Okay, who can really replace the iPod? Everyone knows that Apple owns the market on MP3/portable media players with the iPod, and will soon move into the mobile market with the much anticipated iPhone in June. But they still haven’t launched any special features to cater to alot of their customers who listen to their iPods all the time when they’re running…like me! That’s why I bought the Sony NW-S205F (which I like to call my Sony “test tube” because of its unique shape) for only $99 at Best Buy during their 1 day online Boxing Day specials. I bought it even though I already have the shuffle, nano and video iPods because they all don’t do the trick when it comes to running.
In my first post, I wrote that I’d buy the iPod sport kit if it only had a feature to synchronize songs with your movement, so I can hear faster/upbeat songs when I’m speedy and slower songs when I’m winding down because I currently have to do this manually with my iPod, which interrupts my runs…Well the Sony test tube does this song switching automatically with its special “G-Sensor” feature. It switches betwen your fast and slow tracks based on how fast your arm is moving, as it’s attached to the armband that comes with the test tube. Plus, it also comes with a built-in stopwatch, an FM Tuner, wrap around sport earphones, all of which the iPods don’t include, or you would have to pay extra bucks for these add-on accessories. However, I do have some beefs about the test tube – the wrap earphones are not adjustable so they don’t fit well, unless you have long Spock or Buddha ears. So I use my other Altec Lansing adjustable wrap earphones instead. Also, the SonicStage software that you are required to use to transfer songs, is not user-friendly if you’re used to using the easy iTunes and have all your songs stored there, like me. Plus, SonicStage doesn’t come with a Mac version so I would have to use my other Sony Micro PC for it, and then it becomes such a hassle transferring my songs from my Mac to the PC.
So it looks like Sony beat Apple to the market with built-in running features for the MP3 Player, but I bet when the 2nd gen Apple sport kit comes out, it will allow you to do something similar, and I’ll be looking out for that since the Sony SonicStage software requires more effort than the simple synch with iTunes.