The mobile phone market may slowly be cannibalising MP3 player growth but there's always room for a decent budget player or two...
Sticking to its alphabetic naming system Sony has announced the 'B Series' and 'E Series' Walkman lines - both designed to make barely more than a dint in your wallet (though without actually naming the pricing).
Each straddles tried and tested formulas. First up, the B Series is the latest in a long line of Sony USB drive based players with a direct USB connection, mass storage support for drag and drop data transfer and a healthy 18 hour battery life. Handily just a three minute charge will also power up to 90 minutes of listening. Take that iPod shuffle.
As for the E Series this treads the usual fussy-iPod-nano-look that Sony has just about perfected over the years. It sports a 2in QVGA colour display, an FM tuner, drag and drop content support and plays the usual array of audio and video formats including WMA and WMV. A Walkman first also sees "support for video file format conversion via the supplied Content Transfer software" eliminating the need for third party solutions.
Sony keeps up its usual high battery standards with up to 30 hours of music or six hours of continuous video playback from a single charge. Capacities will range up to 16GB.
Both the Sony Walkman B Series and E Series will go on sale from the end of July with what we can only assume will be reasonable RRPs...