Sony introduced this MP3 player last year and I’ll get to the reason I’m bringing it up today in a moment. First let’s review the features.
It comes in a 512MB and a 1GB Flash memory version with an FM tuner built in. There’s a built-in USB connector which is hidden until the user pushes a button to pop it out – it’s spring loaded so Watch Out! For those people with USB ports inconveniently placed in the back of their tower systems the Bean comes with an extension cable so you don’t have to contort yourself trying to get the darn thing plugged in.
One of peoples favorite feature is the “Super Quick Battery Charge” which lets you enjoy three hours of playback just by plugging the Bean in for three minutes. If you let the Lithium-Ion battery fill up completely you can get up to about 50 hours of play. wow.
Not everyone seems to prefer the 1-Line Organic Electroluminescence Display, but at least you can view song titles, song length, battery life, time and calendar.
The Bean plays MP3’s, unsecured WMA and WAV Audio Formats and using the SonicStage Music Management Software you can convert to Sonys proprietary ATRAC3 format. If you wish to acquire new music that software lets the Bean access the ‘Connect Music Store’. If you already have CD’s, these can also be downloaded to the Bean. You can also store other files like Word, Powerpoint, Jpeg, Mpeg making it nicely convenient.
There are people who just don’t like this software so there’s alternatives. MP3 File Manager Version 2.0 program provides the functionality of simple MP3 files transfer via drag and drop to the Network Walkman. Pick it up here or here
So, how did this Bean player come to my attention? Well, I have a friend who wrote a film script and then a book about the famous Scottish figure Sawney Bean. He was a cannibal and lived a Long time ago. Certainly well before MP3 players existed. My friend sent me this copy of an ad in a Scottish paper. Someone found the play on words amusing. “Sony Bean” – “Sawney Bean” Get it? Hey, I laughed!