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Sony to support AAC file format

updated 08:25 am EDT, Wed May 10, 2006

Sony to support AAC

Sony this week announced it will begin supporting the AAC audio file format, which used by Apple and other vendors for audio file compression. The forthcoming support will not yet allow users to play iTunes music on their Sony devices as Apple's propietary FairPlay DRM technology is also used to protect songs, but the move is seen as a symbolic concession to Apple, according to one report. The company has moved from using its own proprietary ATRAC audio files to supporting a wide variety of file formats: "Sony long clung to its proprietary data compression technology, known as Atrac. It has since turned to an open-door policy, embracing such popular formats as MP3 and Microsoft Corp.'s WMA. Still, the electronics manufacturer's acceptance of Apple's AAC format, used for the immensely popular iPod digital music players, marks a particular about-face." Sony will release the AAC-compatible Sonic Stage CP free of charge via the internet on May 15 for use with its hard-disk-based Walkman A series products.




by MacNN Staff

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  1. siMac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    "Apple's AAC format"

    AAC does not belong to Apple. It was developed by the same people who developed MP3 (Dolby/Fraunhofer etc) and represents an evolution of audio compression algorithms, offering higher quality at lower bitrates and more efficient decoding.

    The FairPlay DRM that is applied to AAC files on the iTMS *does* belong to Apple however.

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sony already supports AAC

    The Sony Ericsson W810i, W800i (and probably other phones too) already support AAC the W800i was announced over a year ago (review here: http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk/review.php?reviewId=907) so it's definitely not news.

  1. spyinthesky1

    Joined:

    0

    what goes around...

    Belated but welcome. When other companies do the same then we can perhaps ask for some opening up of Fairplay or alternatively the gradual and universal adoption of an open DRM which of course Microsoft was entirely disinterested in when it thought it could dominate all by itself and rejected the AAC (MP4) standard some years back.

    As for Sony well of course they had their own chance to be part of this particular party and like the guy who turned the Beatles took a disasterous rain check.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    re: what goes around

    Belated but welcome. When other companies do the same then we can perhaps ask for some opening up of Fairplay or alternatively the gradual and universal adoption of an open DRM which of course Microsoft was entirely disinterested in when it thought it could dominate all by itself and rejected the AAC (MP4) standard some years back.

    Um, Apple has absolutely no interest in an open DRM, either. The only ones who will support/use an open DRM are those companies on the fringes trying to find a foothold the two big guys overlooked.

  1. mike3k

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Sony already supports AAC

    The PSP has been able to play unprotected AAC audio files since firmware 2.5.

  1. Clive

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Um, what!?

    [i]Um, Apple has absolutely no interest in an open DRM[/i]

    Apple just formed the Digital Data Exchange with Microsoft and a group of record companies and rights organisations, specifically to develop a standard for DRM interchange...

    www.digitaldataexchange.com

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: um, what

    Apple just formed the Digital Data Exchange with Microsoft and a group of record companies and rights organisations, specifically to develop a standard for DRM interchange...

    OMG! They've formed a consortium with other companies! That can only mean one thing! We're on the verge of a truly interoperable DRM! Because we know consortiums always produce results!

    I read the web site you pointed to. There's absolutely no mention about interoperable DRM on their charter. In fact, this is what they say:

    To develop and maintain a robust framework of communication Standards to support the digital distribution of digital content with the initial focus on music and music-related assets;

    Ahhh, communications standards for distribution. Exciting. Not DRM related, but exciting nonetheless.

    To improve the efficiency of information sharing and transaction processing between participants in the music supply chain through use of Standards and

    Standardized Information sharing. Gotta love it. Now we don't have to worry about all the different companies not being able to share information on sales and all. It'll be in a standard format!

    To promote global awareness and compliant implementation of these Standards.

    Yes! This is what we need! More commercials, reminders, nagging, etc, that we should respect copyrights and not steal music.

    If apple wanted to open up DRM, they could easily start by opening up Fairplay. License it to player manufacturers and other music stores, so you could buy music from Walmart for your iPod, or buy iTMS music and play it on your Creative Zen.

    But they have yet to do that, nor has there been ANY indication they will ever do that (not as long as they hold their current iTMS and iPod marketshares).

    Ergo, my point is still valid.

  1. gfer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: um, what!?

    DDEX is not about DRM. It was formed to standarize the copyright information for better transaction processing between the participants (online music stores, labels, publishing enterprises and music right societies.

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