The Sony Walkman line of portable MP3 players has finally arrived to the online music locker party, hosted by Sony's own Music Unlimited streaming service. The problem is that it's several months late and grossly underdressed.
The six compatible models of the Walkman can now download from Music Unlimited's library of 10 million songs, as well as access ad-free radio stations and personalized music lockers. The ability to download from Music Unlimited comes with a premium membership price of $9.99 per month (a basic, $3.99 per month membership, with a 180-day free trial, comes only with radio station and personal storage options).
The premium membership is a tethered service, meaning that before you can start offline syncing with a PC connection, you have to create a Sony Entertainment Network account and download the Music Unlimited desktop app. So if you're stubbornly not part of the 78 percent of the market that owns an Apple music player, or you haven't already been using Music Unlimited on Sony HDTVs, Blu-Ray players, the PlayStation 3, PSP, or certain Android phones, you can now give your Walkman the gift of quasi-streaming music.
But with so many other feature-rich music streaming options out there, Sony's announcement seems like it should've came months if not years ago, making the Walkman even more of a nostalgic footnote to the iPod.