Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 12th May 2009 11:54 UTC, submitted by Moulinneuf
Hardware, Embedded Systems Sony is a company which is not exactly loved by technologists, despite the fact it has come up with some damn fine technology - with my personal favourite being the MiniDisc format. The problem with Sony has always been that it was stuck in the old ways of doing things (proprietary, closed, DRM), and of course things like the rootkit scandal didn't help either. It seems like things are about to change, with Sony's CEO announcing a new direction for the company - focussed on openness.
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Walkman owners
by 3rdalbum on Tue 12th May 2009 13:43 UTC
3rdalbum
Member since:
2008-05-26

I think I speak for all Walkman owners when I say "God I hope he's talking about a DRM-free music and video download store, that can be used in Linux!" :-)

Sony is already moving toward openness - you're not locked into Sony software on the current range of Walkmans, they are just drag 'n' drop.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Walkman owners
by timl on Tue 12th May 2009 14:16 in reply to "Walkman owners"
timl Member since:
2005-12-06

So, am I the only one who at the term Walkman thought of the portable cassette players of yore, and wondered: "DRM-free? But there was never any DRM on tapes* !"

(*): Actually the industry considered a kind of copy protection on tapes for a while. I'm not sure of the specifics, but I believe it used a pilot tone of a special frequency. But as tapes couldn't (affordably) record frequencies below or above human hearing, the system would have to interfere with the audible music. This was not deemed acceptable, and the idea was shelved.
Oh well, analog copies degraded in quality anyway, especially after a few generations.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Walkman owners
by David on Tue 12th May 2009 14:59 in reply to "RE: Walkman owners"
David Member since:
1997-10-01

That's precisely the point. The Walkman brand, once one of the strongest brands in the world, is now only associated with twenty five year old cassette players, even though Sony has been releasing music players and phones called Walkman for years now. Sony could have owned the MP3 player market if they'd wanted to. But the conflict of interest in being both a hardware maker and music label destroyed that possibility.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Walkman owners
by WarpKat on Tue 12th May 2009 14:20 in reply to "Walkman owners"
WarpKat Member since:
2006-02-06

Minidisc was probably one of the best technologies to come out of Sony's hardware people relative to music and storage (HiMD), but the DRM surrounding it was downright NAGGING.

Too bad. So sad.

Edited 2009-05-12 14:21 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Walkman owners
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 12th May 2009 14:47 in reply to "RE: Walkman owners"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

I will forever hate sony for the MiniDisc. I remember its introduction to the US. I saved up my money for an incredibly expensive product, under the hopes the prices would come down. They never did. If they had reached even a 20% price premium over cds, I would have paid. But it was always at least 2-3x more expensive for a player.

Expensive, but awesome hardware that never becomes cheap before obsolescence always draws my ire. Neo Geo, 3D0, Itanium, most smart phones, I'm looking at you.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Walkman owners
by Soulbender on Tue 12th May 2009 14:55 in reply to "Walkman owners"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

My first reaction here was "They still make Walkman's??".
I realize they're not your fathers Walkman anymore (that for some inexplicable reason was named "Freestyle" in Sweden) but still, I didn't know that they still made them.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Walkman owners
by Moredhas on Tue 12th May 2009 22:02 in reply to "RE: Walkman owners"
Moredhas Member since:
2008-04-10

God damn, you're making me feel old. I'm only 21, and I had a Walkman as a kid. Right before CDs became popular enough to almost completely replace tapes. My grandfather would always show me a cassette and say "Do you know what that is?". My reply was "For God's sake, I'm 20 not 10. I was copying tapes, and copying CDs to tapes when I was 6! As I recall, you still couldn't work out how to use your cassette player at that point."

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Walkman owners
by dagw on Wed 13th May 2009 07:45 in reply to "RE: Walkman owners"
dagw Member since:
2005-07-06

My first reaction here was "They still make Walkman's??"

"Walkman" is the brand name they use for their mp3 players and and mp3 playing Sony-Ericsson mobile phones.

Reply Parent Score: 2