Hands On With The Sony Walkman Phone

Like most gadget freaks, my buddy Matt has an impulse control problem. That’s how he ended up with the Sony Ericsson W800i, aka the Walkman Phone, with a new Cingular contract… in addition to his existing Sprint phone and contract. Not that I need an excuse for a road trip, this seemed like an excellent time to drive up to NJ and check the phone out.

Let me begin by saying I haven’t read the manual for my new Panasonic Lumix FX9, so these pictures aren’t the greatest. But trust me when I say the W800i is a sexy little phone — the unique color scheme looks sharp. The display is bright and vivid with a slick animated theme. For those of you familiar with the SE T610 and it’s derivatives, the W800i is of similar size and shape.

The phone is no iPod. It’s also no ROKR. The music interface is nice enough, though navigating via the sensitive thumbstick often resulted in overshooting selections. Sony provides a data cable and PC software to load the phone up with MP3 and AAC tracks. Unlike the ROKR, there’s no restriction on the amount of songs you can play from a Memory Stick PRO Duo card. The phone has a built-in FM receiver — a nice-to-have at my gym which broadcasts television audio via FM. I don’t normally make it a habit to share earbuds, but in the name of science I tried these. The bundled buds are small, soft, and low-profile that fit securely but comfortably — they don’t isolate sound the way my Shure’s do, but you can wear Sony’s for an extended period of time without discomfort. What really surprised me is the external speaker that puts out decent audio. I could definitely envision sitting the phone on my desk and listening to some tunes at work.

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TiVo Opens New York Office?

Based on two recent job postings, it appears TiVo is expanding their Media and Advertising team into New York. Under CEO Tom Rogers, TiVo has been aggressively seeking out partnerships and deals — this move is indicative of that trend. I posed some questions to TiVo’s media relations agency, but haven’t heard back yet. Director … Read more

TiVo Readies Undelete Feature

Due in part to customer feedback, TiVo will be including an undelete feature with the upcoming Series 2 software update. When you delete a television show, it will automatically be moved to the Recently Deleted folder at the bottom of your Now Playing list. The show will be held in purgatory for a period of … Read more

Product Placement Expands In DVR Era

The 1/30 issue of Business Week reports a 22% increase in product placement television advertising. I’m sure we’ll see these methods continue to gain ground as DVR adoption grows. Ultimately we’ll be left with product placements, graphic overlays, and long-form opt-in commercials. Top product placement offenders, 9/19/05 – 12/25/05: Amazing Race: Family Edition (CBS) 2,037 … Read more

TiVo Adapter Winner!

Tim McKee, a software engineer in Nebraska, has won the super speedy TiVo adapter. As with my last giveaway, entrants were reverse alphabetized and the winner was randomly chosen. For more details on the adapter, check out my review. To answer a common question, according to several reports on the TCF, yes the adapter is … Read more

Quoted In New York Times

Several weeks ago the NY Times contacted me… they were considering a TiVoToGo article if they could get enough info and locate a few real world examples. So I got the writer up to speed on TTG and put her in touch with some of my online TiVo buddies — and here we are! Fortunately, … Read more

OCAP – Who’s Capping Whom?

Justin Thyme, industry insider and crackpot, provides anonymous analysis and commentary.

There’s been a lot of discussion and curiosity about the relevance of OCAP in being able to watch TV your way. I’ve attempted to put together the picture as I see it. I have no clear idea of a solution to the problem presented — all I’m doing is attempting to describe the situation. Although it has rather vast implications, the essential details are simple. How this struggle plays out affects consumer electronics manufacturers, such as TiVo, in profound ways.

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