"Two and a half years after Apple launched its iPod and began to steal thunder from Sony, which had ruled the portable music market since the Walkman appeared in the 1980s, the company unveiled the first hard-disk drive based music player to bear its name on Monday," Martyn Williams reports for Digit Magazine. "The Vaio Pocket VGF-AP1 has a 20GB hard disk drive and a 2.2-inch colour LCD screen with 320-x-256 pixel resolution. In addition to acting as the main user interface, the screen displays track information when songs are being played and displays, if available, album art."
"On the right-hand side of the display is a touch-sensitive panel dubbed ‘G-sense’ that is used to control the player. Users can navigate a series of on-screen menus by running their fingers over the panel in the appropriate direction," Williams reports. "The player is compatible with Sony’s ATRAC3 and ATRAC3 plus digital music formats, both of which include digital rights management (DRM)."
Williams reports, "By using Sony’s Sonic Stage or Music Move software, both of which are bundled with the player, tracks in MP3, Windows Media Audio or WAV audio file formats can be converted into ATRAC and uploaded to the player. The software is compatible with Windows 98SE, 2000, ME, XP Home and XP Professional operating systems."
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: The “G-Sense” is obvously a response to the fact that Apple is pursuing a patent on the iPod scroll-wheel. Sony can’t use the best solution, the scroll wheel, so this is what they’ve decided to try. Apple decision to patent the iPod scroll wheel is playing out in their favor. In the end, Apple could end up with a patent that would be nearly as significant as holding a patent for the computer mouse as input device. The Sony player goes on sale in Japan on June 5th and will retail for 53,000 yen (US$479). Too much for too little.
Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple iTunes Music Store vs. Sony Connect is no contest, Apple wins with ease – May 09, 2004
NY Times pans Sony Connect debut: ‘maybe they ought to call it Sony Disconnect’ – May 05, 2004