Print 33 comment(s) - last by MetaSyntacticV.. on Feb 20 at 6:28 AM

You'll get it when it's done

Sony officials have confirmed that the Playstation 3 will indeed make it out before the end of the year, but that's all the company will say. There's no word on the launch date, no word on pricing and no word on if they've decided to get rid of the boomerang controller.

At the 2006 Taipei Game Show, Sony was only able to muster up three mock-up PS3 consoles -- maybe Josh Robinson was on to something...

The PS3 will lag the Xbox 360 more in market share if Sony delays launch of the PS3 to the end of 2006, the sources said, noting that Microsoft predicted global shipments of its Xbox 360 will reach 4.5-5.5 million units by the end of June.

Read more here.

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RE: Not excited by the PS3
By MetaSyntacticVariable on 2/17/2006 1:42:07 PM , Rating: 2
1) ATRAC is not an alternative to MP3, it is a compression method used in MiniDisc players to eliminate the portions of the audio spectrum which the human ear cannot discern.

very bad description but that is precisely why it *is* a competitor to mp3 / AAC / ogg vorbis...

ATRAC is a audio compression (a) is used by sony on (almost) all their digital audio products from MD onwards.
mp3 is a codec which allows a combination of 1) perceptual (i.e. lossy) compression in certain limited ways and 2) lossless compression.
1) In effect defines a spec for players to playback which in turn defines how a compression engine might throw things away to reduce size.

ATRAC version X (for some X) basically does a different type of 1) and 2) (though with similar methodology).

ATRAC does have some nice design features (for all it's myriad annoyances).
Notably the 'container' it defines can have gapless breaks between tracks. Believe me once you encode the genius of "As Heard on Radio Soulwax" onto an ipod/itunes in AAC when you previously had it on minidisc you will notice the difference.

ATRAC is really now an umbrella term (sincle later versions of the codec branded as ATRAC bear little resemblance to the originals(b))

(a) technically you could consider this to also define the container - though it is only a container for one thing. same goes for mp3

(b) funny story - when designing the ATRAC mode used for MDLP modes in the 'second' wave of minidisc devices they decided to deliberately 'waste' space so that the 'block' size of the MDLP would be identical to that of the originals.
This waste of space (about 10%+) was solely to allow existing minidisc players with no awareness of MDLP to accept the discs data as silence rather than barfing about illegal discs.

RE: Not excited by the PS3
By fhornmikey on 2/17/2006 1:52:21 PM , Rating: 2
Awesome, I just got eductated... thanks for that.

I had never heard of anyone bothering to use ATRAC outside of minidiscs but it is indeed supported on all Sony mobile music devices from the MD era forward.

RE: Not excited by the PS3
By Araemo on 2/17/2006 2:41:52 PM , Rating: 2
Well, my Sony Discman(I bought it because Sonys used to be rugged, well designed pieces of consumer electronics) was one of the first discmen to support mp3 cds. It also supported "Atrac3Plus!" discs instead of mp3 discs.. And many earlier Discman players supported atrac3 discs but not mp3 discs.. Sony really tried to make it a competitor to mp3.

The player came with software to transcode mp3s to atrac3s and burn them to CD.. but when I did that, half the tracks wouldn't play on the discman. So I went with mp3(Even though it supposedly gave worse battery life on that player, and made for slightly less songs per disc) and was happy with it until one errant fall onto a resin floor killed the discman.

RE: Not excited by the PS3
By Questar on 2/17/2006 1:56:29 PM , Rating: 2
To the best of my knowlege, MP3 doesn't not allow for lossless. It's lossy by definition.

By MetaSyntacticVariable on 2/20/2006 6:28:38 AM , Rating: 2
<sigh> I wrote a rather longer replay which the site problems swallowed grrr.

short answer. I should have been more descriptive on that part sorry.
mp3 does not allow a totally lossless encoding(a). it does however contain a compression method applied post lossy compression to reduce any lingering entropy via a relatively general purpose compression algorithm (in mp3's case huffman encoding).

I was just trying to make it clear that the X format for any x likely contains multiple schemes of compression in layers. not very well it would appear.

not sure if this holds true if bit rate becomes infinity but pretty sure not the case

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