Sony CONNECT Disaster Impressively Well Realized

Published on August 30, 2007
by John Paczkowski

you_fail.jpgSony ATRAC is at long last joining Betamax, MiniDisc, Sony Dynamic Digital Sound, HiFD, (pause for breath) Multi-Media Compact Disc, Memory Stick and Super Audio CD in the company’s Museum of Failed Formats.

After an overlong and unsuccessful campaign to spread adoption of ATRAC, Sony is scrapping the proprietary audio format. This morning the company said it would close its CONNECT digital music store and forthcoming Walkman digital media players will support formats that consumers actually use like Windows Media Audio, along with MP3 and AAC (or advanced audio coding). “Customers don’t want to be locked into one service, consumers are demanding choice in music,” said Jeffrey Van Ede, Sony Europe audio marketing VP. “There has been a fundamental shift in legal downloading, and that is toward DRM-free music.”

And what of those few Sony customers who actually own ATRAC music? For them the company’s offering an MP3 Conversion Tool and some advice that CONNECT users have been likely following for some time now: “For your purchased music from CONNECT, you can burn it to audio CD and rerip it into MP3 format to continue enjoying it for personal use.”

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