Friday, February 18, 2011

(Travails of a Non-Geek is a series that explores the meeting of technology with a self-proclaimed non-geek. Deepa Mondal contributes this guest column)

Sony Walkman E Series

After my graduation, my aunt who lives in Ireland gifted me this really beautiful iPod, which had this pink metallic finish. I just loved it. Unfortunately, it did not work I did not know how to load songs onto it. Since I am not the kind of person to sit and break my head over such things, I asked a cousin of mine to help me out with this. Sadly, my cousin never returned it back . So, I just told the whole story to my aunt who being a kind person, said she would buy me a new one . Few months later, she sent me this iPod MP3 player, the Sony Walkman NWZ-E443. I used to think that all MP3 players are called iPods, but later a friend of mine who is a gadget freak educated me about the fact that only MP3 players manufactured by Apple are called iPods. Well, as for me, I’d rather stay oblivious of these terms, simply because I don't care .

Coming back to my story, well I was quite disappointed when I received it, since I expected my aunt to gift me the same iPod. I was just happy about the fact that i got a gift, though (well, who wouldn't be for that matter). Plus, this looked nice too and it is black, which is my favourite colour . To find out what I do with this neat, little MP3 player, please head past the break.

Getting songs loaded

I hate reading. This obviously implies that I don't read manuals or User Guides to know about gadgets. I would much rather discover it myself or ask someone who may know about it. So, I got this player preloaded with some amazing songs chosen by my cousin. Thanks to him and my aunt for my currently portable music-listening experience. Such people make my technological life easy .

Some functions I use

Apart from playing songs, which is what MP3 players are meant for, the Sony Walkman NWZ-E443 has voice recording, can store video and pictures, play FM radio - which has a feature to record the song simultaneously while you are listening to it (Editor’s Note: Recording FM radio produces audio files with horrible quality; also, it may not be legal in the region where you are located). The Walkman has got a 5-way navigation button, with one power button and a back button. Fresh out of the box, the device has flash memory with a built in guide which you may format later to use the storage capacity. I guess it has 8 GB of built-in flash storage, but my geeky friend says it has only 4 GB of memory.

I just love the voice audio quality and easy navigation features. Sony has made it so user-friendly that even a person who is using the MP3 player for the first time, (like me) need not necessarily go through the manual to start using it. Now, that's a blessing . (Obviously, having a helpful cousin adds to the blessing!)

What I don’t use

I wanted it to have some of my favourite songs, so all I needed to do was to connect the Walkman to my PC via a USB cable and copy paste the songs using Windows Explorer (My Computer). However, there are other options like iTunes synchronisation and stuff to download songs onto the Walkman, but I am not aware of these things, nor do I care.

Final thoughts

As an Indian, and a lover of music, sometimes you could be left wondering if you should get yourself an iPod or any other MP3 player from a company like Sony would do. While I definitely do miss the iPod which was taken from me, I am a very satisfied owner and user of this cool Sony Walkman. So I guess, for a person who doesn’t care too much about technology, this Sony Walkman “just works” just as much as an Apple iPod might. I must add that I would have liked this NWZ-E443 to have a built-in loudspeaker and maybe, Bluetooth functionality as well. While Sony does have a slightly higher-end range of Walkman players with built-in loudspeakers, I don't know if there are any MP3 players which have built-in Bluetooth. If you do, you could always let me know using the comments section below.

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