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Sony Unveils First U.S. Walkman Video Players

Sony today took the wraps off two new Walkman players that not only support audio but for the first time in the United States video. The new NWZ-A810 and NWZ-S610 series of Walkman digital music players will support an open platform, providing more choices for downloading and managing music and video collections online.

The devices have a standard user interface that makes it easy to enjoy songs, videos or pictures. The video players have Quarter Video Graphics Array (QVGA) LCD screens that display video at 30 frames per second. QVGA is a display mode for small screens in which the resolution is 320 pixels vertically by 240 pixels horizontally.

The battery life allows up to 8 hours of video playback for the NWZ-A810 series and 9.5 hours for the NWZ-S610 series. The battery also provides up to 33 hours of music playback for both series.

The players support security-enhanced Windows Media Audio (WMA), as well as non-secure AAC and MP3 music formats, plus JPEG files for photos, in addition to the AVC (H.264/AVC) Baseline Profile and MPEG-4 video codecs.

The top-of-the-line Walkman video players (NWZ-A810 series) have 2-inch QVGA (320 x 240 pixels) LCD screens. This series of players comes with Sony MDR-EX082 ear-buds. Designed with a younger demographic in mind, the NWZ-S610 series has a 1.8-inch QVGA (320 by 240 pixels) LCD screen and includes an FM tuner with 30 presets.

The Walkman video players store up to 1,850 songs on the 8GB models, 925 songs on the 4GB models, and 440 songs on the 2GB models, for songs an average of four minutes in length at 128kbps in the MP3 format.

For those who just want music sans video, Sony is also introducing the NWZ-B100 series These audio players include USB direct connect, a three-line color LCD display and an FM tuner. They feature up to 12 hours of battery life.

With FM recording capability, it is easy to capture and play back radio programs. The NWZ-B100 series also has a voice recorder function with a built-in microphone for taking notes or recording sing-alongs to favorite tunes.

In addition to supporting easy transfer of non-DRM content via drag and drop, this dedicated audio model will also support most subscription services. The players store up to 485 songs on the 2GB and 235 songs on the 1GB, for songs an average of four minutes in length at 128kbps in the MP3 format.

To help manage digital music libraries, the new Sony Walkman video players come with Microsoft Windows Media Player 11. Sony offers a range of accessories (sold separately), including a Bluetooth audio transmitter and peripherals that allow consumers to wirelessly release their music on the move.

Sony will be phasing out the CONNECT Music Services based on Sony's ATRAC audio format in North America and Europe. Specific timing will vary by region depending on market demand, but will not be before March 2008 The CONNECT e-book service for the Reader will not be affected.

The NWZ-A810 series of Walkman video music players come in three different capacities and five colors:

  • NWZ-A815 - 2GB; white, pink, black, blue and silver; ~$140.
  • NWZ-A816 - 4GB; white, pink, black and silver; ~$180.
  • NWZ-A818 - 8GB, black and silver, ~$230.
  • NWZ-S615F - 2GB; black, pink, red and silver; ~$120.
  • NWZ-S616F - 4GB; black, pink, red and silver; ~$160.
  • NWZ-S618F - 8GB, black, ~$210.
  • NWZ-B103F - 1GB, black, ~$60.
  • NWZ-B105F - 2GB, ~$80.

Presales have begun for the new Walkman models. The players will be available in September. The silver players will be sold exclusively at Sony Style retail stores and online.

Source: Sony

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