menu system), and depresses to start/pause play and for selecting items from aforesaid menu system. It comes with a pair of solid 'in-the-ear' headphones which, in my opinion, are too easily heard from the outside - so budget for another pair if you don't want to annoy fellow public transport users...having said that, they obviously would be fine for use when jogging or in the gym. You also get a keyring attachment in the box but I can't think who'd want to place £300 worth of audio gadgetry on their keys, except for the "Hey, look at my walkman - it fits on my keyring!" value. The MS-11 arrives with a 128Mb
' ;MagicGate' memory stick, which at the lowest ATRAC3 encoding rate (66Kbps - remember, it's higher quality than MP3, so this probably equates to around 96Kbps using MP3 encoding) can hold 4-5 CDs worth. The lower level doesn't really seem to differ in quality from the intermediate encoding rate (105kbps - at least, with my ears) but average track sizes are about almost 1Mb lower. As I type this review, I've got near to 50 tracks on my MS-11, with almost 30Mb to spare! The 'MagicGate' part of the memory stick name refers to it adhering to a digital music copy protection system. Much has been said about companies like Sony making products that limit the type of music you can use depending on where it originates from (I certainly don't agree with this and it was almost enough to make me buy elsewhere), but the MS-11 is just so damn good! The OpenMG software that comes with the MS-11 lets you "check out" a file to the device 3 times before you have to check it back in again. In real terms, this basically means that instead of just erasing the tracks already on the unit itself, you have to perform a "check in" on each track, which really takes no more than a few seconds per song. I've got a fairly big collection of MP3s downloaded from the internet and have only found 1 file that OpenMG refused to import (and I suspect that this was due to the file consistency rather than any copy protection issues). Importing MP3s to ATRAC3 is a doddle and only takes 30 seconds or so for each file (on a 2.2GHz P4) and once done will be stored in the Sony\OpenMG\Packages folder as a .OMG file. These files can be played by the OpenMG software but don't expect something like WinAmp to handle them. Moving songs to the device is nice and quick thanks to the USB connection and ripping a whole CD will take around 5 minutes. The only problem I've had so far is that when ripping CDs, even on my 'fast&
#39; PC, doing other things whilst the OpenMG software is encoding the tracks sometimes causes tiny gaps in the resulting file(s) - I assume this due to the CPU maxing out (even on a 2.2GHz with 512Mb RAM and a 48x CD! - good old Micro$oft). The moral of this, I suppose, is to not plan on using the machine for anything else whilst ripping is in progress. It's surprising, as I've converted many CDs to MP3 on much slower PCs, whilst running other apps in the background without ever having these sort of problems. Anyway, I digress... All in all, the NW-MS11 is an extremely smart piece of kit and the only thing I can fault it on so far is the price. At an RRP of £300 (street price of around £270 - I got mine for £240 ;-z), it's considerably more than other players of a similar spec., but the Sony brand is one you can trust and it just drips quality. If you're looking for a quality, upgradeable "MP3" player and have a few extra pennies to spare, then you won't go far wrong with the NW-MS11. *** LONG TERM TEST UPDATE *** I've had the MS-11 for about a year now, so thought I'd post a few more "long term" results/thoughts... The MS-11 remains a great digital audio player and my previous comments still stand. However (you knew there was going to be a 'however', right?), there are a few niggles that have only come to light during extended use... As mentioned above, I've been using this for about a year and it seems that the rechargeable battery is approaching its demise. Sony quote 4 hours initial battery life and, when new, is just about on the button. I expected to have to replace it at some point, I just didn't expect 'some point' to come so soon. I still get a good couple of hours from the battery but the charge indicator (which has 3 'bars') never says that it's full, even following a full overnight charge. In addition to
this, it seems to go from 2 bars down to a single bar after just a few minutes of play. It's a little disconcerting, not knowing if you need to charge the battery (yet again) for that long journey or that workout in the gym. Also (and this is a tiny niggle - I may well have mentioned this in the initial review), the random play option doesn't actually seem to be that random. I'm sure the chaos theorists will disagree (and technically, they're right of course), but regularly playing 3/4 consecutive tracks isn't what I'd call 'random' (or 'shuffle as the MS-11 calls it....never play poker with this device! hehe). This may be a general trait of 'in the ear' headphones, but I still find the pair that's included with the MS-11 to let out too much sound, so much so that you end up having to turn the volume up to near maximum. I also find that the left headphone doesn't fit as well as the right one and it tends to fall out when I'm running.........and that my arm hurts when I do this, etc. :-0 Having to use Sony's own ATRAC3 encoding has gone from being a minor annoyance to somewhat of a pain in the a*se. It's only really that it's inconvenient rather than causing any actual problems. I'm also just about to buy a car audio unit that's MP3 compatible so will probably end up having 2 copies of everything. Bear things like this in mind before committing yourself to Sony's encoding dictatorship... On the plus side, the build quality of this unit is just something else... It still looks like new, all the buttons and moving parts are still as responsive as they were on first use and its survived being dropped countless times. On the whole, I'm glad that I chose the NW-MS11 although sometimes I daydream about having a natively MP3/WMV compatible player......aaaahhhhhhh!