It’s been awhile since I’ve had a dedicated music player. Since my GoGear broke, I have been using my Nokia X1-01 to listen to songs on the radio or in my library. Though it does give me my fill of sound, it proves lacking in features that I think are essential to enjoy music the way I want to. It can’t even shuffle songs correctly and chances are, one or two songs get to be played twice in a span of an hour (and to think it had more than 120 songs to choose from).
Well, big thanks to my Godsend Debbie, I now have a Sony Walkman NWZ-B172F, which I just officially named Woku. It’s a 2GB portable music player that meets my needs and even more. Here are some of its remarkable features that got me raising my two thumbs up:
- Media Transfer Protocol. One of the most important features for me. When you plug the Walkman to a computer, it’s not just an ordinary mass storage device (USB drive), it’s also detected as a portable device. With its support for MTP, creating playlists is very easy. Perfect for those who want to control even the small details, like me.
- FM tuner and recorder. Now I won’t be able to miss a chart show on the radio even when I can’t listen at a given time, I just have to hit the record button and listen to it later.
- 3-minute quick charge. Charge it for 180 seconds, and it will have enough energy to play around 24 songs. A full charge takes about 70 minutes.
- Artist and song display. Although it doesn’t flash the album name (on playlist mode) with its limited two-line LCD display, now I will no longer have to forget who’s singing what’s currently playing as the Walkman shows the song title and the artist name (the X1-01 only displays the song title).
- Automatic Volume Limiter System. So the song you’re listening to is barely audible, so you jack up the volume. But the next song happens to be too loud, and your ears get hurt with a deafening sound blast. Say goodbye to this scenario with AVLS. It protects your ears.
- Zappin. I didn’t know what this feature was, but when I tried it, I immediately liked it. Songs that make it to my playlist are okay enough, but there are times when I want to move on a track which I like better. So I zap in and Zappin awesomely plays samples from the middle of the song (not the intro) one at a time. Once I find a song I’d like to hear in full, I zap out and that song gets played from the beginning. It’s a much more fun way of skipping to the next track. And the zap effects are cool, too!
- Play mode. By Folder, by Artist, by Album, by Playlist (my favorite), by Genre or by Release Year. Or you can have All Songs on the mix. The choices are wide and the choice is yours. Also, I like how the Walkman remembers the previous and next tracks even when on shuffle mode (not the case with the GoGear).
- Clip It or Sling It. The player comes with a clip so you can clip it to your clothing if you want to. But if not, a lanyard slot is also provided so you can have it on a sling. For me, both are useful and depending on what I wear, I could clip or sling it as the moment dictates.
- Bass Boost. The Walkman has an equalizer (with four presets plus custom). I tried a variety of settings but eventually settled with the Bass Boost feature for superb quality sound.
I wasn't really particular with the capacity of the device, since 2GB will be sufficient enough for the approximately 200-400 tracks that I’d keep on my active playlist. But for those who want larger space to accommodate more songs, a 4GB version is also available. It also comes in different colors so you could have one that best suits your preference. I got elegant black.
The staff at the Sony Centre in Ayala Center Cebu was also very helpful and answered my questions satisfactorily. Even when he couldn’t initially answer my inquiry on MTP, he was kind enough to let me see how it functions as he plugged it to a Vaio unit. Once plugged, voila, I saw that it did indeed have MTP support!
What it lacks are: a sleep or auto-off feature and backlight control (give you options as to how soon it goes off). But understand that these are all nice-to-have but not needed; it does not diminish the great listening experience that the Walkman provides. I like it and I’m hoping it would serve me for a long time. For its price point, the Sony Walkman NWZ-B172F is definitely worth it. Sulit!