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back to article Sony to unplug Connect digital music service

Sony will next year kill off its Connect digital music download service, Register Hardware has learned. Its Walkman products will instead use Windows Media technology, the consumer electronics giant told its customers today. Sony's decision is a tacit admission that the company has failed to match the success enjoyed by Apple …


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  1. James Whale


    ... if they could just make it three in a row and stop forcing people to use their crappy, clunky and downright unfriendly SonicStage software to upload their MP3s, everyone would be happy.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony Zune

    ""the decision to embrace a more open platform will enable us to provide [users] with a better music enjoyment experience". Customers will be pointed to the "very wide range of third-party services" operating today."

    So middle ground, open but not quite open, common but not quite common. Yeh that's a big market, not the best, not the most open, but somewhere in the middle.

    That way, you don't sell to the people who want their music in an open format, and you don't sell to the people who want their music in the best quality format, you only sell to the people who want it in a fairly open, not quite so good quality format. The sort of people who paint their walls grey, because colors frighten them.

    Should go down well in Albania.

    BTW, how did Walmart do with their WMA music store?

    And MTV's Urge, did that do well?

    Is Zune doing well?

    And all the rest?

    Perhaps someone in Sony should decide to do MP3 VBR which plays on everything and sell to the whole music market.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DRM downloads are history

    The really annoying thing about this announcement is that any tunes purchased from Connect (i.e. with DRM) are orphaned. Sony won't be providing any conversion utility (they do for regular Atrac -> mp3) and your only recourse is to burn a CD and then re-encode.

    DRM sucks


  4. David Evans

    I know it was crap, but...

    ...isn't this a retrograde step? Especially given Sony's online and "multimedia" ambitions with PS3 and PSP. Or is there going to be a separate music service for those?

  5. The Douros

    About bloody time!

    Yes, ATRAC is (usually) better quality than MP3, but the way they implemented the whole thing has been abysmal throughout...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It makes you wonder how stupid these corporations can be.

    When they should be competing and adding value to their service to gain market share they instead cut, restrict and withdraw.

    The people who run Sony must be very ignorant and stupid. If they made ATRAC open source and released it on Linux it would become wildly successful. In due course CONNECT would benefit from this. Hell, I expect the BBC would use ATRAC if it went open.

    Mind you, the idiots (are they all chavs?) buying lossy lo-fi downloads and paying more than CD are possibly even more stupid than Sony.

    So, if you are listening and have more than 1 brain cell, Sony - open up ATRAC and make available your CONNECT library in lossless ATRAC format. Otherwise, go to hell!

  7. heystoopid


    So , to be fair for all those Sony Fan Boys with a big library of ATRAC format files , a responsible organization would do the following.

    A/ a permanent unlock key to enable a lossy to lossy conversion , or enable a replacement CD or equivalent mp3 file on a one for one basis for those purchased tracks.

    B/ as it is now a lame duck format , for future generations make the source code open source.

    Be that as it may it is unlikely that SONY will do either , and merely says thanks for your money , now the door is permanently closed !

  8. Adrian Esdaile

    What about Minidiscs?

    Oh, FFS!

    Now how am I going to get stuff on / off my Minidisc player?

    Sony are bloody amazing: they invent one of the best-sounding digital players ever (Minidisc), one of the best compression systems (ATRAC), THE best battery life hands-down (1xNiMH AA cell gives me 40 HOURS of play time. It's replaceable too. Hello? Apple? My iPod battery has died after 1 year...) and they cripple the gorgeous little things with DRM - for a long time only the pricey jounro-aimed MDs would allow full digital rips off the disc. I'm still going to need Connect to get the MD to, well, connect to my PC.


  9. George Forth

    About time!

    I remember when I got my 20Gb NWA-3000 for Christmas 2005 - super hardware, abysmal software. And the way Sony tried to bareface it out for this long is simply insulting. I actually recently sold my Walkman because I just couldn't put up with SonicStage's frankly appalling UI and lack of any sort of user-friendly functionality.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    ATRAC no more???

    This is yet more bad news from Sony. I have one of the gorgeous A805 Walkman and the sound quality is just great. Everyone complains about SonicStage but to be honest I've never had any issues with it. Atrac just sounds so much better than i went to one of the 'third party' music providers and downloaded a few Mp3 tracks which I then imported into SonicStage. Transferred them to my player and they dont sound a patch on the same Atrac files I downloaded from Connect. I cant understand how Sony can just decide to dump Atrac after all these years of development! WMA is just TERRIBLE! :(

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