Sony debuts US$199 1GB iPod shuffle killer, bills it ‘small as a pack of gum’

“It looks as if Sony is attempting to give Apple competition in the area of world’s smallest MP3 player. The company is now offering the Network Walkman Digital Music Player. On the Sony USA website the player is labelled ‘Small as a pack of gum,’ just like Apple’s iPod Shuffle, but these two players part ways when it comes to price. Sony’s NW-E507 retails at $199.95 for 1GB of storage space and Sony boasts that you can load 695 songs on the player,” Keisha Webb-Gibbs writes for The Bermuda Sun.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: January 11, 2005, Apple Computer, Inc. debuts the iPod shuffle line. The Apple press release describes the new players as “smaller and lighter than a pack of gum.”’s iPod shuffle web page has described the iPod shuffle as, “smaller than a pack of gum and much more fun,” since January. Sony, obviously bereft of new ideas of their own, follows suit seven months later. The new Sony thing must weigh more than a pack of gum (1.66 oz or 47 g) or they would have cribbed that bit, too. For the record, Apple’s iPod shuffle weighs just .78 ounce.

So, Sony, with their Sony Style™ stuck somewhere in 1985, has debuted an iPod shuffle killer that retails for US$70 more, weighs twice as much as it’s intended victim and doesn’t work with the market-dominating iTunes Music Store. But, hey, it’s “small as a pack of gum.” Good luck.

Fifth-rate Chinese knock-off artists stealing trade dress and marketing slogans are one thing, but have Sony slipped so far, so quickly?

Okay, now, 695 songs in 1GB? How can that be? Let’s check Sony’s specs: “Calculated based on 4 minutes per song @ 48kbps in ATRAC3plus™ format.” ATRAC3plus @ 48-Kbps sounds like AM radio, folks. Plop ATRAC3plus @ 132-Kbps songs in 1GB , which are roughly equivalent to Apple’s iTunes Music Store’s 128-Kbps AAC tracks and you can fit, drumroll please, about 240 songs into the thing or exactly as many as Apple advertises their iPod shuffle 1GB unit’s capacity (holds 240 songs in 128-Kbps AAC format). How about cutting the nonsense, Sony? Use a listenable bit rate for your player capacities and stop lifting other company’s marketing materials while you’re at it.


  1. I mean seriously– what happened to that company? I used to admire them. Now, I wonder if they have the consumer in mind at all, because it seems like they and so many others are just cranking out junk to try and get a few bucks. Bleh…

  2. Hmm, too bad it’s $70 more expensive than the 1GB iPod shuffle and is also totally incompatible with the market dominating iTunes music store. Thanks, but no thanks Sony…

  3. personally, I wish that apple would release a 2gb version of the shuffle with a display like the sony.

    apparently the 2gb flash memory chips are no being offered for $11 per chip from the manufacturers. also, I read a reviewer who tested the sony, and he got over 60 hours of battery life out of this model. it also has an FM tuner, but I doubt that apple would ever think that was a good idea.

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