Sony flashes Walkman rainbow

Sony has assembled a formidable new team of quick-charging flash players and given them a simple mission: to drown Apple’s Shuffle in colour.The Walkm

Sony has assembled a formidable new team of quick-charging flash players and given them a simple mission: to drown Apple’s Shuffle in colour.

The Walkmans’ big weapon is their quick-charging technology, which gives you the astonishing deal of three hours playback from three minutes charging.

That’s quick even in Fernando Alonso’s book, and a full tank of juice will apparently give you 28 hours playback.

Available in 512MB, 1GB and 2GB guises, it has a 5-band equaliser so you can fiddle with different styles of music, and it will play the usual ATRAC and MP3 files. It’ll also play WMA files, but sadly not any of the DRM-ed types from stores like Napster.

Intriguingly, an FM radio is also ‘optionally available’ with the 512MB and 1GB players, although we’re still confirming with Sony what this means – look out for an update shortly.

The 25g body houses a single line OLED display – which is one more than on the Shuffle – and you get SonicStage 3.4 software bundled following the recent problems with the newer Connect.

You’ll be able to get your pink, blue, silver, violet, black or lime green Sony stick from April. Sony hasn’t yet announced the price.

Update 2.20pm: Sony has just told us that an FM tuner will only be optional with the 1GB player. Pricing is as follows:

2GB – £100

1GB with FM tuner – £90

1GB no tuner – £80

512MB – £60