With the Zune HD on the horizon and a refreshed iPod touch looming, some might say it’s hard to even think about getting amped for Sony’s upcoming S Series and E Series Walkmans. Others however, might say these sleek and inexpensive players are just what the doctor ordered. Sony announced this morning that it would be bringing two new Walkman lines to market next month — the well-leaked S Series and the not-so-well-leaked E Series. Starting with the S Series, we’re looking at a 2.4-inch QVGA display, FM tuner with recording capability, built-in stereo speakers and up to 42 hours of audio/6.4 hours of video playback on a single charge (17 hours audio/5 hours video using the stereo speakers). The cheaper E Series is a much more basic player with a 2-inch display and none of the bells and whistles found on the S. Pricing is where things get interesting: The S Series will run $110 for the 8GB model and $130 for the 16GB model while the E Series will be $80 for 8GB and $100 for 16GB. Not bad at all.
As it turns out, this weekend’s rumored Zune HD preview at Best Buy was the real deal. Tens or even dozens of anxious soon-to-be Zune HD owners (we kid; we want it now) gathered to see the sexy new PMP first hand and one of them even managed to snap an extremely blurry shot of a curious menu item. Mmmm, “Apps”. The attendee tried to access the mysterious menu but lack of Wi-Fi rendered his attempts fruitless. Word on the street is that the Apps menu will be home to various games at launch but we’re still not sure what else will find its way there — certainly something however, lest the menu heading read “Games”. Also of note, one preview attendee claims that the host of this event confirmed the existence of a Zune SDK. This is definitely rumor status right now but it would certainly go a long way to support the inevitable arrival of a Zune app store of sorts.
Sony’s highly anticipated OLED MP3 player, the X1000 series Walkman, is slated for launch on April 25th in Japan. The 3-inch touchscreen-sporting device will debut with 16GB and 32GB models that feature integrated noise cancellation, Walkman-specific Netfront web browser, YouTube support, 802.11b/g Wi-Fi, wireless Podcast delivery, FM tuner and support for MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV audio / AVC, H.264, MPEG4, WMV video. The Walkman will be available in Black or Red with suggested retail prices of 40,000 yen ($400 USD) for the 16GB X1050 and 50,000 yen ($500 USD) for the 32GB X1060.
[Via PMP Today]
Sony unveiled its upcoming line of iPod Touch competitors earlier this year and much to the surprise of, well everyone, the X1000 series looks impressive. Very impressive in fact. If you can work your way past the marble finish, the X1000 Walkman has a lot going for it and now that the Sony Style Hong Kong site has pushed out the full detailed specs, we’re kind of excited to get our hands on a few of them. Here are the highlights:
- 3-inch (432 x 240 pixels) OLED touchscreen display
- 32GB storage
- NetFront web browser, YouTube support
- MP3, AAC, WMA, WAV audio / AVC, H.264, MPEG4, WMV video
- Integrated noise cancellation
- FM tuner
- 802.11g/b WiFi
- 33 hours of music playback, 9 hours of video playback
The one thing it doesn’t have of course, is the App Store. The hype and development community surrounding the iPod Touch will always give it a leg up on competitive offerings. If you’re looking to save some cash (hopefully) and forego the added functionality afforded by apps in exchange for some insane battery life however, the new Walkman might be just what the doctor ordered.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Dell’s plan to produce a new line of MP3 players around its Zing media software has been delayed indefinitely. Though the MP3 players, expected to hit the shelves this holiday season, have been put on hold, the development of the Zing media software continues. Zing software will take iTunes head on and promises to allow for access to media content from a variety of different sources and with a variety of different devices. Think iTunes open and unlocked. The project is headed up by Tim Bucher, a former Apple engineering executive, who will have an uphill battle in garnering industry support for this ambitious project as Dell’s prior track record in the MP3 marketplace is rather poor. Remember Dell’s DJ Ditty? Need we say more? With new MP3 players being removed from Dell’s already abysmal fall lineup, Michael Dell may be muttering “bah humbug” instead of “t’is the season” once the holiday shopping season kicks into high gear.
Here it is people, the first Blu-ray player to be announced with an MSRP under $300. It might not be quite as high-class as Goldmund’s Eidos 20 BD and it might not be quite as versatile as LG’s BG-3000 with integrated Netflix streaming, but those of you looking for some Blu-ray love on the cheap this is definitely right up your alley. Specs:
- Progressive scan Blu-ray Disc player 1080p capability for higher definition video content
- Full HD 1080p, DVD up-conversion up to 1080p (480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p), 24p, 60p video frame rate
- Multi-channel audio content (supports more advanced Dolby Digital Plus, Dolby TrueHD and DTS-HD)
- BD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD, DVD-R/-RW, DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R DL, DVD+R DL, CD-ROM, CD, CD-R/-RW
- 16:9 / 4:3 picture select
- On-screen graphical user interface
- Slow motion function (2x – 4x – 8x)
- RW/FF play function (2x – 4x – 8x – 16x)
- VFD display
In a nutshell, Memorex’s upcoming offering is a pretty capable player at a pretty affordable price. Nothing more, nothing less. This unit should go a long way in making Blu-ray accessible to a much wider variety of consumer. It could also do us all a favor as competitive brands are forced to respond to the lower price range. The MVBD-2510 will be available in November just in time for the gift-giving season and will carry a recommended price tag of $269.99.
Developer Morten Hjerde was inspired by the upcoming Nokia Tube 5800 and built an interesting concept for an intuitive music player with some concepts that will surely be utilized in future media interfaces. Dubbed “Flat Music Player”, Hjerde’s design makes use of album artwork and the touch interface to create an experience that adapts so the user’s needs and eliminates antiquated text lists and menus. As he puts it, “The core idea here is to use the content itself as the interface.” As simple as it sounds, this concept goes great lengths towards making the user interface more streamlined and intuitive. So kudos to Hjerde; maybe if Nokia brings him on as a consultant we could see a music player on a Nokia handset some day that doesn’t look like it came from the first wave of MP3 players.