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on 17 September 2013
This MP3 was by far one of the best orders I have made for a while on Amazon, I specifically needed it for my training as it can become quite boring when running and all I could focus on was the traffic or the people who passed by, enough to say it was very distracting, if not irritating and definitely harder to concentrate on those last few miles. So something was evidently needed' and so I took a quick search through Amazon looking for suitable MP3's.

I will for this review analyse it in quite explicit detail and write up its 'pros' and 'cons' of this product, it will be long but informative and an available 'one stop' for anyone wondering about the product from this point forward.

I ordered this product on the 6th of September 2013 and it arrived on the 7th of September due to Amazon Prime's next day delivery. The packaging of the product was a basic cardboard wrapping which is standard for Amazon, it was knocked about during transit but the inside product was not damaged as a result.
The actually product packaging is of a shiny black card and the MP3 is securely fitted in tough plastic, this is actually expected of almost any Sony product and it is of a high quality.

Inside the product box was the instructions, it was a large sheet with many different languages on it and divided between panels the English explanation was roughly 2 panels long and relatively informative, but it did not explain the complete product features. Luckily, the MP3 is easy to use and was not an issue.

The MP3 model itself is the sturdy black plastic one with a blue led light and a loud beep which is activated whenever you select an icon on its small but readable screen; and it also flashes on and off for a bit before it stops flashing completely. This option can be turned off at anytime via the settings menu, which offers the basic feature such as play mode, brightness (which is called contrast), equalizer, led option for the blue light and the option to turn the beep off among other features.

It also includes standard earphones and a clip which can be added to the back of the MP3, probably the best thing for people who run long distances, myself included. The clip is actually very strong and it has not 'un-clipped' or slid off once during a run no matter how slow or fast I have ran my distances.
Other features include:

1. A zap/bass (bass is actually very strong, I was quite surprised even with the stock earphones it came in) button - quick explanation of zap or 'zappin' which is like a randomized feature which plays either 4 seconds or 15 seconds of a song depending on the selected MP3 settings then it switches its track, if a song is played that you like you then press the zap button to play it from the beginning. I personally find this setting useless especially that you can randomize it from the Play Mode options, and the fact you can include playlists makes it a redundant feature.
2. It also has a recording feature and hold to prevent any accidental track changing.
3. The volume has an inbuilt setting where it beeps is it is to high, and coincidentally it can be extremely loud for its small size.

As advertised it easily gives 90 minute playback for a 3 minute charge and the last time I charges it was on the 7th of September the day that I bought it and this is no exaggeration, I have used it casually but mostly running and today's date of this review is on the 17th of September and I have not had to charge it again since. In-fact the charge icon is set into 4 segments and it is on its last segment, so it has an amazing battery life.

The only thing I have left to say is that regarding the earphones it comes with are not really suited for anything else than low volume listening, as they lack musical definition completely. If you are a runner or going to use them for sport I'd Recommend the "Phillips SHS8100/10 Earhook Headphones" just copy and paste into the Amazon search bar, it should come up.

My total review of the product is five stars and on a scale of 1 - 10 it is a strong 9 out of ten, because of the near useless 'zappin' feature, this is personal however and I'm sure you would form your own understanding of the feature and maybe even enjoy it. I am going to fully recommend this product to anyone looking for a good MP3 - Sony have outdone themselves.
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on 20 March 2014
I bought this to replace a Sansa Clip+ - which was an utterly disappointing attempt (review here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R4ENU0EHCMOTZ ) to replace my awesome Cowon iAudio U2, which now appears to be irreplaceable. Where to begin? Ah, definitely with the shuffle mode:

* RANDOMIZATION (shuffle mode): a freaking scandal. Do you like listening to the same sequence of 8 songs over and over and over and over again? Then this is the device for you. What it does is, the vast majority of the time, when you're not keen on a track, and try to fast-forward to the next one... you don't get the next one! You get the one 8 or 10 tracks ago! Then you get *every single one* of the 8 or 10 tracks that followed that one the first time around - all in order! It's like Groundhog Day! You have to skip through every single track on your path there, for a chance at actually hearing a new song. Oh - and not sick of those songs yet? It will probably happen again in five minutes! How do you screw up shuffle play? So badly? I could write a randomization subroutine that would actually work in about 90 seconds, but I'd just rather spend the time warning you off this device.
+ Oh, when do you NOT get the previous tracks? When you actually want them! That is, f you try to flip BACK to a previous track, and it's more than a few tracks ago, the device gets confused and forgets the sequence and starts somewhere else! I know what you're thinking - have I got forward and back mixed up? No! Amazing! I know what you're thinking next: Why don't you just use back when you want to skip to a new track? Because A) it doesn't work reliably; and B) you have to flip through an arbitrary number of tracks before it gets confused and finds a new one! Which is just like flipping forward until you've heard the last 10 songs over again! It sucks! Either way!

* SOUND QUALITY: profoundly mediocre. A bit better than the Sansa, but nothing in the ballpark of the Cowon.

* CONTROLS: far from brilliant. Buttons very small, with little texture, which is just great for running, if you like staring at your arm while running through traffic. And what's right beside the volume-up button? The amazing, craptastic Zapin' button!

* ZAPPIN: Plenty has been written about this in the reviews. Probably the stupidest MP3 player feature ever. But, anyway, becuase of the button placement, the best thing is: just when you FINALLY get to a song you like, and try to turn the volume up... you accidentally hit the Zappin' button - and you're off to the races!

* VOICE RECORDER: I'm a novelist, and I actually do all my creative work on runs and workouts, so the voice recorder function isn't optional for me. Does this device have one? You bet! Until the wind picks up! Then, instead of irreplaceable voice notes, you've got a bunch of unintelligible howling static! [It was actually this horror that prompted me to finally write this review - by getting it out of my head, I hope to spend more time thinking about the current book, than about how much this MP3 player sucks.] This is like destruction of intellectual property, and basically unforgivable.

* VOLUME: Mediocre. I keep it turned all the way up most of the time, which should tell the tale. (In my view, you should virtually *never* see the top volume setting. There should always be volume to spare.)

* FILE MANAGEMENT: Okay. At least you can use it as a USB drive, and browse the file system to see what's actually on there. (Unlike the Sansa).

* DESIGN: Decent. It's pretty compact, and I like that it's a USB stick you can just jam in. Just don't try to jam it into your slimline laptop with the clip attached, which won't work. Oh, and the stop/start button is extremely promiscuous. Don't try sit-ups - or much of anything - with this clipped to the front of your shorts, not if you want the music to keep playing.

* CLIP: Speaking of the clip: it sucks. Like an old, worn-out clothes-pin in your grandmother's drawer. At least the Sansa did what it says on the tin, and stayed clipped to things.

And finally:

* RANDOM INSULTS! I was really going to give this a two-star review, because it's honestly functional, and if your standards aren't too high and you never want to skip forward tracks (though "shuffle" play loops back all on its own sometimes), and you don't use the voice recorder except in a sound studio, it's probably adequate. But then... today... it did this: I finally had tricked it into advancing to a song I was really into, and I was running along fast and happy, and had just turned the volume up to its meagre maximum... and it turned the volume down on me. With some spoken warning (in the ridiculous "Zappin' in!" voice, I think) admonishing me check if the volume was too high. Thanks, Sony. Thanks for nothing.

If *anyone* out there can recommend an audiophile-quality MP3 player, with a voice recorder, that DOESN'T also play video (so is suitable for exercise), I'd probably pay a bounty at this point.

Or if you know how to replace the battery in my Cowon iAudio.

Wish I had something better to point you toward, but I'm at a loss. Just don't buy this one.
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on 6 June 2013
Positive:
The sound quality was fine.
USB charge is convenient and great idea.
Comfortable for running.

Negative:
Operating buttons is not great.
Very often gets stuck when you power it off.
Eventually it just died, one month after warranty run out. Just would not power on.
Not Sony and amazon did not wish to provide any support because it is beyond 1 year warranty.
My previous mp3 player(creative ) was bought in 2005 and still works. So this item must be unreliable.
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VINE VOICEon 19 April 2014
I bought this to replace one I had many years ago - it comes about 60% charged. It also have a wealth of paper instructions in lots of languages. I used drag and drop to add a few albums - easy.

I needed something I could clip to me whilst commuting to work rather than using my iphone. This is perfect, I can clip it to my coat pocket and not worry about it. I can also just slot this into the small pocket of my bag etc.

The only thing not good about this are the ear phones. They look cheap and don't fit in the ear properly. But past experience told me they wouldn't be great but I have other in ear ones that I will use.
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on 15 May 2013
I'm no audiophile snob by any stretch. I previously owned a Sony NW-S705F ([...]
This lovely sounding player died a death after an age of decent use and abuse. Great sound, shame about the software required to run the thing!!

I use my player whilst out on my mountain bike. I used the old one on a lanyard hanging around my neck. This works much better than an arm band type holder that can get damaged if i brush up against a tree, wall or fall in a bush!!
I was hoping for the same great sound but with less bells and whistles...oh what a disappointment! If you've come from an "i" device, then yes this player may sound good. Coming from another Sony player this device sounds flat and muddy! No treble, i mean NONE!! I've tried this player on headphones ranging in price from £270 down to a pair of cheap £5 jobbies...no treble!!! The sound at best is flat. The design is OK, navigation is fine if you've used any type of gadget that isn't "i" related. We seem to have a generation that basis every gadget review on their "i" device!

If you want a cheap, mediocre (slightly better sounding that any "i" product i've sampled) mp3 player that you can hang round ya neck (neck lanyard not included!!!!) then i suppose this will do. I'll add to this review after i've got out on the bike and given it a decent test.

***UPDATE****
I may have been a little harsh on my initial view on this devices poor sound. For £30, you get an OK sounding player. Once on the move, either running or cycling, the sound is just fine and nothing to complain about. I'm using a pair of SoundMAGIC E10 Earphones - Black/Red in ear phones and they are just fine. If you're going to be sitting in a quiet room listening to this device then you may be very disappointed.
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on 3 January 2014
Really nice little player. Great sound quality, even just using the supplied headphones. Great price as well. The controls are a little small, and can take some getting used to. I wanted a small player for the gym, and this is ideal. The controls are logical once you learn where they are located. I was on a treadmill today and easily skipped tracks and adjusted the volume without looking at the player. I like the rotary control for skippping the tracks. The volume control could be a little bigger. The home button is directly opposite the bass / preview control (sorry I've forgotten what the preview control is actually called but you get the idea), and I've found myself accidentally operating the preview when I'm gripping the player to operate the home button. A minor issue really. Overall this is very good and worth every penny. Would have got the full 5 stars from me if the controls had been a little better.
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on 24 April 2014
This player ticks all the boxes,it has very good battery life,and is quick to recharge.The jog wheel is easy to use(even with gloves on),and will skip forward or back a track,if you hole the wheel to the right it will scroll through a song.The screen is easy to navigate,and you can see what is playing at any time.It also has the all important random mode,which can be used on one folder of songs,or the whole contents of player can be played randomly.I have to turn it almost to max when its connected to the aux input on car stereo,then later when I put headphones in,the volume auto resets to headphone volume,neat!No annoying software either,just plug and play.Only slight negative is the volume buttons are a little fiddly,but once volume is set,I rarely touch them,as long as I can skip tracks easily with the jog wheel,all is good.
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on 10 July 2014
The player itself works fine for playing music with the different play modes (repeat one track, shuffle etc), bass boost was good, and has reasonable charging and play time. However, having bought this to replace a similar previous model of Sony walkman (Sony NWZB153B, which I've used for four years before accidentally putting the poor thing into the washing machine) I was disappointed with this one.

My main problem with this is its lack of compatibility for Linux. With my old player I have used it with various operating systems including Windows Vista & 7, Ubuntu and Crunchbang Linux without any trouble. However, even after trying out all fixes I could find I cannot get this player to work with Linux. Moreover, after trying to connect to a Linux machine the player will be frozen and need to be reset before becoming functional again.
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on 13 May 2014
Whilst not the best mp3 player I had this is not the worst. My bigest grip with this player is down to European laws that dictate to me what level of loudness is either good or bad for me. Whilst I can understand long exposure to loud music is detremental to hearing what if Im partially deaf already? (This was actually for my mother who is partially deaf. She can only hear music whilst at full volume)

As a grown adult I would like to choose how loud I can play MY music, in MY ears and for however long I feel is necessary. I accept that this may cause damage to hearing later but that is MY choice. Even supposing I try and blame Sony for something that is clearly my fault can you really see Mr Underdog suing the corporate might of Sony and winning? I think not. Rant over.

The player is fairly basic and is a good entry model. There are better players out there at a premium cost but there a lot of other sub standard players too. Average.
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on 22 May 2014
We've been looking for an easy to use MP3 player for our 4 year old son as he has a lot of audio books and music cds of his own. He had my old creative muvo player but it's finally given up the ghost and so we have been seeking a replacement which will work with the little speaker that he uses instead of headphones, and also in the car as he has speakers in his car seat. We tried 2 Sandisk Sansa Clip+ players, but there were issues with compatibility between the speaker and the mp3 player (the jack didn't fit properly), so we returned each of those and this arrived today. Once it had fully charged, and the music had been transferred it took our son and I only a few seconds to work out how to use this. The sound quality is good and the "zappin" feature is very useful (although I suspect it is going to be overused by said 4 year old!). He's delighted to have his music back.

We haven't tried the fast charge yet, however I suspect it's going to be really useful on those days when we decide out of the blue to go for a drive.

Haven't tested the headphones as we're wary of giving those to a small person with delicate ears and no idea of hearing damage.
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