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The Strat

SONY MP3s

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always found the sony nwa-3000 sounded better than any ipod at maximum bit rates.

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I'm not sure about this particular model, but apparently the very recent Sony mp3 players will let you put stuff on them without using the SonicStage (or ChronicStage) software, which is absolutely hideous.

Sony are learning, at least they've given up on ATRAC and now support mp3 like the rest of the world. The most recent models let you plug it in to your computer, such that it just shows up as an external storage drive.

But I repeat, avoid any of the older ones that require you to use SonicStage! Its crap, buggy, slow, non-intuitive and will result in your throwing the whole lot out of the window. I mean it. Its got this mad mentality that every file you want to put on the player needs to have some drm added to it, regardless of where you got the mp3 from. That's assuming it can read the file format you give it in the first place. Oh and if your on Mac on Linux give up now...

Shame really as most of the hardware is pretty good.

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I have the Sony NW-A1000 and before that the Rio Carbon. The Sony is at least as good sounding as the Rio. Having said that I use compression rate of 128 kbps and Imostly just use it in the car with a cassette adapter. Irarely use it to play music through the hifi.

I've found the Sony Connect software to be fine if you use it torip yourcds with but a right pain in the arse if you want to use WMA or MP3 files, either downloaded or ripped using Windows Media or similar.

In my experience the Sonys are good and quite tough. Much better made that the Rios (which are no longer made anyway). The software is not the best though.

Jim

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My only experience of Sonicstags was with a NetMD. It crashed every 1/2hr-1hr while playing music, store music at a shite quality level (MDLP/2) and was generally horrid.

I went back to recording MDs with my 'hifi' desk and a CD player. Easier- even with renaming the tracks using the clickwheel.

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JPG wrote:

My only experience of Sonicstags was with a NetMD. It crashed every 1/2hr-1hr while playing music, store music at a shite quality level (MDLP/2) and was generally horrid.

I went back to recording MDs with my 'hifi' desk and a CD player. Easier- even with renaming the tracks using the clickwheel.

The latest sonic stage is a big improvement. You can rip in MP3, WMA or ATRAC at whatever bitrate you choose. You can also transfer files to your device which have been ripped using other software (FLAC, AAC etc). And it's never crashed on me.

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I have now had a chance to play with this. The build quality is very good, the player has a feel of quality about it with all the buttonsbieng reassuringly solid. The casing is hard and looks robust enough to avoid getting marked and scratched. As you would expect it is very light and all the controls are placed so you can operate them with one hand.

The menus and file loading are all quick and the interface is clear and similar in presentation to a mobile phone.

I was unable to drag and drop files directly onto the player as you would an external HDD, content has to be transferred with the Sony software. Thankfully this is much imporved over the previous versions and it is a drag and drop process. Sonic stage will move MP3's without the need to convert to ATRAC and it does not need to be your default media player either.

Sound wise I am very impressed. I have some Sennheisser HD485's, some Pioneer DJ Headphones and a pair of Shure E2's here and on each set the sound is full and clear. Bass is tight and there is a hine to Sony top end but that does not detract from the sound. There is an eq setting that you can change the sound with but I havent got that far yet.

One good thing is that there is plenty of volume. The pioneers are pretty efficient but the Sony pushes themvery loud indeed which is a good thing in my book.

Certainly the A808 is better than the Samsung Iam replacing . I am well chuffed.

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Nick/Guys,

Thanks for this.

Does the software run on a mac? Bearing in mind that I am a complete technical no hoper can you just load it burn your CDs straight in and go?

Thanks.

Strat

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The Strat wrote:

Nick/Guys,

Thanks for this.

Does the software run on a mac? Bearing in mind that I am a complete technical no hoper can you just load it burn your CDs straight in and go?

Thanks.

Strat

Strat,

In my experience, if you just want to rip your own cds and copy them to the player using the Sony software, you should have no problems. I have only experienced problems when trying tocopy MP3s or WMA files that I have acquired from other sources (e.g. downloaded) to the player.

Jim

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