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Sony CONNECT Store Closing Down  (Source: Image Via Sony)
Sony says they are closing the CONNECT Music Service by March 2008

Sony’s CONNECT music store was never used much outside of owners of Sony players that could use the proprietary ATRAC music format. With the stiff competition from other device manufactures and the steady stream of competitors few will be surprised by what Sony recent announcement.

Sony announced that it intends to close the CONNECT Music Service. Sony doesn’t give a specific date for the closing of the CONNECT service but it does say that the store will not be closed before March 2008.

Sony says that the store is closing because they are moving to the Windows Media platform in North America as evidenced by the release new Video Walkmans. Music that consumers have previously purchased from the CONNECT service will still be playable and isn’t at risk according to Sony, but they recommend you archive all music files to CD.

Sony goes on to say that after the store closes you will still be able to manage, play and transfer your previously purchased music in your SonicStage library and ATRAC devices. A software application will be offered allowing the conversion of any non-DRM music ripped into SonicStage into MP3 format. ATRAC tracks that do have DRM can be archived to CD and then converted to MP3 format for use on other portable devices.

Sony CONNECT users that still have credits on their accounts are urged to use them by March 2008 so they don’t go to waste. Sony also states that at some point they will stop adding new music to the CONNECT store, but that time has not yet been determined.

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By bhieb on 8/31/2007 11:45:28 AM , Rating: 1
What turns out no one wants a proprietary format forced on them anymore no matter how good you think it is.

*coughs* blue-ray *coughs*

RE: Yeah
By mars777 on 8/31/2007 12:27:44 PM , Rating: 1
As much as i agree on your stance on proprietary formats, lets look at one glitch in what you said:

Blueray Board of directors num. of members: 18.
Blueray contributors num. of members: 67.
Blueray general members num. of members: 105.

HDDVD Board of directors num. of members: 4.
HDDVD contributors num. of members: 70.
HDDVD general members num. of members: 61.

From this none of them is proprietary, and HDDVD is more proprietary with only 4 companies on the chair.

RE: Yeah
By mcnabney on 8/31/2007 4:08:28 PM , Rating: 3
HD-DVD was developed by the DVD consortium and would have been the automatic next-gen player. Sony was developing a slightly different format (BluRay) which is arguably better, but didn't submit it to the DVD group. Instead, Sony cherry picked a few key companies and developed BluRay on their own. It is a great format that offers greater storage room and a lot of companies abandoned the DVD group. That is how we got another format war. They didn't want to share or lose control. That is their choice. Sony has had a lot of great products, but the control issue has led to the demise of many of them. ATRAC and UDM are only the most recent.

Also, I didn't know the was a BluRay vs HD-DVD thread?

RE: Yeah
By afkrotch on 9/1/2007 8:02:39 PM , Rating: 2
HD-DVD was not developed by the DVD Forum. It was simply chosen as the next format. Both AOD and Blu-ray were created at the same time, give or take a few months between the two. Either way, both were developed almost 2 years before being chosen by the DVD Forum. AOD was renamed to HD-DVD after being selected as the successor. Those who didn't want to follow the DVD Forum with HD-DVD, decided to create a Blu-ray board and advertise it.

Also, no company abandoned the DVD Forum. Doing so would mean, they'd be dumping not only HD-DVD, but DVD also.

RE: Yeah
By thartist on 8/31/2007 5:11:51 PM , Rating: 2
Which only means that in Sony's Blueray "Board of directors" there are x4.5 the amount of people who think the same way. Duh

RE: Yeah
By Christopher1 on 9/2/2007 6:34:27 AM , Rating: 3
Uh...... HD-DVD and DVD are just as proprietary a format as ATRAC is.

Frankly, the media companies should have all been forced to get together and either choose HD-DVD or Blu-Ray. One or the other, not both, whichever was better, had the least restrictions on what a genuine owner of a disk could do, etc.

Of course, HD-DVD would have won in an instant over that.

WHY only 4 to 8 Gigs
By WIUPW8G on 8/31/2007 2:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yay for Sony, but what is up with the 4 to 8 Gig revolution.

For couple of years now portable media players that have 30 Gigs of memory or more have been available for purchase. This makes me wonder why almost every new player that hits that market recently boasts a maximum memory of 8 Gigs as if that were the best thing since sliced bread.

Sorry Sony, Apple, Samsung, and the rest I'm just not going to rush out and buy a portable for 3 times the cost and less than 1/3 the memory. (My apologies in advance to the less expensive 4 to 8 Gig players)

RE: WHY only 4 to 8 Gigs
By TomZ on 8/31/2007 2:20:43 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're failing to differentiate between devices that are based on hard drives versus flash memory. Flash-based devices are smaller, have longer battery life, and are more shock resistant than their HDD counterparts. HDD-based devices of course offer the larger capacities, e.g., the 30GB figure you stated, compared to flash-based devices which are typically 4-8GB at the most.

Bottom line, each type has its pros and cons. This is obviously a flash-based device.

RE: WHY only 4 to 8 Gigs
By Christopher1 on 9/2/2007 6:36:28 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, that's why Sony media players are less capacity, but get better battery life. They are flash-based instead of hard drive based.

RE: WHY only 4 to 8 Gigs
By TomZ on 9/2/2007 12:48:53 PM , Rating: 2
Just to be clear, nearly all PMP manufacturers have models that are flash based, and these types of players have been around for a long time (5-10 years).

Three Cheers for Sony
By TomZ on 8/31/2007 10:48:02 AM , Rating: 4
In one fell swoop, Sony killed off three things I dislike about their players: SonicStage, Connect, and ATRAC. Great move, Sony!

RE: Three Cheers for Sony
By BladeVenom on 8/31/2007 12:05:16 PM , Rating: 1
In the immortal words of Nelson Muntz, "HA HA!"

Transcoding lossy formats is BAD
By TomCorelis on 8/31/2007 12:49:26 PM , Rating: 2
ATRAC tracks that do have DRM can be archived to CD and then converted to MP3 format for use on other portable devices.
What? You have got to be kidding me! Yes, let's convert a lossy compression format into the same audio signal, except its in lossless PCM. Then, let's recompress that signal back into yet another (older) lossy compression format! In the process, you'll heavily degrade the quality of the audio signal (not like most consumers care anyway... look at iTunes) and walk away with a product even more sub-par than what Sony originally offered. Boooo! Hiss!

RE: Transcoding lossy formats is BAD
By TomZ on 8/31/2007 1:10:25 PM , Rating: 2
That type of transcoding always reminds me of when I was a kid. I would play a record through the speakers of a stereo, and then put the microphone for a tape recorder in front of the speaker. Great sound quality, not!

By johnsonx on 8/31/2007 3:26:44 PM , Rating: 1
damn, you might be even older than me... I still remember doing exactly that about 30 years ago using an old reel to reel deck. I think I recorded some Blondie song or something.

Thinking about that now, I feel kinda bad. The tape I recorded on was a vocal letter from my Grandfather to my Mom. I had permission to record over it, but now that my Grandfather is gone and I have kids, it strikes me that it would be nice to let my kids hear the voice of the Great-Grandfather they never met. Oh well, being kids they probably wouldn't care... they'd probably want to record over it, and then feel bad about it in 30 years!

Release something to strip the ATRAC DRM
By Christopher1 on 9/2/2007 6:39:58 AM , Rating: 2
Sony should release a tool to strip the DRM off of these files if they are not going to support ATRAC anymore.
Someone should immediately contact them about this, and threaten to sue them over this.

Not acceptable, is the solution that they try to give you. Lossy to loss-less then back to lossy? The sound quality is going to SUCK EGGS, and I mean bad ones!

By TomZ on 9/2/2007 12:47:20 PM , Rating: 2
It would be nice of Sony, but on the other hand, customers who bought Sony's DRM-protected content knew what they were getting into when they made the purchase. Therefore, I don't think Sony has any obligation to do anything for ATRAC customers.

The same situation exists with Apple/iTunes/AAC-DRM, naturally. People spending money on DRM music know what they're buying into, and consumers who don't like the idea are still purchasing CDs or other non-DRM format media.

GREAT Headline...
By Quiksel on 8/31/2007 11:19:44 AM , Rating: 3
"Disconnects CONNECT?" LOL, I love the wordplay! :)

By TomCorelis on 8/31/2007 12:46:08 PM , Rating: 2
Good... CONNECT sucked. Hard.

It was THE ONLY music player that crashed my system so hard it required a reformat+reinstall when I tried to uninstall it. Curse you, Sony.

By Conman530 on 8/31/2007 8:04:02 PM , Rating: 2
Is it just me, Or do every time you hear of ATRAC do you always thik of Eight-Track... XD LOL

By tjr508 on 9/1/2007 1:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
Sony also disconnected support for my two year old DVD burner when 300 people on the interweb had the same problem as me.

Spent all night bypassing the firmware security to make a utility think it was a lite-on so I could install a patch from a company that cares about its customers.

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller
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