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Atrac/SonicStage gone for good?

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Hey everybody,

I know there's been talk about ATRAC being a dead format, but I was wondering about your thoughts about whether the atrac format and sonicstage really is indeed dead. I was rereading that e-mail that the connect music service had sent out...


August 30, 2007

Subject: Future of CONNECT Music Service

To Our Valued Sony CONNECT Music Customers:

Today Sony announced its intent to move to a Windows Media Technology platform for Walkman® products in the United States, Canada and Europe. We strongly believe that the decision to embrace a more open platform for these devices will enable us to provide you with a better overall experience. As a result of this change, we will be phasing out the CONNECT™ Music Service based on Sony's ATRAC audio format in North America and Europe. Specific timing will vary by region depending on market demand, but will not be before March 2008.

We are fully committed to helping you through this important transition away from the CONNECT Music Service and providing you with the best possible guidance on how to successfully transfer your music library to an MP3 or Windows Media-compatible format, should you wish to do so. We recommend that you use any outstanding promotional codes, account credits or gift certificates available in your music account prior to March 2008, but even after the store closes you will continue to be able to play, manage, and transfer the music in your SonicStage library and on your existing ATRAC devices. If you obtain a new device, all of Sony’s new Walkman music and video players will support MP3 or Windows Media Audio format http://direct.connect.com/P/v3/r.asp?r=T1_...3B02&a=1007.

In the coming months we will keep you informed of the status of the CONNECT Music Service phase out in your region. Periodic updates will be posted on the CONNECT music store and on the Sony Electronics customer service site, http://esupport.sony.com/EN/news/article215.

Please note that the CONNECT e-book service for the Reader in the U.S. will not be affected.

Thank you for your business and for your continued support as we work to complete this transition with as little disruption to you as possible.


Sony CONNECT Music Team


Notice how it says that they were phasing out the CONNECT Music Service in North America and UK.

Sony Japan's website mentions NOTHING about the NWZ-A818 or any of the ATRAC-less players.

It's newest players consist of the NW-A808 and that fake diamond encrusted one, [as well as Hi-MD players]

The PS3 still allows for ripping into ATRAC, even with the newest firmware update that came out yesterday (1.92)

Sony Japan doesn't use Connect. Instead, they use a music service called Mora.jp, which I heard was doing well, and I couldn't find any information about Mora being closed down either. Their site's offerings come in ATRAC as well..

And all other regions of the world don't have a music store connected to the player. I remember in my review a member had said something about Sony Singapore is still advertising the NW-A808 as well..

So for all of you who are up in arms about the non-atrac support in the new network walkman, or for those of you still clinging onto the ATRAC format, do you think that based on these assumptions, Sony might not *really* be killing off ATRAC, at least 'fully' ?

Edited by aznbro85
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I hope you're right aznbro85.

And because I have several Walkmans (men) it doesn't make sense for me to sell my 805 for an NWZ-A81*.Because then I will be using SS for my older devices and WMP11 for my 81*. So for the short to medium term at least I will be sticking with SS and ATRAC and I hope Sony will do the same.

I have calmed a little bit in the past few days. I know something as trivial as this shouldn't annoy me but I get really ticked off over poor Customer Support from big wealthy companies including Sony. I will still reconsider moving to another brand when choosing my next DAP though.

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While Sony has not officially announced they will not support ss/atrac, I recall that the announcement also contains an FAQ and mention that owners of existing players are recommended to convert their atrac to mp3 and provide the link to the mp3 conversion tool. So, yes, I feel Sony has at least stopped developing ss/atrac. They may support atrac for a while in Japan as MD is still quite common in bookshelf system thereat.

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