Sony’s new Walkman MP3 player makes do without its SonicStage software and aims to provide users with a player that works without much of a hitch. And even if Sony is a little bit delayed in terms of delivering a solid music and video player for the ever dominant iPod market, the Walkman NWZ-S615F is still better late than never.
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The most noticeable thing about the new Sony Walkman NWZ-S615F is its small form factor, its construction and build, and the absence of its old SonicStage software. The unit now uses the PlaysForSure software, making it easy for users to transfer audio, video, and photos. PlaysForSure means you don’t need to have proprietary Sony software to transfer your music files into a Sony-compatible format. (The way iTunes works with iPod.) Now, the Walkman can play a whole range of music file formats giving users a lot more choice and flexibility in what can be played.
The NWZ-S615F sports a 1.8-inch colour LCD with navigation keys, back/home, power/option, and play/pause buttons up front, giving users everything they need. The volume control can be found on the right spine, with the hold toggle conveniently present on the left edge. Finally, a 3.5mm jack is found on the top of the unit while a proprietary USB port can be found at the bottom of the unit.
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After disconnecting the unit to the computer, the Walkman will immediate create its library and users can immediately search a song by album name, artist name, genre, release year, and even subfolders. We enjoyed the fact that the NWZ-S615F gave us the freedom to listen to music the way we want to, with its adjustable equaliser and DSEE (Sound Enhancing) and VPT (Surround) software. And even without changing the settings, users with still enjoy music that sounds great and will enjoy an audio quality not present in most players.
We have also placed several videos and photos to the unit only to find its 1.8-inch LCD screen to be small even if users had the option to change the viewing orientation to either vertical or horizontal (right or left). And even if we did not enjoy the movies and the photos that we uploaded as much as we did on our monitor, we feel that it is still a good addition to the unit.
In case the 2GB of music, video, and pictures files is just not enough, users will be glad to know that the Sony Walkman NWZ-S615F comes with a built-in FM radio function. While we had a hard time tuning in to several stations here in our North Sydney office, it still gave us a ‘breather’ and allowed us to listen to music that is not found on our Walkman.
Finally, the unit gave us more than 31 hours of audio playback and 8 hours of movie playback, making it a media player that will last you for hours on end.
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The Sony NWZ-S615F is a no-nonsense player that does not need any proprietary software to have audio, video, and photo files transferred to the unit. It is lightweight, has a colour screen that is bright and big enough for navigation and short movie viewing, and even comes in six different colours. Add an FM tuner to the equation and you get a great music player without all the extra fuss. If you have always loved Sony products, but have shied away from the Walkman, you can feel confident in returning to the brand with this media player.
· Memory: 2GB
· Supported Audio Formats: MP3/WMA/AAC-DRM/Linear PCM
· Supported Video Formats: AVC (H.264/AVC) Baseline Profile MPEG-4
· Supported Photo Formats: JPEG (Baseline) 4000 x 4000 pixel
· Battery Life: Music: Approx. 33H / Video: Approx. 9.5H
· Connectivity: Hi-Speed USB WM-PORT (22pin)
· Dimensions: 42.0 x 79.5 x 11.5 mm (W x H x D)
· Weight: 50g
Sony Walkman NWZ-S615F | $179 | | www.sony.com.au
For: Drag and Drop Function; Easy to use; Good audio quality; 3.5mm jack for jacking-in your favourite headphones; Long battery life; Support for various audio and video files
Against: Screen is too small for video viewing; Uses a proprietary USB jack
Verdict: Although not made for long movie viewing, the Sony Walkman NWZ-S615F ensures users who would put their audio files to the unit will have a great listening experience.