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on 29 December 2013
When I first tried this model I was shocked as to how poor quality it is compared to the previous E474 model. Things missing from this (so-called updated) model that was present on the E474: microphone function, games function, podcasts, Sensme channels and music unlimited function. Coupled with these are other missing functions - one of the most important I used on the E474 was the setting where I could set how long the album cover appeared on screen before going off which is also missing so now the album cover appears on screen for about twenty seconds before the screen goes blank and there's nothing I can do about it! Other functions are also missing from this poor quality 'update'.

Now onto the controls and screen.
The E474 had a hold button and volume controls on the side of the player. Both of these have now been amalgamated onto the face buttons which makes the player more fiddly to operate. On the E474 I could turn off the player from any function I was currently using or any screen I currently had displayed but on the E384 I am now forced to play a song, pause it and then hold down the option button to turn off the device. If I try to do this on any screen of my choosing on the E384 it will just activate the 'hold' function! The screen graphics also look terribly outdated compared to its predecessor. While the E474 had a crystal clear screen the E384 has a 1980's style resolution and isn't anywhere near as clear.

Don't buy this MP3 player if an E474 is available to buy. In fact, don't buy this MP3 player if other Sony Walkman MP3 players are available to buy. This is the worst I've ever seen. If you have a choice between the E474 and the E384 I suggest you buy the former. It's cheaper, better looking, has more functions and better controls.
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VINE VOICEon 9 March 2016
I've owned a number of different makes of MP3 player, from iRiver through to iPod and now the Sony Walkman. This is, overall, a very competent and high quality music player. Sadly my most recent move was forced by my leaving my beloved iPod Touch in a hotel, and not getting it back again. Unwilling to shell out £260 to replace it, I ended up at this device after a fair amount of homework.

The litmus test for me for any MP3 device is the quality of the music output. The Sony really is excellent. Superior to the iPod (some would argue that is not difficult) and I would say on a par with the iRiver. Cliche alert, but it's almost like hearing some of my music for the first time. Trebles are highly detailed, bass is rich, mid-tones expansive. The overall sound is both rounded and sharp, and I really like it. Some reviewers are not fans of the supplied Sony earphones, I on the other hand think they are fine and do the job well.

There are a fair number of drawbacks. Overall, I think 4 stars is fair, but there are some aspects where 3 is definitely called for:

- Initial setup was extremely painful. Having dragged/dropped music from my Mac onto the unit (it acts as a removable storage drive) and then disconnected from the computer, the machine ended up in an endless "Creating Library" loop. Pressing reset brought about the same result. I went online and it turns out to be a common problem with this model. Having spent most of an evening trying to get the unit to unfreeze, and on the verge of returning the product, I tried one more last reset cycle and left it to its own devices, connected to the computer, for a full hour. It finally, finally came to life and has been working without serious issue since. It still sometimes takes a little "Creating Library" trip when I add or remove music, but no further problems here.

- The user interface. This is where Apple usually wins hands down. This is not an iPod, and it is not particularly intuitive. It is, however, liveable and once you're used to the quirks it's fine. For example, on switching on, the unit it is automatically in Lock mode, and you have to hold down Power to unlock. This is probably a good thing, as it means it can't switch itself on accidentally in your pocket or bag. Slight pain in switching the thing off though, as you need to go back through the menus if you've been navigating elsewhere, to Now Playing, press pause, then hold down Power. Bit of a palaver, but once you're used to its foibles, it's ok.

- The display is adequate, but hi-res retina it ain't. At this price point, it wouldn't be fair to expect to be able to watch TV or movies in decent quality (though you can use the unit to watch videos, I don't particularly recommend it for this purpose.)

- Build quality. It's a very lightweight device, build quality is fairly poor. I recommend getting a cheap skin case and screen protector when buying this unit. I used mine for 24 hours before doing this, and even with careful light usage the screen ended up with 3 very light scratches on it.

All this and 4 stars? Well yes, just. The music output is superb, and this is really what it comes down to for me.

If you're over paying hundreds to have your tunes in your pocket, I do recommend considering this good little unit.
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on 12 January 2018
I bought this old style MP3 to replace a very old one that I loved.
It does work properly. Many times I could not listen my music, had to wait for the battery to die before I could use it again. This incident happened a few times. Moreover this MP3 is not intuitive to use.

I have actually wasted my money as I never use it.
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on 18 August 2015
I hate the fact that I can't hear the music properly on the underground, the noise that filters through my headset is rubbish. I am going back to the Sansa Clip + and RockBox it. Thanks to the EU directive I can't really hear the music on my AKG headset unless I am in a quite environment and no I am not going to get a pair if noise cancelling headsets when my AKG Y50's are good headsets. I can't find anywhere on the net which will allow me to "hack" this to increase the volume. It is just that small amout that is needed, I'm really upset about it. Even my phone sounds louder. Dissapointed. Not buying a Sony MP3 player ever again. Going to keep this as a backup MP3 player. Utterly rubbish.

The other annoying thing is that when I am in the Gym and they decide to play their music loud, I can hear the gyms music which is really REALLY irritating, oh no wait I can hear the men grunting in the gym too that is even more irritating, you are not porn starts.

Just that little bit of extra volume would have helped. I have now instead ordered a Xudoo 2 from China, so heres hoping that it has decent sound. Which apparently it has.
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on 13 September 2017
I don't want to sound too pompous or anything, but I live close to a beach...good for the view,, but tricky to listen to music on headphones, due to the wind and crashing waves. Having just given the 8GB Walkman a test, I was stunned by how good it held up during several small storms. It's not water-proof and I kept it in my Raincoat pocket nice and dry, but the effect of a more bass-conscious Walkman was the important difference from that of an MP3-Player at the lowest price going. I'm unsure how other models of Walkman fathom but this 8GB is a smooth and beautiful sound with very little to complain about. It's lush and good value for money, it's also extremely easy to set-up and I'm still a learner when it comes to technology...worth getting, although you might want to look into getting some new headphones to go with it but that is a matter of taste...A fine product and heartily recommended.
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on 6 January 2016
Absolutely disgusting delivery service. The driver turned into my square 10 minutes ago, left his engine running radio on full pushed a card through my door left the package at a neighbour he never rang my door bell I was in the house watching him. By the time I had ran to the front door he had driven off
Totally and absolutely disgusting
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on 20 December 2017
only frustrating thing is that you can’t create playlists on the mp3 itself
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on 22 April 2014
Got this mp3 player to replace my old Sony 8GB E474, which had a broken earphone jack. I ordered this because it is the latest model 8G sony mp3 player and looked almost identical to my old mp3 player but that is where the comparisons stop. This mp3 player is inferior in every way to the old E474 8GB.
1. The outer casing is made of cheap plastic not like the sleek metal finish of the previous model
2. The screen is much smaller
3. The screen and picture quality is abysmal. It's like a old nokia phone from ten years ago. I can literally see the pixels. The old Sony screen display was much prettier and sleeker but this is absolutely rubbish.
4. Video quality is very poor and significantly inferior
5. Audio output is lower but the quality remains the same
6. Some features are missing like return to song playback and sound recorder (which I rarely used but still handy from time to time)
7. You can't search for song/album/artist by alphabetical letter anymore rather by A-M or N-Z which takes much longer and is much more annoying.
8. The earphones are really terrible too

I am neither a techie nor a whiner, I just want quality when I have shelled out a large sum of money. Sony have cut corners in every single aspect of this mp3 player and they've gotten away with it. This product is simply not good enough for the money I spent on it. I can't understand how this is supposed to be the latest 8GB model when clearly it is a step down from their last model. My old Sony E474 wipes the floor with this cheap plastic tat. What a disappointment, see you later Sony.
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on 21 April 2015
I bought this on the high street as I didn't want to wait and it was the same price anyways. Here are my thoughts.

Packaging - Typical Sony packaging, wrap the thing up so tightly you have a real sense of achievement when you actually get into it.. Lots of rips, teeth and tears but eventually I got there (Box wasn't so lucky)

Once open you really start to see what other viewers were complaining about. I personally couldn't believe that Sony would make something that felt plasticy but sadly I was wrong. It's like when you go into the phone shop and look at dummy phones that while are secured with a screw all the way through it, it feels like it will fall apart if you look at it wrong. It really does feel like a toy. The front is well designed with a lovely gloss finish but the back is a matte, almost transparent (not intended im afraid) cheap finish that wouldn't look out of place in an old B reg escort. It should have a metal back and for £50 I don't think that's too much to ask for.

Screen - Again it's not until you see the screen you get what people are saying. Just think of the first ever phone that had a colour screen and you have it... Totes reminds me of the SonyEricsson T68i... While at the time I was rocking that like some G man but now.... Not so much!. It's quite pixely. I know Madonna is 56 but she don't look that bad!

Sound - The headphones you get with them are also shocking! I had a pair of these in the 90's, same design but I don't remember them being this bad in my CD walkman!. They are tinny and void of any bass. I quickly changed them for my Z3 headphones. Still not bawled over with the quality but it 'does'. The reproduction is OK but there's just no oomph to them. I would have been dissapointed if I paid a tenner for this if it wasn't Sony.You can play around with the equalizer to get different sound but it's just like comparing different types of rubbish!.

I am sure that I would give the thing a bit more of a break if 1. It didn't set me back £50 and 2. it wasn't Sony! Sony has been in my life in some capacity throughout my life and until now I have never been let down. I am shocked and down right ANNOYED that Sony feel this is an acceptable product to slap their logo on!

I recently got a bit on my high horse about Apple products hence why I got the Z3 but that has been nothing but trouble with it having to be repaired 3 times by Sony. It's upsetting, I feel like I got back together with an ex from school and they have changed for the worse or met Madonna herself and for her to be a granny who likes to knit! LET DOWN!

I am going back to the shop to spend a few more of my hard earned doshage to see if a new set of headphones will make matters sweeter... If not it's going back and I will just buy a shuffle or something :/.

Transferring to the device actually couldn't be easier. As I have the Sony Z3 I was able to use software I got with my phone which was an unexpected touch. Fast transfer rates too! seems to be a bit quicker than my phone in all fairness. Managed to copy my 2GB library in about 7 mins... Not too shabby!

Poor show Sony! - Not that they are listening but I really do feel like my childhood has been ripped away!
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on 27 September 2013
I've just discovered that the bbc have changed their downloads for the iplayer and you cant use sony devices anymore for watching programs.i've been using my nwz s639 for the last 5 years and now cant use it so watch out if you intend to buy a sony mp4 for watching stuff off the iplayer.you cant anymore.very annoying.
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