Sony ditches ATRAC, Connect music store

Written by Phil Cogar

August 31, 2007 | 16:42

Tags: #walkman

Companies: #sony

Sony and failed proprietary formats seem to go hand and hand, do they not? Betamax and Minidisc are just a couple on the list but now you can add one more to it as well: ATRAC. After being pushed by users for its digital music players to support more than this format, Sony has decided to kill off the format completely in favor of WMA, MP3, and non-secure AAC.

Along with the music format, the delivery service must apparently go as well. Sony has made the decision to pull the plug on its Connect music store in March 2008. This close will be on a phased basis in North America and Europe but the exact timetable has yet to be disclosed. The e-book service will remain open.

However, as with most endings, there is a new beginning, and in this news article that's the announcement of the new Walkman players that will play video.

At IFA 2007 Sony unveiled two new Walkmans, the NWZ-A810 and the NWZ-S610, that will, as I said above, play video. MPEG-4, JPEG, WMA, MP3, AVC Baseline Profile, and non-secure AAC formats will be supported by these new models and video playback will be displayed at 30 frames per second.

The A810 will sport a 2-inch QVGA LCD screen while the S610 will sport a 1.8-inch QVGA LCD screen and an FM radio. Both models will come in 2GB, 4GB and 8GB flavours. Whether either of these be a strong enough contender to face the dominant iPod or even the increasingly popular Zune, only time will tell. Apple is expected to unveil new iterations of its iPod line in just a few days and spy shots of the second generation of Zunes have surfaced recently, so the competition is fierce.

Glad another Sony format has bitten the dust? Do you find the new Walkman sexy? Let us know in the comment section below or over in the forums.
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