Portable MP3 Gear

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With the success of Apple’s iPod family, more and more manufacturers are taking the plunge into the portable digital audio market.

Sont has introduce the 21st century incarnation of the Walkman. The hard-drive Walkmen (the NW-HD5 series) offer 20GB of storage and look like most other MP3 players — and they certainly remind me oth the old Walkman portable cassette players everyone had when I was in high school. The really interesting thing Sony has out are the new Walkman Bean flash-based players. 1 GB storage capacity and a really fast battery charge rate (3 minutes of charge time gives 3 hours of playing time) are big selling points here. The design and the color options are targeted directly at the users who want the trendiest look for their MP3 player. Sony has also announced two next-generation player, the NW-A3000 (20GB) and the NW-A1000 (6GB), though information is not available on their website right now. Check out Engadget for pictures and more information. The display on the new Walkman looks great — I can’t wait to see one of these in person.

Alienware has also announced their CE-IV (Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind) player. 512 MB and 1 GB storage options will be available. Styling on this one looks similar to Alienware’s line of gaming computers. Release date is scheduled for sometime in October — just in time for Christmas.

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