Well, well, well — Sony is officially rebirthing the WALKMAN in this device, which'll be rolling out in Q4 in sizes of 6GB (NW-A1000) and 20GB (NW-A3000). It features an organic EL display that makes the readout appear fairly seamless with the rest of the player. On the software side it's got a bunch of bells and whistles to help automagically DJ for you: 'My Favorite Shuffle' will randomly play the 100 most listened to songs, 'Time Machine Shuffle' picks a year at random and plays all the songs from that timeframe, and other functions are available to search and play songs by a number of parameters such as rating, genre, artist, recently transferred, etc. The 20GB version will be available in violet and silver, with the 6GB coming in pink and blue, and all with matching headphones. As far as codec support goes, don't expect anything revolutionary — just MP3 and of course, ever-lovin' ATRAC3plus. Still and all, we must profess excitement at the prospect of this thing.
UPDATE: Looking at the Japanese press release, it likewise fails to mention the battery life of
either model. But it does say the A3000?s battery will recharge to 80% capacity in about 2 hours using the AC adapter,
and the A1000 will take 1 hour. A full charge takes 3 hours and 2 hours, respectively. USB recharging is also
supported, and a full recharge on the A3000 will take 7 hours, and A1000, 4 hours. We?ve also seen reports that Sony
plans to add WMA playback capability via a firmware update to be released in December. Oh, and prices: Impress Watch is
estimating around 35,000 yen (~$317 USD) for the A3000 and 30,000 yen (~$272 USD) for the A1000.