$60 Sony iPod Killer? Not Likely. | iLounge News


$60 Sony iPod Killer? Not Likely.

The Register has posted an interesting article with regards to the likelihood of Sony releasing an iPod killer anywhere in the vicinity of $60…

“Sony will take Apple head on next year with the launch of new portable music players that pitch directly against the Mac maker’s iPod.

So much the consumer electronics giant admitted at its Transformation 60 conference yesterday. But early reports that it will do so with a $60 device seem highly unlikely, unless Sony has managed to rewrite the rulebook of hard drive economics.

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Not sure what kind of impact a player from Sony will have regardless of price or size or features of whatever. I think the key will be if Sony decides to abandon forcing their customer to only be able to use their horrible software to sync and preferred format of ATRAC.

The use of ATRAC as the only supported file format will be the nail in the coffin for Sony and MP3 devices. ATRAC is a non factor in the digital music world, hopefully Sony has picked up on that by now.

Posted by SpideyXP in j on November 5, 2003 at 10:49 AM (CST)


I highly doubt any decent music player will come out with the price tag of 60 dollars.  First of all, Sony is infamous for its ridiculous prices as the name “Sony” on a device raises the price automatically.

Posted by asdsa in j on November 5, 2003 at 11:23 AM (CST)


I agree, Sony typically marks up their product jus for having the Sony name on it.  But, perhaps seeking to get Sony’s mojo back they will efectively give away the hardware and create demand for other Sony products and music services.

Apparently this device will have 4.5 inch screen on it.  If that’s the case then this device is going to be the size of a brick compared to the iPod.

Posted by Obadiah in j on November 5, 2003 at 11:29 AM (CST)


I don’t mind ATRAC3, but the copy restrictions have got to go.  For their NetMD line, users have the ability to “check out” songs 3 at a time.  The user can then “check in” a song to get more checkouts.  Since their software was really shoddy,  sometimes the program would crash and you’d lose a checkout count.  If this happened enough, you wouldn’t have enough checkouts left and you’d have to rerip your music once more.  So if Sony decides to be more relaxed with their DRM (i doubt it) and make more reliable software (who knows), then they’d be able to compete.  If they listened to their consumers in the first place, NetMD would have been a serious contender to Ipod way back.  Their disks are cheap and can be used to record from a stereo mic.  Too bad they really dropped the ball on this one.

Posted by tetro in j on November 5, 2003 at 12:01 PM (CST)


“Since their software was really shoddy”
Shoddy does not begin to describe their software. There are ways I would like to describe it but all go against the language policy here at the Lounge so I will refrain. All I can say is I hate Musicmatch, but I would use Musicmatch every day for the rest of my life if that meant I never had to even see the OpenMG icon on my desktop again. Pure crap is the very best way I can describe it and that is insulting crap.

Posted by SpideyXP in j on November 5, 2003 at 12:18 PM (CST)


Damn good for the competition if it happens. I don’t see it possible tho. :(

Posted by Sparks9 in j on November 5, 2003 at 12:45 PM (CST)


Well Sony does have a chance ONLY if their UMD disks are cheap (1.8Gigs each, and to be used on the Sony PSP).  If they are rewriteable and don’t cost too much, then it will be a major contender.  Unless it has a bunch of restrictions and bad software, it might do well.

Posted by tetro in j on November 5, 2003 at 2:36 PM (CST)


Whatever happened to that old Zenith motto “the quality goes in before the name goes on”? Are people that sheep-like that they’ll buy anything because it has a name on it?

Posted by Aries73 in j on November 5, 2003 at 6:49 PM (CST)


Sony’s PSP doesn’t have a 40gb hard drive, so it’s not going to be an iPod killer.  I’m certainly not going to convert my music collection to those cheesy little discs…so I’m writing off the mp3 capability as a gimick. 

The PSP is aimed at the Nintendo’s Gameboy Advance market, and there is NO WAY that it’s going to be sixty bucks…try $150 to $250.  Sony’s ideas don’t always take off (Beta), but sometimes they REALLY take off (Playstation).  Look for this device to be a really cool game device.

Posted by mr_bodhisattva in j on November 5, 2003 at 9:01 PM (CST)


Sony are talking about the PSP here, it would seem.

They had a press conference to announce the tech specs of the PSP, and released a first artist’s impression - which they are quick to remind everyone is just a rough sketch, and not indicative of any final design decisions.

The PSP does have a 4.5” (diagonal measurement) screen, and is primarily for playing games (it’s a bit more powerful than a PSone). It will also act as a movie player, using a Sony proprietary compression format, and a music player. Probably also as a PDA, and Sony say future iterations may include phone capability.

For games the device is to use the wee Sony UMD discs. For video it is planned to use Sony Memory Sticks. It is not planned to have a hard drive.

No hard drive means music on UMD discs or Memory Sticks.

So it’s not a direct competitor to the iPod, although if each UMD disc can hold 1.8Gb, then there’s possibility there for more music than could be fitted onto any existing Sony player.

Posted by Tony in j on November 6, 2003 at 4:55 AM (CST)

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