Sony and Apple have been rivals for a long time, and their personal audio systems (Sony's Walkman and Apple's iPod) are available in a variety of models ranging from £39 to £260. These hand-held multimedia devices can store gigabytes of not only audio files, but depending on your model, you will be able to store and view photos and videos as well. Sony's Shop W Series, Shop E Series, Shop S Series and Shop X Series Walkman MP3 players all have iPod rivals, such as the iPod Shuffle, iPod Nano, iPod Classic and iPod Touch.
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Shop W Series Walkman vs. iPod Shuffle
The Sony Walkman W Series is only available in 2GB versions, though the iPod Shuffle is available in both 2 GB and 4 GB capacities, which store between 500 and 1,000 songs. The W Series Walkman and the iPod Shuffle are both uniquely designed; the Shuffle is smaller than a house key and the device can be controlled from three tiny buttons just below the right ear bud, however the W Series Walkman has the headphones completely integrated within the device for less wire interference. The iPod Shuffle uses VoiceOver technology, which tells the user what song is being played. The Walkman W Series uses Zappin technology, in which you can choose tunes based on a melody sample from the song about to be played. The price ranges from £39 to £45, depending on which model you buy.
Shop E Series Walkman vs. iPod Nano
The Shop E Series Walkman and the iPod Nano are available in 8 GB and 16 GB versions and hold between 2,000 and 4,000 songs. The iPod Nano and E- Series Walkman are both equipped with an FM tuner and can play back video and audio files. The iPod Nano has a video camera; the E Series Walkman does not. The E Series Walkman and Nano can play photo, video and music files. The E Series Walkman (starting at £51.90) is considerably cheaper than the iPod Nano (starting at £97.40).
Shop S Series Walkman vs. iPod Classic
The striking differences between the Shop S Series Walkman and iPod Classic are the storage capacities and the price. The iPod Classic ($249) boasts a large 160 GB hard drive (storing a maximum of 40,000 songs), while the S Series Walkman (starting at £71.40) is available in 8 and 16 GB formats. Both devices can play back audio, video and photo files. The S Series Walkman has a built-in microphone to easily record lectures.
Shop X Series Walkman vs. iPod Touch
Apple's iPod Touch and Sony's Shop X Series Walkman both use touch-screen technology to navigate and come equipped with Wi-Fi capabilities. The web browser on the iPod Touch, Safari, is fully featured and very easy to use. Sony's web browser is very basic, and its features are very limited. The iPod comes pre-installed with several apps including Safari, YouTube, Weather, Maps and Music Player. You can also download more apps from the iTunes store, which makes the iPod Touch very customisable as there are thousands of apps available. The X Series Walkman is inferior as a web browser and as a multi-application device, but it does boast an array of customisable sound-tweaking options that the iPod Touch does not offer. The iPod Touch is available in 8GB ($199), 32GB ($299) and 64GB ($399) versions. The X Series is available in 16GB ($299) and 32GB ($399) versions.
If you have a media database that is larger than 32GB, the Sony Walkman models are not a good choice for you. The iPod Classic would be the ideal choice for a media pack rat. The Sony Walkman models use the battery more efficiently and have faster charge times as well, which is more ideal for the person always on the go. The Sony Walkman is usually the cheaper alternative to the iPod, so if you are strapped for cash, then the Walkman might be the right choice for you. Sony Walkmans are for audiophiles that love tweak the sound, but if you are looking for a handheld multifunctional minicomputer, then go for the iPod Touch.
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