Apple: Sony’s misleading you on song capacity | iLounge News


Apple: Sony’s misleading you on song capacity

Amplifying concerns raised by iLounge in a feature story last week, Apple Computer has attacked Sony’s claims that its upcoming Network Walkman devices hold more songs than comparably equipped iPods. “We’re disappointed that Sony, which is new to this market, has decided to make their first impression by attempting to mislead the press and customers,” Apple told The Wall Street Journal, explaining that Sony had used unrealistically low bit rate compression to fool readers into thinking that the Network Walkman holds more music than an iPod. In a separate interview with MacCentral, Apple’s Greg Joswiak noted that similar tricks would render the 20GB iPod capable of holding 40,000 songs, but “[t]hat’s something we would never claim because that’s just not something a customer would do.”

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My brother has a net md, and ATRAC at 48 kb/s sounds like crap, whether you use the stock buds or a decent pair ($70+).  While Apple may “mislead” people with battery life (though it really depends on song size, screen contrast, playback setting, backlight and so on) I have my 3g 20 gig ipod on repeat all random with no back light and I’m constantly switching songs and it lasts for a good 6-7 hours.  What I’d like to see Apple incorporate from Sony’s new effort (which will never touch the ipod) is longer battery life and backlit remote.

Posted by Tim on July 8, 2004 at 11:39 AM (CDT)


The other HUGELY misleading thing people seem to be missing is that Sony claims their player gets “30 hours” of battery life… but that’s using the same 48kbps tracks! If your music is encoded at 132kbps—comparable to, yet not quite as good as, AAC at 128kbps—the battery life will likely be around 10 hours. So much for the 30 hours vs. 8 hours comparison.

Posted by audio geek on July 8, 2004 at 12:32 PM (CDT)


yea the 30hours is way off, sony should apologize big time, noone that knows anything will believe, that, thats 4 days 80hours a day, NOWAY!!!

Posted by 3 on July 8, 2004 at 12:56 PM (CDT)


yea, i guess its ‘possible’ that sony’s compression is SO great, it even sounds good at 64kbps.  anything is possible.  and maybe its possible they have a 30 hour battery.

right. . . .

64kbps. . . thats INSANELY small,
and if it has 30 hours of battery, then by golly, how is it so small?

its still not that pretty though.  you have a dock thing, an elongated remote. . . thats cool i guess

Posted by J on July 8, 2004 at 1:43 PM (CDT)


It’s not even possible :) Atrac3 is nothing new—it doesn’t sound as good as AAC even when using a HIGHER bitrate than the AAC.

Posted by Nagromme on July 8, 2004 at 2:18 PM (CDT)


I think Atrac sounds good. I use to use MD Players, and atrac on LP2 sound brilliant. And I have yet to try SP.

Posted by Squibbles on July 8, 2004 at 3:15 PM (CDT)


So who is going to buy this??

People who want to buy an iPod, but end up buying this because the iPods were all sold out.  Or people who think there is no difference and choose the slightly cheaper Sony.

Then imagine the outrage when they bring it home to find out none of the hundreds of MP3s they’ve downloaded and ripped are able to play on it. 

This “jukebox” is a joke.  Apple should be concerned about the portable playstation Sony is working on though, that may be the first thing that can put a dent into iPod sales.

Posted by Ryan on July 8, 2004 at 3:48 PM (CDT)


“I think Atrac sounds good.”

Yours is just a single opinion. It’s more accurate to aggregate the opinions of many people using a double-blind test and, when you do this, Atrac3 scores the lowest for quality at low-medium bitrates like 128Kbps.

Mind you, AAC and Lame MP3 VBR are tied in the middle but the current champions of 128 Kbps are Ogg Vorbis and Musepack.

If you really want to find out about different audio formats, go here:

or here:

Posted by Atrac Sux on July 8, 2004 at 4:13 PM (CDT)


I’m glad that, at last, someone (in this case, Apple) has challenged Sony over the misleading advertising they seem to wheel out more often than not.

If Sony’s hype was to be believed, PS2 was meant to be the last console you’d ever need. Their marketing managed to sway loads of potential Sega Dreamcast buyers into holding off for a year to buy PS2 instead. In the end, the PS2 slaughtered the Dreamcast in sales, but the two machines are technically very similar to each other, with the DC even being better in some areas.

Now it’s the Network Walkman’s turn to receive the Sony hype treatment but, this time, Apple are doing what Sega didn’t and calling out Sony on their claims. It’s one thing to have a product that is capable of doing what you claim it can do, but to twist the facts and mislead the buying public with an unrealistic description of your product is to disrespect them. Face it, anyone who has ever heard a CD is not going to stand for 48k ATRAC3 files.

While it’s true that all corporations are in business to make money, at least Apple is projecting a sense of fair play (no pun intended) by challenging Sony’s misleading advertising. I don’t think Apple is doing this because they’re scared; they have no reason to be. After all, the iPod is not just an MP3 player, but a cultural icon (like, ironically, the Walkman was) and that elevates it to the next level in terms of mindshare.

Posted by Zac on July 8, 2004 at 5:44 PM (CDT)


Just about the only thing Sony has going for it anymore is the Walkman brand name. They can say “hey, here’s the new generation of Walkmen.” Sony’s brand is seriously degraded but older people who remember when Sony made decent products still think Sony is great (like my parents, who buy Sony everything no matter how bad it is). But if Apple can make the iPod mini cheaper they will slaughter Sony, if for no other reason than the Sony models are ugly as hell.

Posted by Patrick on July 8, 2004 at 8:38 PM (CDT)


i would buy this sony portable only if it supported AAC format. If this stupid company (sony) would have put support for AAC, the format that a billion people have converted their music to, then i would definitely consider buying sony vaio pocket. I like the color screen, the form factor, the compactness;;;;;; oh wait, let me look on the apple web site, i predict in late august or september steve jobs will announce the brand new 4th gen ipod with color screen for album covers and pics, and different colors to choose from, and with battery life with extended option to 20 hours, SO LONG SONY< you never will dominate a USA company thats kicking your japanese tail in music players HHAHAHA.

Posted by i am steve on July 8, 2004 at 11:03 PM (CDT)


‘i am steve’ is probably correct in the prediction. However, should sony open their player to aac, it will mean that they admit that its better. They won’t do this as obviously one company will be adiment that their coding is better than company x (apple in this case). No (or not many) companies will ever do this as it means that they were wrong to begin with and customers won’t trust the company (sony in this case) so they’d rather just stick with their opinion and their present customers are likely to back up the product as no-one will want to talk negatively about the product they own (most of the time)

Posted by silver_haze20 on July 9, 2004 at 12:50 PM (CDT)


forgot one thing:

apple were the cutting edge in the mp3 department years in advance of all the companies trying to make the killer. However, this recent development from sony is probably the only threat and this is whyi think i am steve is correct, i would expect something pretty serious to advance in the competition.

Posted by silver_haze20 on July 9, 2004 at 12:52 PM (CDT)


“apple were the cutting edge in the mp3 department years in advance of all the companies trying to make the killer.”

I think the main kudos has to go to DIamond, who way back in 1995 conceived the idea of a portable mp3 digital audio player.

When they finally brought this new device to market as the Rio they were sued for *years* by the RIAA to prevent its sale and distribution.

In fact, only after spending years in court did they manage to establish the precedent that such digital audio players were legal for companies to manufacture, and legal for consumers to own and use.

I didn’t see Apple stepping in to help, either with their own device or with an amicus brief to the court. They waited for years until the real pathfinders had blazed a trail, established legal precedents, and proved there was a viable market… and then jumped in.

But then again, that’s what big companies do…

Posted by Kudos Diamond on July 9, 2004 at 2:44 PM (CDT)


... because the pioneers are the ones with the arrows in their backs. 

I agree that Sony has gone down the wrong road of late.  I’m assuming they are using ATRAC because they have spent so much developing it and wish to maximize their investment, as well as locking consumers into their online music store.  Even Apple was smart enough to support MP3.

Posted by Stinky Pete on July 10, 2004 at 7:25 AM (CDT)


read my name

Posted by screwsony,microsoft,dell,etc. on July 12, 2004 at 8:31 PM (CDT)


that test was incorrectly done btw, so don’t rely on it too much~

Posted by jason on July 17, 2004 at 10:50 PM (CDT)


The fact that this thing doesn’t natively support mp3’s is enough to kill it. The word mp3 has become a slang word for digital music. When Joe Cunsumer hears that he can’t play his mp3’s on it, he will automaticly consider it to be inferior, regardless of real world technicalities. Sony should have realized this.

Posted by greenamp on July 17, 2004 at 11:58 PM (CDT)


yeah. it’s been said over and over again. sony got pwned the day they started this hard-walkman project by not including MP3, no matter how much they think ATRAC is better. I mean, even if it is (for arguments sake), most people would prefer to have their mp3 files directly transferred rather than deal with sony’s re-encoding (which is lossless-> lossy -> lossy again, further decreasing sound quality).
the only people that would buy this hardman/walkman are those people who have little or no mp3s and are buying their first mp3 player. therefore, CD-> SP atrac. should be good enough sound quality. plus the smaller size and supposedly better battery life.

Posted by jason on July 18, 2004 at 12:05 AM (CDT)


Sony who?
They lost me as a customer when they refused to honour my 34” tv warranty! Told me,you have one year warranty,i told them 2 years!
I said i have the warranty papers right here in front of me!Then i said i don’t need this agrevation,
goodbye and good riddance! Never again SONY.
If they were giving away the Net whatever they call it,wouldn’t want it.Shame on you SONY

Posted by iQpod on August 9, 2004 at 9:08 PM (CDT)

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