New Sony Walkman Challenges iPod

Just hours after Apple unveiled its iPod Nano, Sony on Thursday unveiled several new Walkman players in an effort to recapture the portable music player market it once dominated.

"We are not at all satisfied with where we are now," Koichiro Tsujino, co-President of Connect, Sony's digital music arm said. "I understand a certain company made an announcement earlier today. We will accelerate our challenge with these new models."

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The new Walkmans come in 6 and 20 gigabyte capacities. Sony also plans to release 3 flash memory based players as well. All five models will use the perfume-bottle shape that is found in Sony's current player.

The hard disk-players will come in either violet or silver colors, and will have support for docking with accessories such as external speakers, much like the iPod currently does.

Also, users will be able to search through and play back their music in various ways. For example, through a feature called the "time machine shuffle," a user would be able to play back songs produced in a certain year.

The new models are slated to go on sale November 19 in Japan, and the company hopes to have worldwide distribution by the end of the year.

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