I’ve had an ipod mini for the last four years, but I was willing to set aside my loyalty and give the Sony W Series MP3 player a try because this player is just a headset. Take a look at it:
There is no annoying earphone cord to get caught on something like my hand or elbow and then have the earbud yanked unceremoniously out of my ear. One of the things that annoys me immensely during races is when my earphone cord gets caught on the safety pin holding my race bib in place. The Sony W Series Walkman is one solid piece. No cord, no annoyance. Awesome!
I’ve worn the new player on my last five runs and I have to say I like it. Here’s a quick pro and con list for you:
- It’s small and compact.
- No earbud cord.
- No longer have to worry about armband chafage.
- Earbuds fit easily into my ears.
- The neckband is plastic yet flexible and doesn’t rub against my skin at all.
- No problem wearing both the player and sunglasses.
- It has a shuffle feature so you don’t get stuck in a playlist rut.
- Wearing it makes me feel cool in almost a sci-fi kind of way. Yes, I know I’m a dork.
- The Zappin feature, which is a track search feature that plays recognizable clips of each song in quick succession, is a bit useless for me since I can tell what song is playing within the first three notes anyway. But I don’t need to enable this feature, so it’s fine.
- The volume controls are two buttons while the play/pause/ff/rewind feature is a pushable dial. This seems counterintuitive to me and I wish they were switched around.
- The player controls are located on the underside of the right earphone part. I’m left-handed. Annoying, but it’s a predominantly right-handed world so I understand. I’ll get over it.
- Having my entire musical library in iTunes is a bit of a problem, since the Sony player hooks up to Windows Media Player. In order to make my iTunes files compatible, I have to burn them onto a CD and then recopy them into WMP. Time consuming and a bit of a pain in the ass, but to be expected.
Where The Streets Have No Name – U2
Everybody Wants To Rule The World – Tears for Fears
In A Big Country – Big Country
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – U2
Bizarre Love Triangle – New Order
Big Time – Peter Gabriel
Pride (In The Name Of Love) – U2
Personal Jesus – Depeche Mode
True Faith – New Order
Like A Prayer – Madonna
Cradle Of Love – Billy Idol
If – Janet Jackson
Gonna Make You Sweat – C+C Music Factory
Move This – Technotronic
Rhythm Is A Dancer – Snap!
Jump – Madonna
Harder To Breathe – Maroon 5
Say My Name – Destiny’s Child
Numb/Encore – Linkin Park & Jay-Z
Forbidden Love – Madonna
U + Ur Hand – Pink
Hot N Cold – Katy Perry
What Is Love – Haddaway
Sun Is Shining – Bob Marley
Tribulations – LCD Soundsystem
Insomnia – Faithless
Don’t Mess With My Man – Booty Luv
Sunchyme – Noize Masterz
Cry For You – September
Infinity 2008 – Guru Josh Project
Some Kinda Rush – Booty Luv
Saltwater – Chicane
Hip to Hip – V
The Weekend – Michael Gray
No Good (Start the Dance) – Prodigy
Halcyon + On + On - Orbital
I listen to various chunks of this playlist during each run—whatever fits my mood that day. The player has 2 GB of memory and can hold up to 500 songs, so I’ve got plenty of room to add more incredibly bad yet entertaining and motivating music. Hooray!
In all honesty, I really like the Sony walkman. My ipod mini will be relegated to only non-running activties from here on out. Wearing the Sony player while running is hassle-free and since there’s no screen for me to obsess with or an armband to straighten up, I can concentrate more on running and my thoughts. And that can only be a good thing.
If you all have any specific questions about the Sony player, leave them in the comments and I’ll answer them. I’ll ignore all comments on my spectacularly bad choices in music. To each her own.