Sony's Ashcroft Walkman

by Mike Shea on 1 July 2004

Copy protection hurts sales. Look at this new Sony Digital Walkman and then read this quote. Would you buy one?

"As with Sony's other players, the NW-HD1 plays songs in the company's proprietary ATRAC format only, meaning it is not compatible with other online stores and cannot play tunes in the popular MP3 format."

Copy protection on digital music, movies, books and other formats hurts the customer and hurts the producer. A few nights ago I wanted to get a song unavailable on any on-line digital music seller including Buymusic and iTunes. So now if I want the song I must go to best buy and spend $12 on a CD just like I did 20 years ago? Where's the improvement of technology? It's easier for me to download morphius and get it for free than to buy it.

Groups like the <a href="http://eff.org/">Electronic Frontier Foundation</a> help fight idiotic laws, strong-arm attempts of corporations extorting money from their customers, and propriatary formats that line the pockets of corporate executives who have no real job. Join them and fight the commercial world who cares more about forcing you to live their way than selling you a good useful product.

Update: After re-reading the article it appears Sony's digital walkman will convert MP3s to its own propriatary format. You can listen to MP3s on the device but it will not store them as MP3s and will not allow you to use the device as a backup of your MP3 files. Skip it and go for a Dell Digital Jukebox instead.

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