The Ergosphere
Thursday, February 02, 2006

Never another Sony

We interrupt your regularly scheduled energy blogging for a short consumer product rating and rant.

Some years ago, I bought a Sony Discman player.  I took it out shortly after I bought it, put a disc in it and went for a walk.  It didn't play right.  It didn't play right at home after that, either; it would get maybe halfway through most discs and then error out.  The same discs would play fine on my stereo, so it was the Discman.  That thing never worked; I was going to send it back to Sony, but I was so disgusted to have something fail right out of the box that I couldn't bring myself to write the letter.  I think I eventually threw it away.

Come to 1997.  I needed a cheap stereo with a CD player, so I got an Aiwa.  Seemed to work okay.  A couple of years later, it stopped playing some discs; it would error out.  Then it errored out on most discs; finally it stopped recognizing any disc.  Cleaner discs did not help.  I finally resorted to using my Panasonic portable with the car adapter to run through the tape player.  No CD player should fail in just 2 years; I said, "No more Aiwa, ever."

Some time later I saw a news item that Sony had bought Aiwa.  I remember thinking, "So now Sony is going to be the same kind of junk that Aiwa made.  So much for them."  And then, having thought it, I forgot about it.  (You see where this is going.)

Fast-forward to May 2005.  I was looking for a compact stereo which played MP3's on CD-R.  Looking through Best Buy, I found a number of things which had lousy sound, didn't seem to handle discs properly, or didn't work at all (the satellite-enabled boom box wouldn't play anything, or even function on FM; who were they kidding?)  But there was a decent-looking (if somewhat bulky for my purposes) Sony CMT-HP somethingorother with a 5+1 CD changer, and it played my MP3 discs beautifully.

The alarm bells should have been going off in my head, but I didn't remember in time.

The unit worked fine for the week that I used it, then circumstances changed and it wound up being put away for a while.  A few months ago I hauled it out again and put it in the computer room.  The MP3 capability was good, but I noticed something ugly about it:  the CD wouldn't hold its place on a disc if you switched away from it.  It had no resume feature at all; not only wouldn't it recall a position if turned off and back on, it wouldn't even hold a spot when switching to the tuner!  Somehow I'd missed noticing that it had crap software when I bought it.

It didn't do much except play the radio until my favorite station killed its music programming and I was thrown back on my CD collection for background sound.  This started getting repetitive, so I began hitting the library for new things.  This worked fine until tonight.  The machine hit the end of a disc, started its groaning change to the next disc....

And never finished.  And then it wouldn't eject.  Powering it down and back up wouldn't allow an eject.  Holding it face down didn't produce an eject.  It was holding two library CD's hostage, and wouldn't even acknowledge that it was malfunctioning; it just sat there displaying "CD EJECT".

What kind of junk omits basic features from the outset, then has a mechanical failure after just a few months of regular use, and has software so bad it doesn't even note its own failure?

I had to take it apart to get the discs out.  After liberating the library's property from its malfunctioning clutches, I had a choice to make.  I could put it back together the best that I could, and be paranoid about it doing the same thing again in a month... or tomorrow.

Or I could write it off as yet another Sony piece of junk that cannot be trusted with anything ever again.

I refuse to inflict this thing on anyone else.  The main unit is in pieces in the wastebasket.  I have absolutely bought my last Sony, ever.

I got a portable Panasonic CD player about twelve years ago as a premium for frequent purchase of lab filtration equipment. It still works perfectly. After about nine years, the hinge broke, but it still reads discs without a problem.

I have an iPod these days, but if I needed another disc player, I'd go with Panasonic.
I've had good luck with Sony, though I had the exact same Aiwa problem you had.

I swore off CD's a couple years ago. If it's not on my computer or iPod, I don't play it. Plus, computer speakers sound better for less money than a "regular" stereo (I love my Klipsch Promedia 2.1).
FWIW - I read a recent comment somewhere on Sony and how they had lost their concentration on core products after chasing after unrelated non-core businesses such as film and computers.
Post a Comment

<< Home
Talk largely about energy and work, but also politics and other random thoughts

Mail Engineer-Poet

(If you're mailing a question, is it already in the FAQ?)

Important links

The Reference Library

Blogchild of

Armed and Dangerous

Blogparent of


The best prospect for our energy future:
Flibe Energy

January 1990 / February 2004 / March 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / August 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 / September 2010 / October 2010 / November 2010 / December 2010 / January 2011 / February 2011 / March 2011 / April 2011 / May 2011 / July 2011 / August 2011 / September 2011 / October 2011 / April 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / January 2014 / February 2014 / March 2014 / April 2014 / July 2014 / August 2014 / September 2014 / October 2014 / November 2014 / February 2015 / April 2015 / October 2015 / March 2016 / April 2016 / May 2016 / June 2016 / July 2016 / November 2016 / December 2016 / February 2017 / May 2017 / June 2017 / September 2017 / October 2017 / November 2017 / March 2018 / May 2018 / June 2018 / October 2018 / December 2018 / January 2019 / March 2019 / June 2019 / October 2019 / November 2019 / March 2020 / June 2020 / December 2020 / March 2021 / April 2021 / May 2021 / July 2021 / January 2022 / February 2022 /

Powered by Blogger

RSS feed

Visits since 2006/05/11: