Wall Street Journal technology columnist Walt Mossberg writes in his Wednesday solutions column that Sonyis Network Walkman NW-HD1 digital music player is "markedly inferior overall" to the Apple iPod.
"It has a confusing, complex user interface that makes it hard to use; weak software for the PC; an oddball music format that makes loading it with songs tedious; and a companion music download service that offers less than Appleis. The iPod wins this round, and remains champion," Mr. Mossberg wrote.
Major negatives to the US$399 Sony NW-HD1 included is inability to play standard MP3 files, slow transferring of music files, and not being able to recharged, or connected to a computer, directly.
"But the Walkmanis biggest weakness is its lousy user interface, which is dense and confusing," he wrote. "The SonicStage 2 software and the Connect music store are also badly designed. This is because, for all its historic brilliance in designing hardware, Sony stinks at software."
While criticizing the Sony device, Mr. Mossberg said it beats the iPod with a smaller size by 10% and "trounces the Apple in battery life," 22 hours to the iPodis 12 on a single charge.
In the end, Mr. Mossberg said the Sony players problems outweigh its positives, for now. "Until Sony fixes the multitude of sins in this product, steer clear of it," he recommends."
Editoris Note: The link provided in the first paragraph to Mr. Mossbergis column is a free and open link, but is only available until Wednesday evening, August 4, 2004.