Summary:

In a surprise announcement today Sony has announced they will be putting support for the popular MP3 audio format into their portable music players. They are also going to supply software to make some of their existing players compatible with the MP3 format. Sony has long […]

In a surprise announcement today Sony has announced they will be putting support for the popular MP3 audio format into their portable music players. They are also going to supply software to make some of their existing players compatible with the MP3 format. Sony has long refused to use any audio format other than their proprietary ATRAC format, a move that many analysts feel has hurt Sony’s position in the portable music market.“It’s about time they did this. They’ve been inconsistent in their strategy since their Aiwa products, and some of their CD players support MP3,” said Susan Kevorkian, an analyst at research firm IDC. “This should help them to be more competitive in the digital audio player market.” Kevorkian noted that Sony does not rank among the top five companies in market share for digital audio players. She also wondered if support for Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio (WMA) format, which is gaining industry support, can be far behind.”

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