Why you should think twice before buying Sony’s iPod Killer



Well Sony has done a bang up job making a very stylish MP3 player.. Whoops hold the phone it isn’t a MP3 player turns out the supposed iPod killer named “Pocket” will only play songs encoded in the company’s own ATRAC 3 format.

WHAT! You have got to be kidding me. When will these idiots get a clue. It is obvious that Sony is trying to toe the line and not give to much credence to what consumers want in a attempt to protect it vast music holdings. [The Register]

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Todd Cochrane is the Founder of Geek News Central and host of the Geek News Central Podcast. He is a Podcast Hall of Fame Inductee and was one of the very first podcasters in 2004. He wrote the first book on podcasting, and did many of the early Podcast Advertising deals in the podcasting space. He does two other podcasts in addition to Geek News Central. The New Media Show and Podcast Legends.


9 thoughts on “Why you should think twice before buying Sony’s iPod Killer

  1. Well, the iPod just is too pricy. I’ve had my Sony Atrac 3 and Atrac 3 plus cd player for a while now, and it works great. I can fit all my cd’s and all the p2p music I can get to with it onto one disk. The Simple Stage burner does take quite a while to burn a disk, but I really don’t care, since I can leave the thing going all night. There aren’t problems with quality, but songs have been cut short by the converter.

  2. I hate the sny iPod killer! Go IPODS! iPods are much better quality than anything sony will ever make and I would never think of buying any MP3 player other than the Apple iPod.

  3. i’ve had a Sony NET MD for over 8 months, aside from the low storage of the MiniDisc itself (around 150 MBs) the NetMD is great. SonicStage turns all of my MP3s into ATRAC3plus prior to recording them on the MiniDisc. Music Sound is never ever compromised and the resulting ATRAC3plus file is 1/3 the size of the original MP3 which is left alone on my hard drive after conversion. Every so often, SonicStage refuses to convert one of my MP3s to the NetMD claiming it can’t find “digital right permission” to copy the file, no prob, i just download another MP3 from the P2P and bingo! Also, because Atrac3 is a small file, more songs can be fit in storage than if left as MP3s!

  4. Not to mention, having to convert the song to ATRAC every time you sync the player slows down the transfer. On my 20 GB iPod, songs will transfer in 2-3 seconds each. How long does it take to transfer a song to a Sony player because of the on-the-fly conversion?

  5. Digi brings up an excellent point. Converting from a lossy codec (MP3) to another lossy codec (ATRAC) always results in a loss of quality. I don’t know the particular formats well enough, but if ATRAC is more of a wrapper that you can simply drop the MP3 into, maybe there would be no loss of quality, but I don’t know if it’s possible that way. But if it gets re-encoded, some loss is guaranteed.

  6. Ok, I’ve got a couple of points to make. First, how would the ATRAC-3 be “superior” to Mp3 if you are converting your MP3’s to this new format? Wouldn’t it be as good as your encoded Mp3 if not worse? How would you get “Superior” quality? Second, I think this would be a negative point NOT positive that there is converting going on. Do you need to install this software on your computer? Does it support multiple platforms like ipod(t)? Also since there is converting going on, how long does it take and is it different times for different format? Ipod killer, I think not. IMHO Sony’s VIAO product line is crap. But then again this is my humble opinion.

    –digi

  7. That’s an important distinction that Noamaan makes above. I guess Sony doesn’t want to really spread that news around in a big way, as their RIAA bed-buddy might not be too happy. It’s good to hear it that someone at Sony had at least a small clue.

  8. Actually, I’ve found the ATRAC-3 format to be superior in every way to MP3 and AAC. I’m using a new Sony MP3 player, and I call it that not because it actually plays MP3’s but because I do not need to convert any of my music files from their orignal (MP3, WMA) format. Sony’s music manager, when you choose to export music to a player, automatically converts the music from whatever file to ATRAC-3 (or ATRAC-3 Plus) without in any way affecting the original file.
    I remember I avoided the older Sony players because you actually had to convert the MP3/WMA/Ogg file to ATRAC-3. No longer; your music now only lives in an ATRAC-3 format on the player, leaving your original files untouched.

  9. Actually, I’ve found the ATRAC-3 format to be superior in every way to MP3 and AAC. I’m using a new Sony MP3 player, and I call it that not because it actually plays MP3’s but because I do not need to convert any of my music files from their orignal (MP3, WMA) format. Sony’s music manager, when you choose to export music to a player, automatically converts the music from whatever file to ATRAC-3 (or ATRAC-3 Plus) without in any way affecting the original file.
    I remember I avoided the older Sony players because you actually had to convert the MP3/WMA/Ogg file to ATRAC-3. No longer; your music now only lives in an ATRAC-3 format on the player, leaving your original files untouched.

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