Tag Archives: UMD

Why Blu-Ray is still doomed!

bluraylogoI know there are some good things about Blu-Ray, and have been impressed by the quality I have seen on Blu-Ray movies on a friends PS3.  Those of us skilled at pattern recognition will continue to avoid this doomed platform though.

With the recent announcement that Sony has dropped the UMD standard on the new release of the Playstation Portable (the PSP Go) we get to see yet another example of my oft repeated advice.

Never invest in a Sony controlled data storage medium!

Sony have tried to play in various storage markets before with completely Sony owned technology, and I cannot think of a single one where they eventually triumphed even when they started out technically superior.  To be fair to Sony I do not think they have specifically been bad at maintaining their technology it is simply harder for proprietary technology to keep up with open standards.  This is exagerated when you are working in an OEM environment where your customers are highly motivated to break your monopoly.

Sony used to be able to artificially extend their technologies by having really good equipment and bundling the technology in.  Now with Sony no longer having a quality edge on most of their conpetition it is harder to do.

Beta tape was much better than VHS but eventually was overtaken and disappeared.

DAT (Digital Audio Tape) was an alternative to CD’s which hung around for a long time in professional music circles but never took off in the consumer market.

AIT was a successor to DAT designed for the low end data backup market.  Despite being late to market it was making inroads on the similarly closed source DLT.  Then DLT was open sourced and wiped AIT out.

Minidisc never really made it outside of the Sony umbrella, and very little music was actually released on the format.  Once the other MP3 players moved from CD to hard drive or solid state minidisc died a quick death.

MemoryStick only survives by being the only option on many Sony products.  No other manufacturer uses the product and it is behind in capacity and more expensive.

The dark plastic “CDs” that PS1 games used to come on that even the PS2 struggled to read and ended life before the platform it was designed for.

Now UMD joins the pile of Sony data platforms defunct much quicker than any comparable open standard.  If you have bought content on a specific medium, I think it is reasonable to expect that you will be able to buy a new player for that content for at least the next decade, and that the cost of those players would go down over time.  This has generally be possible with any other standard in the past, but almost never with a Sony platform.