Thursday, May 11, 2006
The mountain moves...
Sony Corp. on Tuesday announced... [that] the company will make its latest music management software compatible with the AAC data compression technology used by Apple. The change will enable users of some types of Walkman digital audio players to listen to music imported from Apple's music management software.
Sony long clung to its proprietary data compression technology, known as Atrac. It has since turned to an open-door policy, embracing such popular formats as MP3 and Microsoft Corp.'s WMA. Still, the electronics manufacturer's acceptance of Apple's AAC format, used for the immensely popular iPod digital music players, marks a particular about-face.
Sony said the coming version of its music management software Sonic Stage will be compatible with AAC. The company will provide the software, called Sonic Stage CP, free of charge through the Internet from May 25. The software is compatible with hard-disk types of Walkman A series products.
Sony's latest strategy is an open acknowledgement that it can no longer ignore iPod's dominance. In April, Apple controlled 52 percent of the nation's portable digital music player market, in terms of units sold, according to market researcher BCN Inc. Sony is a distant second with a 15 percent share, followed by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., with a 7 percent share.