Sony Announces MP3 Audio Adapter

People who have Sony S series models or who regret not springing for the N710C when they bought a N610C will be pleased to hear that Sony has officially announced the PEGA-SA500 MP3 Audio Adapter, which adds MP3 playback to these models.

It will be available in Japan on September 22. This item began to appear on U.S. online webstores last week though it isn't expected to be available in the U.S. until the end of this month. Prices range from about $115 to $130.

The SA500 can play MP3s with a sampling frequency of 44.1kHz and a bit rate of 32 - 128 kbps. It can not play files in ATRAC3 format.

Naturally, it comes with a copy of the Audio Player application that comes with the other Sony handhelds that can play MP3s. In addition, it can be used to hear the audio on movies played with gMovie.

It connects to the serial port on the Clié and gets its power from the handheld. An N series model can play MP3s for approximately four hours while an S series model can go for three hours.

It is 2.9 by 1.2 by .5 inches and weighs 1.4 ounces. It comes with a pair of ear bud headphones.

Thanks to nXt for the tip. I got this information as best I could with the help of Babelfish. If any of it is incorrect, please let me know. -Ed

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Why not Palm?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 7:09:11 AM #
If Sony can come out with an mp3 adaptor for its existing line, why can't Palm do the same thing? Palm, I hope you're paying attention.

RE: Why not Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 8:05:51 AM #

Nope, Palm just isn't that kind of innovating company any more. It would be quicker to hope for a 3rd party to make a CLIE-adapter-to-m500 adapter, and hope the software works as is...

RE: Why not Palm?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 7:04:24 PM #
Agree. Palm hasn't really done anything intresting for a long time. Don't think that the Software for the Clie will work on the 50x though, don't forget the player is written to access the MemoryStick slot. The IO routines may not be compatible with the SD card slot on the Palms (the major reason why I decided not to buy a Palm)

At the end of the day Sony and Palm are after very diffrent markets. Sony is marketing the Clie as a fun/entertainment device whilst Palm are going for the business market. Which makes me wonder why the Clie has the most un-tactile buttons I have ever used on a handheld not to mention that playing games on the Clie tends to badly smudge the chrome trim.

Get 760C instead

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 8:08:47 AM #
This looks like a good bargain for 320 users, but not for 610C. It might be cheaper and easier to get 760C instead.

Also only 4 hours. 760C should be able to play 11 hours with screen off.

No Cheaper
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 9:02:07 AM #
" It might be cheaper and easier to get 760C instead."

The 760 isn't cheaper if you already own a 610. I think this has good Christmas/Birthday present potential.

RE: Get 760C instead
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 11:51:31 AM #
Ah! You should have gotton 710 or 760 instead.

Why only 128k?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 10:25:11 AM #
Sony is deliberatley allowing MP3's to only go to 128k so they don't hurt their music business or their proprietary ATRAC format.

RE: Why only 128k?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 10:43:01 AM #
Actually I was wondering why they managed to squeeze 128k from the serial port (assuming the report is correct). Aint serial only rated to 112k max?

RE: Why only 128k?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 10:58:03 AM #
Using MSImport, you can access the memory stick at a good speed (which I don't think is 'serial' speed). Sony must have found a way.

RE: Why only 128k?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 11:42:42 AM #
What's the problem? ATRAC files sound better than MP3 at the same speed, and if you create an ATRAC file without the copy protection enabled, it can be copied from device to device without any problems. Same can be said for Microsoft's WMA format.

RE: Why only 128k?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 12:51:25 PM #
But as the article says, it cannot play Atrac files.

RE: Why only 128k?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 1:05:19 PM #
Can i put ATRAC3 on regular memory sticks (blue) rather than MG memory sticks (white)?

RE: Why only 128k?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 3:42:12 PM #
I doubt it'll only support 128k, it officially support 96-128k, but with my 710 (same support) i can put a 32kbps to 320kbps mp3! works just fine as long as it's 44.1khz.

ATRAC3 can only be put on the magicgate (white)
MP3 can be put on both blue and white.

RE: Why only 128k?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 4:25:17 PM #
Sorry. I mis-read the article. It does state that it can not play ATRAC files

Who cares?

I.M. Anonymous @ 9/12/2001 10:59:32 PM #
32 meg flash players go for 50 bucks
64 meg flash players go for 100 bucks
CD MP3 players go for 150 bucks (good ones)

And Sony's silly little adapter with no memory will go for 115+ dollars. Who really wants to go jogging with their fragile little clie anyway?

Are you kidding?
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/13/2001 4:00:46 AM #
The clie obviously wasn't designed for jogging!!

But then again someone might want to check their calendar and to-do list in mid-stride. You never know...

Excellent Idea
I.M. Anonymous @ 9/17/2001 7:37:13 PM #
I think it is great - I bought my N610c for 350, so for an extra 115 bucks I can have audio capabilities. And, it never hurts to have something on the market, it hurts when you DONT have something on the market (especially if it is good).



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