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Sony kills Connect music store

updated 03:35 pm EDT, Thu August 30, 2007

Sony Kills Connect Store

Sony's Connect music store will officially shut down by spring next year, the company revealed today as part of its announcements of the A810 and S610 Walkman players. The electronics giant argued in its phase out FAQ that its was moving to an open platform where protected Windows Media would be the format of choice for copyrighted content, eliminating the need for the Sony-only ATRAC format which has been used for both the Connect store and many of Sony's older Walkman players. Sales of eBooks would not be affected, Sony said, confirming earlier reports and reassuring owners of the company's Reader handheld.

Service through the store would remain intact until "at least" March 2008, the company said. However, users were warned that the shutdown of regular music sales would be absolute and would prevent buyers from downloading songs again if lost after the closure. Customers of the store were asked to either burn audio CD copies of protected files from Connect or to use a newly introduced MP3 tool that will transcode unprotected ATRAC to a format guaranteed to work on Sony's newest players, some of which have dropped ATRAC support altogether.

The announcement signals the end of a significant chapter in Sony's competition with rivals in the digital music business. The company established the store in May 2004 with the intent of heading off a similar effort by Apple, controlling both the music download service and the players it would use. The store failed to gain a significant foothold in most markets and ultimately lost to iTunes in Sony's home territory of Japan. Much of the failure has been attributed to the firm's insistence on the ATRAC format and a lack of players that would compel users to accept being locked into the proprietary music format.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Feathers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Open?

    Since when is WMA open? Hmmm...Sony dropping trow to Microsoft especially with Apple and others moving to DRM free codecs.

  1. johnmcboston

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    clueless?

    "its was moving to an open platform where protected Windows Media would be the format of choice for copyrighted content,"

    So they're moving from a format no one uses, to a format most of the world doesn't use. This is progress? File under "don't get it".

  1. Commodus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Relatively open!

    They're obviously using marketing speak -- it's a fair description, but only in that WMA doesn't limit the players to just one store. It's better than being stuck with Connect if you want support from all the major labels.

  1. Feynman

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I bought a BlackBerry...

    ..Pearl and it's a crappy product. For 200 USD you get the most watered down mobile OS!

    So what, Microsoft would buy them out and re-engineer the phones with Windows Mobile? Sounds like the Zune story.

    I can't wait till I get my iPhone some time this week!

  1. tindrum

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    feynman

    put it in the wrong hole. ouch.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: open and clueless

    Since when is WMA open? Hmmm...Sony dropping trow to Microsoft especially with Apple and others moving to DRM free codecs.

    WMA is a lot more open than Fairplay. Anyone can license WMA, for both software and hardware. Apple's Fairplay is as closed as ATRAC.

    And Apple is only moving to DRM free where the labels will let them. They're still full of DRM for most of their music library.

    So they're moving from a format no one uses, to a format most of the world doesn't use. This is progress? File under "don't get it".

    What format would you want them to support, considering they have to have some type of DRM? Give them a call, let them know, since they apparently "don't get it".

  1. deVilliers

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    open standards

    > WMA is a lot more open than Fairplay. Anyone can license WMA, for both software and hardware. Apple's Fairplay is as closed as ATRAC.

    > And Apple is only moving to DRM free where the labels will let them. They're still full of DRM for most of their music library.

    WMA is no more open than Fairplay. It can be licensed by many parties. But WMA itself ought not to be described as 'open'. It is a proprietary standard.

    > What format would you want them to support, considering they have to have some type of DRM? Give them a call, let them know, since they apparently "don't get it".

    This is mere rudeness.

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