The music playing market is turning into a Blur versus Oasis style showdown… After yesterday’s big Apple announcements Sony today took the wraps off its next gen hard disk based Walkmans. Available in November in the UK (and the rest of the world too) the six Gigabyte NW-A1000 (£169) and 20 Gig NW-A3000 (£199) both feature Sony’s latest big idea Artist Link. This apparently searches every artist, album and song stored on the device and offers suggestions of artists and bands closely linked to the genre of music being played at the time.
After the excellent, but rather dour black NW-HD5 Sony has hit the colour button with the new models available in violet, silver and pink. Other features include an OLED screen, 2 inches on the 3000 and 1.5 on the 1000, Intelligent Shuffle which allows music to be searched in more ways than has ever been possible MP3 players via ‘Genre’, ‘Artist’, ‘Album’, ‘Song’, ‘Release Date’, ‘Rating’ and ‘Recently Transferred’ and ‘Time Shuffle’ which plays songs of a randomly selected year and ‘Favourite Shuffle’ plays your top 100 most listened tracks. Battery life is rated at 30 hours (I think this is ATRAC so expect around 20 in MP3).