Review: Apple’s iPod kills Sony’s new Network Walkman

“A quarter century after Sony Corp. first shipped the legendary Walkman personal stereo, the electronics giant is launching a high-tech model that aims to topple Apple Computer Inc.’s iPod as today’s leading digital music player and status symbol,” Matthew Fordahl reports for The Associated Presss.

“Sony has its work cut out: In less than three years, the simple white iPod has undergone four revisions, each time capturing more customers and acclaim with slick designs, clean interfaces and ever increasing versatility,” Fordahl reports. “For now, Apple has nothing to fear.”

“Sony’s Network Walkman NW-HD1 is as clunky as its name. The gadget looks great, but it’s ruined by a bizarre insistence on a proprietary file format, a confusing navigation scheme and software that tries to be flashy but is incredibly frustrating,” Fordahl writes.

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Mossberg: Sony Walkman ‘laborious, weak, lousy, confusing, stinks’ vs. Apple iPod – July 28, 2004
Apple blasts Sony on misleading Walkman song capacity claims – July 08, 2004
San Francisco Chronicle: Sony Walkman vs. Apple iPod – July 07, 2004
Washington Post: Sony’s internet music service ‘is an embarrassment to the company that gave the world the Walkman’ – May 29, 2004
Sony lumbers after Apple but it’s not working – May 24, 2004
Apple iTunes Music Store vs. Sony Connect is no contest, Apple wins with ease – May 09, 2004
NY Times pans Sony Connect debut: ‘maybe they ought to call it Sony Disconnect’ – May 05, 2004


  1. “Sony’s format does produce good sound quality while taking up less space, but users aren’t given a choice.”

    Interesting–lots of people have said that ATRAC is worse, yet there’s no mention of it. I’d’ve thought he would have come up with some comment if it was.

    “What happens if the unique ATRAC format is abandoned?”

    Uh, what happens if the unique FairPlay/AAC is abandoned? Since, according to everybody here, you can rip your CDs to MP3s and the software will convert to ATRAC upon downloading, it sounds like nothing will happen.

    Whether you can preserve any music you bought through the Sony Connect store (ie, the track won’t allow you to burn it to a CD) is another story. Still, though, you’ll be able to use the tracks you bought with your Sony Walkman even if they abandon ATRAC.

    I find it entertaining, though, that he brings it up. One of the quieter issues when Apple launched iTMS was, “But what happens if/when Apple goes out of business?” While the writer is not so bold as to suggest Sony’s imminent demise, he does use the same FUD.

  2. Oh yeah! I forgot the other chuckle from the article:

    “I have a collection of nearly 1,200 MP3 music files […]
    Apple’s iTunes software had no trouble transferring the MP3 files to the iPod […] In all, it took 12 minutes to transfer all my files. The Network Walkman […] took nearly seven hours.”

    So 1200 songs in 12 minutes equates to 100 songs/min. In Sony’s case, It’s a little less than 3 songs per minute.

    Ouch! So you rip your favorite CD having around 10 or 12 songs and it takes half-an-hour to upload them to your Walkman?!? Now that truly sucks!

    Somebody needs to start using SIMD/Velocity Engine/AltiVec ASAP.

  3. Don’t post mac360 reviews. They’re mostly bogus. That review didn’t test the Sony player because it didn’t have one. It just compared press release specs released by Sony against iPod spes. The site doesn’t do the Mac community any good. Indeed the Sony player has many shortcomings. There are other negative reviews on the machine including one written by the WSJ (Walt Mossberg):

  4. What’s bogus about that site? Looks OK to me. MacDaily News would appear to be more bogus since there is NOT one original writing piece here at all; just rehashed articles from others sites. MDN seems to get its jollies by bashing everyone else, no?

  5. Hahahahahaha.

    MacDN is jealous because you didn’t get listed in Mac360’s list of top web sites.

    How do you KNOW they didn’t have a Sony to compare? How do you KNOW Walt Mossbert had a Sony to compare?

    Aren’t you folks really in cahoots with Thurott and other Windows apologists just to rile the Mac community so both of you get more hits on your sites?

    Your analysis appears faulty, my friend. Your motivations appear shallow and self serving.

    Stick to facts and you’ll gain more credibility, otherwise, you’re no different than Thurott and company.

  6. Hey pkradd, what’s with the Mac-site bashing? Why are you attacking another pro-Mac web site? Do you expect MDN readers will ONLY read MDN? Frankly, I want readers to share other links in this forum.

    Here’s some of my favorites… (best looking babe)

    All these sites are good reads. Sometimes great, sometimes not so great. They’re all pro-Mac; sometimes objective, often not. Please don’t tell your readers NOT to post a link to another site when that site offers valuable Mac information (whether you agree with the site or not).

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