September 23, 2004


Sony shifts strategy to support MP3 music files

Posted on Wed, Sep. 22, 2004

Associated Press

SAN JOSE, Calif. - In a major strategic reversal, Sony Corp. said Wednesday it plans to add support for MP3 music files to some of its portable music players.

The shift to support the widely used MP3 music format would end Sony's long-standing insistence on its proprietary format called Atrac and better position the electronics giant against rivals such as Apple Computer Inc., whose portable players support both MP3s and other file formats.

Though some of its CD Walkmans could play MP3s, Sony had fallen behind in recent years as it stuck to its proprietary format in its newer class of audio players, forcing users to go through an extra step to convert their digital song files - often already in the MP3 format - to its Atrac format first.

Now, Sony plans to release some new flash-based players with both MP3 and Atrac playback as early as this year in Europe, said Gretchen Griswold, a spokeswoman for Sony Electronics Inc. The company is also working to create software upgrades so owners of current models could play their songs in the MP3 format.

Similar plans are underway for the United States market but Griswold did not know when audio players with MP3 support would be introduced in the U.S.

AP Wire | 09/22/2004 | Sony shifts strategy to support MP3 music files

Posted by Craig at September 23, 2004 07:48 PM