New Walkman strolls into the land of AAC

Sony has jointly launched a new 8GB Walkman and the latest version of its Sonicstage software, which not only promises to fix the recent problems with

Sony has jointly launched a new 8GB Walkman and the latest version of its Sonicstage software, which not only promises to fix the recent problems with Connect but throws in support for AAC files.

The NW-A1200 has been available in Japan since October, but has come to UK shores to effectively replace the far from ancient A1000, which has a 6GB capacity.

It has the impressive 20-hour battery life of its predecessor, but is the first Walkman to come pre-loaded with Sonicstage CP, which has been created to smooth over the problems of the ill-fated Connect software.

Sonicstage CP adds support for AAC to the existing list of MP3, ATRAC and WMA compatibility, although there’s the obvious caveat that protected Windows and AAC files from stores like Napster and iTunes won’t play on the jukebox.

There’s welcome news for disgruntled owners of an A1000, A3000 or A608 and who are still experiencing glacially slow Connect performance and installation problems too: the new software will be available to download from the end of May from Sony’s site.

If you’d rather start afresh and dream happy software dreams with the A1200, though, it’ll be available from mid-June for £170 at the Sony store.