Berlin (Germany) – Sony is announcing its new Flash memory-based Walkman for the European market, in the company’s latest effort to re-energize the once venerable Walkman brand. Its new models, in any of six colors, come in 512 MB, 1 GB, and 2 GB capacities, and feature an optional FM tuner for the 512 MB and 1 GB versions.
|Sony’s new, miniaturized Walkman, with flash memory on-board, for the European market. (Courtesy Sony)|
One feature that may quickly differentiate the new Walkman from other MP3 players isn’t so much size – though it weighs only 25 grams – but its reported three-minute quick charge, which yields three hours of playing time, or up to 28 hours on a regular charge. If its form factor resembles a USB keychain drive, that’s not a coincidence: To transfer music, you simply pop off the cap and plug it into your computer’s USB port – no cables needed. Customers may also appreciate the fact that there’s no room left in one of these for much DRM: MP3, ATRAC, and unsecured WMA music files can be played back. A single-line OLED display shows player status and track details.
Expect availability throughout Europe at the end of April, though there is no word yet as to whether Sony will bring this particular player to the United States, where Sony Ericsson is recharging the brand through musical cell phones. Last September, Sony announced its revamping of the Walkman line in the US, in the form of the very original – though perhaps not particularly classy – Walkman Bean.