Sony Connect Disconnecting?
Is Sony going to pull the plug on its Connect music-download store? A report at the PaidContent.org site last weekend said so, citing unnamed sources at Sony.
Axing Connect would make a lot of sense, as the store has been one of the biggest failures in the digital-music business. But on Tuesday, Sony spokeswoman Jennifer Glass said Connect would continue operating: "We intend to continue to support the existing Connect services."
Now, "intend to continue to support" is not quite an unequivocal declaration; people can change their intentions all the time. In a follow-up e-mail sent late Wednesday, however, Glass said that Sony would continue adding songs to Connect's 3-million-title inventory.
The company is, however, apparently laying off people at Connect, according to this Associated Press story. And PaidContent.org is standing by its original report, saying that Connect is still headed for a shutdown.
If Sony does close Connect, it may face one embarrassing problem: Will anybody notice?
Connect's hideously bad SonicStage software, proprietary ATRAC file format, thin inventory, weak hardware support and punitive usage restrictions put it behind competitors from the start (here's my original review) and never got much better. This store probably won't be missed. It may not even be remembered.
But maybe I'm wrong here. If you shop at Sony Connect, tell me what you like about it. If you once did but then gave up, tell me what drove you away.
(True confession: I shopped at Connect myself, even after writing that scathing review! Details after the jump.)
OK, I shopped--but I never spent any money. Sony had a promotion running at somebody else's Web site (as I recall, it was a car manufacturer), where signing up for some newsletter would get you a handful of free Connect downloads. I grabbed a few songs, burned them onto an audio CD, and then promptly copied the music right back off the CD in MP3 format. Then I unsubscribed from the newsletter.
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