Sony NW-HD5 is a worldwide launch

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Sony has unveiled the latest in its seemingly never-ending list of iPod killers. Only this time it appears to be serious. The NW-HD5, which will launch in May in the UK, US, Europe and the Far East is a 20 Gigabyte hard disk player that is smaller and lighter than its equivalent iPod (it weighs just 125g) and has far superior battery life offering thirty hours of MP3 playback, (40 if the owner uses Sony’s proprietary ATRAC3Plus format at 48kbps), compared to its equivalent iPod’s 12 hours.

The battery is apparently replaceable too with Sony promising that spares can be bough from High street stores.

Another innovation is its new ‘Follow Turn Display,’ which orients the interface screen horizontally or vertically depending on which way the NW-HD5 is held.

The player is available in black, silver, and red goes on sale in May for £200 (£10 less than its equivalent iPod). A 30 Gigabyte version in silver follows the month after.

Click over for the press release.

Sony launches New Network WALKMAN with Hard Disk

Ultra compact size, innovative interface and massive 40 hours battery life.

Sony’s new 20GB hard disk digital music player, the Network WALKMAN NW-HD5, delivers a staggering 40 hours  of playback on one battery charge and carries up to 13,000 tracks . The new player also features the most innovative interface yet seen on a portable music device and comes in stylish colours of black, silver, and red.

A seven-line large LED window with bright backlight combined with the novel concept of the “follow turn” feature of the display, deliver real intuitive operation.  The display graphics shift and change position depending on how users hold the Network WALKMAN to provide smooth visibility.  This ‘follow turn’ feature uses G-Sensor technology to automatically detect the horizontal or vertical position of the device and consequently changes the position of the display graphics as well as that of the function buttons.

Sony’s renowned Stamina battery life provides almost two days of continuous playback. The battery is replaceable and easily accessible from high street stores and can be replaced by users without the need for a visit to a service centre.

All this power comes in a tiny package: weighing in at just 125g, the aluminium encased Network Walkman fits neatly in the palm of your hand.

“We’re raising the stakes again in the digital music player market,” said Gregory Kukolj, General Manager for Personal Audio Europe. “The stunning new ‘follow turn’ feature, 40 hours battery life, incredibly compact design, and to top it off, very affordable pricing, make the new Network WALKMAN an irresistible proposition for users who seek a quality digital music player.”

The NW-HD5 Network WALKMAN also comes in a limited edition version of 30GB, which can hold up to 20,000 tracks and will be available in silver, with black buttons.

Quality headphones, AC adapter and a USB cable are included in the NW-HD5. The bundled SonicStage 3.1 music management software converts and manages music from CDs in both ATRAC3plus and MP3, and provides seamless access to the “CONNECT” Online Music Store’s catalogue of more than 600,000 tracks and albums. The NW-HD5 will be available in May 2005.

Check out Shiny media’s take on the dark side of eBay and other online auction sites at Bayraider.

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5 comments

  • Does anybody know how I can adjust the preset volume on NW-HD5 to allow me to increase the volume?

  • does anybody know of an easier way to use the mp3 format on the hd5 without the use of atrac3 plus?? for some reason sony seem to have written the software so that it makes it near on the most irritating software to use when requiring the use of MP3 FORMAT!! please HELP!!

  • I need to know if the Sony nw-hd5/nw-hd5h has a bookmark facility. Also, that there is a fix for the inevitable and idiotic EU volume restriction that it seems only Sony follow.

  • Hmmmmm. Sony chose to avoid the use of a color LCD. The color LCD is what made me choose the iPod Photo 40GB. Being able to look at the album art is wonder. I grew up on Vinyl, 8-track and then CDs and it is hard to break the need to look at the album art.

    In regards to the Sony device. I am undecided on the look of the player, but it looks better than the NW-H1/3 models. I hope the UI is easy to deal with as the iPods’ interface is just down right incredibly easy to operate.

    The battery life is a no-brainer. I might get 12 hours on my iPod photo, on a good day. This is very disappointing to say the least. At least the new mini models get 18+ hours (reports say up to 22-24 hours).

    The biggest problem Sony has is its reliance on the Sonic Stage software. All I can say is that it works, but driving an old Geo also gets you to work, but it wouldn’t be my first choice! Sony needs to take a leap of faith and allow for direct copying of files to the device for playback, vs. the requirement to use Sonice Stage for transfer. This is easily POSSIBLE on the Sony PSP. I can just drag-and-drop the files and the PSP will play the mp3s. Simple, easy and efficient. If they do this one thing, I will covnert over.

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