Sony’s SonicStage and the iPod

Q: I have a Sony VAIO notebook computer with Windows XP, and import all my music from CDs with SonicStage. I just got an iPod, and it will not accept my music files. Short of re-loading all the CDs (which are now in storage) or burning all this music onto a disc and then re-loading onto the VAIO via iTunes or Windows Media player (which will take hours), is there any other way to get my music on my iPod? 

– Suzanne

A: Alas, no. SonicStage generally imports music as MP3 files, but Sony’s software adds some kind of “protection” to the files, even when you import your music from CDs you own. This is not Sony’s proprietary ATRAC3 format, but rather a very strange type of MP3 format, which theoretically should not be called MP3 since it doesn’t meet the standards of this format. The only thing you can do, as you suggest, is re-import the music from the original CDs or burn the music onto audio CDs and import it from them.

You can find out a bit more about exactly what SonicStage does to these files at this link.

Kirk McElhearn is the author of several books including iPod & iTunes Garage. His blog, Kirkville features articles about the iPod, iTunes, Mac OS X and much more.
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