29 December 2008

New firmware for Sony Rolly

What is the easiest way to update an electronic gadget to make it more wanted right before the Christmas? On practice, many manufacturers decide to release firmware updates to their products at this time of year. Especially if they have suffered from scanty losses before. Earlier on this week we were reviewing Nokia N96 firmware update, and it turned out to have many disappointed users, but what we are looking at now is Sony Rolly media player firmware update, which is quite unexpected. Rolly seemed to be doing all fine since the last 1.01 firmware was released and some more colors added to the body and flappers. However there is a fact that gives me a clue that it is not just only about Rolly's straight up firmware update.

First of all I should say that I like Rolly very much. Let me explain why: you have probably seen the visualization feature in Winamp player for example generating color patterns by analyzing a track by timbre, volume, rhythm, pitch, etc. As a person with musical education, I confirm that it is a hard job to do. And Rolly has even more to offer than just visualization! It also generates complex movements for its flappers and for its body. Besides weight balance, USB and Bluetooth features, player's dancing attracts the most. But what's with the firmware? It has been released only for Japanese SEP-10BT version of Sony Rolly and requires gadget's delivery to one of the Sony's departments. Sounds odd for just another casual firmware update, doesn't it? More on that, Sony says they have added some new features to Rolly player, but they are not likely to unveil them. I was saying that the update is only compatible with Japanese model and it probably means that the US model has to wait long for the line up again, or it may never have one. Will they bring some technical input in Rolly? – Probably yes, otherwise there would be no point in spending 100 USD (9000 Yens) on it – about one fourth of the device's price (the shipment is included).

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