Sony News: Sony-Apple Compatible; S3’s LaunchPad Online; PSP’s PlayStation Spot

A slew of Sony-related news/accouncements:
Sony’s Now Compatible With AAC: Sony has symbolically said, “we suck”. It will make its latest music management software Sonic Stage compatible with the AAC data compression technology used by Apple. The change will enable users of some types of Walkman digital audio players to listen to music imported from iTunes.
Sony’s own proprietary data compression technology, known as Atrac, was long the center of its strategy, but over the recent years it has opened to MP3 and Microsoft’s WMA. Sony’s new management system will allow iPod users to swap some of their music to a Sony Walkman, but only songs they ripped from CDs.
Sony Online Entertainment’s LaunchPad: Sony Online Entertainment in July will debut a service, known by its working title LaunchPad, which provides users access to several of its online PC games. It ties together several programs already offered by Sony, will also consolidate lists of players’ friends from a variety of the company’s games, support chat and provide downloads of new game content and trinkets. Also, it will offer a single point where players can manage payments and link to other Sony-run sites carrying player rankings and information.
PlayStation Spot: PSP users will soon be able to download free content via Wi-Fi networks as part of a pan-European service, known as PlayStation Spot. The spot is a small, self-contained unit broadcasting P2P Wi-Fi signals, allowing PSP users to download content including game demos, video and music. Three hundred sites across nine countries in Western Europe and Australia will be up-and-running within the next few months.