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MP3 Players

Hands-on with Sony's Giga Juke: Hard-disk hi-fi for the wealthy

Sony's Giga Juke NAS-50HDE hi-fi has an 80GB hard drive, a huge colour screen and it can be connected to a home network. Sounds good? Just wait 'til you see the price Sony's asking

Put down that morning whiskey, tech devotees, 'cos you're going to want a clear head for this. Sony's Giga Juke NAS-50HDE is in the Crave house and the CNET balls are flocking to it like children to the ice-cream van. This is a networkable micro hi-fi system with DAB radio, a massive colour screen, wicked sound quality and -- get this, geeks -- an 80GB internal hard disk to rip all of your favourite CDs to (yes, in true lossless format if you so desire).

We first heard about this guy at a Sony event back in March and we were pretty excited about it. The one-touch CD ripping option is so painlessly simple any grandma able to open her own tube of PolyGrip could master it.

Among other things, Sony's added a USB port on the front of the system. This allows you to plug in, say, the new E series MP3 Walkman (pictured). Any music on your Giga Juke can be quickly transferred to your portable player. It's a bit like the iTunes/iPod system, only instead of iTunes, you've got a stand-alone hi-fi unit. Sweet. 

The sound quality is excellent and in all honesty this could be the dream setup for students... except it costs £500! Sony's stuff is frequently overpriced but we think half a grand for this system is terrible. We live and breathe tech here at Crave, but there's no way we'd ever pay 500 quid for this, despite its excellent sound and performance.

Our monkeys are at their typewriters penning a full review as we speak, so watch out for our complete rundown and opinion very soon. -Nate Lanxon

Update: a Sony Giga Juke NAS-50HDE review is now on the site