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As part of its never-ending Walkman refreshathon, Sony has updated its lower-end E-series and B-series MP3 players with a new look, while retaining much the same innards.

The new E440 series comes with up to 16GB of storage, plays MP3, WMA and AAC files -- including DRM-free iTunes downloads -- plus H.264 and WMV video files, which in the past have always looked great on E-series players. They'll play tunes for a decent 30 hours, video for six.

Actual models released are the NWZ-E443, NWZ-E444 and NWZ-E445, which have 4GB, 8GB and 16GB capacities respectively. All have an FM radio built-in, and a 51mm (2-inch) colour LCD display.

A new B140 series (the NWZ-B144, NWZ-B144F and NZ-B143) looks pretty much the same as the last version, incorporating a USB connector for cable-less music transfer. They've got up to 4GB of memory, play MP3 and WMA (no AAC or iTunes love on this model), an FM radio on the F model, and have a tiny three-line black and white screen. Blah-blah, yawn, snooze.

Sorry -- there's little to say when a company releases something almost identical to the last model. But Sony players always sound terrific, and the E series have the same excellent and user-friendly menu system. Plus, they should play downloads from the BBC iPlayer (we're awaiting confirmation from Sony).

Both E- and B-series players will be on sale later this month. Prices are TBC, photos over the page.

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Here's the B140. Looks like they're having a party. We're not sad to not be invited.

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The E440 Series showing off its rear, here.

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