Feeds

Walkman completes Sony conspiracy to hammer iTunes

Sony positions itself to squeeze Apple

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

The newspapers were full of stories during 2004 about how Microsoft or RealNetworks or Napster were going to knock Apple's iTunes off its perch, and time and time again, nothing really happened. Now we have the reverse.

There are genuine storm clouds and dark forces gathering around the iTunes and iPod brands and most of the newspapers shrug it off with comments about iTunes being too enmeshed in the public consciousness. There is a real sense that each of the threats to Apple - the withdrawal of some content (see elsewhere in this issue), the new Verizon-backed Rhapsody, the Nokia Store and now the Sony Walkman realignment - have been orchestrated, or at least they have all been brought to the fore by the very existence of the iPhone. The iPhone has become a threat so all the big players are shifting furniture at once to deny it space.

But the naysayers are right to an extent, it just bothers us that so many large corporations - Microsoft, Nokia, Sony, Samsung, RealNetworks and others - all failed to take a careful look at what Apple was doing back in 2004, and came up with various moves that were not its equivalent. Now, three years on, they are queuing up to do something sensible in online music and in video.

Two weeks ago Verizon teamed with Rhapsody and MTV to create a new Rhapsody America, which is better funded, has a large existing customer base and which is now finally opening the door on the mobile device music market. With Verizon's marketing weight behind it, and co-existence of the music service on both a PC and a handset, it has finally arrived at a better place even than Apple was three years ago - if not where it is today.

The key, we said at the time, was that while everyone in the cellular industry thought that music would become the automatic demesne of the handset, few of them thought that Apple would strike first and get its music service into a handset before any handset maker settled on a solid online mobile music strategy.

Then last week it was Nokia's turn, and it did not disappoint, using mostly Microsoft media-types and we guess its PlayReady DRM, to bring the Nokia Music Store to life, a year or so after it acquired music licensee Loudeye, adding devices that mimic the capabilities of the iPhone and then some.

Today it's Sony's turn, electing to extend its Portable Media Player lines with new Walkman devices the NWZ-A810 and the NWZS610, both very similar in appearance to existing Walkman devices, but carrying that same top-of-the-line magic number of eight gigabytes of Flash memory storage - the same as the iPhone. The threats to iTunes are all companies that have access to huge amounts of Flash memory, at globally significant, rock-bottom prices: Verizon through its handset makers, especially Samsung; Nokia through its vast supply lines, and Sony because it makes some Flash memory and buddies up to Samsung and SanDisk for the rest.

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Ex-IBM CEO John Akers dies at 79
An era disrupted by the advent of the PC
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?