So long SonicStage. The A810 series of flash based media players by Sony follows their little brother (the S610 series) and drops support for Sony's proprietary codecs and software. Now the players act in the same way as many others in the market by communicating with programs such as Windows Media Player or Rhapsody. The A810s also act as Universal Storage Devices so they support dragging and dropping files whether from Windows or Mac. With the A810 Sony continues their tradition of focusing on audio quality but in the process have sacrificed a few features, namely FM radio and voice recording.
- 2.0" LCD, 320 x 240 resolution, and displays 262144 colors
- Video formats: MPEG4
Audio formats: AAC, MP3, WMA (and protected)
Battery life: audio - 33 hours, video - 8 hours
- NWZ-A815 - 2GB ($119.95)
- NWZ-A816 - 4GB ($149.95)
- NWZ-A818 - 8GB ($199.95)
The lost features are actually found in the similarly priced S610, with the A810 offering a slightly larger screen instead. Supporting protected WMA allows the A810 to work with subscription music services such as Rhapsody. On the video side format support is more limited than the S610 as the A810 is compatible with only MPEG4 video, and no h.264 like the 610 series. Videos and images can be played back in either portrait or landscape more for "widescreen" viewing.