cat /dev/DiBona/brain: Sony Just Doesn't Get It
Competing with the iPod is a very difficult thing to do. You need to get a lot right to be even in the same league. In typical Sony fashion, they have spent a lot of marketing, design and PR dollars creating and promoting their "iPod killing" Network Walkman. This is a device roughly the same size as an iPod--or smaller, depending on if you believe the PR, but not smaller than an iPod mini...but whatever.
Before I rant a bit, let's compare their features:
Hard Drive Size: Sony appears to be offering a 20 gigabyte version or a 40 gigabyte version for its Network Walkman, depending on which report you believe. Either way, the iPod has a range of capacities as well.
Price: Sony's offering costs a bit less when comparing comparable capacities with the iPod. Yay Sony!
Support Software: Sony Connect vs. iTunes. iTunes is good, Sony Connect is not. But hey, you might like Sony Connect, so that's up to you. I prefer to encode my CDs myself at the insane bit rates I prefer.
Formats Supported: Sony likes you to use Atrac, Apple likes AAC, so who cares, right? You simply can play MP3s on them and forget their DRMed proprietary formats. Right? Right? Well, on the iPod you can. And on every portable player made in the last five years, you can. I don't have enough room or time to list every player that does, really.
But Sony doesn't play MP3. It seems it "supports" MP3 through conversion, and we all love trans-coded music, right? But nope, no playback of MP3.
Yes, seriously. Really, stop laughing. Transcoding is an abomination. Running your music through two lossy encoding steps is plain bad for the music if your standards are anywhere above 1950's AM radio technology. It would be like using a Xerox machine to do micrography, as in that old AIR article, which I couldn't find on-line.
So, in short, Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Take a perfectly interesting product and make it sucky in one fell swoop. I mean, I know that Sony has their stuff together much of the time--don't ask me about VAIO build quality, please, I've repressed that. The PS/2 is a fine product, and the Sony classical label does some remarkable recordings, but these landfill worthy players should be abandoned as some Sony executive's bad-trip drug dream. Better yet, the firmware should be upgraded to play the freaking MP3 standard that litters most people's music collections.
This isn't the first time Sony has done this. About four years ago, it had a pretty drop-dead sexy little MP3, um, Atrac player that looked like a stuppy pen, and I would have bought one in a second had it played MP3s.
I know what you are thinking: "What about Ogg? MP3 is stinky patent encumbered crapola." All I can say is iRiver seems to get it, and its player looks very nice; I want one and all that (I'd love to review one, fellas). But you have to support MP3 if you want a player to be a commercial success. Sony obviously is the kind of company that, even if Ogg were the dominant encoding system the way MP3 is today, would not support it in favor of Atrac-on-memory-stick.
Also, can I say that Atrac stinks? Good. Atrac stinks. I have an old minidisk player that is great for recording lectures and interviews and such, but past that? Crap.
Thanks for listening to my rant.
Fast/Flexible Linux OS Recovery
On Demand Now
In this live one-hour webinar, learn how to enhance your existing backup strategies for complete disaster recovery preparedness using Storix System Backup Administrator (SBAdmin), a highly flexible full-system recovery solution for UNIX and Linux systems.
Join Linux Journal's Shawn Powers and David Huffman, President/CEO, Storix, Inc.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Download "Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI"
- July 2016 Issue of Linux Journal
- Client-Side Performance
- Tibbo Technology's Tibbo Project System
- Libarchive Security Flaw Discovered
- Sony Settles in Linux Battle
- Peppermint 7 Released
- Profiles and RC Files
- Snappy Moves to New Platforms
- The Giant Zero, Part 0.x
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide