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
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
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
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.
quote: ATRAC tracks that do have DRM can be archived to CD and then converted to MP3 format for use on other portable devices.