“12 Gizmos of Christmas”: #5 – Portable CD Players

Day 5 of the 12 Gizmos of Christmas brings us Portable CD Players! Ever since Sony first introduced the Walkman, portable music players have become a must-have gadget. You gotta have your music with you wherever you go: running, travelling, at the gym, grandma’s… With the advent of MP3 technology, it was inevitable that CD players would start integrating that capability. Read on for more.

The first of Sony’s 2 entries is the Sony D-EJ100PS Psyc Walkman Portable CD Player.

Sony’s PSYC D-EJ100PS Walkman portable CD player augments its great sound and extensive features with a stylish, full-circle, gleam-black exterior. And at a mere .94 inches thick, this Walkman lives up to its name, traveling with ease in pocket, purse, or backpack. Playback options include 32-track programming, repeat (track, disc, or program), random play, and an amazing 50 hours of playback from a pair of standard AA batteries (not included). A PSYC-styled clip-on remote makes it easy to operate the player while you’re on the go, and Sony’s “h.ear” clip-on headphones are designed for streamlined comfort.

“Active use” is a key phrase for this player: Sony’s Skip-Free G-Protection boosts the laser pickup’s shock protection to minimize read errors that would otherwise interrupt your music, providing quick recovery from both horizontal and vertical shocks. The D-EJ100PS’s heat-resistant lid helps protect the player against high-temperature build up, especially when you’re using it outdoors or in a vehicle.

The second of Sony’s players is the Sony D-NF400 Psyc ATRAC Portable CD Player with Digital Tuner. This beauty tunes into radio and TV and even weather-band frequencies.

Spin your commercial CDs, your homemade music CDs of almost any stripe, or listen to the radio, TV, or weather-band transmissions with Sony’s versatile, full-circle D-NF400 Psyc-styled Walkman portable CD player. The snazzy player includes SonicStage software, which lets you take full advantage of ATRAC3plus (Sony’s proprietary music-compression technology) when making custom MP3 CDs on your computer. Playback options include 32-track programming, repeat (track, disc, or program), random play, and–thanks to Sony’s great work in DSP efficiency–more than 85 hours of ATRAC3plus CD or up to 50 hours of audio CD playback from 2 AA batteries (not included).

The D-NF400 Psyc offers a 2-line dot-matrix display, full ID3 tag recognition, and bookmark playback (which lets you program your favorite songs from multiple CDs and play them back at the touch of a button). CD Text support displays artist and title information with compatible commercial audio CDs.

Panasonic crashes the Sony Walkman party with their Panasonic SL-SX430 Portable CD/MP3 Player with D-Sound. A true contender with the ability to play various music formats such as MP3 and WMA.

This portable CD/MP3 player provides some unusual benefits along with the ability to play CDs, CDRs, CDRWs, and CDs with MP3 files. The first is “advanced D-sound technology, which is essentially a combination of a digital amplifier, which helps reduce distortion for crystal-clear sound at higher volume levels; S-XBS and digital audio gain control, which helps improve bass response at higher volume levels; and MP3 re-master technology, which maximizes sound quality from compressed music files, such as MP3 and WMA.

When you’re on the go, the No-Skip anti-skip system virtually eliminates track skipping, and the player’s heat-resistant, polycarbonate body design makes it great for outdoor use. There’s a handy, 6-key inline remote with the Active Style headphones, and average playback time on the required two AA batteries is up to 90 Hours for MP3s and up to 50 hours for CDs.

What do you think? Leave your comments below. And come back tomorrow for … ‘super’ cell phones!