Don't buy a Sony Walkman if you want to be able to shut it off and resume listening where you were before. I think that capability is a must, for listening to longer music files, podcasts, or audiobooks -- anything except 3 minute pop songs. None of Sony's Walkmans can do this, it turns out. Sony does not disclose this information with any of their promotional material for this product, as far as I can see, but if you contact them, they admit it. I wish my kids had known that before they bought me one as a gift (and before I put time into loading it up with music and audiobooks). Most MP3 players out there, even the cheaper ones (Creative Zen, Sansa) can bookmark where you are in a file so that you can come back to the same spot later. It's unbelievable that the Walkman can't do this, in 2013. That's pretty basic functionality for an audioplayer to be used by grownups. Sony used to be a quality brand. You could trust them to be well engineered and functional. But evidently no more. And don't bother calling Sony customer support to ask about this -- they'll respond as if you were some kind of weirdo for wanting a player that can bookmark. I've bought Sony products all my life, and am looking now at a new TV and a high end laptop, but they won't be Sonys -- this little episode has destroyed my confidence in Sony as a brand and as a company. I'm glad I got this lesson cheaply, via a $90 MP3 player rather than a more expensive purchase.
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Pros Good sound and video quality.The firmware is full featured and easy to use. Cons The player i purchased was not tested for Windows 7.The application on the player would not install on my Windows 7 notebook.The power button is too easily activated by accident and using the hold feature is not a solution as the screen is still activated and runs down the battery.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
194 of 202 people found the following review helpful
A-Mazing!Oct. 6 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
This is my second purchase of a Sony Walkman. My first one was for my husband for our anniversary. I bought him an 8g player (NWZ-E438) and once I got that up and running, I realized that 8g really isn't that much when I realized that he has a whole bunch of cd's and videos and pictures. But the reason why I bought the 8g of that model was because it had an equalizer. Now, let's talk about this beautiful S545 model - WOW! It's 16g and what a beauty. the sound quality is A-Mazing, and the picture/video screen is clear and crisp. AND it has an equalizer - 5 settings, plus 2 custom settings = 7 equalizer settings. I bought mine at Walmart, and it was $119. I also got it in red - the red color is a nice color, not faded or pastelie. The sound quality from the exterior speakers will surprise you. Keep in mind that you will not be able to host a large dance party with it, but it is just perfect for a personal experience, let's say in your room or something like that. The sound from the speakers is quite nice, and I would compare it to the speaker from my Motorola RAZR2. My phone can get a lot louder than the Sony Walkman, but the quality of sound is just as good. I was not in any way disappointed with the quality. The only thing I would change on this player is the placement of the speakers - they are on the back, not the front. The picture of this player might fool you to think the speakers are in the front, but they are not. I also learned that this player will not be able to download podcasts. The higher-end Sony Walkmans do.
Another thing is that the software for the player comes loaded in the player, instead of including a cd in the box. It worked really great, it was simple and just way too easy to use. It was much easier to set up on the computer and get going than the one I bought for my husband. With the software, "Content Transfer" all you have to do is drag a song, or a picture or a video right to the Content Transfer window, and POW - it's there, and it knows right where to put it (music, pictures, video). So you don't even have to fuss around and click into the different files. I already have 1,926 songs in WMA format in 48Kbps, 38 videos, and 223 photos, and I have 10g left. Right out of the box, because of the software itself, there is 2g being used for the player, and you get 14g to play with.
This player will also record voice recordings and FM radio recordings (song, advertisement, talk show or whatever). It looks like they give you 99 hours and 59 minutes of recording time.
The FM player will only work if you have either your headset plugged in or your speakers plugged in. The FM won't work with the external speakers - it needs to use the wire as an antenna. And I didn't think the FM was bad - worked and sounded just fine to me.
So, if you are looking for a player, you just might want to consider this one.
112 of 115 people found the following review helpful
Sony S-545 16GB mp3 player, very good with a few flawsNov. 26 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
Review: Sony 16GB S545 mp3/video player (nov 26 '09) I only will report on the MP3 part because I have not used the video part. Got the player for $99 at best buys 3 weeks ago.
Pros: I like the sound quality - just excellent - also has 2 user programmable equalizers. In addition it has an extra Bass enhancement which works very well. I also like the possibility to sort/select music through the usual album/artist/etc stuff but also through normal folder selection as you see it on your PC. This is very convenient if you have CDs that are not available on the internet catalogs. Startup and menu response it acceptable quick. The built-in stereo speaker sound very nice for their small size when the special equalizer settings are used (menu item). it also comes with a small plastic piece, attached to the back, which allows to have the player sit with about 45 degrees. To make it short as a pure mp3 player this is an excellent choice.
Cons: 1. you can not define a playlist on the player -hello Sony are you sleepy!!!!! 2. if you like to listen to audiobooks which usually have file length of 30min or longer you cannot set a bookmark. That is ridiculous - how can they miss this. It took me a few days to figure out how I can quickly get to let's 20min in to a recording of 40min. first I just used to hold down the fast forward button but that takes you about a few minutes to get there - I think it only advances at 4x normal speed. I found no other way in the manual. But here the solution: while playing the file - hit pause-now hold down fast forward or fast backward. Both work and get you to the place quickly. nice thing is that both of these functions also wrap around at end or beginning of file. 3. here a bummer. The player has a sleep and wakeup timer. Very nice but you can not use both at the same time. They cancel each other out. So either you go to sleep with sony music or you wake up with it. 4. built-in microphone. No sensitivity adjustment and default is quite insensitive. You really need to speak at close distance in to the microphone to have good recording. I used AUDACITY to renormalize voice recordings. 5. if connected to PC the player is only recognized in MTP mode - can not be changed. I do not think it is a big deal but e.g. you can not use the right click SEARCH function usually available in windows explorer. Conclusion: Very nice player for the money.
i subtracted 1 star for all the cons but they may not be important to other users.
71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
Performance PlusOct. 22 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
When searching for a new mp3 player the trail always leads me back to Sony. Its more about overall quality then brand loyalty. Over the years Sony's Walkman line has gone the distance and more. The all new Sony S Series Walkman adds to the legacy.
The S-545 16gb Walkman brings it on with a crisp, color enhanced 2.4" LCD screen that is easy on the eyes. At 2" x 4" x .4", it comes in a bit larger then its older cousin. A larger body undoubtedly is required to provide support for the external speaker system. The speakers won't get confused with my home system anytime soon but they do provide an excellent source. With headphones on, this mp3 player delivers a cornucopia of sound. Missing but not that noticeable is the noise reduction feature. The on board equalizer can be tweaked to one's own preferences or users can choose one of the six presets.
The Navigation pad located directly under the screen is a breeze to operate. Three controls are located on the right side of the unit. One locks in the controls. The second one allows for easy switching from speaker to headset. Volume is the third control. The standard headphone jack and a USB port can be found on the bottom of the unit. The detachable flip out stand is an okay feature that allows for easy standing on my desk or shelf top. I would have preferred that it was permanently mounted.
The S-545 supports mp3, mp4, AAC, AVC, WMV, WMA, and PCM. PCM is Sony's version of WAV. It pairs well with Napster To Go. Its hit and miss with Rhapsody To Go. Sometimes its a smooth transfer, other times its not. Downloading my playlists from Windows Media Player was a breeze without the normal hiccups associated with older mp3 players.
The built in FM tuner picked up all ten of my stations. With auto scanner functionality, thirty preset slots are available. The FM radio is crystal clear when using the headset as an antenna. The alarm and timer features are a nice add on. This model also has an impressive on board microphone located on the bottom of the unit. There are three voice settings. Voice playback quality was excellent. Battery life has always been biggie with Sony. On a full charge, I got almost a full thirty five hours of music.
This Sony product comes packed with a USB cable, flip stand, ear buds, installed operating manual and the standard one year warranty. Body finishes include; black and red in the 16GB model. Pink and violet are additional choices in the 8GB model.
Economically priced, this latest edition to the Walkman line is a durable and reliable product that simply delivers. Easy to use and loaded with features, the Sony S-545 is a prime time performer.
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Good buyFeb. 11 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
This MP3 player had some good/bad reviews. One that concerned me was that you couldn't stop it and then turn it back on without it losing it's place. Since I use this for books more than music, and needed the ability to re-start where I left off, that advice was important to me. I decided to buy it regardless and found that review to be incorrect. There is no problem with turning it off and then back on without losing your place, either for books, or for recorded music. It's a good buy
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Sony Finally Hits a Home RunOct. 13 2009
- Published on Amazon.com
These new Sony MP3 players are simply wonderful. They are attractive, well-built, lightweight, stylish, and most importantly, have superb sound quality. Further, Sony did not follow its habitual trend of pricing their units out of the market: this one at 16Gb is retailing at $129, and you can get them less expensively, as well.
The interface is almost identical to last year's Sony MP3 players (although Sony inexplicably removed the ability to view all albums without titles, which means you are forced to scroll down albums in list style), and learning the menu system is quick and easy. Throw away the supplied headphones, which are for comic use only, and pair the unit with a set of Klipsch S4's, and you have a system that will easily beat out your home system. The unit has generally quick power up and power down, and the controls operate well and intuitively. The unit is a real head turner - pop out one of these in red (or the 8gb in blue or pink), and watch it get attention right away.
Sony's specialty is miniaturized electronics, and it shows in this unit. The sound output is simple outstanding. Wide dynamic range, low noise, good volume power, little heat production. If you listen to one of these with the right headphones, you're ruined.
The screen is bright and clear, although not any better than last year's models. But that's not to knock it - the display is extremely good.
The speakers? They actually work quite well, if you use them for their intended purpose. These are for personal use only in quiet settings. They produce surprisingly clear sound, but. of course, there is no bass, and their function is simply to use when you want to listen to recorded lectures or audio books. (There are optimization controls for the speakers that can be found in the menu system, as well.) And speaking of lectures, did you make note that you can also RECORD with this unit? Yes, it has a built-in microphone, and you can use the unit to record lectures, class discussions, etc. into mp3 format. Nice touch.
In sum, this is a great little player with a lot going for it at a reasonable price. They are selling like mad in Japan. And with good reason. Five stars, Sony, and its about time.
--PROs -- 1. Superb sound quality 2. Good price, considering it is a Sony and finally comes with 16Gb RAM 3. Beautiful physical design (this is the type of device that screams "SONY" when people see it) 4. Light and generally small 5. Color selections (red or back for 16Gb version, pink, blue, red, and black for 8Gb version)
-- CONs -- 1. Supplied stand is a joke - you'll loose it in a day 2. Supplied headphones are a joke 3. No 32Gb version available (why??)