Sony dumps ATRAC as they disconnect Connect

“Acknowledging its proprietary audio technology was a marketplace flop, Sony Corp. is shuttering its Connect digital music store and will open its portable media players to other formats,” Matt Moore reports for The Associated Press.

“Sony said it would phase out operations of its struggling Connect online store, which sold songs in the company’s proprietary ATRAC format,” Moore reports.

“Sony spokeswman Linda Barger said the new Walkman players will no longer directly support ATRAC,” Moore reports.

“Sony Connect launched in 2004, but like other online music services, it has had a tough time competing against Apple Inc.’s iTunes Store, which is tied to the market-leading iPod portable player,” Moore reports.

MacDailyNews Note: In no way is Apple’s iTunes Store “tied” to Apple’s iPod. Apple’s iTunes Store can be used without using Apple’s iPod and vice versa. We won’t argue that they do “complement” and “enhance” each other at times, but they are certainly not “tied.” (Related: Enjoying Apple’s iTunes and iTunes Music Store without owning an iPod – May 11, 2005)

Moore continues, “Sony said that… new Walkman video players will ship with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media Player 11 to manage digital libraries [and the players will be able to] play the Windows Media Audio, MP3 and AAC audio formats.”

Full article here.

It must not cost very much to develop antiquated* music players that nobody wants, because Sony just keeps right on releasing new ones. Is anybody running that company?

We know the things are relatively small, but give the landfills a break, guys!

*And soon-to-be-even-more-antiquated as of next Wednesday.

(Note: We already did the “blood” thing for Sony’s Connect back in June. Please see related articles below.)


  1. I have a real problem with this one:

    “…proprietary audio technology was a marketplace flop…”

    Nothing could be further from the truth. Proprietary formats are the wave of the future. Open formats are going down like a Republican Senator in a men’s public restroom. Consumers are clamoring for proprietary formats like Microsoft’s super-fantastic WMA and the reason is simple: that way one marvelous company can keep a tight lid on the development and integration of a superior audio format with awesome portable digital music players like the Dell Ditty. At least Sony had the brilliant foresight to keep WMA around.

    The problem with Crapple’s system is that it’s a total mess. It’s all so confusing with MP3 and AAC, then you throw in iTunes and it’s anarchy. Who buys this stuff?

    ATRAC, you might gone but not forgotten. RIP dear friend. MP3 and AAC would join you soon—if they weren’t going to Hell.

    Your potential. Our passion.™

  2. On the bright side it’s supporting AAC – Does that mean I’m gonna go get one – No, it’s running Windows, and as long as I don’t have to run Windows I absofreakinlutely won’t.

    Windows – If it wasn’t such a plague it’d be a downright joke.

  3. Zune is sort of a “reverse troll” in that his praise of all things Microsoft is so over the top stupid that he hopes to make his point in this satirical fashion. It might work…except that satire is normally meant to be humorous and the best of it is actually well written and designed to skewer the subject with precision. Zune Tang’s posts actually do neither. They were never terribly funny… nor were they based on anything remotely resembling the truth.
    No point in responding to him further.

  4. Moore continues, “Sony said that… new Walkman video players will ship with Microsoft Corp.’s Windows Media Player 11 to manage digital libraries [and the players will be able to] play the Windows Media Audio, MP3 and AAC audio formats.”

    So, they replace their own crap with Microsoft’s crap. Genius!

  5. I wish Sony would get their act together. They make good products, but this constant attempt to control formats always hurts them. Just go with standards and focus on designing good quality, well designed gadgets. We don’t need another Microsoft. One is one too many.

  6. Sony “trying to own it all” even goes as far as shipping their $500 Playstation 3’s in visibly marked trucks rolling down the rather unprotected highways of America.

    Although obviously equipped with the latest anti-hijack electronics, it would be a bit more prudent to use unmarked random carriers with knowledge of transporting highly valuable cargo.

    Now the problem comes of course with Apple.

    Do they support HD-DVD with Microsoft and leave the option open for selling more hardware, or do they embrace Sony and their superior storage capacity BlueRay HD DVD?

    All I can say is Sony better be very agressive in keeping it’s present lead or else M$ is going to buy out the studios.

    Notify Apple via their feedback page that you need Matte screen options in all Mac’s.

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