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Sony announces June opening of download music service

updated 04:20 pm EST, Wed March 17, 2004

Sony coming to Europe

Sony today announced the June opening of its , where "consumer can buy songs from 0.99 euros apiece and download them on their computer before exporting them to Sony minisdisc players and walkmans. Connect will start in France, Britain and Germany with 300,000 songs from the five major labels, including Sony Music, plus independent publishers and national and regional artists. There is no longer a limit to the number of times a CD can be copied or to the songs that can be compressed and exported to other SonicStage devices. Rival software such as RealNetworks RealPlayer or Apple's iTunes do not have such restrictions." The company also announced first "personalised radio" service to mobile phones, which consumers can tailor to their own tastes.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. Makosuke

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hrm...

    Well, everybody seems to be talking up pushing into Europe but Apple. I hope things are moving forward for them rapidly, because I'd hate to see Sony or another company like them get a leg up on Apple in such a large market.

    Although I do wonder if Apple's burning restrictions won't be looser in Europe; the governments/interest groups seem to have less of a draconian stance on copy protection there, or at least an inability to enforce it.

    Push, Apple! Push!

  1. gilrain

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hmm, smart move.

    Well, you can't say Sony hasn't got smarts. Here's my interpretation. Sony recognizes that Apple has pulled a fast one and netted the USA market for online music. However, Apple is lagging on releasing to Europe, which is a potentially larger market than the USA -- Sony is jumping on this by releasing in Europe first.

    By doing this, they will forego the frustration and negative press of attempting to compete with iTMS right off the bat. Also, they are sure to win the hearts of European music fans by releasing to Europe before the USA, which I predict will be a bit of an ego stroke for those countries after being ignored by iTMS for longer than is wise.

    With this move, I think they will dominate the European online music scene as much as iTMS will continue to dominate the USA. They will both migrate overseas, but I think this line will remain a distinguishing factor between them.

    Also, Sony has a lot of pull in the record industry -- no doubt this is why they were able to negotiate such a generous rights. Incidentally, I bet they will be *the* service for classical music fans: almost all the good classical albums are released on Sony Classical.

    The iPod is, of course, Apple's ace in the hole. Europe is in love with sleek consumer devices, and this is where iTMS will gain a nice market there regardless. Sony can make some slick, stuff, and I like minidiscs well enough -- but make mine an iPod with iTMS every time.

  1. tomodachi

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Well

    There are more than two months till June. That means iTMS could still come out in Europe before the Sony offering. We'll see.

  1. klinux

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Well

    There are also people who say Apple can still SELL 100 million songs before end of April and since we are not at end of April, we therefore can't talk about it. Yeah right.

    Apple has to make sure ITMS comes out early in Europe. Make (and meet!) announcement that it will open in May!

  1. bighead

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Just what we need...

    Is another Sony proprietary format. Anyone know if the files will be in *shudder* ATRAC format? Since that's what MD is, I figure that's what will be their standard (haha, standard, that was a good one...)

  1. MacNorway

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Apple works differently

    Several companies have opened digital stores in Europe already - MS partnered with OD2 and others have followed the same route. But, look at where SONY are opening up shop: Germany, France and the UK. This is NOT Europe, just three countries. If Apple wanted to be there, they could probably have done the same thing last year, but they're probably working on a much broader launch, covering all countries where they have AppleStores (and thus already payment systems in place). To be VERY optimistic, I'm hoping for a launch on the 1-year birthday of the iTMS in April...

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Missing the big point

    First off, 99 euros seems a tad expensive, compared to 99 cents in the US for music (what's the euro worth in dollars these days? $1.50?).

    Second, if you read the article, the first half of it discusses their streaming service, which would work with some portable devices (i.e. cell phones and the like) and not only be customizable, but would learn and adapt to the listener over time (you know, if you keep hitting the mute button everytime the stupid thing starts playing a song by Madonna, well, maybe they'll stop streaming that c*** and send various other music that meets your interests).

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Mac-compatable?

    That's the question...

  1. mkbhatia

    Administrator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    testing again

    test

  1. mkbhatia

    Administrator

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    testing again

    tests

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