Sony CD player puts 21st-century features in a portable...

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February 14, 2000

Sony CD player puts 21st-century features in a portable package

Staring at Sony's new D-EJ915 CD Walkman ($250), it's hard not to exclaim: "How on Earth did they do that?!"

This impressive portable CD player manages to cram the drive mechanism, the electronics and two rechargeable batteries into a space not much thicker than a short stack of CDs.

Besides the impressive hardware compression, the D-EJ915 offers other 21st-century features. It has a backlighted electro-luminescent LCD remote with all the controls found on the player.

The remote also has a jog-shuttle so you can navigate through your disc by thumbing a wheel on the remote's side. An optical line out, or "MD link," allows you to connect directly to a MiniDisc recorder or DAT machine.

Sony has upped the ante on anti-shock with development of its G-Protection. According to Sony, this technology provides better skip protection than previous shock technologies, allowing you to use the D-EJ915 under more active conditions.

To this end, its bundled faux leather carrying case has a hand strap that attaches the player to your palm, making you look like a discus thrower in training as you jog. I guess Sony does this because running shorts don't have belt loops, but I think a belt clip on the case would have made more sense.

The D-EJ915 offers up to 57 hours of playback time (no, that's not a typo). To get this kind of record-breaking longevity, you have to use both the rechargeable batteries that come with the unit and two AA batteries that attach via an external case. This is enough juice to shake your bon bon all weekend long and still have enough power for Monday drive time.

With other decent CD players selling for under a hundred dollars, $250 might seem excessive. But if you have the means and want an almost "unconscious carry" that keeps going and going and going, with impressive sound quality to boot, you can't go wrong with the D-EJ915 CD Walkman.

Information: 800-222-7669 or www.sel.sony.com.

-- Gareth Branwyn

Sharp MiniDisc recorder designed for use with MP3

The MiniDisc, a recordable, portable digital audio format that looks like a small computer floppy, has been struggling for acceptance in this country for seven years.

Now Sharp Electronics, whose MD-MT15 portable stereo records and plays MiniDiscs, is promoting a package that could help the format become more relevant in the Internet Age.

It's all about MP3, the computer file code for downloading music from the Web. Sharp is bundling the MD-MT15 with Voquette's NetLink, a cable and software product that allows you to transfer MP3 files from a computer to the hand-held device.

If you want to create a library of portable digital music, the big advantage of using a MiniDisc system over an MP3-only player is price. Blank MiniDiscs cost $2 or $3 each vs. $60 to $90 for the memory cards required for MP3 units.

The Sharp MD-MT15 and the Voquette NetLink sell separately for $199.95 and $69.99, respectively. Together, they go for about $249.

Information: 800-237-4277 or www.sharp-usa.com.

-- Alan Goldstein/KRT

For reviews of the latest gadgets, surf to www.streettech.com.

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