Letters - 4/10/00

RE: Sony Memory Stick Walkman

Let me start out by saying I have called Sony support a couple times with mixed results.

I want to state my lack of satisfaction with my music clip and the reasons.

The music clip is a great idea, the size is great, the sound is great, the controls are more than adequate and straight forward. No lack of satisfaction there.


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

Now, onward...

That Sony cannot come up with a version of the OpenMG software for Windows 2000 _SUCKS_. I am a developer, I am at my laptop all the time in Windows 2000, I want to be able to move songs on and off the Music Clip while I work

It is pathetic that many weeks have passed since the release of Windows 2000, the latest and greatest OS from Microsoft, and Sony seems to be in no hurry to make their software work on the OS. As a developer I understand the process of software design, development, test and release. It is my guess that this is simply a port of the data acess functionality and probably on the order of 160 man hours worth of work, a drop in the bucket, put 2 mediocre developers on it for 2 weeks.

I am getting very pissed that I have to continue to support an extra operating system on my laptop just to support what is supposed to be a state of the art application and piece of hardware. I have tried to not worry about the SDMI compliency issues, but I would very much like it if Real Jukebox or MusicMatch or other 3rd party software could access the Music Clip. Point blank I just want an easy way to move music back and forth under Windows 2000, GEE! It would even be nice if I could listen to the music I have taken so much time to "rip" from my laptop while I work (i.e. directly from OpenMG or other SW.

COME ON! It has been a few weeks now, take a look around at some of the message borads and look what people are saying about the Music Clip and Music Stick!!! People are very unhappy with Sony, everywhere you look people are saying STAY AWAY FROM THE SONY DEVICES, GET A RIO, GET AN IJAM ANYTHING BUT SONY.... Wild.... nothing from Sony to discourage this, no press release, no promisses of software upgrades, nothing! Just a support page (http://www.ita.sel.sony.com/support/musicclip/) with no information about the shortcomings, no feeling that Sony is interested in making consumers happy. AS A CONSUMER I FEEL RIPPED OFF.

I have been patient but I am getting ready to buy another device. If I have to spend more money on top of the $300 I threw down on the Sony I will find it hard to ever purchase a Sony product again.

I understand that I am just one person and Sony could care less about me but I will do my part to pass along my dissatisfaction just the same if something does not come about to change my mind. People ask me about technology, I have the ability to sway opinions, even if on a small scale. Maybe I will get the energy to be a little creative though, if I put my mind to it I am fairly certain I could put my opinions in the face of some portion of the internet community. I guess it all comes down to how much energy I feel like expending. Time will tell.

I also don't expect a reply for this email, I have gotten used to the fact that companies like Sony are too large and impersonal to deal with customers concerns. I expect that my Music Clip will just be another expensive lesson. Too bad, it was a nice thought for a while. So the Sony product will end up in the trash and I will forget the pain soon enough, but not the lesson.

Talk to Real Networks, Talk to MusicMatch, Fix OpenMG, get something going, PUT SOMETHING ON THE WEB TO SAY YOU ARE AT LEAST AWARE OF OUR PAIN!!!!!

I feel slighted and I am about to stop caring.

That is all the energy I feel like expending on this today.

If you have gotten this far I want to thank you for at least reading my words.

-- Dave English

RE: Sony Music Clip

I'snt everyone forgeting the main priority here Music Quality! Atrac3 is a far superior music format than Mp3 ,it is almost cd quality, which if i remember rightly the very first Mp3 players where claiming.

As far as the copy 3 times rule goes this is not down to sony it is down to the big boys concerned with piracy, and i am sure will be standard in most Mp3/Atrac3 players on the market in the future!

And to my last point Sony are not breaking any laws by putting Mp3 on the box because technically it can play Mp3's ,I know which Iwould prefer to use, and even spend a bit of time converting Mp3's to Atrac3 if the quality is much better which it is .

I applaud Sony for trying to advance a technology that is many years old and getting very outdated now ,even if they are to gain themselves considerably.

In the end the customer benefits from higher quality music to listen to and download from the internet!

Quentinn.

RE: Sony Music Clip

After reading your review/article on the Sony Music Clip I was to say the least more than pissed the hell off. Its bad enough we have the recording and movie industry moving against every 18 year old kid who writes software supporting a worldwide accepted format like mp3.

Its bad enough that these large corporations and organizations have no clue as to what the internet society wants and will accept. Spending money and time creating new standards nobody wants is a perfect example.

And its bad enough companies that do understand the value and importance of mp3, mpeg, vcd, real, qtime, divx, etc.. etc.. are under fire and prosecution from the same entities that should be learning from them.

But to create a music player that says it plays mp3's, the same format you are trying to kill off, and then not notify your customers in plain language (or even in a sideways round about way) that you can not simply play back your mp3 files but need to have them converted to Sony's proprietary format is just plain FALSE ADVERTISEMENT.

Sony did not believe so when I wrote them the letter below. I have also included their response. The big players need to understand that the waste of time, effort, and money they are putting into various formats and litigating against only hurt what could be a phenomenal success for them (CAN WE ALL SAY DAT YEARS AGO, AND DVD/DVD-RW A FEW YEARS AGO, and you see where that went).

Thank you for contacting SONY.

We are not aware of the supposedly "false statement" to which you are referring. MP3 compressed files downloaded from the internet can be played using the Music Clip. Both protected and non-protected MP3 files can be played. More information can be found at the Sony Music Clip website:

http://www.sony.com/musicclip

The Music Clip is not compatible with ID3 version 2 (ID3v2). The Music Clip supports ID3 version 1 (ID3v1) only.

ID3v1 is useful for attaching a limited amount of data such as track artist, album name and genre information to the end of an MP3 file.

ID3 version 2 (ID3v2) is an as yet unrecognized standard which attaches additional information to the beginning of an MP3 file. Since this is not an official standard yet and is subject to change Sony has decided not to support it at this time.

The SONY Internet Group Technical Response Center

Here is a later follow-up from Sony:

Thank you for contacting SONY.

The claims of those individuals who report that the Music Clip will not play MP3 files are false. Files do not need to be converted to ATRAC3 to be played on the Music Clip. OpenMG will convert MP3 files that are not yet so encoded to a COMPLIANT form of MP3. Conversion to ATRAC3, which is a format designed to be SDMI-compliant, is also possible.

We do respect the opinions of others, however. Customer input is invaluable in the continued support of existing products and the development of new technologies. We want you to know that we appreciate your feedback.

Thanks.

The SONY Internet Group Customer Information Services Center

Original message follows:

I recently learned of the Sony fiasco with its music clip stating it supports the mp3 format. The sidestep sony has done, which makes you think it is ok to put MP3 on the box is a black mark on the Sony brand.

Being a Sony customer with many peices of equipment from you, I will keep this in mind the next time I purchase electronic equipment. I need to read not only the specs but the fine print between the lines of what you state your product does. I am making a point of emailing, Instant Messaging, an ICQ'ing across the interent your FALSE Statement of what your so called mp3 player does. ATRAC does not mean mp3 compatable.The sooner companies realize this, the sooner the public will be able to purchase what they want.

--Marc Delsoin

Thank you Marc for sharing your responses from Sony --Editor

RE: MP3newswire.net

I and some members of the Dimension Music team absolutely loved the writing style of your site.

Keep up the good work =)

`Chad

Thank you Chad --Editor

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