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Sony's an earful

Latest Walkman is all ears

Sony's latest digital music player promises to give users an earful of their favourite songs. The NW-E8P, available in Japan from 21 April, looks something like a hearing aid on steroids, but with a lot more style.

As you can see, the NW-E8P (which hopefully will have a better name by the time it gets here) is a boxless device. But in what is sure to become a sad norm, support for the MagicGate copy protection system is built into both the player and companion desktop software so it won't support MP3 or any other digital music format.

This means audio tracks have to be transferred to Sony's own ATRAC3 format before they can be loaded and played. With 64MB of memory, users will find enough space for 80 minutes of music in 105Kbps (kilobits per second) standard mode or 60 minutes in high-quality 132Kbps, said Sony.

The headphones each weigh 45 grams, which means they aren't so heavy that they will fall off your ears, and connect to a personal computer via USB (universal serial bus) cable.

Sony expects the headphones to retail for around $320.

If your Japanese is up to the job, find out more about the NW-E8P here.

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