6 years late: Sony plans to launch yet another ‘answer’ to Apple’s iTunes Store

MacMall 96 Hour Apple Sale“Sony is taking a page from Apple’s playbook. On Nov. 19, Sony said it plans to launch an online store selling music, movies, and books as well as other downloadable applications for mobile products. Sony’s top executives didn’t specify when the Internet store, tentatively called Sony Online Service, would go live or what it would look like. But the online storefront, announced at a management strategy meeting in Tokyo, is likely to bear some similarities to Apple’s iTunes store and would be Sony’s most ambitious attempt to link its products to its own vast library of digital content,” Kenji Hall reports for BusinessWeek.

MacDailyNews Take: As we stated in the headline, this is not Sony’s first attempt at an iTunes Store knockoff. Howard Stringer gets more free passes and unwarranted do-overs than you-know-who. Stringer is a failure and should be fired. Sony has become a joke.

Hall reports, “Coming up with a software strategy for Sony has been Chairman and CEO Howard Stringer’s mission since taking over in mid-2006… The global recession has pummeled Sony’s businesses and left its earnings in a shambles. With consumers cutting back on electronics, Sony says it’s heading for its second straight loss. This fiscal year through March 2010, Sony predicts an operating loss of $674 million, from last year’s $2.6 billion loss. Sales are expected to slide 6%.”

MacDailyNews Take: Did we mention that Howard Stringer is a failure and should be fired?

Hall reports, “Three years ago, Stringer hired Tim Schaaff, a top lieutenant of Apple CEO Steve Jobs, to lead Sony’s software development efforts.”

MacDailyNews Take: Stringer’s “progress” is measured not by mere clocks or calendars, but on geologic terms: The Alps will become plains before Howie turns around Sony.

Hall reports, “Sony will try to differentiate its service from iTunes. One example: Users will be able to upload videos shot on camcorders, save photos taken with digital cameras, and post other digital content to their personal online accounts.”

MacDailyNews Take: Bzzzt. Wrong answer. Thanks for playing. Enjoy your parting gifts.

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

Full article here.


  1. Sony is a great example of how you screw up a brand so badly it almost becomes a laughing stock. Furthermore, they are an example of what can happen to Apple if it ever loses focus on it core principles. It is so sad to see what has happened to Sony and it seems like it has no possibility to ever properly recover.

  2. Last week while home sick I found the PSP the kids have ignored over an iTouch. I charged it up and played around with the various choices.
    Has a system update, turned on wifi and connected to the Internet, downloaded some game demos, tested Remote Play and just generally messed with anything I could.

    What did I learn?

    How bad their human interface is on that product every step of the way. Sony does not make it easy to find out any info on anything they make. It’s all glossed over with vague terms.

    What was fixed or new in the latest software update? Never could find out. Just had to blindly update and hope for the best.
    What capabilities does Remote Play have? Not easy to find, just a short PR blurb about it. Every one of our PS3 games will not run. Well gee that makes it rather useless. Think Sony could have a decent Web page dedicated to explaining all this.

    Want to read a manual online? Oh that is painful, just makes you want to throw it against the wall sometimes.

    Then the best, downloading a demo? Picked a few free demos to download and it throws some very long cryptic number error code onscreen. Can’t do it. I grab the laptop and googled the error code and found sites and hundreds of users bitching about this same thing.
    I then notice the dates on some of these posts. Last year for some of them and every month of this year. Right up to November. People still having problems downloading to the PSP.

    No answer from Sony. I then lucked out on a long post of many users and one guy stumbled upon a backwards way of getting it to work. I tried it and it worked. But it was a stupid way to work and Sony I don’t think would endorse it either.

    What am I getting at?

    You may not realize how great Apple is at making gadgets work well, easy to figure out and well documented if you need to info on them.

  3. Last week I was in a Sony store looking at HDTVs. the clueless salesman didn’t even know how to change the disc in the blu-ray player when I asked to see some action moves on the screen I was looking at. He didn’t know that the remote for the blu-ray was wireless. This would never happen at an Apple store. Pitiful!

  4. Think; You’re absolutely right, Apple’s UI is light years ahead. We just don’t appreciate it fully until we’re trying to use some crappy Panasonic/Samsung/Fujitsu interface that look like it was designed by high schoolers.

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