Sony's new $1200 Walkman targets audiophile true believers

Sometimes audiophiles like to go portable. Try dragging that turntable and tube amp around while jogging.

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I thought that was ATRAC. Sony didn’t natively support mp3 until the late 2000s!

ATRAC was fine for its purpose (shrinking the filesize sufficiently for MD to work) … apart from v1, which was released too early.


I’m going to try this. Thanks.

So was Betamax. ATRAC made sense when it was just for MD, but not when they were using it on their portable players when everyone else was using MP3 and AAC.

I wonder what would have happened if Sony would have allowed a LAME type project on ATRAC, and offered better licencing to other companies.

How much music do you need to carry around with you? Using my music collection as an example, 29 days of music only takes up 251gb when encoded as FLAC.

It might make sense if you are spending months working away from home, or maybe if you are a DJ. If you aren’t, it’s probably overkill.

You can also try the BananaPi board. Similar form factor, but a gigabit Ethernet and a SATA port. So you can have even the terabyte-scale storage.

The reason for wanting a bigger iPod Classic is so I don’t have to make decisions about what to copy over and what to leave behind. Which is laziness and could be dealt with by a better sync utility. We could use the cloud, but that’s not always available and has battery life implications. And I’ve hit the Google Play 20k track limit. Your 251Gb FLAC collection example is already well over the last 160gb iPod Classic, even if it could play FLACs. And it’s only delaying the inevitable because in a year or two it will be 500Gb.

But mostly, 2.5" 1Tb disks are dirt cheap now. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want a portable music device that kept pace with the improvements in disk tech.

It’s a small market for stupidly big capacity PMPs with good battery life and quality audio stages, but it’s a real market. If Apple don’t want to address it who will? It could have been Sony, but it looks like it won’t be.

Open source via Raspberry Pi? Yup, I’d support a kickstarter for that. But no way are my skills up to creating it myself.

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Might be larger than you think. I would totally buy one of these over a mobile phone with a piss-poor battery life and a handful of memory cards. As it is, I’m clinging on to my classic hoping it doesn’t die.

Besides, how does anyone decide what they want to listen to over the course of a day? I mean, do you have your moods all mapped out and stuff? :confused:

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Thought. Use the Raspberry Pi (Banana Pi, it has SATA so it is a better choice here) with an OpenEEG rig or other consumer brain-computer interface, to both maintain the collection and control the music selection to fit mood (or to maintain desired mood).


Well, the iPod doesn’t use 2.5" drives, and there aren’t a lot of different 5mm 1.8" options on the market. In fact, 160GB seems to be the highest capacity available. Do you want Apple to create a new hard drive for your tiny market segment.

I think Apple has made the decision that mass-market capacity demands—and not the maximum theoretical storage capacity possible—drive their iPod capacities, and now that solid state can meet their capacity demands they are better off switching exclusively to that tech.

If the interface matches electrically, the rest is just a casemod that can be as trivial as a ball of duct tape.

Wouldn’t a third-party 3d-printed bigger case be enough?

Flash is still just state-of-the-art 1980s tech, They could use something modern like holographic film or carbon nanotubes, but then nobody would know how to cash in on selling you a cheap device with hundreds of petabytes of storage.

These methods are not “ripe” yet. Still too deep in the labs, with too many kinks to iron out before they get mainstream-ready. And we do not know enough how they wear and age, so being an early adopter is likely to be an adrenaline sport (which also goes for new hard drive technologies; shingle write, I am looking at YOU).

Given that the mechanism of flash wearout is trapping of charge carriers in the floating-gate dielectric, which is the same mechanism of one of the kinds of radiation damage, which can be annealed by higher temperature, I wonder if worn flashes (whether disks or CF cards) could be restored to their former glory by careful baking.

There is only one fruit of continuous refinement.

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The kids should buy better amplifiers.

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Well, most people don’t want an iPod that looks like a ball of duct tape. Also, the last couple of generations used a ZIF interface, so good luck with that.

I don’t think there’s any doubt that someone could bodge up with a big, bulky mp3 player (with unknown battery life) that still manages to use the iPod hardware and interface. I just doubt that many people would actually like the device, especially given the likely price point.

Most people don’t know what end of the screwdriver is the business one. And most people are wussy about design, denying themselves the opportunities and limiting themselves to whatever the Vendors decide to give them instead of taking it for themselves.

Adapters exist. Problem solved.

You can have arbitrary amount of battery life, for free; just scavenge the 18650 cells from dead laptop batteries. There are usually three to four parallel pairs of cells. Often you find out that only one pair is gone, with zero or close to zero voltage, and the remaining cells still have a lot of life left in them.

Well, that’s one of the choices. Build-from-scratch with some SoC board is another.

Does not have to be a big problem, especially given the possibility of using scavenged parts. Perhaps except the SATA/ZIF converter but that’s $16-$30.

And huge bulk gained if you’re going to plug that into an already-bulky 2.5" drive.

This is starting to remind me of the episode of 30-Rock where they start improving a microwave and somehow end up at the punchline of “Oh my god, we just invented the Pontiac Aztec!”

Since we no longer care about bulk, weight or form factor, why not add some speakers and make it a boom box?

OK, so we’re just ignoring the whole prompt about “stupidly big capacity PMPs with good battery life and quality audio stages”?

OK, I’ll buy 10,000 of them from you at your quoted upper price of $30.

1.8" disks topped out at 240Gb. Apple never pushed for production volumes of these and never pushed the manufacturers to go beyond them. Once netbooks switched to 2.5" drives the only market left for the 1.8" drive was Apple.

I’m not asking Apple to do anything. I’m merely pointing out that there’s a small but real market for a high capacity PMP. Those who need and want that would probably put up with a PMP based on a 2.5" disk and accept the slightly bigger form factor. I had one of those Creative Zens for a while with a 2.5" disk and it still fitted in a pocket.

There’s a crude option here but it’s not good for battery life. And that’s a battery powered portable wifi hard disk matched up with a wifi tablet/phone and duct taped together!