Legal music services sell songs in a variety of formats. “In the age of instantaneous Internet downloads, music fans have more to consider than just the name of the artist when they buy a recording,” Lucas van Grinsven and Bernhard Warner report for Reuters. “They must also familiarize themselves with a new lingo of geek-speak – an alphabet soup of compression technologies, codecs and DRM – if they want to play a song at all.”
“The latest to enter the fray is Sony. On Monday, the Japanese consumer electronics giant prepared to launch its Connect online music store in France, Germany and Britain. Using a proprietary technology called ATRAC, Sony has begun selling song downloads that play only in Sony-branded devices, such as its Walkman,” van Grinsven and Warner report. “Sony says that with ATRAC a consumer can store more songs on a personal computer or digital music player while retaining the best sound quality. It is also easy on energy consumption, allowing hours more playing time on a single charge than rivals’ technology, Sony says.”
“Apple made similar remarks when it launched iTunes Music Store last year, saying it would use AAC compression format and Apple’s FairPlay software to protect songs against piracy. The songs can only be played in its iPods,” van Grinsven and Warner report. “Microsoft MSN Music Club sells songs encoded in Windows Media Audio, which is available in a wide selection of players. It too claims its compression codec is the best.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: In at least one independent listening test, iTunes AAC beat both WMA and ATRAC3 pretty handily. More here.