I know not everybody listens to music, podcasts, or anything else when they run, but I am one of the ones that does. Now, not every time mind you, but more times than not I am listening to something while I am on the run. I have not been bitten by the iPod craze and honestly don't understand the draw (sorry iPod lovers) because I just find my MP3 players so much easier to use all the way around..... and cheaper :) Many times I download my favorite podcast (Daily Audio Bible) while other times I listen to an Audio Book. When I am not listening to one of the above I just listen to the music I have already downloaded to my player.
When I run I usually use a small MP3 player that I attach to my arm. I have been very happy with it, but I do tend to go through headphones so often that I only buy the cheap ones that ship from Singapore (do they attach these packages to migrating whales? Why does it take so long for them to get here?). With the way the wire hangs and everything I have to do to keep it from pulling it is inevitable that the wires will eventually pull apart inside and I will be replacing the headphones once again.
Considering what I go through with my MP3 player and the constant pulling and fidgeting, I was really excited when I was contacted to review the Sony W Series Walkman® MP3 Player. Brand new and just released about a month ago it sounded like just what I needed.
Some of the benefits that the W Series, model NWZ-W252 offers are:
- Design – its lightweight, water-resistant frame ensures proper functionality during extended periods of activity inside or outside – even in the rain..... you know how I like to run in the rain :)
- 2GB of maximum capacity – holds approximately 470 songs*
- Quick Charge Option – for on-the-go or those who have forgotten to charge, charge 3 minutes for up to 90 minutes of play time. Full battery life is approximately 1 hours*
- Easy Music Transfer – Content Transfer software allows users to move music files and playlists straight from a PC/iTunes library
- Design - It is lightweight and it doesn't even look too funny on (click image for larger view). My kids did laugh at me when I put it on, but they are teenagers and they laugh at me anyway. I love the fact that it is water resistant and I don't have to worry about it in the rain, but I will still be worried the first time I run with it in a monsoon.
- 2GB capacity - This may not be big enough for many people, but for my use it is plenty. Now let's be honest, do you really need your 30GB of music on your run? Even if you are on your long run you aren't going to listen to that much music...... unless you are really really slow :)
- Quick Charge - While I like this feature I have a hard time figuring out if it is running off of a quick charge or a full charge. Since it doesn't have a screen the software has a nice feature that shows the battery life.
- Easy Music Transfer - I have not tried using it with iTunes. I do have iTunes and buy music from them, but I just don't like the way it handles music and the transfer to a device. I am the type that likes to just drag my music/podcasts directly to the device in the folder structure I want them in. This device works great that way, or also syncs up really nice using Windows Media Player.
When I first plugged the device into my Windows 7 machine it immediately launched the software on the device. The only thing it had to install was the drivers which seemed to be no more than what a USB drive would install. The little application that runs is handy and lets me launch Windows Media Player, open the drive directly to drag files back and forth, or access the limited settings. It also shows the used space and a battery indicator.
When I first put them on I was a bit worried that they wouldn't stay put while running. I am not your most fluid runner so I sometimes have a lot of up and down motion. I was pleasantly surprised at how well they did stay put both during a run as well as while mowing the lawn.
I did not get to run with it a bunch. Most of my runs are early in the morning around 5:00 am and when I run with an MP3 player I run with just one ear-piece so I can hear my surroundings. If the Sony W Series Walkman® MP3 Player was detachable so you could use only one side (similar to a Bluetooth device) it would be the ultimate device for me. Now, I realize I am probably kind of alone with this need/desire, but I value my safety more than I do stereo sound.
The functioning of the device while listening to it is a little tricky until you get accustomed to it. Without a screen it relies totally on tags on the MP3 files or your playlist on how it plays the files. What I found difficult was that it was hard to tell if the device was on and paused, or if it was turned completely off. It does have some features with skipping ahead or back, but since I don't fully understand them yet they just confused me. The audio quality was very good for such a compact device, but I can't say that I am really a sound connoisseur either (most of my TV's are sill mono).
When taking the device off they fold up nicely with a magnet that snaps them together as seen in the second picture (click for larger image). There also is a little snap piece that I think is designed to hold it together but I really don't understand it's purpose, nor the fact that they choose to block the USB plug when it is attached so you can't charge it or load it.
All in all I really like the device and if I ran mostly in the light I would probably use it all the time. I am sure it will get easier to use once I learn completely how it functions, even though right now it can be a little frustrating.
The Sony W Series Walkman® MP3 Player has an SRP of $60 and is available at Sony Style retail stores & other authorized retailers nationwide, although since it is so new I didn't see this specific model in very many places when doing a search. I am sure it will become more available after it has been out for a while.
Would you run with one of these?
Well, Sony is going to give you a chance to do just that. I am sorry, I have been talking about this giveaway on Twitter (follow me) for some time now. I was in the middle of totally rebuilding the design of my blog and needed to get it to a usable point before posting this review and giveaway. It is not finished yet and I have a lot to do over the next couple weeks so keep coming back to check out the progress.
So, I know what you are thinking..... what must I do to win one of these cool devices? There are multiple ways to get entries into the giveaway.
- Follow me , and then click the Retweet button at the top of this post to tweet the message. If you would rather not use the button at the top you must click here and leave the RT exactly as it is. Once you have done that post a comment on this post with your twitter name for it to be verified and counted. You must still be following me on the day of the drawing for this entry to count. After that if I am that boring you can un-follow me :) - Like my Facebook Fanpage and then click on the "Like" button at the bottom of this post. Click on the Facebook "Share" button at the top of this post and share it on your Facebook page. Once you have done that post a comment on this post with your name on Facebook. If you would rather not post your Facebook name in the comments you can e-mail it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and then just post a comment saying so. You must still be part of my Fanpage on the day of the drawing for this entry to count. Just like Twitter, you can un-like my Fanpage after that day if my posts are that annoying :) Blog - Do you have a blog? If you have a blog and want to blog about this giveaway I would be most grateful. Just link back to this direct post somewhere in your post and put link to your blog post in a comment on this post and you will be entered once again.
Edit 05-15-10 - I have made it easier to enter - I wasn't getting the kind of response I wanted with this giveaway. I had a lot of traffic and a lot of people hitting this post so I was wondering.... why are people not entering? I figured it was for one of two reasons.... I am long winded with my review and people never got down to the giveaway, or I made it too difficult to enter. So...... Here is now all you need to do:
- Twitter - Tweet it by clicking at the top of the post, or tweet it any other way you want, just use this link to direct them back here: http://bit.ly/b2FHq0
- Facebook - Share it on Facebook by clicking on the link at the top of the post. Since I can't see everyone's page I do want you to also join my Facebook Fanpage so I have some kind of verification that you did something :)
- Blog - Just link back to this post and you will be all set.
***Remember to post a comment here letting me know what you have done so your entry can be counted.
Because the three forms of entry are based on getting the word out and not primarily to build my following these next opportunities are not going to give you any additional entries. That doesn't change my gratitude one bit, nor change the smile that it will put on my face.
Thanks for stopping by my blog, while you are here, what do you think of my new design? Stop by my last post and give me your feedback. It is not yet finished, but is starting to look and feel like I want it to. If you haven't yet stopped by my most popular post, you need to stop by my Runners To Follow On Twitter post and find some new running friends. While you are there add a post with your twitter id and get ready to welcome some new running followers.
That's it for now, Good luck!
Tim Wilson - blog.262quest.com - subscribe - follow blog - virtual4now