15
Jan
12

Walkman E464

Note: I haven’t anything to compare this to other than the Creative ZEN as a portable storage mobile device  and don’t use ITunes or a smart phone.

One of the gifts that I had a choice to receive, through an awards program with my employer for 10 years service, was a Sony Walkman. The Creative 5 gig mp3 player I previously used did not want to hold a charge despite having replaced the battery.  I liked all the features and capabilities of the Creative Zen player but I couldn’t pass up a chance for this free replacement.

walkmane464

The Walkman NWZ-E464 is not what considered state of the art, no touch screen or even WI-FI capabilities but It does have video playback  and color screen (320×240) something the Zen (gray scale LCD) did not. The accompanying software is loaded on the player so no disk/CD is included. It’s not necessary to use the Media GO software as the Walkman shows up on Win XP once It’s connected by the supplied USB  data/charging cable.

s_18500_03               The Media Go is another playlist manager import/export styled software suited for the Walkman.  The Sony Media go software has an analytical feature called SensME Channels which I didn’t use at first. In addition to the usual ability  to bookmark and index songs\video by playlist the SensMe analyses songs according to a “12 Tone Analysis” and places them in one (or more than one) SensMe channels.

 

List of channels

Channel    Description

[Morning]  Plays music for various times of the day.

[Daytime]

[Evening]

[Night]

[Midnight]

(These automatically change with the time)

[Shuffle All]  Plays all songs in random order.

[Energetic]  Plays up-tempo and high-energy music.

[Relax]  Plays calm and relaxing music.

[Upbeat] Plays cheerful and uplifting music.

[Mellow] Plays soft and slow-tempo music.

[Lounge] Plays jazz and easy listening music.

[Emotional]Plays ballads.

[Dance] Plays rhythm, rap and R & B music.

[Extreme] Plays loud and powerful music.

With a 8 gig capacity this type of analysis can be useful to divide up your music if you don’t want to manually place every song in a playlist or edit the properties of each selection. Media Go analytics gives you a Tempo and Mood rating for each song.

mediogo

The software does have the ability to sync with Gracenote media database if you are  connected to the internet to download track information if you want and album graphics covers if you don’t want to manually enter the info. There are many fields in the database properties where you can enter much information. It’s also possible to import and manually add lyrics for a Karaoke style playback option.

The Walkman also has an FM Radio tuner, a voice recorder function, sleep and alarm timer,and many settings for each function. One function I miss from the Zen is the ability to directly record from the FM radio tuner which allowed you to create your own mix file from recorded audio from the FM Tuner. (back in the day we used cassette recorders and the like to record audio from the radio\records\TV  and made mix tapes “for our own personal use”)  Now with software such as Sound Engine, Audacity, etc. it’s all done digitally. A recorded sound/video file can be edited on your computer, leaving out the commercials, then exported  from your computer and stored on the Walkman, if you prefer the small screen and need portable video.

The supplied Ear buds, come with small medium and large adapters to use according to the size of your ears.

The sound quality, is only as good as the source, and the Walkman E464 supports many file types and bit rate and sampling  settings. The Media Go software can rip CDs. With the maximum bit rate and sampling settings the sound is as good as it gets. Of course if you have the proper cable and stereo amplification equipment you can use the Walkman as a source and hear your tunes through traditional speakers. Even though the ear buds give you decent sound, in my opinion, nothing can replicate the sensation  and sound of speakers moving air and the feel of the low end of frequencies, and the  heterodyning caused by room acoustics . Over the years I have used earphones when private listening or music monitoring was required, but with the shrinking size of portable media devices it would be impractical to carry around earphones (Koss pro4a) with the Walkman. Earphones and ear buds give a totally different sound by my standards, the acoustics are totally different. Since no one carries boom boxes any more it’s a trade of having all your music with you in such a small package. Ear buds are OK, I’ll have to get used to them, and if you wear hearing  protection at your job having ear buds for listening is something else you have to jam in your ears.

Having been looking frequently for a replacement to the Zen player and it being on the back burner, the Walkman fits the bill and the price was right! I can slip it in my pocket with the ear buds easily and the battery life is excellent so far.

(update, device lost)


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