It was a cold day in Hell when Sony finally agreed to support MP3 at the end of 2004. That may have come about five years too late but the company has learnt its lesson since it has now embraced AAC and this time only about three years too late.
Sony being Sony there is a catch too. The company recently proclaimed it is ready to once again pull hard on Apple’s hair in hope of grabbing back some market share, so professing a love for AAC seems a sensible way to go, right? Wrong.
The AAC support which Sony will be building into the new release of SonicStage will not be compatible with Apple’s FairPlay DRM which means millions of law abiding iTunes customers will have to scrap their legally purchased tracks if they are going to cross over to the Walkman side. Great sales pitch that: “We know you use our biggest competitor, but if you ditch your entire iTunes purchased music collection you can join us!”
I have to say, I have no idea what is going on with Sony right now. Its decision to keep ploughing the MemoryStick route makes more enemies than friends, its Connect Store only works with Internet Explorer (see above), scrapping the AIBO went against every motto the company proclaims and while its television, desktop and notebook lines remain strong they’re not the pacesetters they once were. Heck, even the fabled PlayStation 3 recently received a lukewarm public reaction and an underwhelmed response from our roving editor at E3.
Come on Sony, get a grip.