- Boxed-product Weight: 454 g
- Item model number: D-NE511S
- ASIN: B00008XYIQ
- Date first available at Amazon.co.uk: 1 Jan 2003
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
Taking either CD or MP3 files, tracks can be compressed by up to 1/20th of there original size depending on the quality setting you chose. Music can be burned and compressed to 132, 105, 66, 64 or 48 kbps (kilobits per second) and compressing at 48 kbps, will allow you to record up to 490 songs (about 30 CDs) on a single 700 MB disc. Track information is provided via an Internet connection to Gracenote CDDB before burning and this information will then appear on the LCD display when you play the track.
Sound obviously varies according to the level at which you record it. CD-quality MP3s are normally recorded at 128 kbps and at this ratio you are still able to get some 170/180 tracks per CD--slightly more than the 13 or 14 you normally find. The unit is powered by two "AA" type batteries and will run for around 50 hours. And for the fashion-coconscious the player comes in three different colours: blue, red and silver.
While the device's reliance on Sony will be annoying to some, it doesn't take away the fact that you've got a great music player that produces very good music for a very affordable price. --Jason Denwood
ATRAC3plus is a high-quality audio-compression technology that reduces the size of digital audio files while preserving much of a track's original sound quality (similar in concept to MP3 or Dolby Digital sound formats). With ATRAC3plus, music can be burned and compressed at 132, 105, 66, 64, or even 48 kbps (kilobits per second), letting you select the right balance between fidelity and storage space (you'll get around 490 songs per disc at 48 kbps). The player comes bundled with Sony's SonicStage CD Simple Burner software. Compatible with ID3 tagging and most CD burners, this application transfers songs from CDs or MP3 music files from a PC's hard drive and burns them to a CD using ATRAC3plus compression.
Skip-Free G-Protection technology boosts the laser pickup's shock protection to minimise read errors that would otherwise interrupt your music, providing quick recovery from both horizontal and vertical shocks. Bookmark playback lets you program favourite songs from multiple CDs and play them back at the touch of a button, and CD Text support displays artist and title information with compatible commercial audio CDs.
- Very basic in-ear headphones - they're OK, but they could have at least had a volume control or something.
- Two instruction manuals - one for the Walkman and one for the ATRAC CD burning software, which I thought was very nice of them as PC software rarely come with PRINTED manuals these days.
- An AC mains adapter (4.5V) - one of those new really lightweight ones. I assume it can be used for recharging batteries (which would explain the extra 1.5V) somehow but I didn't see anything in the manual about it. It's got a pretty long wire too (about 3m?), which I find very useful for playing in bed :D
The Walkman itself is pretty slim, but is a big longer than most with the big display and stuff. The battery compartment is INSIDE the CD tray, which is strange but a very good idea because the usual battery doors always break or get lost with these kinds of things. Build quality is adequate - nice buttons and everything, pretty metallic finish , but the CD door does look a *bit* flimsy. It has buttons for everything you need, and the jog dial is very useful for easy track access, especially with big MP3/ATRAC CDs.
It plays normal audio CDs well enough, and displays track names and whatnot with the few CD Text CDs.
I burned an ATRAC (which, by the way is the standard format used to fit so much onto MiniDiscs) CD at 48x speed using the highest (132kbps) ATRAC3 encoding, and I fit 9 albums on with about 50MB to spare. The CD played perfectly, but did take a while to load because I made it in 9 different sessions. Personally, I think the sound quality is much better than the average 128kbps MP3, as it retains really bassy low frequency sounds better than MP3s.Read more ›
1) The most obvious but important point is that you can get loads of music on 1 cd at a decent quality (with 64k ATRAC3+ you get 24 hours and it sounds fine).
2) The Volume. Unless you want to seriously damage your hearing the volume is usually fine for the supplied earphones. However, if you listen to classical music, which tends to be quieter and have a greater dynamic range, the volume can be a bit low. When using the cd player at home I plug it into my computer speakers and the volume's fine for normal listening, but can't go as loud as a normal cd in a hifi.
3) The general design of the cd player is good and the jog dial makes navigating an ATRAC cd of 300+ tracks a breeze: you rotate it to scroll through the tracks and press it to play the currently selected one. I do however have a few gripes about the ergonomics. I sometimes find that when I press the jog dial I accidentily scroll up or down one song. Also the volume button is on the side of the cd player so you have to hold the other side of the cd player when operating it.
4) Missing features. The feature I most sorely miss on this cd player is a program facility. Bog standard cd players usually have this and they normally have no more than 20 tracks. With over 300 you really miss this. The play modes are good: you can do random play on the entire disc or just for one group (which corresponds to an album). There is no backlight. The cd player doesn't come with a carry case but it fits perfectly in the padded envelopes you get DVDs in.
5) Power. To start with I used some dirt cheap (20 for a couple of quid) non-alkaline batteries and they only lasted less than 10 hours.Read more ›