Is the tech world set to split into “those who understand the Sony Rolly” and “those that don’t”? No, probably not, but AP’s Rachel Metz would certainly fall into the latter category. In her review of the bizarre twitching, wiggling, flashing PMP speaker – which officially went on sale in the US earlier this month – Rachel’s few good experiences with the device are pretty much overwhelmed by Rolly’s inability to fit into a standard music player niche. Highlights (or should that be lowlights?) include the lack of a headphone socket, the paltry 2GB of storage and the tricky controls.
Now I’m no Rolly apologist – it’s obviously not a sensible product, and I don’t think I would find myself stumping up $399 for it – but half of Rachel’s problem seems to be her need to classify the device as a normal (and thus lacklustre) PMP. Would you really want to plug in headphones when they’d just reel your face in as the Rolly started dancing?
That’s not to say she doesn’t make some good points. It’s too expensive, the choreography software – which considering this thing is all about the dancing – obviously takes far too long to manually programme a routine (it took Rachel half an hour to arrange 20 seconds worth of steps), and a remote control (or a way to control it from a Bluetooth phone) would stop you from having to trundle it back and forth to switch tracks and adjust volume. Of course it’s not an iPod killer, but I don’t think it even sets out to consider doing that: at the end of the day, the Rolly is a Folly.
Do you think Rachel is too hard on the Rolly? Or do you think she held back and should’ve aimed at it with both barrels? Let me know in the comments.