Sony Hears the Music

Sony appears to have finally woken up and realised that forcing users to convert to their proprietary ATRAC3 audio format is a recipe for disaster. CNet reports:

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“We’re discussing plans to bring flash players to the United States that support MP3 files, but we have nothing to announce at this time,” said Gretchen Griswold, a representative of Sony Electronics.

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…although these further quotes make is unlikely that we’ll see MP3 on Sony’s larger capacity players:

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“We want to push Atrac on our music download services and remain convinced that it is the best format on the market,” the ZDNet France source said. “But it is clear that the industry benchmark is Apple’s iPod, which is compatible with MP3.”

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“We observed that on the Walkmans with low-storage-capacity flash memory, users want to be able to change regularly and easily the files which are stored there,” the source said. “It was thus necessary to avoid the handling of conversion into Atrac.”

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I sincerely hope Sony get with the program, because I love the looks of their NW-HD1, but there’s no way I’d buy one currently given that it only supports ATRAC.

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