Sony Network Walkman

I want a music player with a gert big hard drive in it again. I’ve seen the adverts for the new Sony Walkman and really really want one. Or at least I did.

You see, I wandered over to Amazon to see how much they are. Not a lot more than an iPod Nano and 16gb bigger! It looks ace!

Then I started reading the user reviews. Everybody seems to think the player itself is fantastic – which is no surprise. Sony have traditionally been the daddies when it comes to portable music hardware.

Unfortunately, it would seem that software is not their strong point. Phrases like “the Connect software does its best to wreck your PC and prevents you loading any more than a handful of albums” kept popping up. I googled around for some more reviews and the same thing comes up over and over again. One review summed it up:

“It’s the broken software that lets this product down, not the player – it’s such a shame that Sony haven’t been able to get it right. They’ve put so much effort into getting a great MP3 player out for Christmas – and they’ve forgotten to finish the software.”

Bah humbug.

17 Responses to “Sony Network Walkman”

1. matt

Sony making a software blunder?

maybe wait til the sort it, or can you use other software?

2. Weiran Zhang

Sony have been making bad software for years. My old MZ-N1 minidisc came with the worst SonicStage software ever! I’d try to import my music collection and it would fail, unless you did it an album at a time. And really, don’t start on the DRM…

On the contary, I’m incredibly happy with iTunes and the iPod :).

3. Owen

I saw my sisters new 30GB iPod (the one that does the video) over the weekend. It really is very sexy. It’s not much thicker than the Nano, not much more expensive and the screen is really pretty good. It would still be my MP3 player of choice.

4. Simon

Right… Sony software isn’t that bad, they slated sonicstage (used with the older Sony mp3 players) yet I have had no problems at all with it. All you use it for is transferring music to your player. If you have all your music in mp3 format, sorted in album folders by artist then all is fine.

Don’t let it put you off getting a Sony player as they sound so much better than the fashion accessory alternatives you can get. Also the price via Amazon is a bargain.

Just get some good Sony or e2c/e3c headphones to appreciate the quality.

Oh and you can pick up remotes for them for £13 off ebay and they rock :-)

5. Olly

All the reviews I’ve seen so far say that SonicStage is fantastic compared to the new Connect software. In many cases it won’t even start, which is going to make it kinda difficult to transfer music isn’t it?

You can apparently use the old software with the new player, but you lose some of the Walkman’s functionality. Great.

Like you I’m not really convinced by the iPod itself, but the software is really good – and while the opposition keeps shipping an unfinished product, it’s getting more and more convincing…

6. Simon

iPod: great software, bad quality product (scratches easily) also average sound quality. You loose out either way it seems.

I’m very happy with my HD5 and sonicstage, you can have mine for… say £200 :-) hrhr.

7. Olly

Hey, the HD5 wasn’t necessarily a high quality item either – the buttons cracked on loads of them :)

8. SimonB

I agree with Simon. My HD3 is fantastic and the Sonicstage software is fine for transferring music to/from the player.

9. Olly

That’s all well and good, but the new walkman doesn’t actually use Sonicstage.

10. SimonB

Yeah I know but people constantly slate that, say it breaks their pc etc… I can’t imagine the new software being as bad as people say :)

11. Simon

My mate is getting a new one on Friday, possibly one for me as well ;-) either way i’ll let you know how they get on with the software.

There are alternatives to sonicstage so there could be some for the connect software as well.

A little software hassle compared to produce months of music listening pleasure is surely worth it?

12. Owen

Connect is a pile of crap. Anne has it on her Vaio and it sucks. The only reason it’s still on there is that iTunes won’t work on her PC (I have no idea why – some software just refuses to run on the Sony).

Also, just because something looks fantastic it isn’t automatically a fashion accessory! I don’t see what is so wrong with wanting something that looks good and plays music.

13. Olly

OI POLLARD! £119 for earphones!? You can sod off with that suggestion ;)

14. David Waldron

I’ve just got the new Sony MP3 after having the HD3 for ages without problem, apart from the ac adaptor. Scared to use the new software, i got one on the understanding that it would run on Sonicstage but it refuses to acept any of the files… Help please, i really missing my own space on the tube!!

15. Olly

Are you using the latest (v3.4) version of SonicStage? And does your walkman have the latest firmware? Both are available from

Beyond that I’m not sure what the problem might be – you could ask on the forums at

16. Brian

I see this site has not updated in a looooong time. I’ve an NW-705 that I most like. I’m am now forced to look around for an alternative to SonicStage Connect. I have version 4.3 and it blows. I have an extremely large music collection (65k+). Sonic stage has no ability to monitor folders. It isn’t importing in all of my albums from my collection. Oh, it only took a day and half importing in what little it would. This on a 3.0GHz P4 w/2GB of RAM. Right now it’s been churning for over 8 hours trying to update the CD info. It takes forever to transfer music that it has found to my device. I could write the ones and zeros by hand faster. I’m looking at trying the MP3 Manger next. If it doesn’t work this thing is getting donated to one of my children to tear up. Lastly, I had a scare last week with misplacing my USB cable. It only averages $50 US on ebay. I’m pretty sure this will be the last Sony Walkman that I buy. To much propriety crap!!

17. Olly

@Brian – you might want to check out ML_Sony, which is a Sony plug-in for WinAmp, or maybe give NW-E00x Mp3 File Manager a go?

And you’re right about the proprietary thing. I’ll proably get an iPod next. It’s proprietary too, but a) I’m a Mac user these days and b) they’re ubiquitous to the point where they’ll work with just about any platform I choose in the future. The Sony doesn’t work anywhere but Windows, and even then it’s flaky. It’s a shame, because the hardware really is lovely.