I was initially attracted to the elegant styling of this small NWE505 and when I received it I was not disppointed. The software, on the oher hand, turns out to be a HUGE NEGATIVE. Users have a choice of ONE software product for downloading tracks and setting up play lists -- Sony Sonic Stage. I have continuously tried to make it work -- even contacted cust suppt twice but no luck so far. When I purchase an album online (Which, as far as I can tell I can only do with Sony's Connectmusic.com site, SonicStage tends to lose the album title, song titles and artist names. When I succeed in downloading an album to my Sonic Stage library, I then tried to copy it to my Network Walkman. Because the album title and song names were not copied from Sony's ConnectMusic.com, they also do not appear on the player. I tend to get a string of "Untitled(1), Untitled (2), etc. instead. More than once i have used Sonic Stage to change the song titlesto the correct names ffom the album iitself, but when I transfer this to the player, again SonicStage loses all the title information.
For those albums I have somehow succeeded in loading correction, the software on the player itself does not allow users to make playlists on the fly. The only way to make a playlist is to plug the player back into my computer, build the playlist in SonicStage, and transfer the whole thing back to the player. In doing this, though, you have to realize that any of the songs used in the playlist are copied AGAIN to the player, even if the original album from which the songs originate is already on the player. So if I want to do a search by artist and play all songs by a particular artist, the player will play songs two times that appear once under an album and again under a pre-defined playlist. Not only does this limit the player's capacity, it also ges annoying aafter a while because I don't necessarily want to hear any songs twice but i have no choice.
BOTTOM LINE: Good value for the money from a form factor perspective -- I got the chrome one and it is quite eye-catching and very sexy. The management software is a serious negative. Until sony fixes this, my advice is, go for the ipod.
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Amount Paid (US$): 199 +tax
Recommended for: Athletes - Lightweight and Portable, Perfect for the Gym