Smallest, Lightest, Strongest
Written: Jul 16, 2005
a Helpful Review
by the Epinions community
Let's get the important things out of the way:
The NW-HD5 is the smallest and lightest MP3 player of its class; HDD-based with 20gig capacity. Aesthetic-wise, its size and slick casing coating helps it to be even cuter than any other player out on the market. (Note: Strangely, it is actually suppose to be a few grams heavier than its previous incarnation, the NW-HD3).
As for its battery life, the stated 40 hours might be a little exaggeration on Sony's part, an inspect of the fine print would note that this only holds when playing back files compressed at 48kbps ATRAC3Plus compression. The user manual states 30 hours for playback of normal 128kbps MP3. Even estimating it conservatively and giving it only 20 hours, it's still 8 hours longer than a 20gig Ipod which lasts for around 12 hours.
The supplied Li-ion battery is also user removable and replaceble. You are suppose to be able to walk into any Sony store and buy a replacement battery once you run it down, removing the need to send the player back to a service center to get it replaced. As far as I know, no other MP3 player of its class offers this useful feature.
As for Sonicstage, the software used to manage your songs on your PC and your NW-HD5 ... lots of negative things has been said about it. In fact, I was half expecting it to cause my computer to self-destruct after installing it. Thankfully, this wasn't the case, and Sonicstage isn't as evil as most people make it out to be. Don't expect iTunes, but it's still useable. I would have preferred the Samsung approach of just treating the player as a HDD and allowing users to organise their own playlists with directories, but you can't win em all.
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Amount Paid (US$): 341
Recommended for: Music Lovers - High Capacity Storage for an Entire Album Collection