The next MP3 player will be a mobile phone.

I’ve been considering for time now, whether I should buy a new MP3 player. Something in the iPod nano class. Samsung comes to mind, or San Disk or Creative. Having looked at some in more detail, none didn’t really convinced me. The San Disk Sansea didn’t have a resume function, which is a must for me. I usually listen to music files, which last at least a hour. So, it’s not really acceptable for me, if I can’t continue at the point where I switched the device off. Other players are not handled as simple USB storage devices, but must be loaded through the MTP protocol or through iTunes. Linux is my main OS and MTP is supported in the meantime to a large extend, but a device functioning as a simple storage device would provide the least hassle. All devices except the Apple stuff can’t play AAC+ files. What could draw me into the Apple direction is the larger number of accessories, which is available for the iPod players. However I don’t really want to support Apple as a company. While they are building very “cool” devices, I feel, that they act overly paranoid about their intellectual property. As such they are not a very “nice” company.

So, all in all, I didn’t find enough arguments to give up my old and trustworthy Pontis SP600 player, which uses CF-card as storage medium.

However in the meantime it hit me from the a completely different direction. I also considered a new mobile phone, one which is capable to run the latest cool Java MIDP 2.0 application from the Internet, for instance Google Maps for mobiles. And here I finally found the Walkman mobiles from Sony Ericsson, in particular the W610i and the W660i. They play all relevant music formats (MP3, AAC, AAC+, E-AAC+, WAV, WMA and m4a according to this review). They can be equipped with larger M2 memory sticks (2Gb should be available now). Sony Ericsson provides a very wide range of accessories. And the coolest thing, they can act as Bluetooth A2DP audio source (EDR enabled Bluetooth 2.0). In connection with these devices, the Sony A2DP Bluetooth Receiver TDM-BT1 , Sony Ericsson MBR-100
or the Sony High-Tech Bluetooth Car Radio MEX-BT2500 these phones can provide a marvelous music center, in the car and at home. Only drawback apparently is the slow USB transfer rate.

So basically, for two iPod nano’s you get tons of functionality. I’ll have to see, what the W660i, which sports UMTS functionality, will cost, once it is introduced here in Germany. Anyway, the W610i and the W660i are “the” devices, where I have laid my eyes on.