Sony Renews Its Rockin' Rolly Music Player

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Sony is updating its innovative Rolly digital audio player with new software options and a fresh coat of paint.

The Rolly is an egg-shaped device with speakers on either end that can twist and turn in time to music on two large rings that circle its body. Those rings are also used to control the device. One ring can be turned to change the volume and the other to change tracks. It can also stand still and play music or move to a preprogrammed set of instructions that are fed to it through a PC application.

When it was launched in September last year it received a generally positive response for its innovative shape and functions, and typically draws a crowd whenever its demonstrated. Sony hasn't released detailed sales figures but said Tuesday that they're "neither too big or too small, about what we expected."

The new SEP-50BT Rolly will be available from Nov. 21 in Japan in white, pink or black, the latter only available though the online Sony Style store. Overseas launch plans haven't been fixed. Like the previous model it will cost ¥40,000 (US$427).

New is the ability to control it over Bluetooth via cell phone. A cell-phone application can be used to turn up and down the volume, change tracks and stop and start the music player by sending the commands over Bluetooth.

The original Rolly included Bluetooth but such control wasn't enabled over the link. Sony said it is planning to release a software update in early December that will add Bluetooth control to the earlier model.

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