Sony: On to the Video

Whoulda thunk that the company that invented the portable music player would years later play catch up to a computer company and some of its biggest TV rivals?

But that's what happened to Sony and the Walkman in the digital age. Today's "news" is the video Walkman has finally arrived in the U.S.

Apple is on the verge of announcing yet another generation of video iPods, so what has taken Sony so long?

Both the NWZ-A810 series and NWZ-S610 series video Walkman products pack quarter-VGA screens that display video at 30 frames per second. Sony claims battery life in video mode of 8 hours for the A810 series and 9 1/2 hours for the S610 series.  The players are said to deliver 33 hours of music playback on a single charge. 

Supported audio codecs include WMA, non-secure AAC and mp3. Video codecs include H.264/AVC and MPEG-4. You can also view your JPEG photos.

Suggested retail prices for the A810 series start at $140 for the 2GB version, which is available in white, pink, blue, black and silver. The 4GB version--in white, pink, black and silver--will sell for roughly $180--and the 8GB model, in black and silver only, will ring in around $230.

The S610 series includes the 2GB model at $120 in black, pink, red and silver; the 4GB version in black, pink, red and silver at $160; and the 8GB model, in black only, for $210.--Rebecca Day