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Sony Connect To Close Music/Video Services; Focus on Servicing Playstation Group; 20 People To Go

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imageThe Sony Connect experiment is about to get, well, disconnected: it will be winding down its music and video services in the next couple of months, and focus on servicing the Playstation group on the technical needs, has learned and confirmed. In an all-hands meeting yesterday in Sony’s offices in Los Angeles, employees were told that about 20-plus jobs are being phased out during this winding-down phase as a result of this closure. The eBooks division will remain however, as it will be servicing Sony Reader product.

Steve Banfield, the head of the Sony Connect division, will be leaving in the next few weeks, and Tim Schaaff and Fumi Kanagwa from Sony corporate will now run what’s left of Connect engineering team. The remaining team of around 80 will be devoted support Playstation.

Few things are unclear: whether Sony Connect brand will remain after this restructuring; and whether SonicStage software will continue. An unfortunate end to a business hampered from the start by the internal politics, and inability of the corporate parent to give any real attention to this digital media unit. For instance, check out the two posts Staci did earlier yesterday, about Sony’s plans to relaunch Grouper and Sony-MySpace Minisode network.

5 Responses to “Sony Connect To Close Music/Video Services; Focus on Servicing Playstation Group; 20 People To Go”

  1. sharon street

    hiya sorry to bother you just had anew sonymp3 nw-a805 for christmas it says on the box i get 10 free songs upon registering which i have done,and been on the web site stated ,but dont no how to get my free songs wondered if you could help, thankyou for your time
    sharon street

  2. sony has two options.

    1. Use an ATRAC to mp3 conversion tool for non-DRMed songs.
    2. Burn the DRMed songs to a CD and rerip them (a la iTunes silliness).

    This is another great example of WHY buying DRMEd music is a bad, bad idea. IF the company goes under, the music will eventually become unusable. My CDs from '83 still play fine and I can rip them to a digital format without any DRM nonsense.

  3. EmperorFool

    You need the online server to be able to add and remove devices (PCs and handheld players). Once a device is added, you can transfer tracks to it without the service, and they'll play fine.

    However, without the service, you can't play any of your music on a new PC or player. Welcome to the brave new world of DRM. :(

  4. So what happens to the DRM'ed tracks once the server goes down? My estimate: you can't active them on new machines, effectively erasing your investment.