Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sony invent device for playing Bits And Pieces

There's nothing like a device that's been invented to solve a problem which doesn't really exist.

Meet the latest product to be flung out under the Walkman brand.

It's a tiny music player, which sits in the ears:

Sony think that the player, which goes on sale in Britain from today at £60, will be ideally suited for people exercising, who do not like long wires.

So, it's wireless, is it?
The two earpieces are connected by a short wire that goes around the listener's head.

I'd love to see the focus grouping on this - "this wire is thirteen centimetres: too long? How about this one? This one is twelve and a half...". Is the answer to not wanting long, trailing wires really to make the wire shorter rather than eliminate the wire altogether?

But the longwireless nature of the device isn't its key selling point. Oh, no.
When the NWZ-W202 player is on shuffle mode, the device automatically detects and plays the main chorus part of each track, helping you find the song you want. If a listener does not like a song, a quick tap of a button on the device, will select another song.

I'm sorry? Instead of starting songs at the start, it 'discovers' the chorus and plays that first?
Sony believes that many listeners do not recognise the first few bars of a track and, as a result, get frustrated that it is only when they are 30 seconds into a song before they realise they do not want to listen to it.

Because, of course, every song starting half-way through and then jumping back to the beginning isn't in any way annoying, is it?

Besides, this device only holds 300 songs. If you've only got space for 300 songs, how the hell are you managing to put tracks on you don't recognise?

And what does the player do if the song doesn't have a chorus? What then? And how about if people don't actually recognise songs by the chorus? If it was really going to reflect the way people talk about songs, shouldn't it just blast a confused voice saying "oh, it's that one by that woman who used to date the bloke off EastEnders; you know the one, it goes diddle-diddle-dee-dah; she wore that bikini in the video. You know the one."

What's even more bemusing is that Sony are trying to pitch this as somehow being "in the spirit" of the original Walkman:
Paul Gyles, Group Product Manager, Sony United Kingdom Limited: "There are definitely some interesting parallels between the first Walkman and what we're doing now with the W Series. The original Walkman came from consumer desire for music on the move, something that hadn't been previously possible. The W Series is about complete freedom of movement and that requires the removal of wires and integration of mp3 player and headphones. We're simply meeting a human desire to listen to music without restriction."

Pssst... Paul, you haven't removed the wires. You've just made them smaller.

Oh, they've called the "technology" of going to the chorus and then going back a bit Zappin. Of course they have.

The idea is so awful, the Telegraph don't even bother to suggest it's an iPod killer.


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