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MP3 Players

Photos: Sony launches new S-series Walkman at IFA

Sony has launched its new S-series Walkman here at IFA 2008, and if it knows you're depressed, it'll offer up some depressing music. No, really

Sony has unveiled its latest line of Walkman MP3 players here at IFA in Berlin -- the top-end S series, the E series and the entry-level B series.

The S series is easily the most exciting and offers an awful lot already offered by Sony's Sony's NWZ-A820 series, though capacities max out at 8GB. However, it offers a great brushed aluminium design, a bright 51mm (2-inch) screen and comes with noise-cancelling earphone technology built in. There's also an FM radio.

Supported formats include MP3, AAC, and both protected and unprotected WMA. Podcasts are finally integrated properly too, and get their own icon on the slightly refreshed and customisable home screen.

As with all top-end Walkmans, decent video support is offered in the form of WMV, H.264 and MPEG-4 SP. We've taken issue with past Walkman models being tough to format video for, so we'll be testing this extensively in our review.

Completely new is something similar to a feature in Sony's original Giga Juke hi-fi. It's called SensMe and attempts to match music to your mood by analysing the 'mood' of your music library. So, theoretically, if you fancy bumming yourself out, the S series should be able to build a playlist consisting of The Smiths, The Cure and Daphne and Celeste.

So why aren't we as excited as you might expect? Well, there are a few things we were hoping Sony would deliver in its Walkman range at IFA: 32GB capacities, FLAC and OGG support, Wi-Fi syncing and integrated podcast downloading for a start.

But whatever, we'll be prodding and feeling the S series later in the week, so watch this space. UK launch and pricing should be available soon, too, but we're expecting September availability in UK stores. Check out some more snaps over the page. -Nate Lanxon

If you don't like ultra-thin MP3 players, this might be one to miss.

This is where we'd normally insert a witty comment, but there's not much to say about the back of an MP3 player. Safe to say it's a stylish backside.