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Sony Admits MP3 Error

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the saving-face dept.

Music 587

inflex writes "In a rare show admission of taking a wrong turn, Sony's officials have admitted that their stance on MP3 players was wrong." While this was pretty obvious to anyone who has ever shopped for a portable MP3 player, it is nice to see Sony admit their shortcoming. Ken Kutaragi puts it best when he says, "We're growing up," and with any luck future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses.

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Good (3, Interesting)

mirko (198274) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430588)

It's nice that they finally admitted it but, in another context, they still have to get rid of DVD Region encoding otherwise it's only rethoric.

Better (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430710)

Ok, Bill Gates, your turn to admit how your products suck.

Best (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430731)

While he's at it. he might as well admit that Linux / OS X are actually so much better users than Windows.

dissapointed (5, Funny)

cipher uk (783998) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430592)

"We're growing up," and with any luck future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses.

why did the end quotes have to be there :(

Now admit that Vaio's are crap! (-1, Flamebait)

Evil W1zard (832703) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430598)

Wish they would come out and say that there Vaio series of desktops are crap as well and upgrade my old POS box to a shiny new one! In all fairness though Sony definitely seems to have their share of problems in electronic products, but I think overall they usually have a decent product.

Article. (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430600)

Sony admits MP3 error
Yuri Kageyama in Tokyo
January 21, 2005

SONY missed out on potential sales from MP3 players and other gadgets because it was overly proprietary about music and entertainment content, the head of the company's video-game unit said.

Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, said he and other Sony employees had been frustrated for years with management's reluctance to introduce products like Apple's iPod, mainly because the Sony had music and movie units that were worried about content rights.

But Sony's divisions were finally beginning to work together and share a common agenda, Mr Kutaragi said at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo.

"It's just starting," he said. "We are growing up."

Sony officials have rarely publicly said the company's proprietary stance was mistaken.

Adblock

Mr Kutaragi, who has long been viewed as a candidate to lead Sony, was unusually direct in acknowledging Sony had made an error.

Sony's music players did not initially support MP3 files and only played Sony's own Atrac format.

Sony's technology innovation had been "diluted", Mr Kutaragi said

"We have to concentrate on our original nature - challenging and creating," he said.

Once the powerhouse of global electronics, with success exemplified by its Walkman, Sony has lost some of its glamour lately, losing out in profitability and market share to cheaper Asian rivals.

Mr Kutaragi - known as the "Father of the PlayStation" for making the game machine a pillar of Sony's business - said the new PSP, or PlayStation Portable, handheld will grow into a global platform for enjoying music and movies as well as games.

The Associated Press

Do what? (0)

yoshi_mon (172895) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430643)

Ken Kutaragi, president of Sony Computer Entertainment, said he and other Sony employees had been frustrated for years with management's reluctance to introduce products like Apple's iPod, mainly because the Sony had music and movie units that were worried about content rights.

You mean the Apple iPod that has had DRM it from day 1? Wow, I guess they really just want to move to a better DRM format.

Re:Do what? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430727)

Apple's AAC has DRM in it.

my iPod mounts as a removable hard drive and is full of mp3s.

Re:Do what? (4, Informative)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430809)

That would be the Apple iPod that had MP3 from day 1, Mr Thicky.

Re:Do what? (3, Informative)

crawling_chaos (23007) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430821)

I seem to have plenty of non-encumbered AAC and MP3 files on my iPod. The Sony players required DRM enabled ATRAC only. You don't have to buy songs from the iTunes Music Store if you don't want to and your iPod will work fine. No, the iPod won't play .ogg files, but that is a very small loss compared to playing ATRAC only.

Re:Article. (4, Insightful)

Rigor Morty (149783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430711)

Out of all of the parent article, the most significant part of the posted article for me was this one unintentionally-included word...

>Adblock

Because the post is about a large company realizing the market isn't swayed by it's actions, this single word is profound, in a poetic justice sort of way. It says that the consumer, not the producer, has final say in what they are exposed to.

It's almost an ironic recursion. It's hard evidence of the future direction of market interests.

pretty simple, really... (5, Insightful)

jxyama (821091) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430605)

give consumers what consumers want, not what you want consumers to want (to make the most money)

Re:pretty simple, really... (1)

Shisha (145964) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430687)

Well in the article it says that "Sony's music players did not initially support MP3 files and only played Sony's own Atrac format.".

I think that's not correct. I've got a Sony MP3-CD player that plays mp3s (not sure about ATRAC) and I bought it couple of months after Apple introduced the first iPod (so well over two years ago). Only the next generation of Sony players started being Atrac only (stupid move of course).

Re:pretty simple, really... (1)

surefooted1 (838360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430812)

Maybe they meant the minidisc players. Mine only played the stupid ATRAC format. I was happy when it broke. lol

Maybe they will add ogg support now (1)

fons (190526) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430830)

Maybe they will add OGG-support now, just to be sure they don't make the same mistake twice and miss the boat again.

Well, it probably won't happen.

But I DO think that if there ever wasa time for users to let Sony know they want OGG support, it is NOW!

Now if only others would do the same (0, Troll)

rebeka thomas (673264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430610)

Now if only others would do the same. Apple, dump AAC now. MS, dump WMV now. Adopt OGG and the world will be better for it. I don't see that happening unfortunately, Steve's ego is too big and MS is in with the DRM crowd too tightly.

Re:Now if only others would do the same (1)

mmkkbb (816035) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430635)

why should they? AAC and WMV are plenty popular, probably more so than OGG.

AAC and WMV are not popular (4, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430816)

"why should they? AAC and WMV are plenty popular"

Popular? Just because a lot of people are forced to use them does not mean they are "popular". Using this definition, traffic tickets are popular too!

Re:Now if only others would do the same (1)

Mooga (789849) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430664)

OGG!? I've never even heard of that... I can't see a small format gaining popularity in a world ran by mp3s and AACs.

Re:Now if only others would do the same (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430672)

no one uses OGG but linux nerds. and, contrary to what u might think, there aren't all that many of you losers out there

Re:Now if only others would do the same (2, Insightful)

Everleet (785889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430673)

Apple, dump AAC now.

You'd have to talk to MPEG about that. And it's a superior format (except for, I presume, some licensing issues), so I'm not sure why they'd want to.

Re:Now if only others would do the same (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430767)

And it's a superior format (except for, I presume, some licensing issues), so I'm not sure why they'd want to.
Right. How can it fail, with all those same advantages that Betamax had. The format war is over: MP3 won.

(Expect to see GWB stood in front of an iPod with a "Mission Accomplished" banner any time now.)

Adopting OGG (3, Insightful)

thegnu (557446) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430680)

I don't even see a necessity to make OGG the proprietary format. Bill Gates in his interview w/ Gizmodo said that they didn't put more codecs in one of their products because of the licensing of the codec.

He actually phrased it more like, "DRM issues," which is really absurd. It seems he's trying to embed it in people's skulls that licensing=copyright=DRM. Which is the same sort of semantic trickery MS and many large software companies have been using for a while to herd the masses into their 3x3 private pasture.

Anyway, my point is that I can't believe it slipped the interviewer's mind to point out FLAC, OGG, etc. have NO "DRM issues" whatsoever and would create a more robust product.

Sometimes I wonder...

Re:Now if only others would do the same (4, Insightful)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430718)

I know parent will get modded up because he mentions the words "DRM", and any paranoid rant about DRM on /. gets modded up automatically, but WTF???
Sony was apologizing for not including MP3 support on their MP3 players(they only supported Altrac) not that they are getting rid of altrac. Oh, and in case you didn't actually know, iPods support MP3, so I'm not really even sure what basis in reality your post has. Oh, and AAC is open, just the DRM on Apples music store purchases(called fairplay) is not.
Please, RTFA and know what you are talking about before your next paranoid rant.
Thank you come again.

Re:Now if only others would do the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430805)

Sony was apologizing for not including MP3 support on their MP3 players Why should Sony apologise for that?

I disagree (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430734)

Even though ACC is not an open format it's still better than MP3 (which isn't an open format either). If Apple did make it an open format Microsoft would just steal it like they stole everything else. Ogg Vorbis rocks but very few people use it because the media (and corporations) really haven't latched on to it. ACC is a better format. It's basically MP4 on steroids.

Re:Now if only others would do the same (1)

Morgahastu (522162) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430740)

See. The different here is the iPod supports MP3 *AND* AAC. Most other media players support MP3 *AND* WMV. If you don't like the DRM, you don't have to use it.

Sony's Walkman ONLY support ATRAC and the client software had to encode everything on the fly to ATRAC causing a loss in quality from repeated encodings, long transfer times, and you were left with files you couldn't do anything with other than play them on your Walkman.

The walkman was a failure that everyone could predict out at the same level as the N-Gage. Now they should do the same as Nokia and redesign it to be open, usable, and of a superior build quality.

When you're competing against a massive leader in the industry you don't gain market share by releasing a product that has less features than the leader.

Re:Now if only others would do the same (1)

baker_tony (621742) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430755)

Apple dump AAC? So you think it would be better if the 200 million songs they have sold on iTunes didn't work with the iPod any more and the iPod supported LESS formats? Mental, think before you start typing. As for OGG, what online music stores sell music in that format? Personally I'll stick to high bit-rate mp3 which can play on almost anything, including future Sony products by the sounds of it!

Now get out of the computer room and go to your maths class this instant! :-)

Mod Parent Up for Christ's Sake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430756)

It ain't a goddamn troll...

Re:Mod Parent Up for Christ's Sake (1)

baker_tony (621742) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430781)

Amusing how you posted anonymously. I think original poster is a 15 year old Linux geek...

If I would of known... (5, Funny)

CoMmEnT23 (675063) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430612)

If I had to do it all over again, I would never have bought that MiniDisc player.

Re:If I would of known... (5, Funny)

theblueprint (749157) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430700)

Agreed. I bought an iPod this December and tried to give my 2 yr. old Sony MiniDisc player to about five people, and no one would take it.

Re:If I would of known... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430851)

Good for you!
I'm very pleased with my minidisc player. Sure it's a pain to have to re-encode mp3's into Atrac but I can live with it.
If you want an MP3 player, buy an MP3 player, if you want the versatility that minidisc offers such as convenient for live recordings, changeable media (so if your player dies, at least you don't lose your music) get a minidisc player.
With the new HIMD minidiscs, each holding 1GB, minidisc has suddenly got a lot better.
Downside:- on the new HIMD's Sony stil needs to loosen up a little and allow any recordings to be uploadable, also the annoying conversions between mp3 and Atrac...
In light of the above story, I'll probably wait a year or so until Sony launch the next generation of HI-MD players before I buy one.
Check out
www.minidisc.org
Finally, IMHO, I've always thought that ATRAC sounds a hell of a lot better than MP3...
Finally, I work at an internationally known british media company, we have tried using MP3 players to record interviews etc, but have always found the quality unacceptable for broadcast, so have gone back to using minidisc recorders...

Re:If I would of known... (1)

gowen (141411) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430747)

I've no regret buying my MD-Player(s), except the fact that if you use them regualarly for running, their lifespan drops to about 12 months. For their time, they were the dog's bollocks.

Now I've got a cheap, generic USB drive / MP3 player, cheap to replace and with no moving parts, I'll never go back to MD.

sure... (2, Interesting)

myom (642275) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430619)

This sounds nice and all, but it is a move Sony only would have taken if they make more money out of it.

DVD region encoding, the Blueray/HD DVD wars (as they did with Betamax/VHS) and other issues where they are more bull headed will go on... until they jump the train where they will once again make more money.

It is all part of normal business, but do not for a moment think Sony has changed.

Halfway there (5, Funny)

Brento (26177) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430621)

Alright, Sony, now let's talk about this Memory Stick...

What was the mistake? (4, Funny)

Pan T. Hose (707794) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430625)

I hope it was choosing MP3 instead of the superior Xiphophorus Helleri Ogg Vorbis sound format. I am really sick of that unpronounceable "MP3"--seriously, what were they thinking?

Re: Unpronounceable? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430702)

Vor-bis is a simple word. Em-pee-three is a cryptic abbreviation.

Re: Unpronounceable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430835)

Thank you Sir for repeating exactly the same what the granparent said.

Sony have supported MP3s before (0, Redundant)

Threni (635302) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430628)

I've had a Sony diskman which plays AAC (never installed the software) and MP3s for ages. And they're not scrapping AAC. So...what's this all about?

Re:Sony have supported MP3s before (1)

Neophytus (642863) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430650)

Their hard disk "mp3 players" don't support MP3. Not this generation, at least.

2004 award (1)

fafaforza (248976) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430631)

The boneheaded move of 2004?

Obvious (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430633)

"...and with any luck future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses."

Sooo, no Ogg Vorbis players from Sony.

Zing!

it's about time.... (4, Insightful)

Viceice (462967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430634)

Sony is about one of those companies seriously capable of making a real iPod killer.

iPods are by no means a superior product. it uses dated technology and lose out in terms of features and price to other players. What makes it sell is that it has the Apple brandname behind it.

I think Sony is about one of few competitors with the sort of brand that can compete if they get their act togather.

Score -1: anti-apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430715)

Modded down because it's critical of Apple.

That is unmutual behavior these days on /.

That and espousing and an un-libertarian view.

Re:it's about time.... (0)

sydtsai (318342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430721)

Semi-true, Apple did make something that the market doesn't have, like Unicode support, Text viewer, and auto sync, and Firewire. And the GUI in iPod is very simple too.

Parent not a 'Troll' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430729)

who is moderating this?

it's a reasonable point that was made ....

Apple fanboys have taken over slashdot (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430765)

And they weild their mod points like drunken sailors.

Re:it's about time.... (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430772)

Which MORON is modding these posts down? I made a critical comment about the iPod last time and was modded down too, for no good reason. /. has some seriously STUP1D members. Grow up already.

Re:it's about time.... (0, Redundant)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430840)

I made a critical comment about the iPod last time and was modded down too, for no good reason.

You're not alone. I criticised the iPod's design a few days ago and got hit with an Overrated mod. The Apple zealots practically own /. now...

Mod Parent Up (1, Troll)

Quattro Vezina (714892) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430792)

Why the hell is this guy modded troll?

Oh, wait, it's because he said something negative about Apple, and since /. is filled with Apple zealots, he gets modded down.

I disagree, again. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430810)

Before iPod Apple had about 3% of the U.S. personal computer market share. After iPod, Apple has about a 3% market share. iPod however has about 70% of the mobile digital audio market. iPod is just a good product. It's fashionable, it's crash proof and if people read the instruction manual with it, it's battery will last quite a long time. Also most iPod users use the Microsoft Windows platform. I doubt you'll see any iPod Killer from Sony. If you watched the MacWorld expo and have read any of the rumors on the web you'd have noticed a technology glasnost has occurred between Sony and Apple. I expect more cooperation not competition.

Re:it's about time.... (2, Insightful)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430849)

Easy to tell you've never actually used an iPod.

But... (1, Insightful)

advocate_one (662832) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430636)

will they play .ogg files??? :)

Re:But... (1)

PoprocksCk (756380) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430649)

"...future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses."

I think that should be your answer.

Re:But... (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430737)

How would supporting Ogg in addition "cripple" something?
Heck, even if it supported Sony's proprietary format in addition, it wouldn't cripple anything.

Re:But... (1)

DWIM (547700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430763)

I think that should be your answer.

Ah, good. They will include ogg support.

Sony's proprietary tendencies... (2, Interesting)

vudufixit (581911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430642)

I never understood why they do this.
I was livid when they created "memory sticks" and didn't offer anything that made them more compelling than SmartMedia or CompactFlash in terms of price, capacity or both.

Re:Sony's proprietary tendencies... (1)

R.Caley (126968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430770)

I never understood why they do this.

Because Sony are the Microsoft of the hardware world. They adopted NIH syndrome as a policy and it has served them well. They will always make their first try with a bizzarely idiosyncratic design in the hope that they can trade on their name to get initial sales and lock potential competitors out. Stage two is `embrace and extend'. Watch out for MP3 players from Sony with an enhanced `MP3+' format.

BTW, The Economist this week has an interesting article about Samsung's redesigning themselves from a name associated with cheap microwaves and TVs to a brand able to compete with big names like Philips and Motorola and snap at Sony's heels.

Re:Sony's proprietary tendencies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430827)

It's about lock-in.

Fortunatly i didn't work this time.

Re:Sony's proprietary tendencies... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430837)

I never understood why they do this.
Sure Betamax, MiniDisc, and MemoryStick were all stupid ideas. But the CD rom and S/PDIF are ok standards. Looks like everytime Sony tries to create a technology on their own they fuck it up. But team them up with Phillips and damn shit gets done.

No wonder it took them so long... (1)

Reverant (581129) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430653)

I mean, they would have to commit Harakiri and all...

Re:No wonder it took them so long... (1)

Jabolio (840541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430846)

Commit him? Didn't he die several years ago? /Cubs win! Cubs win!

as seen on BBC: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430659)

here [bbc.co.uk]

I avoid Sony (1)

barcodez (580516) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430671)

I hope they do make a move to more compatable hardware and I hope they realine their pricing too.

Sony have been trading on their brand for too long and the higher prices are hardly every justified.

I simply avoid Sony because I know it work very well with other manufacturers products and I'll be paying a higher price for the same product.

Re:I avoid Sony (1)

thegnu (557446) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430714)

I avoid Sony because a client bought a VAIO laptop that he wanted to upgrade to Windows XP, and I checked online to see if it was possible. There was an Upgrading to Windows XP guide (this was right after it came out) on the site for this specific model.

Anyway, I stick the COA to it, install XP, and it turns out he had the lovely HSF Conexant chipset modem that was unsupported and needed his modem. And on the conexant website they stated an explicit lack of plans to update drivers.

I called Sony, they didn't care.

Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice... (4, Interesting)

DrWho520 (655973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430674)

Ken Kutaragi puts it best when he says, "We're growing up," and with any luck future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses.

Growing up implies some sort of learning from ones experiences. Is this not the exact same situation as the Sony Betamax debacle? How about my Minidisc NT that broke trying to load my MP3s onto it. When are they going to grow up?

For that matter, Sony is doing it again with the PSP. Please, buy all the products you have bought in the past on our new media format. The irony of Universal Media Disk should not escape anyone. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times, realize me for a massive, faceless electronics and media company who has had a drop in overall product quality and customer care.

Yes, I know the main goal in business is to make money and grow, but to do that, you must serve the customer as well. At least, that used to be true.

Why does anyone still use mp3? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430681)

It was a good format when it was new, but there aremuch better formats now. And most media players will play at least some of them. Now portable players are popular we're probably stuck with them, but why did we stick with themin the first place? It's not like we need all our media files to be the same format. Winamp plays more than just mp3.

Only Apple can get away with it. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430684)

Only apple can produce a DRM player with
a format nobody uses.

Damnit!

Nobody uses iPod (1)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430713)

"Only apple can produce a DRM player with a format nobody uses. Damnit!"

Yes, nobody uses iPods with AAC drm in them. No one at all, except for all of the iPod users. Both of them! Last thing I heard, Apple is about to go out of business, and profits are plunging because of the miserable failure of the iPod.

+5 Insightful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430739)

Go ahead, Apple Fanboys, mod this guy up.

Re:Nobody uses iPod (2, Funny)

browngb (823753) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430843)

Did Netcraft confirm it?

Ogg (2, Interesting)

Rekkr (771729) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430690)

I don't see why people haven't adopted the OGG format yet: it has better compression and it's open source. Or maybe it's open sourceness is the problem...

Re:Ogg (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430784)

I never adopted OGG simply because i couldnt get it to work under windows. You'd think it would be as easy as installing any other codec, but it certainly wasnt.

Dunno why, but I have yet to successfully play a .ogg or .ogm file on my pc, anymore when i run across them i just delete them & look for the .mp3 or .avi equivilant.

Thankfully, theyre not very common.

Re:Ogg (1)

GORby_ (101822) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430848)

try a player that supports ogg vorbis instead of the MS Media Player that only supports MP3 because that makes people not look at non-MS software for that purpose while MS is in the meanwhile introducing and pushing their own format (WMA).

Winamp plays ogg vorbis files just fine for quite some time...

Re:Ogg (2, Informative)

fodZ (645669) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430802)

I don't see why people haven't adopted the OGG format yet: it has better compression and it's open source

Mainly lack of support in players and software - also the increase in compression is good but not so huge as to be compelling. I know that you can find both players and software that handle it very easily if you know what you are doing - but that lets most people out.

I only heard of it/began using it myself when I got an iRiver player. Pretty impressed with it so far - great sound and somewhat smaller file sizes than mp3.

Re:Ogg (2, Informative)

malkavian (9512) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430819)

Actually, many people have.. Usually Game developers, who want to play sound streams, and not have to pay a license fee for the MP3 decoder.

Wrong date? (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430692)

Is it April 1st already?

Don't forget that Sony is a content company . . . (2, Interesting)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430704)

. . . and it was to be expected they'd behave as such (you know, "protecting their intellectual property"). What you're seeing is neat in that a company that owns gazillions in copyrighted material is finally acknowledging that mp3 is OK by building and shipping mp3-playing devices.

Will Sony start selling mp3s of their content over the web? Hell no . . . you will never see the content owners sell soft copies of their stuff without DRM . . . but this is at least a step in the right direction for those that want better portability of the content across devices and platforms.

Even their MP3 players need Windows (5, Informative)

grahamm (8844) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430705)

And even when they did bring out players (Net Walkman NW-E95/99) which supposedly play MP3 natively (rather than the download software converting to Atrac), they require Windows(tm) software to download the MP3s to the player. None of the adverts, neither the online retailers nor the product description on the Sony site, mention the need for Windows. Linux can mount the flash as a USB storage device and can download files, but no way will the player play them.

Ah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430717)

"with any luck future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses."

Like Ogg Vorbis?

Good thing (2, Interesting)

invisik (227250) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430723)

I think that's great they can admit a an error like that, especially in this corporate day and age. I'm a huge fan of Sony products and was realy undecided about going with Sony for a portable music player on this fact alone and hadn't purchased anything yet as a result. I think I'll hold off some more as they should have something coming out fairly soon (??) that will fit the bill...

Thanks again, Sony!

-m

Summary seems lacking... (1)

shish (588640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430725)

MP3 Error

with any luck future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses.

Going by the summary alone, I'd think that sony had supported MP3 and were now taking the intelligent route of dropping it (no other format was mentioned)... Curse you, editors; making me RTFM to find out what it was about >:(

We're the knights who say NIH! (3, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430726)

Does this make Sony products ATRACtive again?

Ba-doom-tcsh!

Re:We're the knights who say NIH! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430758)

Ba-Unreal Tournament-zsh!

May I be the first to say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430732)

NO SHIT SHERLOCK. I wasted $300 on a MiniDisc player, and then found out it was crippled to a greater extent than a tape player! It's sitting in a closet right now because it can't even record my own songs faster 1x speed, and there is NO way to transfer onto it aside from a Phono minijack.

May have seemed cool at the time, but that was before I knew about things like Rockbox and the iRiver...

Crippled with formats... (5, Insightful)

DWIM (547700) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430735)

...with any luck future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses.

Devices are only crippled when they don't include formats that everybody wants. They can include all the formats in the world as long as they include the ubiquitous ones too. If they don't, then they are indeed crippled.

Re:Crippled with formats... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430791)

Since when does pointing out someone's inadequate usage of the english language constitute insightfulness?

First step (3, Interesting)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430736)

But there still is a long way... Ditch proprietary formats also on the hardware side. Bring back the good support you once had (European support is awful) Dont build machines which break down 2 days after the warranty expires and then charge huge sums for repair. And stop being assholes generally...

this is great (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430748)

EAT OUT MY HAIRY ASS HOLE

Mp3 support now, gapless mp3 support tomorrow? (1)

SenorCitizen (750632) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430785)

Good start. Now they should implement mp3 gapless playback as in the Rio Karma. They're working on it, according to rumours. Sadly, at least the new flash player doesn't do gapless mp3.

Great! (1)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430795)

Great! Now maybe they'll change their mind on DRM in general, and be the first company with a practical technology for ebooks that isn't a) a piece of shit, b) locked in with DRM, and c) proprietary formats.

So, how about it, Sony? Will you release a new version of the Libre, sans DRM?

Please tell the DRM pushers (1)

Alain Williams (2972) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430806)

Sony, Philips, Samsung, Matsushita/Panasonic and Intertrust are pushing for DRM [theregister.co.uk] , perhaps if they listen to Sony they will realise that people will not buy their crippled products.

The music industry must die and be reborn (5, Informative)

Deep Fried Geekboy (807607) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430807)

Here's the honest truth. The music industry deserves to die, so that it can be reborn. The fight over DRM is simply the spasms of an organisation committing darwinistic suicide. Eventually they will have all their music fully DRM'd, and nobody will buy any of it. And on that day we should all crack open a bottle of champagne. Here's why:

Before you read on, read this article by Steve Albini [negativland.com] (one of the best known producers in the world) about the reality of the economics of the music industry. If anything it understates the degree to which the music industry is broken.

I'm a musician as are many of my friends. Musicians, or the vast majority of them anyway, do not make music to make money but to make music. Historically of course, it was ever thus. Before the means of recording music, there WAS no recording industry. The vast majority of great music in history was written without the RIAA's help and without the 'protection' of copyright. It didn't seem to bother Beethoven.

The small minority of professional musicians mostly make their money from live performances (cruise ships, bars etc). A small minority of the small minority of professional musicians make money from recording, but a large part of this is non-consumer oriented such as film soundtracks, game scores, stings, jingles, ads and so on.

The current inflection of the recorded music industry benefits only the major corporations and a few bands who have enough leverage to make deals that actually result in money. The vast majority of bands who record make little or no money.

If we were drowning in a sea of great music produced by the members of the RIAA I would be the first to defend them, but we aren't. We're drowning in garbage, and thousands of good bands languish unsigned and unproduced. You only have to watch American Idol to see how the process works.

Fortunately now the innards of a pro recording studio can reside on your home PC or Mac, and raison d'etre of the major studios no longer exists. Musicians can go back to doing what they have always done -- making music. Once the recording industry finally dies, those who make great music will earn lots of money from live performances and direct-pay-downloads spread by viral word-of-mouth.

If you think I'm wrong, consider this: poetry. Pretty much nobody makes any money out of poetry. But it still gets written. The same is true of music. The sooner the industry dies, the better.

Re:The music industry must die and be reborn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430844)

Amen, Brother. Amen. I have always found that independent bands could care less if you downloaded thier music.

www.epitonic.com

And this just in... (1)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430814)

The Bush administration admits there were no WMDs and that W only wanted war because he's a religious fanatic.

Microsoft admits that Win9x was NOT a real 32-bit OS.

And IBM finally admits that OS/2 Warp never actually helped even one nun surf the net!

so what? (2, Insightful)

fermion (181285) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430831)

with any luck future devices won't be crippled with silly formats no one uses.

What do I care what sony makes, as long as someone else makes something I want. Sony or whoever can make all the silly useless gadgets they want, as long as Apple and Creative are making player that understand the MP3 format. It is not like the OGG problem, in which few players work with it, and few major market vendors are taking it seriously.

Sony needs to be honest. They took a risk based on greed and fear. The risk turned out not to work. It was not a mistake. It was a calculated risk in an effort to protect thier content based a belief that they should be paid at least for every piece of Sony IP, if not for each access to they Sony IP.

Again, I don't care. As long as there is reasonable choice, it matters not what an individual company does. It won't stop future attempts to destroy choice for consumers. Nothing ever does. And with these huge companies, such decisions, unfortunately, will not lead to bankruptcy.

Poor track record on proprietary stuff (2, Insightful)

cyclocommuter (762131) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430832)

MiniDisk, El Cassette, ATRAC, Betamax, Memory Stick... not a good track record for Sony. Wonder if their support for BluRay will jinx the format...

Sony admitting a mistake!? (1)

e.Swede (844787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11430833)

---------------
Meanwhile in hell, Satan dons his mittens.

Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11430836)

Justifies my decision not to re-encode my entire collection of MP3's. I wonder if that is what drove Sony - Consumer pigheadedness...
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