Letters - 3/27/00

RE: Sony Memory Stick Walkman

Has anyone there looked at this unit? I recently bought one and within the first 3 hours of playing with it, I realized that I could never own this unit.

If you don't know this already, the advertising on this product is stretching the truth a little. Sony may be claiming that it plays mp3's but it really doesn't.

Order The New Rio PMP 500 from Amazon for $239.

To use the product, one must convert their mp3's into ATRAC2 format, and to make matters worse, you can only share your songs out of your application 3 times, simultaneously.

Sony is crazy to think people will want to convert all their mp3's to use this product.

Sean Branam

RE: Sony Music Clip

Hi MP3Newswire -

Here's a quick question for you. When it says that a new player is SDMI compliant - does that mean that it can ONLY play legally downloaded music? Or is it also able to play all the downloaded illegal mp3's that one has on the computer. Like you wrote - the sony music clip can only play atrac and SDMI music, but how about the new NOMAD II - do you know if it will be able to able illegal MP3's as well and legally downloaded music? thanks for your time


The reason Sony forces the owners of its players to use the ATRAC2 format is because no one has figured out how to add security to MP3 files yet. Right now, all SDMI compliant means is that the companies involved have joined the organization and have agreed to use such security for MP3 files once it is invented. That is at least a year or two away.

Ironically, when such security becomes available, many pundits feel that a label saying "Non-SDMI Compliant" will sell more MP3 units. Bottom line, your Nomad II should be able to play all MP3 files, unless it pulls a Sony and sells an MP3 player that doesn't play MP3's at all but a different proprietary format. We will review the Nomad II in the coming months and report back.


RE: Is MP3 Music a Perishable Product?

This article was thoroughly devoid of any knowledge of the current technology consumers possess. It argued that unlike CD's, mp3 music files are "perishable" because they don't exist in a tangible state. However, as anyone who owns a CD Burner is aware, mp3's are easily converted and burned onto CD's and playable on any stereo. The arguments expressed in the article are full of holes, and shows a deep lack of understanding about the current trend in music piracy.

Michael Cacciottolo

What's interesting is the woman who inspired this article has a CD burner. Still, with this technology at her access she made a choice to purchase this CD (and others) after already downloading half the tracks for free.

The thing is, this theory of perishability is less about true physical perishability (though that is part of it) and more about the perceptions and actions of the average consumer. It was perishable in that SHE only saw it as a temporary stopgap until she got what she really wanted, the store bought goods. In this case it meant a CD with the cover booklet and not one with the title handwritten on it in marker pen.

You can dismiss her as some odd exception, but before you do think of this.

Video tapes of TV shows like South Park and I Love Lucy are not only sold in video stores, they are strong sellers. How? Anyone can tape these same episodes for free off TV. Almost everyone has a VCR and a TV (not everyone has a CD burner) and they don't have to search the net endlessly for programming. Most important of all, the companies that sell these tapes have realized there is an active, vibrant market for these programs and have responded by producing them.

If companies like Sony and Warner Brothers can make money - sometimes big money - from tapes of reruns, isn't it possible the same forces of consumerism are also in motion for their music offerings? -- Editor


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