Sony blows it with new portable music player

Discussion in 'Music' started by Michael St. Clair, Jul 8, 2004.

  1. Michael St. Clair

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    Sony challenges Apple with new 20GB music player

    No native MP3 support? You have got to be kidding me. I wasn't surprised when Hi-MD didn't support MP3, but now they've finally got a hard-drive player and MP3 has to have another lossy conversion to ATRAC if you want to play it on this player? Do these people even realize that MP3 is the de facto personal storage standard for music?

    On top of all this, it won't play protected AAC or WMA, so you're stuck with Sony's proprietary music store, resulting in three formats for purchased downloaded music (two was bad enough).

    The insider scoop on what’s so very wrong with Sony



    Old article still relevant:

    The Civil War Inside Sony

    Sony needs to sell their record label and focus on Consumer Electronics without conflict. No wonder Playstation 2 is where they make their money.
     
  2. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    I hope this isn't a threadfart (don't really care about MP3 players), but I sure dig your new signature line! Do you happen to have the Au20 of "One Size Fits All" (or "Apostrophe", for that matter)? If not, let me just say they are wonderfully mastered, not at all like the usual substandard Au20s. If you're ever interested in trading for copies, let me know (these discs are sadly too hard to come by these days).
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Where the heck have you been, Rich Malloy?

    Love Michael's sig image, too. I bought Freak Out! when it was first released by Verve in 1966. Everybody calls Sgt. Pepper rock's first "concept album," but we know better!

    Nearly moved this thread to A/V Sources but thought, hey, what the hell.
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Michael, the news doesn't surprise me. Was this not also the case for the NetMD players, lacking native .mp3 support?

    How's the Karma treating you, by the way? The G3 iPod is running strong, I'm happy to report.


    How about an area of HTF for DAPs? The Forum already has areas for things that are on the "fringe" of home theater (e.g., video games), and threads on these devices pop up in at least 3 of the current sub-forums. I'd go out on a limb to suggest that there are at least two of us who'll drop by regularly! [​IMG] From small things, big things come...
     
  5. Tim Markley

    Tim Markley Screenwriter

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    Typical Sony. They always try to force people to use their proprietary format. Not supporting the industry standard is just stupid and I hope it fails miserably.
     
  6. Michael St. Clair

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    It seems portables get the most discussion and responses here. I too wouldn't mind a sub-area for 'Portable and Compressed Audio', which would not just cover players but also ripping and encoding issues.
     
  7. Marc Colella

    Marc Colella Cinematographer

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    Heard about this the other day.

    Doesn't surprise me one bit.

    Sony's insistance on using proprietary formats is moronic, and clearly shows they have no idea what consumers want (or just don't care).

    Looks like another dead format from Sony. Or as Sony-followers will eventually refer to it - a "niche format".
     
  8. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Sony can be so maddening at times! [​IMG] I guess they're not satisfied with the format wars in hi-res audio or hi-def DVD.

    In any case, I have no intention of buying an MP3 player that doesn't feature gapless playback.





    During the recording of Sgt. Pepper, Paul McCartney was known to repeatedly say, "This is going to be our Freak Out."
     
  9. Garrett Lundy

    Garrett Lundy Producer

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    So, SONY thinks it can compete with Apple iPod by using a device that doesn't work as well, use an audio compression technology that isn't as good (so I hear), has the worse music store, AND arrive a year too late.

    For a bunch of engineering genius's they're pretty thick they are.
     
  10. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    [​IMG]
     
  11. David Coleman

    David Coleman Supporting Actor

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    Yeah i'm kinda amazed by this news too!! In theory why would i as a customer want to change to sit around and convert all my files to ATRAC? What kind of thinking is this?

    I know if I rip a song or if I download a song from my collection why would I want to convert it from anything but it's native format?

    I'm still waiting for the day to come when I can find one of those that plays the following: .aac, .wma, .mp3. That's when i'll break down and buy one!
     
  12. Darryl

    Darryl Stunt Coordinator

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    I tried out Sony's Connect music service last week after getting a free song code from a Big Mac. At first it seemed a lot like iTunes - you download a program that allows you to access their music store, you buy songs for $1 a piece, and you see them in your digital music library. But then I wanted to add my new Sony-supplied song to my iTunes library. No can do. I didn't see a way to transfer the songs from my work computer to my home computer either. The only way to use a Sony ATRAC song anywhere other than the downloaded Sony app is to buy new ATRAC-compatible hardware.

    But that's the point - use software (music) to get people to buy new hardware. What Michael's post shows is the strategic flip side of that coin. When people buy that new hardware, leave out support for other software formats so they'll have to use Sony's service to get new music. It almost sounds like a really sly approach that just might work.

    But there's a huge flaw. The new software doesn't have any advantages over the old software.

    It seems kinda similar to Sony's strategy with SACD. Supply a new software format, which encourages people to buy new hardware, which encourages more sales of the new software. At least SACD has advantages over the old redbook software format, but even with those advantages SACD hasn't exactly taken the world by storm. ATRAC, on the other hand, doesn't offer a single advantage to consumers over other formats. Why would anyone want to buy ATRAC music when they can get the same music from other sources without all the constraints?

    What am I missing here? How can Sony believe this has the remotest chance of succeeding?
     
  13. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    I have an ATRAC3 CD Walkman. It's second generation, the first generation ATRAC walkman players didn't support MP3 files and therefore failed catastrophically in the market place.

    ATRAC3 is great, it's better than MP3 IMO for portable devices. You can create files that sound as good as MP3s but take a small fraction of the space that MP3s are. I've got a little stack of ATRAC3 discs at work (all CD-RWs) that I listen to, I've got the entire Joe Jackson catalog - everything - on one disc. That would take a stack of 4 or 5 (at least) MP3 CDs at similar sound quality. Fantastic for the RANDOM play function. I've got discs that include the entire Beatles Catalog, most of Paul McCartney's post-Beatles work, entire Who catalog, etc. It's really very darn cool.

    But I can't get a car ATRAC3 CD player. WTF? [​IMG]

    And I can't play these discs on anything else but a Sony™ ATRAC3 portable CD player.

    Basically Sony's been trying to reem their proprietary formats down the indistry's throats for decades. The frustrating thing is, the proprietary formats almost always have a lot going for them! It's just that they take on the world like this and they fail and fail again. It's a corporate culture thing and it's not going to change. That "insider" article above is laughable, anyone outside Sony could easily observe the behavior and reach the same conclusions.
     
  14. Michael St. Clair

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    I invested a lot in MiniDisc, and I don't regret it. For the time, it gave me the best sound and very lightweight, durable players. I was very happy with ATRAC. But this is 2004, and MP3 is the standard, and can be copied to all of our devices at home, at work, on the go, and in the car. I'd say MP3 has critical mass...even though most record labels hate it.
     
  15. Lee Scoggins

    Lee Scoggins Producer

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    This seems like a business mistake for Sony. [​IMG] It seems to me they should support all formats for download.
     
  16. TheLongshot

    TheLongshot Producer

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    Which is one of the reasons why companies keep trying to promote other formats. the record companies don't like the "unsecure" mp3 format, so they are always on the lookout for other options.

    This doesn't surprise me. Sony's been pulling this crap for years. My Sony Clie has both a CompactFlash slot and a Memory Stick slot, but they didn't write drivers for the CF slot, except for the wireless LAN card, which is what they intended it for. They wanted you to buy into their proprietary format, which was more expensive and less reliable. Luckily, others have been able to hack drivers to support the CF slot for other cards.

    I don't know why Sony keeps doing this, since their efforts fail most of the time. I'm guessing because their primary market is Japan...

    Jason
     
  17. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Sony's come very late to the gunfight, with a knife (to borrow a phrase).
     
  18. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Or they could just tell Sony record and studio executives who want DRM and lock-ins where to stick it.
     
  19. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    Have you noticed that many of the MD portables (and the only Hi-MD portable) in stores like Best Buy, Target, and Circuit City do NOT have microphone or line in jacks?

    The only means of getting music onto these devices are NetMD, prerecorded discs, or making discs on some other, more capable, recorder.
     
  20. Iver

    Iver Second Unit

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    A Mr. Yetnikoff, former Columbia/CBS/Sony exec, recently spoke on WNYC-FM, plugging his new book on his adventures as a record exec, and suggested the following change in name from S - O - N - Y to Y - U - G- H.

    That said, and as messed up as some of their current actions may be, Sony has made some good products over the years and they will hopefully return to their past culture of excellence and innovation.
     

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