Normally, Sony players ship with firmware 1.00 and stays that way and it’s a surprise to see Sony issue an update for the new S730 series. The changelog got “lost in translation” (or rather production) as the update page says nothing about what is actually changed in FW 1.11. Sony don’t normally (or ever) add functionality to their players post-release though so it’s most likely just a few stability fixes. If you have one of these, it might be worth the update, but unless you’ve had trouble with the player you probably won’t gain anything from it.
Update: Seems this has been out for a while
We already saw the E430 series a few days ago and the rest of the new Sony players have now been announced at IFA. The new player lines feature a higher capacity version of the E430 which will take over for the S610 and S710 series and a new USB stick type player.
The S630 and S730 series’ are almost identical in design to the E430 series, in fact the only difference I can see is that the S630 and S730 looks to be a bit longer. The specs are almost identical as well, with the same format support for both video and audio and an FM tuner. Compared to the players they are replacing the battery life is slightly improved with 40 hours of music and 10 hours of video and the new players also seem to be UMS and not MTP like their predecessors. Judging from the pictures the menu seem to be either skinable or at least support wallpapers now, something I know some people have been missing in Sony players. The S730 will be the noise cancellation version of the two new players, a feature I tested on the S710 and found to be rather useless with the earbuds that came with the player (and no other NC earphones are available for it). The S630 and S730 will come in 4, 8 and 16GB sometime in September. Update: Gizmodo reports that the S series will feature a mood sensing technology where you select the mood you’re in from a list of 11 moods and the player will choose music that fits the mood. Sounds weird but also interesting.
The other new player announced was the B130. Originally there was supposed to be a new USb stick player released months ago but we haven’t seen anything of it, so hopefully this one will actually be released in our part of the world. The B130 does however not hav a color LCD or the fancy interchangeable face plates the other player had. the battery life is equally unimpressive with 16 hours, but at least it has a fast charge technology that gives you 90 minutes of listening time from 3 minutes of charging.
[GenerationMP3 | Gizmodo]