Monday, October 22, 2007

Sony wireless music streamer might be wonderful or crappy. I don't know.

Sony's Vaio VGF-WA1 allegedly makes it easy to listen to your PC music collection in any room of your home, or maybe even in your back yard, or on the balcony or front porch, or while visiting a neighbor. It's a compact portable design with built-in amplifier, speakers and a rechargeable battery. There's a nice flip-up carrying handle on the back.

The sexy-looking unit can connect to your Wi-Fi network to access music stored on your computer. If you don't have a Wi-Fi network, you can plug the included USB adapter into your PC and it creates its own wireless connection for the VGF-WA1. Cool concept.

Sony's PC software is supposed to search your computer's music files and build an index of tracks to play wirelessly. An input jack lets you connect other music sources, and you can even use it to listen to Internet radio programs.

The unit looks good in real life, and sounds good on paper; but I have no idea how it sounds in real life. After two hours of fruitless frustration trying to decipher cryptic error messages, endless page flipping, multiple reboots, and experimenting with different USB ports, I unplugged the beautiful white box and stuck it on a shelf.

I never figured out if the troubles were in my PC or the Sony. I notice it every few days, and have considered trying to set it up again, but so far: NO EFFING WAY!

I majored in electrical engineering for just one semester before I switched to journalism. Maybe if I stayed with EE for 3.50 more years, I could tell you how this thing sounds. I'm just not masochistic enough to try again. However, I just might become sadistic enough to give it to someone else to try.

HOWEVER, the folks at CNET were able to get their sample working, and gave it 7.3 points ("very good") out of a possible 10. CLICK to read their review.

Suggested retail price is $350. Available in black or white. CLICK for more at SonyStyle.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wasn't willing to invest two hours like you did. I returned mine after just one hour trying to make it work.

Sony should sell it with a technician in the box.