Sony A820 Review

sony a820 main Sony A820 Review

The A820 series is Sony’s latest and flagship in the Walkman line up. As the head honcho of the family, the A820 is the first to sport Bluetooth audio. Unlike recent Samsung players which support extended Bluetooth features, this Sony only supports Bluetooth audio transfer and control. If you have used any of the more recent Sony Walkmans you will get a near identical experience since the interface and the features are the same. The only new thing here is the addition of Bluetooth, larger screen, and different form factor.

With that said, this review will be slightly abridged since have pretty much covered the majority of the A820 in the A810 and S610 reviews. This review will focus mainly on what makes this player stand out from the other Sony Walkmans.

  • Quick Look
  • Size: 51 x 93.9 x 9.3mm
  • Weight: 58g
  • Capacities: 8GB, 16GB
  • Screen: 2.4″ QVGA TFT display (320 x 240)
  • Video Support: MPEG-4 (M4V)
  • Audio Support: AAC, MP3, WMA
  • Rated Battery Life: 35 Hours Audio / 10 Hours Video
  • Other Features: Bluetooth, Clock
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Inside the Box / Available Accessories

Inside the box you will find: the player, proprietary USB cable, headphones with various sized inserts, video stand, dock insert, and software CD (Napster and WMP11). It includes all the basics you need to get started, but the more interesting included accessories are the headphones. These are probably the best out of the box headphones I have listened to.

Other accessories are available directly from Sony such as a few different types of cases, as well as various docking station and speakers. Since the player is Bluetooth there are plenty of accessories you can connect to including a hand full of wireless headphones, car head units, home systems, ect.

Design / Build Quality

The style and design is very typical Sony- still living in the 80’s with a modern flair. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it also lives up to the tight tolerances and sturdy design traditional to Sony. The think candy bar design is a treat to hold in your hand and slips nicely into your gear bag, backpack, purse, or European carry-all.

The back of the player along with the button face is made of a light painted metal, bein
g a hard and durable anodized finish. The chrome edge and side buttons are composed of a light plastic, probably being the cheapest feeling part of the player. But all the buttons have a very solid firm press, again, typical to Sony. The screen is plastic but very scratch resistant. Not something you want to set face down, but it will take some abuse.

What irritates me however is the FCC warning silk screen all over the back of the player. Though trivial, the details really help polish out a design. Why they did this I have no idea. Why couldn’t they have just added a sticker? I would have even settled for one of those pain-in the-ass-stickers that needs Goo Gone to facilitate the removal.


The 2.4” 320×240 262k color screen is very good displaying colors accurately with a great pixel response time. I would call it better than average but I don’t feel as if it is as good as Samsung screens, where Sony’s fall short on contrast ratio and (although very good) viewing angle.

User Interface

The user interface is identical to other players: S610, A810, A720, ect. In short it is not very intuitive, but once learned it is easy and powerful. Here is a video showing off the interface. As you can see it is near identical to the rest of the recent Sony Walkmans.


Sony does a great job squeezing out the battery time of all of their Walkmans and the A820 is no exception. Even with Bluetooth on I got easily a full day of tunes with 14 hours. Without Bluetooth on it does run a bit shy of the 35 hours stated, as the same with the video running for at least 8 hours.


I tested the Bluetooth option on three different devices: Motorola DC800 Transceiver/Receiver, Sony Mini-hi-fi system, and a pair of no named Bluetooth headphones. All paired and played without problems; additionally AVRCP audio controls features such as pause/play/skip worked just as well.

There are two different quality setting for Bluetooth. While I could not tell a difference with a standard set of headphones I was able to tell a very slight difference with the Motorola DC800 routed into my AudioFilre2 sound card then onto Sennheiser HD650s. The lower quality sounded more compressed.

Pictures / Video

The playback for pictures and video are identical to the rest of the recent Sony line up; reading the A810 review will give you full explanation. For a basic summary, the A820 does a really nice job of video playback. It does require video to be in a specific MP4 (H.264) format but that is not worries since there is already a lot of content out there since the iPod and PSP uses the same format. Converting your own content is also a breeze since; again, plenty of tools exist because of the iPod and also PSP.

Sound Quality

The A820 is the best sounding out of the box MP3 player (aside from the same A810 experience) meaning that if you don’t want to purchase any additional headphones, this is the best sounding all in one box solution (but again you get the same experience from the Sony A810 and A720).

However, adding a nice pair of headphones is a slightly different story. I still think this player sound very good but on my Shure SE530’s the A820 sounds very processed. It did however perform well in the sub $200 headphone category particularly with my Future Sonics Atrio M5’s and CrossRoad Mylar’s. However, like the other A and S series Sony’s I did find the low to mid bass on the exaggerated side. In the end the A820 performs fantastic with lower end to fairly premium phones, but I cannot recommend the A820 for the upper echelon of headphones.

Other Features

To fend off redundancy please read the A810 review since features like video, audio playback, pictures, playlists, audiobook capabilities, search, and UI are all identical to the A820.


With the Sony A820 you are paying a premium, so if you are looking for a great value, look elsewhere. However, if you are willing to pay the price tag you get a very nice player that may warrant the premium. The build quality is typical to the well made line of Sony products. Video looks great and is compatible with many content and conversion tools already out there. If you are looking for a Bluetooth player, this is definitely a good choice as it performs as expected with any audio based Bluetooth device. If Bluetooth is not your thing you should check out the A720 as it is the same player minus Bluetooth.


You can pick up the A820 from many big box retailers but can usually find it cheaper, avoid taxes, and get free shipping from Amazon (Amazon UK).


nywytboy68 on May 8, 2008 8:16 PM

YAY – I’M FIRST!!! Anyways, excellent review as always!

Chowdder on May 8, 2008 10:39 PM

I would have definitely got this player if it wasn’t for the lack of features. I don’t mind dishing out 400 bucks for a 8GB player if it has as many features as the P2, but this player is priced really too steep for the amount of things included. Even if they managed to squeeze fm radio and voice recording I might consider it, but for now I’m gonna sit this one out.

Lukekee on May 9, 2008 2:11 AM

@Chowdderthis player is all about quality over quantity. It may not have very many features, but what it CAN do, it does VERY well.

JDGAFFLIN on May 9, 2008 9:38 AM

“or European carry-all. “Thats my line. :) . Nice review, Grahm.

Evan on May 9, 2008 11:21 AM

I think the Sony players also play XviD/DivX (mpeg4) videos, as long as it’s 320×240/30fps max and in the mp4 container.

heretic on May 9, 2008 12:17 PM

Quick question: This review notes some problems with the the sound quality with the Shure SE530, that it is very processed, but the review of the A810 doesn’t mention this. Is the sound quality significantly different (perhaps better on the A810), or am I reading too much into this?

Grahm on May 9, 2008 2:32 PM

@hereticI didn’t have the SE530s when i did the A810 review. But with a quick check of the A810, it does suffer from a similar “over processed” sound, it is just not as profound. I just dont like the way the SE530s sound on the Sony products.

heretic on May 9, 2008 3:05 PM

Interesting. I am using the SE530 on an A810, and have not noticed this effect, but that is probably because I have nothing better to compare to. Do you have a recommendation for an mp3 player that matches better?

Grahm on May 9, 2008 3:28 PM

@hereticI think that “better” may be more of a preference. However, IMO what i find to be better is the Sansa Clip on the 530s The clips EQ is crummy with other phones but work really well with the very sensitive 530s. Pick Clip of for $35 to see if it is worth seeking a different player for the 530s- to see if the difference it noticeable to you. Another player i like with the 530s is the Toshiba T400, another very clean player.

Tommy on May 10, 2008 5:18 PM

Hi,nice review. Plese can sombody recomend me portable player with best sound quality? Cowon D2/7/X5, iriver clix2, Toshiba T400, samsung P2/S5? did you have a chance compare on clasic phones and iem. I own Grado SR225 and q-jaysThanks for help

Michael on May 10, 2008 8:50 PM

Just picked up the 4GB model in silver….propably one of the best MP3 players I have ever used. I’m not one for features, I pretty much only want music playback with excellent sound quality. So in my opinion this was the perfect option for me. I also want to pick up a 80GB Zune soon.

Pat on May 10, 2008 10:16 PM

I am one of the many fans of this players. I am glad that there’s at least company that will focus on making an mp3 player perform its main function amazingly – playing music. I don’t care for games/applications/voice recording that I’ll use for maybe the first week for giggles and then forget about for the rest of my life. I don’t need a flashy and gimmicky touch interface. This player clearly has the easy to use UI (my technologically-illiterate sister could figure it all out in less than 2 minutes), build quality, sound quality and battery life. All these factors done well IS value to me. Here’s hoping to more quality mp3 players that focus on these aspects instead of dumping dozens of useless applications on us.

Michael on May 10, 2008 11:28 PM

Well said Pat…definately summarized the player well. I really love it for the simplicity.

Jon on May 11, 2008 4:52 PM

I’ll start by saying that I have been looking for an mp3 player for well over 2 years now and have yet to actually buy one. However I am extremely close to buying the Sony A729 (A829 without BlueTooth). I also have Shure SE530 earphones. Now, I have actually tried my friend’s Sony A818 (previous 8GB model) and absolutely loved the sound. It didn’t sound processed at all. It sounded full, vibrant, and fun: Exactly what I wanted in a portable player. Except I didn’t exactly like the form factor and would have liked a bigger screen and more storage capacity.Now the new line of Sony players are out, and the new form factor looks absolutely fantastic. The screen is bigger, and now I can get it with 16GB of storage. It seemed perfect. But when I read this review and what it had to say about the Sony + SE530 earphones, my heart just completely sank. And just when I thought my mind was made up.However, on a thread over at, a member by the name of breezy_amar posted a response to this review and what it had to say about the A820 + SE530 pair., am I saying that the author of this review is wrong and breezy_amar is right? No, absolutely not. (I haven’t even heard the A820 yet.) Different people hear things differently: What sounds processed to one person might sound amazing to another. All I’m saying is that if you are searching for a new mp3 player and you do have Shure SE530s/E500s that you plan on using with it, don’t omit the Sony player just because of this review. Because you might be missing out on one of the best sounding mp3 players on the market.

heretic on May 11, 2008 6:50 PM

@JonI agree; almost everything about audio is subjective, since each person hears differently. Since we are mostly talking about using IEMs and earphones here, that is even more true.My intent in asking the reviewer about the sound quality on the A810 / A820 is just to clarify what he heard as a flaw, since he has had the chance to listen to both and compare them to many other DAPs. I have read several other reviews (most of which think the audio quality on these are top-notch), and I just wanted some comparison to a DAP that the reviewer thinks tops the Sonys.

Jon on May 11, 2008 8:09 PM

@hereticI agree: I would like to hear what the reviewer thinks beats the Sony in terms of sound quality. I would also like to hear not only which player he thinks sounds better with the SE530, but also specifically what he doesn’t like about the sound of the Sony + SE530s (a.k.a. what “processed” means).

plus1 on May 12, 2008 8:31 AM

hi! could someone please recommend some good video encoding settings for this player? i understand that it has to be encoded in h.264, at 320×240, but what would be a good bit rate setting? fps?thanks! :)

E0157H7 on May 12, 2008 9:49 AM

To those that are bothered by the FCC statement (and other silk screened things,) sugar on scotch tape makes a decent abrasive that won’t hurt metals or most paints and plastics. Depending on the quality of the silk screening, it may take it right off.

E0157H7 on May 12, 2008 9:50 AM

To those that are bothered by the FCC statement (and other silk screened things,) sugar on scotch tape makes a decent abrasive that won’t hurt metals or most paints and plastics. Depending on the quality of the silk screening, it may take it right off.

George on May 12, 2008 5:25 PM

@JonI agree as well, i want to understand what “processed means”, After i sold my Cowon A2 havent found the best mp3 player for my shure se530…So my shure se530 are single at this moment…Please Grahm give us more details about this A820 + SE530 Issue… Im very interested on this player and cant decide between Samsung P2 or Sony A820.

Grahm on May 12, 2008 7:09 PM

The Shure SE530 + A820 could be a personal preference, but to me it sounds a little to synthetic, in that it has been bent though too many internal DSPs or EQs or other kinds of sound shaping techniques that may be used by Sony. Its a little on the cold side. Thats what i mean by processed if that makes sense. I also dont like how the bass rolls off on the A820 (and didnt like it with the A810 or S610 either), its slightly on the muddy side.The player sounds really nice dont get me wrong, i just prefer the warmer sound of other players like the Clip or the Toshiba T400.

Jon on May 12, 2008 8:31 PM

@plus1I’ve heard some good things about the “Free iPod Video Converter.” I’ve also heard some bad things, but so is the case with almost all free software.@E0157H7…What?@GrahmBass roll-off? Seriously? That’s really bizarre. I didn’t hear that at all on my friend’s A818 when I auditioned it with my SE530s. The bass was tight, controlled, and punchy, but not bloated. It was warm and just really enjoyable to listen to: Anything but cold. I loved his Sony when I tried it. I really wish I could hear what you hear when you listen to the A820 with your SE530s just to understand what you’re hearing. Like, I ‘know’ what you mean, but it’s so hard to believe that you’re hearing a cold, processed sound from one of Sony’s newer players. Unless (AND THIS IS WHAT I’M AFRAID OF) the newest models (specifically, the A720/A820) really do sound different, or even worse compared to the last model (specifically, the A810 series).Grahm: What differences do you hear between the A810/S610 and the A820 with the SE530s? Which, in your opinion, sounds better?Everyone else: From your experiences, what do you think about the sound quality of the A820 with high-end phones?

Pat on May 12, 2008 10:26 PM

@plus1:Use Any Video Converter. It’s free and very easy to use. Just set the bit rate to the highest possible (512 I think) and it looks fantastic. The fps, I set it the same as the fps of the original file- it tells you in the program what the original fps is. I also set the audio quality to the highest possible.

Grahm on May 13, 2008 10:25 AM

@Jon,The A810 to me sounds a little more natural, less processed, but still has the muddy bass problem. There is a difference in SQ between the A820 and A810. I find it to be slight but a friend of mine who runs, a large French MP3 player site, said the A820 sounds like a cheap import to him. I wouldnt say its that extreme, but the A810 does have an advantage.Now the Sony’s with other headphones such as the FutureSonic Atrios M5′s is a different story. This sounds much more relaxed and easier to listen to. So it is not so much a problem i have with Sony, its just that i find the Shure SE530s very revealing and with the Sony’s they just reveal too much.

George on May 13, 2008 4:51 PM

@GrahmThanks for your comments Grahm, i think the best advice for SE530 owners is to test it before buying it, so this time my friend at Best buy is gonna be my best friend, i will test both devices (A810 & Samsung P2) with my SE530 next weekend and choose wich one is better for me in terms of sound quality.

Grahm on May 13, 2008 5:01 PM

Would love to hear your opinion, please post back.

Charles on May 14, 2008 12:46 AM

I got a question how do you turn this mp3 player off, completely off! not standby but off!

Jon on May 14, 2008 1:48 AM

@GrahmMan, I just don’t get it…. I have literally been searching the net for other people who think the A820 sounds worse than the A810, and I’ve found 2 people who say this: you, and Greg who wrote a review for the A820 at GenerationMP3. And it’s really unfortunate too, because even though everyone else that I’ve talked to about this player loves it so much and thinks it sounds BETTER than the A810, I now have enough doubt that, at least for now, I’m not going to buy it or any other player for a while.

Tacticalpenguin on May 15, 2008 12:09 AM

Charles – It turns itself completely off if left in “standy” for a day or so, but the standby mode does not really affect battery life – all it has to do is wait for a button to be pressed, and instant on. Besides, the battery lasts halfway to forever.

lazy elephant on May 18, 2008 10:48 AM

Does this not have Video in like they said it was going to have earlier?

celestial on May 24, 2008 11:36 AM

@Charles,press and hold “option” button for like 3 seconds, it’ll say “see you later” (well, the one i have says so) and turn off.

Charles on May 26, 2008 3:17 AM

Hmmm interesting Celestial i’ll have to try that I have the 820 without the bluetooth though they offer one without an one with same player just bluetooth present or not. Hmmm I love this player battery life and sound quality which to me is what a mp3 player buyer should be worryed about. Excellent is the answer to the battery life, an sound quality the only two things that concern me. Features? forget them I use them for a week like for instance toy with voice recording for like a week then forget about it only thing this player could have used is memory expansion otherwise perfect….

Charles on May 26, 2008 3:23 AM

I got a quick question does anyone know which one is better sound quality wise the samsung p2 or the sony? I mean im going to keep the sony simply because im almost for sure from reviews an common sense the battery life on the sony will outlast the p2, just curious to which one sounds better I had the oppurtunity to buy 1 so…..anyhow anyone opinion…….

Jon on May 26, 2008 6:42 PM

@Charles:From what I have read on, the general impression I get is that the Sony sounds quite a bit better than the Samsung P2. Now, keep in mind the comparisons I read were comparing the older (A810 series) Sony players to the P2. However, I have yet to hear from a person on head-fi that the new (A820/A720) players sound worse than the old players: In fact, most say that the new players sound better. So I would be more likely to say that the Sony sounds better than the Samsung.Obviously, don’t take anything I say as pure fact. Sound is incredibly subjective. But based on the opinions and experiences of others that I’ve read, the Sony beats the Samsung.’ll see a lot of comparisons between the P2 and quite a few other players on that thread including the iPod Touch and, of course, Sony’s players.)

fred on May 27, 2008 4:49 AM

sounds great:) one thing for sure is the sony comes with better headphones than the samsung. i can’t find fault with it so far but i’m just using hd497 senns. the battery life is fantastic:)as for video encoding, tmpgenc moviestyle is one option. it seems to have time stretch encoding built in which is something you cant get on a free encoder so far.a cheap way to protect the player is to get a do it yourself sheet from bestskinsever. its the same stuff as invisible shield and under 10 bucks shipped. neither place seems to sell precut protectors yet for this unit. just use a sheet of paper to create a stencil of the screen using the ol pencil rubbing method, then just cut it out:) there are videos on youtube on how to apply the invisible shield correctly, lots of water(tiny tiny dash of soap) with spray bottle or whatever. its porous so any really small blemishes you didn’t work out will dry in time.

remaille585 on May 27, 2008 8:30 AM

I’m looking for one of the best sounding MP3 player. I was already hesitating between the A810 and A820, and this review makes me hesitate all the more….I don’t understand why you seem so severe towards the A820 although it is very close to the A810 (to whom you did’nt lack of paises)….I don’t understand why it would suddenly become bad with a more than 200$ headphone….If it is the case why did’nt you notice the same issue in the A810′s review…Is the A820′s quality as excellent as that of A810 or not?Thanks

Jon on May 27, 2008 3:04 PM

@fred:It’s like deja vu (0roo0roo?) :) . Lol…. Thanks for the info.@remaille585:I’m in the same boat as you. I had my mind set that I was going to buy one of Sony’s new players, but then I found this review and I stopped dead in my tracks. It’s really unfortunate, because now I’m going back as far as even considering other brands. Pretty sad that I was so close to finding *that one* player that I really wanted and now I don’t even know for sure about it anymore.

George on May 27, 2008 5:42 PM

@Charles:Sony A820 sounds better than Samsung P2. (see below).@GrahmFinally i was able to test both devices (Sony A820 & Samsung P2) with my Shure SE530 headphones.1st of all, i was looking for my next mp3 player, since i sold my cowon A2; because i want something more portable, with better interface than Cowon mp3 players, able to recognize ID tags and with the rich sound quality those players has, so my choice was between A820 or Samsung P2.Thanks to a Friend from a best Buy store i was able to made my test.A820At First i didnt like the sound quality of Sony A820 + SE530 specially in how the bass performs, it was a good sound but not as good as cowon players (A2, X5), this on flat EQ, however after playing with the EQ, i customized it and i loved every bit of the sound (Customized EQ + Clear bass: 1 + Surround: none), it was rich and clear sound, 1 of the things i didnt like was the surround presets all of them sound really synthetic.P2Then i test it P2 + SE530, the sound was nice, but no matter what preset or customize EQ did, the sound was not as rich and clear as Sony A820, and actually i didnt like the touch interface, so my choice was simple.I would say that i really miss A2 since in terms of sound quality i havent find anything better but i realized… for me it sounds just slightly better than sony A820 after customized EQ, and the simple interface of A820 is way better than cowon players, and with ID tags so…Now im waiting for arrival of my new A820 16gb From amazon.Note 1:My test was done with Mp3 songs at 320 Bitrate, from electronic music to Classical.Note 2: This is my personal comments on those 2 players, you may hear different as i do. =PNote 3:A820 + SE530 + Adagio for strings (Tiesto) = Musical orgasm.

Katrina on May 28, 2008 1:39 AM

I was wondering if this player is compatible with the MAC os system.

Charles on May 28, 2008 1:42 AM

Okey doke im back new question how do you transfer videos the cd included is odd……installed apple an quicktime an stuff do i need to get some other convertering tool? an thxs George, and Jon, oh an another thing why are people hesitating to get this player its also I had a sansa view 4gb an a zune 4 they suck in there own ways. Sansa because of firmware an battery life, an sound. Zune because of the software you have to use to put music on it with,battery life,sound,an the space,and FIRMWARE. Had a sandisk e260 it was perfect except for 2 cracked screens on each player Sony was perfect. If I can just find out how to put video on minor promlem i’ll figure it out. Sound is clear already like Grahmn said but playing with the eq makes it even clear or certain instrumentals in the music come out. Also I thought that the DsEE(Sound Enchance) and the Clear Stero did nothing I was wrong. THe DsEE combined with the Clear Stero makes it clearer bringing out the back instrumentals more. Gives you basiclly a wider frequency range. Clear Bass is cool don’t use it though nor do I use the Surrond sound, it sounds hmmmmmmm dunno im still trying to figure out why they even put it on there is cool but I don’t use it. Maybe someone finds it useful who knows. Anyhow great player.

Charles.. on May 28, 2008 2:17 AM

Oh another thing this is not the only review I read. Reviews in general have there advantages an disadvantages but woah Cnet never usely gives anything a 10 but guess what Sony Walkman NWZ-S718 (8GB, black) got a 10 in performance to see this go the review page you’ll see they gave it a 8.3 but! go right under it like a centimetetr it says excellent basiclly that what 8.3 represent excellence anyhow click excellent an you’ll see they gave it a ten this one has a 9 ive been waiting for a ten I wonder is it because of the noise cancelling headphones…..hmmmm

fred on May 28, 2008 2:53 AM

did the reviewer test any self encoded videos? the unit comes with a full screen demo video, but that kind of hides a problem, video is washed out to a degree that cannot be explained by the screen since blacks are much darker when displaying photos or just using any menu including the seek bar you can pop up during the video. this makes any music video or film you encode to play wide screen rather poor looking to say the least. i wonder if this is going to be fixed by a firmware update or if it is a permanent limitation.

remaille585 on May 28, 2008 7:24 AM

Thank you Jon. In fact I think that the one who tested the A820 was expecting too much from it, given the succes of the A810. He might have been desapointed by the lack of improvement in the sound quality. The only improvements consist in a larger screen, a 16Gb version, and the addition of the bluetooth. The sentence :”so if you are looking for a great value, look elsewhere” is very harsch :( But in fact I still think I’m gonna buy the A810 because I don’t need the bluetooth, it’s cheaper, I don’t need a larger screen (else I would buy a samsung P2)….But it’s true that the A820 is very attractive.

George on May 28, 2008 10:17 AM

@katrinai used Leopard to put the songs on the player, since you can use just drag and drop.You can create ID tags on itunes, and use finder to store your songs.However im not sure if i am able to create playlist since i dont know if the software that comes with the player works on Mac OS version.I’ll Know as soon as my player arrives.

fred on May 28, 2008 8:56 PM

“But in fact I still think I’m gonna buy the A810 because I don’t need the bluetooth, it’s cheaper, I don’t need a larger screen (else I would buy a samsung P2)….But it’s true that the A820 is very attractive.”just get the 72x series, its the 820 minus blue tooth. and its priced close enough to the 810 series there is really no point buy 810 stuff.

Jon on May 28, 2008 9:33 PM

@fred:This is a very interesting issue with video playback on the Sony knowing that the screen is more than capable of displaying dark shades of black. I really wonder if Sony will be able to come up with some sort of remedy for this.@remaille585:Oh, absolutely he was expecting more. This is a very critical review of a fantastic player. That’s not entirely a bad thing for people who are aware of what else is on the market right now. But people who aren’t may see this review and be put off by how critical it is, which would be a shame if this is the type of player they are looking for. I do give props to the reviewer for being critical but yet wording the review in such a way as to not actually bash the Sony. He comes close, but never actually gets there.

Charles.. on May 29, 2008 12:32 AM

errrr I seemed to have been ignored can anyone answer me on how to put movies exc. on the player…

fred on May 29, 2008 4:10 AM

couple more gripes.they really needed to include a podcast/audio book directory. This is a major oversight as there is no current way to exclude podcasts/audio books from the shuffle feature making it almost useless for me.the interface needs a horizontal orientation option. they allow it for video, but i think it should be allowed for all other functions as browsing through longer file names would be easier with more screen width so i don’t have to let text scroll as much.@Charles- well you can use jodix free ipod video converter. mpeg4 + aac audio works, and thats default for that converter. i use xilisoft converter for dvd and video, but thats not free, and i can’t get any of the psp h264 profiles to work with it. level 1.0-1.3 and 2.0 go. its quite fiddly that way. Mpeg 4 does give very good quality though, but you lose a bit of compression advantage that h264 would give.Theres an interesting program called tmpgenc movie style that might work as well, it has the option of encoding in time stretch mode for sped up playback with normalized sound. kind of neat but its not free either.

Charles.. on May 30, 2008 4:03 AM

Thx @Fred much needed information thank you

Charles.. on June 2, 2008 12:04 AM

another question what what you guys suggest for eq settings?

fred on June 2, 2008 1:12 AM

hmm, seems you can shuffle within a folder. so i guess if you want shuffle to work without podcasts and audio books getting in the way you have to put all the music in a different folder. i’m not sure how to get time machine shuffle working excluding non music content. perhaps you have to strip the date from the mp3 tags of the audio books, i for eq settings, those are whatever you feel sounds good. generally they are set to make up for deficiencies or over emphasis of the output hardware/environment in certain frequencies. you might not even have to set it if it sounds good stock flat. i slightly boost the treble when using the ex headphones.

Charles.. on June 2, 2008 2:43 AM

How the hell! do you put videos on this thing, movies whatever i tryed the ipod free converter does not work!

fred on June 2, 2008 5:27 PM

handbrake also works for encoding dvd to mp4. also very fast on multicore cpu. best of all, its free;)just drag into the video directory!not sure what video types jodix can convert, i only tried avi.

fred on June 6, 2008 7:17 AM

handbrake h.264 settingslevel=13:bframes=0:cabac=0 in advanced panelsimilar settings in media coder work.

Loz on August 27, 2008 3:41 PM

Im with Charles! how the heckkkk do u get videos on this thing?! its rly winding me up, cos i have loads, but none of them work on the playerAlso, is there a way of seeing songs recently added to the player? cos my old sony NW-A1000 player had this function but i cant seem to find it on this one :S

Loz on August 27, 2008 3:42 PM

Im with Charles! how the heckkkk do u get videos on this thing?! its rly winding me up, cos i have loads, but none of them work on the playerAlso, is there a way of seeing songs recently added to the player? cos my old sony NW-A1000 player had this function but i cant seem to find it on this one :S

Loz on August 27, 2008 3:44 PM

Im with Charles! how the heckkkk do u get videos on this thing?! its rly winding me up, cos i have loads, but none of them work on the playerAlso, is there a way of seeing songs recently added to the player? cos my old sony NW-A1000 player had this function but i cant seem to find it on this one :S

AFSlug on September 10, 2008 6:16 PM

Don’t know how to put videos on the walkman? I have an A810I entered and downloaded Winavi MP4 converter.The app had the serial included. It has various options, iPod, PSP, 3GP(so it also is useful for cellphones) and MP4, I use the MP4 option, and set the video size 320×240, bitrate well….more bitrate best quality, and 128 KB for audio, (the coding is on ACC, 128 gives very good quality). Takes a minute to have as a result an MP4 file, on a music video i get 10-20MB file. I connect the player and paste the video on “VIDEO” folder.If you want a thumbtail for the video use a 160×120 JPEG with the same name of the video and put it on the “VIDEO” folder.This worked for me even with my “MKV” videos.Now i have an answer, does this have the same “lack of volume power” as the A810?

C Davis on October 15, 2008 12:06 AM

Excellent sound quality for those who want an mp3 player to hear rather than just to look at!!

Vladi on October 16, 2008 9:49 AM

thanks for a great review. Is it possible to pair this player with the car handsfree system over the bluetooth it it makes any sense.. thanks

Steven on January 14, 2009 11:21 PM

I would probably get this player if it weren’t for two simple things:-No memory expansion-If there were memory expansion, knowing sony it would be for sony memory cards, which are more expensive and less common than the SD cards everything else uses. I wish sony would just give it up already, things would be so much better if they would just for once admit their version of a product isn’t the best (which it often isn’t) and quit trying to push it on everybody. I generally refuse to even consider a sony product that uses memory cards for this reason.

uvs on August 20, 2009 5:52 PM

the product is great. the sound is awesome, and the the model is too thin and fit everywhere even in a small pocket. bluebooth is great but the sound is not good like wirephones. the only i am confused if don’t know how to create playlists. the other thing is need to buy video converter software for some video files as its software only works for normal videos.

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