It has been a while since Sony used the Walkman trademark in any big way, but at the end of this year the Walkman returns.
It features an organic EL display that makes the readout appear fairly seamless with the rest of the player. On the software side it’s got a bunch of bells and whistles to help automagically DJ for you: ‘My Favorite Shuffle’ will randomly play the 100 most listened to songs, ‘Time Machine Shuffle’ picks a year at random and plays all the songs from that timeframe, and other functions are available to search and play songs by a number of parameters such as rating, genre, artist, recently transferred, etc. The 20GB version will be available in violet and silver, with the 6GB coming in pink and blue, and all with matching headphones. As far as codec support goes, don’t expect anything revolutionary — just MP3 and of course, ever-lovin’ ATRAC3plus.
ATRAC3plus is a major drawback, partly because only Sony uses the format and mainly because it sucks.