Summary: Just picked one up. Upgraded from being a minidisc user so I am already familiar with the quirks of SonicStage. Yes, I know that in two weeks here in the US the NW-HD3 is coming out and will play MP3s natively but frankly I want ATRAC, I have done simple listening tests side by side and agree ATRAC is a richer, warmer sound than MP3. It depends on what kind of user you are I guess. All my music comes from burnt albmus so converting to ATRAC doesn't bother me.
Summary: By this time you have probably read all the other reviews so you are already well aware of this unit's pros and con's. I absolutely love this player and was so happy to get it in my hands on a beautiful Saturday morning. It sounds wonderful at Atrac3Plus 64 kbps with my MDR-66DSL Sony Eggo's, better quality than an Ipod. I also recently bought a remote off audiocubes for the unit, which simply makes the music experience a hundred times better.
Summary: Sony's NW-HD1 is an incredible piece of hardware! It's literally like a 0.5-inch stack of business cards. The buttons are well laid out and responsive. The 1.5-inch screen is sharp with green backlight. But what really impresses me, is the sound quality. MP3 music tends to sound flat and dull at the 64-kbps bitrate, but not so with Sony's Atrac3plus technology. There's a lot of "boom" and "richness" in the sound even at 64-kbps.
The Rolls Royce of digital music - an unbiased review
Gadgester "No Time, No Money", Amazon
23 September 2004
Summary: (I include real-world MP3 conversion speed below.) OK, I just couldn't help it. I'm still unemployed, but just *had* to get this hard-disk digital Walkman. The small physical size - 3.5"x2 3/8"x1/2" and 3.88 oz. with the built-in LiIon battery - simply makes this a must-have for a gadget fanatic such as myself. (The Sony is really much smaller in real than in pictures.) So I went ahead and bought one. I knew this player would not play native MP3 or WMA files.
Summary: I have been using a Creative Nomad Jukebox3 for a while now (prio to that the first 6GB Jukebox), it recently lost its Firewire capabilities and somehow, I can't shuffle all my albums anymore...it also 'clicks and whirrrrrs'...and it is H-U-G-E, not to mention Creatives Customer Support policies...anyway it was a toss up, the NW-HD1, Rio Karma or the iPod.
Summary: I will keep this very simple and list the pro's and the con's of this unit so you can see what I liked about it and what I did not. For reference, my last MP3 player was a Jukebox Zen 20gig USB 2.0 version but the hard drive died so I purchased this sony. Let me get the bad out of the way first: -No remote included in the box (for 400, there really should be one) -Converstion of MP3s to Atrac takes a long time if you have more than 1 gig of music...but...
Summary: Before going into just how wonderful this player is, I wanted to address the two main criticisms from a prior review. First, you need not tell a buyer to beware when analyzing space and battery considerations. Every DAP vendor, including good ol' Apple itself, fudges on these statistics to default to the most ideal circumstances (straight playing with no menu use, no backlight, etc.
Excerpt: "...could not be more similar. Sony and Apple seem to disregard the bottom line. Both emphasize creativity and innovation. Both hold many of the same ideas and visions. But one is known for its German-like engineering, while the other is much better at software and easy-to-use technology. These characteristic advantages are apparent in both companies’ music devices, and may determine which you choose. Look & Feel I was never fond of iPod’s obnoxious ...
Pros: Smaller, thinner, lighter and better built than iPod, battery life, ATRAC3plus doubles music capacity
Cons: Still requires ATRAC3 conversion, While this Walkman reminds us of Sony’s superior engineering, it cannot match Apple’s openness and ease of use .
Excerpt: "...looked at iPod, but the Sony Network Walkman caught my eye, because of its sleek design, and the fact that you can use it as a type of portable storage device as well as a music device, and can transfer files from computer to computer. I also was swayed by the reputation Sony have for reliability and build quality. When I got the device it took roughly 2 days, on and off, to put all of my 5000 or so songs, both in mp3 on my computer and on my 150 ...
Pros: Sleek design, good features, long battery life