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Customer Review

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Maybe or maybe not, 21 July 2012
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This review is from: Sony NWZB172 2GB Walkman MP3 Player with USB - Black (Electronics)
This is basically a simple and fairly easy to use player which for me is about the right size but it has several features which stop me getting really excited about it.
On the good side - it has direct USB charging with quick charging time and fast load/erase cycle.
I don't use playlists but prefer to transfer albums in folders straight from my MP3 archive and change them it every few weeks. Access to files via folders is quite straight forward. Go to Music/Folder/ and drill down via the big central button to the Album you want or 'Play All' from any folder level.
Skipping forward/backward through tracks is quite straight forward from the 2-way outer wheel which you also use to select menu categories. Supplied earphones are quite good quality but I prefer the rubber type that push right into the ear and don't keep falling out so changed these. The built in voice recorder does a pretty good job although you cant use it to record from the radio because this model doesn't have a radio. Memory is small -2Gb unexpandable but there is a more expensive 4Gb version available which I didn't realise when I bought this.
There is also a useful 'Hold' button to stop jogging the controls in your pocket and has the usual repeat-shuffle options which I never use and you'll probably want to overide the annoying button beeps which default to on. The unit remembers where it was when switched off/on or after using the voice recording feature which is very handy.

On the negative side the unit can be quite frustrating for several reasons.
a) The quality of sound is very good but for me volume is almost but not quite high enough. When using on the subway train I have to set everything to max and set the graphic equalisers to max to get sufficient signal. With classical music with quiet passages or slightly under recorded mp3's you'll be struggling to hear it clearly in a noisy environment. For indoor use and normal quiet walking with well recorded mp3's though it is OK.
b) The volume - bass boost - recorder buttons are all flush and on the same side of the unit and you are continually fumbling and hitting the wrong switch so this is a big nuisance. You'll have to hold the unit really close and read the tiny letters on the switches to be sure what you're doing.
c) With the base boost on the blue ring light is continually flashing in time with the music which wastes battery power although this can be suppressed in the options menu.
d) The Zapping in - Zapping out track monitor feature is highly irritating and utterly useless. Unfortunately its easy to invoke this by accident.
e) The display screen is tiny. Unless you have Eagle eyes you'll need to take reading glasses and a magnifying glass on your walk. This is a shame because the unit is wide enough to have a much larger easy to read display screen.

To end on a high note this is a very nice looking unit and battery life is great and if you have access to a computer most times, as I do, a quick recharge is only ever a few minutes away and this will last for many hours. In use I have found the interface quite intuitive and it plays mp3's 'GAPLESS'. For a person like me who plays a lot of opera and classics this is a godsend.For those who don't know what gapless play is, almost every low cost mp3 player forms a 3 second gap between tracks even when the CD has no gap i.e. where there is a change of title in a continuous piece such as Sgt Peppers LHB. or any opera. Those of you plagued by this on your PC with windows media player should download 'foobar' its free and also plays mp3's gapless.

Anyway Bottom line - would I buy another if I lost it. Definitely ?? Well - Maybe., but I'd get the 4gb unit!

Footnote : After a year or so got fed up with hard to see buttons and screen and bought Sandisk Clip+ (8gb) This was cheaper and easier to use in practice and , with a small modification to settings to bypass EU restrictions its 'louder' as well. Also plays Gapless and has a fairly good radio.

Footnote 2 : OK so my Sansa Clip battery gave out after only six months so now I'm using the Sony again. Same amazing battery performance - if only they would remove the EU decibel restrictions as Sansaclip did and make it easier to read.!
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