Sony Nw Hd5
by mp3man - 10/19/05 3:45 PM
Whoe here has opinions on the Sony Nw Hd5.
Did you know the ipod video can only last up to 2 hours on video playback? IPODS SUCK
Attention forum users: We want you to try out the new CNET forums platform! Click here to read the details. Thanks!
by: mp3man October 19, 2005 3:45 PM PDT
0 people like this thread
About 8 months ago I bought myself what was at the time the newest "non-photo" iPod, a standard 20GB 4th generation. I was very excited about it. It was a great toy to play with. I was very disappointed however, when I realized that I needed to give my ears a rest after every half-hour of listening to it. This led me to make a comparison with some other stereo equipment, during which I learned that the iPod was very lacking in sound quality, and the included headphones made things even worse (those things can make even the best equipment sound horrible).
About 6 months ago, I lent my iPod to a friend for an international flight. He lost my iPod.
I was actually pretty happy about this. It was my second chance. I started researching replacement devices.
I was very sad to see that no one really agreed with my opinion of the iPod's defficient sound. Everyone said, "It's the headphones, just get new ones." Even with good heaphones, I still could not stomach iPod's sound for long periods of time.
No one agreed with me, that is, until cNet did a "blindfolded sound-test". To the embarassment of many who once called themselves audiophiles, and to my great relief (for now I knew I wasn't crazy), iPod came in dead last.
This test seemed to agree with my unpopular conclusion concerning sound quality. Logic demanded that I therefore trust the test's other conclusion; that being, the Sony NW-HD5 coming out on top. So I got one.
And I've never looked back.
I feel bad for those poor suckers with white circular buds stuck in their ears, that aren't even shaped right to fit a human ear. Lending my iPod to a friend for a nice long trip was the smartest thing I could've done, and I recommend a similar course of action to anyone currently owning an iPod.
The HD5 has sound quality that is unmatched by any portable electronic device that I have thus far tested. It matches the quality of my Sound Blaster soundcard outputting through a Sony reciever component to identical headphones. And, by the way, the earbuds it comes with are about 3 times better than the iPod's, in sound quality, volume capability, and ergonomics (they're actually comfortable). I previously thought that all ear buds were created equal. They are not. Ipod earbuds really do smoke monkey pole.
There are downsides though. The Sony HD5 does not come with a calendar.
Own an iPod, with all its little toy functions, for 6 months. Then, on the first day of the 7th month, write down the functions you actually use. These are the functions that the HD5 performs well in, and in fact far surpasses the iPod.
It doesn't have a color screen, it doesn't have a fancy circular touchpad (I always hated the touchpad anyway), and it can't play Solitaire. But guess what it can do -- play music. Yes, that's right, the Sony HD5 has one really nice feature, and that is that it plays music, God dammit.
The unit is physically neat and cool-looking, and it's a rock-solid design too. It has some kind of brushed-anodized-aluminum finish, that despite its rich color, does not scratch (I've tried). The software, navigation of your music collection, use of buttons, etc, are all as good or better than I've seen on anything else.
And it actually has VOLUME BUTTONS! Gee golly, this really is the 21st century, I'm sure of it now.
Two weaknesses to the device - one: the little plastic piece covering the A/C and USB jacks. Sony has a knack for attaching little pieces of crap to their devices that everyone seems to know will definitely break off eventually except the Sony engineers. This particular piece is a cover that slides on and off, but while "off" it still hangs on by a thread of a piece of plastic that is supposed to act as a hinge, of sorts. It is of course constantly bending back and forth and will break off. As they said in "Titanic", "She will sink. 'Tis a mathematical certainty." Well, she will break off, and I don't know that from any fancy engineering degrees, but that band of white where the black plastic bends speaks volumes.
Second weakness: software. Lord, God, have mercy and spare us from that corruption of all things good, pure, and sacred, that Satan-spawn, that is, "SonicStage". Another thing Sony has a knack for is really screwing up their consumer electronic devices that rely on computer connectivity by providing the lowest-possible form of proprietary software to accomplish that connectivity. They refuse to use the tools that are built-in to computers already, um, whats it called, Windows Explorer, yeah, no, that's too easy lets just write some crap ourselves, yes thats a much better idea, have it done by Wednesday. The software is crap, that's what I'm getting at. It sucks. It crashes, it needs to wrap everything (even "natively-supported" MP3 files) in OpenMG (another fire-lake-spawned hell-demon capable of unimaginable evil), it doesn't work if you uninstall it and reinstall it, it gives cryptic and sometimes blatantly-false errors... it sucks.
I have a little-known replacement for SonicStage though. If you want I can find you the link. It's much better, much less of a hassle, still free, and less Hell-spawned Evil to deal with. And that's always a good thing.
All-in-all: The HD5 kicks the iPod's ass clear across the field, over the endzone and out towards the parking lot, where it then crashes through a season-ticket-owner's windshield. The iPod is for suckers. Literally. People who like iPods either don't know that it sucks, don't care that it sucks, or know and care but like being in the "iPod club" and nodding at each other when they each see each other on the street, each with white ear-destroyers shoved in their ears. "Yeah, me too, I'm also cool, iPod baby, yeah. We have something that was in a TV commercial. Awesome."
So that's my opinion.
i'm am now convinced to get one!!! could you post the site for the SonicStage replacement?
Here's the first link. I provide it only to give credit to the person who first discovered the software. You need only use the other links though.
This next link takes you to the Sony page where you accept the user agreement, right before the actual download page. This one is also not really needed, but if you want complete, official information prior to downloading, go here:
These are the actual download links. The first is some kind of driver, which I don't even think I installed. Chances are you don't need it, but here it is just in case:
Here's the mommy-load. It's called MP3FM, or MP3 File Manager. It's a very simple concept. You download this EXE file. You run it. It installs some files on your device (don't worry, it'll tell you when to connect the device). The files it installs are actually the program files. See, MP3FM actually runs from your HD5. After installing, you connect your device, go to it in Windows Explorer, and execute MP3FM right from the HD5. MP3FM then appears and consists of a simple window where you can drag MP3 files. You drag, it wraps and transfers. That's it. Simple pimple. I should note that in the previous link you won't see the HD5 listed as a supported device of this software, but don't worry. It's for all Sony Network Walkman devices (the NW stands for that in NW-HD5, and hooked-on-phoenics works for me), it's just an OpenMG wrapper, and all the NW's work the same way. Not only that but I've been using this software for a long time with no problems. Besides, it doesn't alter your device in any way - all it does is transfer over some files. So anyway, without further adue, here's the final link:
Any questions, feel free to ask.
No link, copy-and-paste instead.
I can't seem to make that final link function correctly. You'll have to copy and paste the whole address into your browser. A small price to pay.
My stupidity. Here are working links.
A small correction: You might need to install the driver if you haven't installed SonicStage on your computer. I did, so I didn't need the driver. What I would do if you're not sure is try MP3FM first wihtout the driver, and if you get an error or it doesn't work for any reason, install the driver.
MP3 File Manager:
I am looking to purchase the NW-HD5, but have been concerned about placing tracks on it from my home computer and taking them to work to listen to as well.
Do you have any experience with a similar situation?
It depends how you plan to listen to your songs at work.
If you mean that you are simply taking the HD5 with headphones to your place of work and then listening to it there, that should work out fine
IF, however, you mean you are using your work computer, that's a different story. And again, it would depend on what you mean.
Are you planning to transfer the songs off the HD5 and onto your work computer's hard drive? That will probably be a problem, although SonicStage does allow you to authorize more than one computer for HD5 use so that could be an option. I don't know if authorizing more than one computer through SonicStage will allow you to transfer songs from one computer to the other using the HD5 as a medium, but that is a possibility.
The question is, why would you even want to do that? Is to take advantage of your work computer's audio hardware (soundcard/speakers)? Or is it to simply share MP3 files with co-workers or even to just have the files at work for whatever reason? If it's either one of those there are better ways to go about this.
To take advantage of your work computer's audio hardware, like speakers and soundcard, simply go to Radio Shack and buy yourself a male-to-male mini headphone cord. It looks like the wire thats attached to headphones only it has plugs on both ends. You would plug one end into your HD5 and the other into the "audio-in" jack of your work computer's soundcard. Provided that your audio-in volume is set correctly in windows, playing a song on the HD5 should cause the sound to output through the attached speakers.
If the aim here is just to get the files to work, you're probably using the worst method possible. Playable files on your HD5 will be very difficult to share. The alternatives though are much more feasible. You could transfer songs to your HD5 using Windows Explorer; when connected, your HD5 gets picked up as a removable storage device -- just like a USB thumb drive. Just drag song files onto it, and you can transfer them to any other computer anywhere else (any other PC with USB at least). The problem though is that the files you place there using this method will not be playable by the HD5. You could also just forgo the HD5 for the purposes of sharing files. Just use some other method, like sending them as email attachments, or use a USB thumb drive, or burn a CD... there are many better ways to share music than to use a device that's made to prevent exactly that
As " equazcion" mentioned, you can authorize your HD5 with multiple PCs. (Registering multiple PCs to Connect music site is a different issue.)
So, once the unit is authorized with both PCs, you should be able to transfer tracks off both PCs.
But the trick is that it is going to be difficult to keep track of which track/Album came from which PC.
As equazcion mentioned, there maybe a case that you bought a CD on the way to your office and you want to listen to it right away. In this case, you can just rip the CD with your office PC and transfer those tracks onto your HD5. But make sure that when you get home, you copy that album onto the SonicStage library. You can do that from HD5.
This way, you can keep at least one PC to be the master archive for all your music.
Great for MP3 format, but...
All my music over 250 cd's already stored in windows media player. (wma format) Any easy way to transfer these besides going through the very slow process of sonic stage?
does this change the audio quality
will using the file manager affect the audio quality of this devise ( hd5 from sony ) ? also, my plans include using this in my car. Do you know if all i need is the tape casset adapter which plugs into the headphone jack OR is there a power source needed too...AND why if so. You seem to know alot ....thanks if you can help.
So using file manager, I can go to other computers and download songs ?
Using file manager does not affect audio quality whatsoever. It's the same as placing the files there with SonicStage, only the process is made easier since you aren't forced to use SonicStage's bloated process. Underneath, they are both doing basically the same thing. One thing to note though is that MP3 File Manager can only handle MP3's. ATRAC3 and WMA files must be transferred using SonicStage.
All you need is the tape adapter. That's what I do - when I leave the house, the HD5 comes with me, and my casette adapter never leaves my tape deck. And it sounds... well, it sounds blissfully heaven-like. There's nothing like taking perfect sound and amplifying it. The only reason you would need the power adapter in your car is if your HD5 battery is dying, and battery power is actually consumed less when you use the tape adapter, especially if you're smart and you use your car stereo's volume control to pump up the volume more than the HD5's.
If by ''download songs'' you mean transfer them off the HD5 and onto another computer, I don't think that's possible, although I haven't tried. If you mean transfer songs from another computer TO the HD5, that is allowed.
Wow are you on the sony payroll? want to use a sony....
in the same way as i just transferred my wma files which i just recorded off an internet radio, so they are not authorised or official music files in any way to itunes for use on an ipod. so i have these long 2 hour songs (mixes) and just did a thing using itunes for my sister's ipod where i dragged them into the itunes software and it converted them into aac format so she can play them on her ipod. that is the primary reason i want an mp3 player, so i can take loads of files like this and play them on the mp3 player. my question is, does the sony software work the same way, stupid question probably but its so simple and everyone else keeps talking about ripping cds, that's not where most my music will come from.
just want to make sure this is no problem before i buy a sony, i assume with all the creatives etc you just drag and drop and there is no converstion stage, but if the sony is that good i suppose its worth it and probably worth waiting a week for the new one at that. do you know what the differences are with the new and current one, there dont seem to be any i can see in terms of functionality.
also is it easy to take aac files and convert them into wma and then into atrac for use with the sony, if you want to play other peoples songs?
thanks in advance for my exhauting three questions sir.
by Anonymous - 11/3/05 10:11 AM
In Reply to: Wow are you on the sony payroll? want to use a sony.... by ckandemir
1) SonicStage can put WMA songs on the HD5. Actually, what it's doing is converting from WMA to ATRAC3 in the background... much the same as I-Tunes converts WMA to AAC.
2) What do you mean, between "the new and current one"?
3) Why would you want to convert from AAC (lossy), convert to WMA (lossy) and then ATRAC (lossy)??? That's a lot of loss of sound quality for no good reason. It would be better to convert from AAC to WAV, and have SonicStage convert from WAV to ATRAC to put on the HD5.
If I-Tunes can't convert from AAC to WAV, then you can try Foobar2000 (you may need the "special" download package). It does so using its "Disk Writer" component, which should work simply by you loading the AAC's into Foobar2000, right-clicking them, and choosing "Convert".
the new sony NW-A3000 looks like it will have a much better
by ckandemir - 11/3/05 10:32 AM
In Reply to: Wow are you on the sony payroll? want to use a sony.... by ckandemir
interface than the HD5 and with only a few days to go (Nov 7) looks like its worth just getting one of those.
by equazcion - 11/3/05 3:49 PM
In Reply to: the new sony NW-A3000 looks like it will have a much better by ckandemir
Not actually being on the Sony payroll, this is the first I've heard of this new player, so I did some quick reading. You should note that according to what I've read so far, WMA support will not be included until December, I guess via a firmware upgrade.
While functionality does seem to be improved over the HD5, the improvements are very simple-yet-useful software enhancements that allow you more search criteria. These include three years of playback history, release date, and favorite 100 (and other searches based on your usage of files). Also upgraded is the playlisting interface, which was definitely needed.
The thing is, while those are some real significant improvements, they are all simple software upgrades. And otherwise, the software interface of the A3000 looks exactly like that of the HD5. This tells me that the same software is being used for the A3000, only it's a later version. Therefore my bet (and my hope) is that Sony will release a firmware upgrade for HD5 users, to implement these new software changes.
The software is the only reason I would ever consider the newer unit, because physically it does not impress me. The A3000 is the opposite of everything I love about the HD5. It's shiny and rounded and bubbly-plastic-looking. As a novelty it's a gem -- colorful and flashy enough to catch the eye of all the 13-year-old girls walking through the electronics store; sure to be a christmas favorite. But for me, I like the solid-built look and feel of my HD5, with its slimmer and more practical shape, design, and its unscratchable, unfigerprintable finish. That, by the way, is something reviewers are already complaining about -- like the iPod, the shiny outer casing doesn't look perfect for very long, picking up and showing the tiniest scratches and imperfections very quickly. As I said, opposite of the HD5.
In my opinion, and I am only basing this on the little I've seen and read so far, the A3000 looks like an HD5 that's been re-dressed just in time for christmas to appeal to kids and similar masses.
what about all the cracks that people talk
about in their HD5s. so many people complain of cracks in the buttons that are coming up within a couple of weeks of use? i haev looked at so many discussion forums where people are complaining about these. maybe you dont have any on yours and it may be early stocks or something that were at fault.
The cracked buttons are a real concern; there is even an online petition available somewhere, to try to get Sony's attention and issue a recall. This petition can be signed by anyone who has an HD5 whos buttons cracked. You can see at that site which color of the HD5 each person who filed a report possesses. Interestingly enough, roughly 99% of the people reporting cracked buttons have the silver-colored version. Other reports I've looked through are also only by people with the silver version. Furthermore, I haven't heard much recently about cracks in any of the HD5's, which leads me to believe that Sony dealt with the problem.
In either case, I own the black version, and have been pressing the buttons on my HD5 repeatedly every day for the past 6 months. It is my most-used and most-abused possession, and not a single hint of a crack, or any weakness in the buttons at all, has become evident. I don't generally treat my portable electronic equipment delicately; in fact as soon as I realized that the black finish was not painted-on but rather a type of permanent chemical bond (metal-anodizing, similar to the way chrome finishes are achieved, if I'm not mistaken), I've been treating the device like... well, like crap. It still works the same physically and internally as the day I opened the package.
In conclusion: if you're concerned about cracked buttons, just don't buy the silver version. In my opinion the silver one is the least attractive of the three choices anyway (black, red, silver).
I should also add that I believe the HD5 comes with Sony's standard 90-day warranty. If the buttons crack within "a couple of weeks", as you stated was the general complaint, then to my understanding the warranty would cover that.
Again though I'd still urge everyone to stay away from the silver version; better safe than sorry. The black one looks so damn cool anyway
and the new NW A3000 is so much bigger
than the HD5, the new one is 4.1x2.6x0.8 and the old is 3.5x2.2x0.6. i think now the old one has become a little scacrce as sony try to use them to replace the faulty ones. well i suppose if the replacement software you suggest instead of the awful stuff they supply is an adequet substitue and hopefully sony release some updates then its worth investing in the old technology.
The "old technology" you're referring to, unless I'm misunderstanding you, is the HD5 which officially went on sale about 7 months ago, 8 at the most, if I'm not mistaken. That's not old, even by technology standards.
In fact, the technology is still very new. And even if you want to consider it old, then the "new" A3000 is also "old", because as I said previously, the A3000 is an HD5 on the inside -- it's just dressed up in pretty colors on the outside, so it looks different. Its software is the same as that of the HD5 aside from a few minor upgrades. Its hardware and display are also the same. There's nothing new about the technology in the A3000 whatsoever.
The only thing new about the A3000 is the look and shape. I would hardly consider buying an HD5 to be "investing in old technology". It's more like making an intelligent investment in superior design rather than buying in to the purely hype-driven market that's going to eat up the newer device.
Furthermore the reason the HD5 is scarce is because it's still very new and it keeps getting sold out; not because Sony is keeping them so they can replace faulty units. When I ordered my HD5 the only store that had them left in stock was Amazon, and that was less than 2 months after the device was officially released.
During a search I came across a posting by an HD5 owner who said that he had his cracked buttons replaced by Sony. According to the post, Sony has begun manufacturing replacement buttons for the defective ones. He says to simply call Sony's support line to have your device serviced.
So if you've got those cracked buttons, there is hope yet.
I knew about the cassette tape method but my car only has a CD player. I'll look into the FM transmitters. I knew Apple made a specific one for iPods so I just assumed specific ones were needed depending on the brand/type of mp3 player. Thanks again!
There are specific ones for iPods because they might have additional features, like using the iPod power for the transmitter instead of a cigarette lighter, or to have controls on the transmitter for play, pause, volume, etc. Those features would need to use the iPod's additional port or "jack", and not just the headphone jack like most would use. The cost of getting something made specifically for the iPod usually doesn't warrant getting one though.
No problem, glad I could help.
by the way the website is
and i hear what you are saying, it was just a label. to produce something so much bigger just doesnt make any sense. funnily enough every time i am about to buy one, amazon seels out again. very annoying i was about to buy a like new one for 140 pounds and they all just went, now i will have to trust some dodgy retailer with paying 180 pounds for one. thanks so much equacion.
You're quite welcome, and I hope everything goes well with your purchase from the shady dealer
i get an error when tryin to open mp3filemanager.exe. Is it because i'm on windows 2000?
The system requirements for the Driver do nto list Windows 2000 as being supported, however the MP3 File Manager requirements do list Windows 2000 as being supported. I would suggest that you install SonicStage (uninstall the driver first, if you can), and then try MP3 File Manager again. SonicStage installs its own driver that is compatible with MP3FM, and will be more intelligent about installing a driver that works for your operating system than the other driver installer would.
k its probably really simple but i'm dumb. lol. How would i go about uninstalling the driver?
I'm not quite sure, since I've always just installed SonicStage first, and the driver was never necessary. Look for it it control panel --> add/remove programs. It should be called PA Driver or something like that. Check the links I posted where the software information is located, perhaps there are clues there. Worse comes to worse you can probably just install SonicStage without first removing the driver that's already installed. Chances are it will overwrite the old driver. I only mentioned removing the old one first because it's just good practice when trying to fix this kind of problem. I really don't think it's absolutely necessary.
Let me know what happens.