“Sony Corp. on Tuesday announced a symbolic concession to Apple Computer Corp. on digital audio technology. The company will make its latest music management software compatible with the AAC data compression technology used by Apple. The change will enable users of some types of Walkman digital audio players to listen to music imported from Apple’s music management software… The electronics manufacturer’s acceptance of Apple’s AAC format, used for the immensely popular iPod digital music players, marks a particular about-face. Sony said the coming version of its music management software Sonic Stage will be compatible with AAC,” The Asahi Shimbun reports.
“Sony’s latest strategy is taken as an open acknowledgement that it can no longer ignore iPod’s dominant lead. In April, Apple controlled 52 percent of [Japan’s] portable digital music player market, in terms of units sold, according to market researcher BCN Inc.,” The Asahi Shimbun reports. “Sony is a distant second with a 15 percent share, followed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., with a 7 percent share.”
Full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: And that, as they say, is that. There’s one very big standard that’s not at all controlled by the dying behemoth. Betcha chairs are whizzing in Redmond’s corner office with this news.
MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iTunes (Mac and Windows) rips CDs by default into AAC. Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) is at the core of the MPEG-4, 3GPP and 3GPP2 specifications. AAC was developed by the MPEG group that includes Dolby, Fraunhofer (FhG), AT&T, Sony and Nokia—companies that have also been involved in the development of audio codecs such as MP3 and AC3 (also known as Dolby Digital). All of the music sold in the iTunes Music Store uses Protected MPEG-4 Audio (AAC, .m4p) with FairPlay Digital Rights Management (DRM) for playback on the desktop or iPod or Motorola mobile phones with iTunes. Sony sounds like they will be adding support for unprotected MPEG-4 Audio (AAC, .m4a), not iTunes Music Store’s Protected MPEG-4 format (Apple would have to license FairPlay to Sony). More info about AAC here.
[UPDATED, 11:10pm EDT: Added info regarding protected vs. unprotected AAC to MacDailyNews Note.]
• Get the new iMac with Intel Core Duo for as low as $31 A MONTH with Free shipping!
• Get the MacBook Pro with Intel Core Duo for as low as $47 A MONTH with Free Shipping!
• Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
• Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
• iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
• Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.
• iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
Music lovers make Apple’s iTunes Music Store AAC format the de facto standard for online music – August 28, 2005
Sony Ericsson plans Walkman phone with AAC support – February 15, 2005
The de facto standard for legal digital online music files: Apple’s protected MPEG-4 Audio (.m4p) – December 15, 2004
Digital music format shakeout continues; AAC strengthens claim as standard – January 13, 2004
AAC ‘is simply a better approach to digital sound encoding’ than MP3 – July 01, 2003
Apple’s iTunes Music Store threatens Microsoft; AAC vs. WMA – April 30, 2003