Look out Apple Ipod - Sony's back in the game!


Of interest to me was this statement:

A second set of players, set to ship later this month, are roundish, with a diameter slightly larger than a poker chip. They run on AAA batteries, which Sony says will give the user 70 hours of playback time on a single battery. The prices range from $90 for 256 MB of memory to $150 for 1 GB of memory.

That is a lot of life from one little battery. :ahh: Sweet.

Sony also has a new line of MPEG video players out, about the size of a PDA

they are only being sold in Japan right now, but I got to see one

Awesome stuff!

As long as it syncs on Sony’s POS Connect software, Apple has nothing to worry about. I think that if Sony released one that worked with iTunes (not the Music Store) Apple should be worried.

I’ll be highly interested to see whether the battery life is as advertised. 70 hours is a really long time.

Although I’m not sure why Sony would price a 256 MB player for nearly the same price as Apple’s 512 MB Shuffle. Sure, the 1 GB models are the same, but how many low-end users are going to see the two models stuck together and say “Hey! More storage! (click to buy)”

Of course, I’m saying those words with extra sugar, in the event that I have to eat them later.

Also remember, thats only 1 gig of music. I may only get a days worth of use out of a charge, but i have 20 gigs of space :smiley: plus, the ipod can charge while i sleep.

Im much more intrested in Sonys HiMD products, 1 gig of data on a minidisk would be awsome.

This maybe a competitor to the iPod shuffle, but not the iPod itself.

Also Sony has in the past exaggerated about their battery life, or they give that quote based on very specific conditions that no one uses.

Like for example their hard drive based player, they claim they can store more and have more battery life then the iPod. But their claims were based on music encoded at 48kbs with their own proprietary format (AC3). No one encodes music that low.

Flash based players do have much battery life than hard drive based players.

Overall, I don’t see this making much headway into a very saturated market.

Everyone gives the best possible battery life. It is not just sony, or apple. Everyone, including iRiver and Rio. I think the biggest thing that I like with a portable music player is the userablitily. Not that i want it to be simple, but i want it to be effective. If i can organize the music how ever i want it, and be able to use that format of organization in the actual player, that is awesome.

(I own an iRiver HP-140) (40gigs)

I love my friend’s Gmini 400… it’s tiny, plays VIDEO, and is the same price as the “next best thing”. Our newspaper had him write an article about it, in a point-counterpoint about the iPod.

iFound aBetter iPod

If you walk into any electronics store or high school, you’re very likely to see a common item; the iPod. These portable music players have become immensely popular over the past few years, especially among teenagers. Millions have been sold, and every kid seems to want one. Is the iPod really the best and coolest device out there?

Several weeks ago, I set out to find the answer. I searched through dozens of reviews, and in the end I found it: the Archos Gmini 400. Most people haven’t heard of them, but Archos has been making media players longer than Apple. The Gmini 400 is oriented sideways, with controls on the left and right of the screen, as well as three small buttons below it. These correspond to the actions displayed above them on the screen.

The Gmini is compact. It’s a petit 4.2” wide, 2.4” tall, and .69” thick, which is about the size of a deck of cards. In terms of size and weight, it’s between a ‘vanilla’ iPod and an iPod color. A quick glance at the silver and black case and eleven different controls shows the Gmini 400 isn’t as simple as the iPod, but this is easily made up for by the device’s features.

The Gmini has a superb built-in microphone, 20 GB capacity, TV and Stereo output, an internal rechargeable battery for 10 hours of music playback, and even a Compact Flash camera card reader slot. You can create and transfer playlists on your computer or the Gmini, and search/sort your songs according to Artist, Album, Genre, and more. It has a 2.2” color screen and customizable background—and this can be had for as little as $300, the price of a 20 GB iPod. But the biggest blow has yet to land.

In the Gmini 400, Archos included the next ‘big thing’ in personal media players, which is completely lacking in all iPods. The Gmini can play video files on its color screen, or hook up to a TV for movie playback. Not even the iPod photo, which cost $350-450, supports video playback. The Gmini can handle the popular DivX and XviD video formats with MP3, WMA and WAV audio tracks—and it includes software for converting video files if necessary.

If you think it’s enjoyable to listen to music on a plane or bus ride, you haven’t seen anything yet. Being able to pull out the tiny Gmini and play your favorite movie scenes or home videos, on its screen or a TV, is endlessly entertaining, and something that iPod users can’t brag about. Sure, you only get five hours of video playback with the Gmini, but that’s better than the zero hours you’ll get from an iPod.

I was so amazed by all the reviews that I read about the Gmini that I purchased one of my own. After testing it to the limits, I can honestly say it’s the most amazing portable media player I’ve ever seen. If you don’t believe it, ask me to see it. But the overall moral of the story is simple: When you spend hundreds of dollars on a trendy electronic device, demand the very best. Don’t settle for a popular fad—I didn’t.
—Ian ****** ‘05