Bye Bye Sony

First it was Microsoft with the XBOX. Then it was Apple with the iPod. As a consequence, Sony is losing ground on the video game front and has pretty much lost the battle for portable digital media players.

Sony is a company that seems to be getting further and further out of touch with its marketplace.

Take the following news release from Sony:

Sony BMG Music Entertainment is stepping up the rollout of what it calls “content-enhanced” copy-protected CDs, according to company executives.

The move began with the Chieftains’ album “Live From Dublin,” released Tuesday Feb. 22. Upcoming albums that will receive the treatment are from Kasabian, March 8 and Susie Suh, March 29.

Sony BMG expects that by year’s end, a substantial number of its U.S. releases will employ either Sunncomm’s newly enhanced MediaMax or First4Internet’s XCP to address piracy concerns. No matter which technology a CD uses, it will include extras such as photo galleries, enhanced liner notes and links to other features.

“What matters the most to us is the consumer experience,” Sony BMG Sales Enterprise co-president Jordan Katz says. “Both technologies offer playability across all standard players, including CD players, boomboxes, DVD players, PCs, Macs, car stereos, videogames and clock radios.”

Sunncomm’s earlier attempts at copy protection were so sophisticated that it took John Halderman, a Princeton University computer science graduate student, many, many minutes of hard work to crack MediaMax. John’s approach? Press the Shift key on a PC keyboard when inserting the CD into the drive.

I do not support or endorse piracy. I believe it is theft. However, we should not have to endure akward attempts by media companies to copy-protect CDs. Inconvenient. And such efforts merely strengthen the argument to avoid purchasing this type of media.

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