I like to listen to music, several different genres to be honest, but I'm not one of those people that thinks that the people around me should have to put up with my music at a level that could shake a monkey out of a tree.
When I'm out and about, maybe even sat at a desk, I sometimes like to sit with earphones in listening to a bit of music which seems to help me concentrate as I go about doing what ever I'm doing, be it exercising, writing or going through some work related projects, (honest boss).
So, it's a matter of finding a decent music player that can not only store all my music but also sounds the part, plus doesn't make me look like I'm still in the prehistoric era.
I have actually used several different music players, or MP3 players, with many different results, some good, some bad and some worth crying about.
And it's one particular MP3 player that I am going to tell you about now, although to be honest it's more than an MP3 music player, as you'll soon discover.
This music player is in fact from a well known company who have spent years keeping people on the move with their music. This company is called Sony and the device is called a Walkman, (remember the old walkman tape players from the 80's and 90's?). the actual full name of this one being the Sony Walkman NWZ-E44 (BLK 8GB).
What does it look like..?
It's small, being about 90mm long by 45mm wide and a mere 10mm thick, weighing in at a lightweight 50grams.
On the front, where all the action is, there is the 2inch LCD screen, or display, giving a clear 240 x 320 resolution display.
Below this there are the controls which surround a circular cursor type, with the back/home button on the left and an on/off/option button on the right.
These button are actually in the shape of what I think is Mickey mouse's head, with the ears, but no nose, eyes or mouth.
This earphone jack is on the bottom of the unit with the mini USB port next to it. There's also a little strap slot and a tiny reset button just above it.
The earphone jack is a standard 3.5mm so you're not restricted to the set that come with this device, you can use your favourite ear buds instead. Although the ones that come with this are not that bad at all really.
The mini USB port is used for both transferring data to and from the device and also for charging the battery up. A full charge
That's what it looks like then: So what can it do..?
It is more than an MP3 player, it is a video player, an image viewer, a radio, with 30 preset FM stations and even a voice recorder with stereo sound through the ear phones.
Clear bass sound effect and a five band preset graphic equalizer, Unique, pop, jazz, heavy and custom.
It supports many formats, such as MP3, AAC, WMA, LPCM and DRM, also supporting Mpeg-4 and WMV on the video player side.
The display is 240 x 320 pixel on a 2inch LCD display.
USB uploading support which is compatible with most modern windows OS, including 7.
Built in rechargeable Lithium Ion battery takes a couple of hours or so to fully charge, giving about 30 hours of music playback, 4 hours of constant video watching and 50-60 hours of radio listening.
How do you use it then..?
Simple, and it is made easier by flicking through the straight forward instruction manual.
Anyway, the first thing you have to do it plug the USB into your PC, your PC should find the drivers automatically as it is a plug and play system.
So, once you've installed the drivers, you then go ahead and transfer your chosen songs onto the device. This is done in the usual ways, either 'send to' drag and drop' or 'copy and paste'... in this particular system I do recommend using either the 'drag and drop' or the 'copy and paste' method as once you've started uploading folders on the device the 'send to' method doesn't send the files directly to the folder you want.
So know you've got folders filled with your favourite music, videos and images, maybe even a few files of voice recording as well, it's all down to your own preference
All you do now is use the menu button and the cursor buttons to select what you want to listen to or watch or look at.
It's all as simple as that really and, like many things, the more you use it the easier it becomes to use.
Is it easy to use..?
Yes, pretty much anyway. You simply press the menu button, then, using the cursor buttons, go through the display on the screen to find what you want.
The display helps you select what you want clearly, showing several little icons, which you then use the cursor key to navigate around them as this is not a touch screen device.
Once you've chosen the icon you want, be it the movie, image or music, you then click the centre of the cursor, which act as the OK button as well as the play pause button.
This process is then repeated until you have reached what ever you wanted to find.
That's it... it's as easy to use as one of those old fashioned tape recorders that were around many years ago. (google 'tape recorders' and see).
This is a well made MP3 player which offers more than playing music.
It looks the part and really doesn't make me look too much of an idiot as I use it in public, although when I start singing I do tend to draw a bit of attention, and not in a good way either.
I particularly like the easy to understand icons that appear on the display, with the chosen icon lighting up to let me know which one is chosen. The cursor button reacts quickly, which you would expect really, especially as it is the cursor that controls the lot as this is not a touch screen unit.
The sound quality is great, although this is down to the earphones you have connected. I have stuck with the ones that came with this player as I find them to be both comfortable in my ear and they give good sound quality as well, which is what you need in a pair of ear phones.
I have fiddled about with the inbuilt graphic equaliser and find that there is a lot of sound difference on each setting, but after a bit of 'twiddling' I've stuck with the 'custom' setting and made it my very own for my special little ears. I do have to say that I did find the 'jazz' setting a little, shall we say, 'fuzzy' for my liking, but each to their own I suppose.
Then there's the video and image quality, which are not that bad really, although the video quality does let it down a little, but not enough to put you off watching something on the small screen.
It can take a bit of a beating as well. What I mean by that is that I have 'accidentally' dropped it a few times, well, quite a lot to be honest, and it's come up fighting fit, even if it has managed to acquire one or two scratches during its time.
The battery seems to last forever, especially if, like me, you just use it for listening to music, or even the radio. But even when I've used it for watching videos, (nothing naughty mind you), the battery does drain a lot quicker.
This one has a memory of 8GB, although there are different ones out there with bigger, or smaller memory capacity, but for me 8GB is ample for me.
As for the price?
This 8GB version usually sells for around £50 - £60, with the larger GB selling for nearer the £90 - £100 mark. Fortunately, if my local shops are anything to go by, there are many out there selling for around the £40.00 region, which is more the price I paid for mine.
Is it worth the price..?
I'd have to say yes, especially if you can get it for under £50.00, even though £60 is not too bad at all really.
It offers a bit of style, nice sound quality and plenty of room for not just your music albums but your videos, data and you pictures as well.
In all, if it's music you like, with a few spaces for other bits of information, then this could be right up your street.
© Blissman70 2012
The Sony Walkman NWZ-E444 is a succesfull mp4 player in my eyes. I have had it for over a year and a half now and it is still going strong, apart from the few minor scratches on the screen and back.
With this Walkman, you are spoilt with superb sound quality thanks to the three built-in audio technologies.
It is very easy and simple to transfer your music from your computer to this device as there is an open format which means it doesn't matter where your music is stored, or what format it's in, all you have to do is drag and drop your media files from Windows Media Player 11, iTunes or Windows Explorer. There is also no installation required! (That's the best bit)
Even though the sound quality is really good and you get a lot of bass with the boos bass option, the sound levels just don't seem loud enough. I would recommend buying a separate pair of headphones as the ones provided with the Walkman are not very good. (I use Skullcandy Ink'd earphones which work really well). The player is a nice size and the body shape isn't bad, However I would have preferred something more stronger, with a bit of weight to make the product feel a bit more satisfying.
Even though this Walkman is an MP4 player, I have never actually watched any videos on it so far. I feel that the screen is a bit too small for one to enjoy a good movie/TV programme during a journey. As well as watching videos, you can store photos to share with friends and family.
I've been using this Walkman for over a year now after I received it as a Christmas present in 2009, so I believe I can now produce a more or less thorough review based not on the original ohs! and wows! but on months and months of use and maybe even abuse. :)
Let's start with the features. What do we have?
1) FM radio with 30 presets and record function;
2) voice recording;
3) photo storage and viewing;
4) video storage and viewing;
6) music (naturally!) with sorting functions: by album, artist, genre, release year or folder (that is, the actual folder in which you store the music on the player);
7) Walkman Content Transfer software;
8) 8Gb storage capacity.
1) Good sound. The first track I listened to on this player was Sophie's Theme from 99 Francs. That initial piano sounded like drops of dew in a magic forest. I thought I'd cry! Unfortunately, those of us who regularly travel by tube or train will not be able to appreciate the sound quality much.
2) Long live the battery! Battery life is pretty long on this player and it doesn't take too long to charge up. The charging process is very straightforward - just connect the player to your computer with a supplied USB cable and leave it for a few hours.
3) The voice recorder seems pretty good. I haven't used it much, but it produces decent quality even when placed at a distance from the sound source or sitting somewhere in the jeans pocket.
4) The Content Transfer software is easy and straightforward. If your tracks are properly named and tagged, just drag and drop them and the software will do the rest for you. I sometimes use Windows Explorer to access the player, create new folders or transfer files. The player doesn't seem to mind. It is also supposed to be on good terms with Windows Media Player, but I hate Media Player, so never used it with my Walkman.
5) Alarm and Sleep Timer functions might be handy. I don't use them much though.
6) The library is easy to navigate.
7) 8Gb is a fair amount of capacity and if you haven't got a memory stick at hand, sometimes Walkman can be used as a data carrier. Although I know it's not convenient to mess with a USB cable in this case.
1) I wouldn't say the video quality is brilliant. I deleted the sample video on the day of receiving the player and never watched any other videos on it. The screen isn't big enough for video anyway. So I treat the video function as a nice, but unnecessary bonus.
2) Even though I've been carrying my Walkman in a special soft bag, I can see signs of wear. Obviously, built-in obsolescence is unavoidable. Tut-tut Sony.
3) It is rumoured that Walkman doesn't like Apple as much as it likes Windows. Obviously, limited to Windows, I don't have the opportunity to fully test its compatibility.
Conclusion: This MP3 player is always in my bag and I am not thinking of getting a replacement. It has the functions I like and need, as well as some stuff that I prefer to ignore. Having looked at some reviews, I am thinking I am probably not fussy or demanding enough. But I really don't care whether it plays videos or takes photos or not. I am only interested in the music side of it, with which I am perfectly happy.
This MP4 is pretty good as far as they go, it's small enough to carry easily but the screen is large enough to view TV shows on, which is what the video system for.
A major thing that I think is important is battery life and you can go for almost a week without having to charge it unless you listen to too much music; Also, it charges fast despite however low the life on it is. You can store pictures and such on it as expected, and the settings you can adjust really can make a difference to your music, unlike other MP3/4s which seem to be decoratin that doesn't change anything.
I got this at £85 which probably wasn't worth it but it's now being sold for around £50-60 which is a nice little bargain, considering the layout and workings of it are very quick and easy to use, and most importantly, it's not a touch screen which are awful. In summary, a safe buy if you don't want to shell out for things like Ipod touches.