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Details emerge on Sony\'s digital music plans

updated 11:45 am EDT, Mon April 19, 2004

Sony\'s digital music plans

Details of releases are revealed in a New York Times article today. Sony's Connect music site, set to launch in a few weeks, will offer 500,000 songs for 99 cents a piece, like iTunes, but will employs Sony's own format, which will be compatible with a myriad of Sony devices. The company has also entered into promotional partnerships with McDonald's where every Big Mac purchase will include a free download, and with United Airlines, which will allow customers to redeem miles for songs. On the hardware front, Sony is betting that customers will appreciate its various offerings, slated to cost from $60 to $300. "You can't believe it's about just one brick that people will carry," a Sony executive says, referring to the iPod.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs, however, said the minidisc player would not catch on in the United States the way it had overseas: "We have a very healthy respect for Sony," Mr. Jobs said in a telephone interview. "But Sony believes very strongly in the minidisc, and we don't. It might work in Japan but not here." Apple's most expensive iPod, by contrast, uses a hard drive that can store up to 10,000 songs.



Sony's new Hi-MD disc player, for example, will hold up to 45 hours of music on one $7 disc, while a flash memory player will be able to hold 22 hours of music and run for 100 hours on a single charge. Still, the jury's out among analysts as to whether Sony will be able to recoup its marketshare from Apple and other digital rivals.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. chas_m

    Joined:

    0

    Huh?

    Let me get this right ... Sony will offer their stuff in their OWN, not-compatible-with-anything-but-Sony format? A format that doesn't work with either the iPod *or* non-Sony WMA devices??

    Oh yeah, this'll work. NOT!

    Honestly, what kind of brain-damaged exec dreamed THIS up??

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Ooohhhh

    Sony's new Hi-MD disc player, for example, will hold up to 45 hours of music on one $7 disc,

    Oooh, 45 hours. My iPod has 12 days of music on it, and that's so low becuase its all the music I own...

  1. SomeToast

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Bricks

    "You can't believe it's about just one brick that people will carry," a Sony executive says [...]

    ... it's about many bricks. Bricks that you buy from us and us alone.

  1. slipperfrog

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: huh?


    Honestly, what kind of brain-damaged exec dreamed THIS up??


    Steve Jobs did. AAC won't play on anything but an iPod.

  1. slipperfrog

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: huh?

    Sorry, meant to say:

    AAC won't play on any portable but an iPod. Obviously any PC or Mac with iTunes installed can play AAC.

  1. Shu Chow

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Proprietary formats

    I swear, this is why I can't stand Sony and never buy anything from them. Sony has a history of making proprietary media formats for their devices long after another format has gained dominance. For some reason, they keep thinking everyone will dump their devices, flock to whatever oddball format they introduce, thereby generating millions in licensing fees. It has never worked, and it's not going to work now.

    Betamax, Digital8, Mini CDs, Memory sticks... What else am I missing.

    If Sony actually joined an industry consortium now and then, maybe Apple should feel slighty nervous. However, like usual, Sony will dump millions into this, make a bunch of bad decisions, and make buffoons out of themselves.

  1. trevc

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re:Proprietary formats


    And how is this unlike Apple?

    Even when Apple HAS gone with an open-Source format, it's not that favorable. How much delay in time/money did Apple invest in licensing a standard in MPEG4???



    Some parts of me (small parts!) think they should license WMP format (along with the DRM) and work it into Quicktime.(Not that it could(or would) even happen)

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    license wmp?

    are you kidding? those b******* are no different than sony. they take any and everything and make their own format and people use it by DEFAULT! it comes with their computer. and you want to encourage them?

  1. pdot

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    McDonalds

    This would've been a good partnership for Apple. Oh yeah, I have yet to run across one of those Pepsi iTunes bottles and I live in a major city (San Francisco). So strange.

  1. Person Man

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    AAC NOT proprietary

    AAC is not proprietary. The DRM (FairPlay), however, is. Strip the file of it's DRM, and the resulting unprotected AAC file will play on other devices that play AAC (but not FairPlay-protected ones).

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