Sony announce their first ATRAC free DAP

After years of well designed, but unsuccessful Digital Audio Players, it looks like Sony has finally learned from it’s mistakes and has decided to evolve. This is the first portable audio device after the K7 and CD Walkmans that isn’t compatible with their ill-fated, and unpopular, ATRAC audio codec.

This walkman is compatible with MP3 and WMA only. And for the first time also, you don’t have to use Sony’s buggy Sonic Stage application to put music on the device. You can simply drag and drop music to the player, as you should be able to with all music players in my opinion (although I don’t dislike iTunes’ way of managing the audio files).

This player will be available in 1GB and 2GB models, both have a radio, and they will be released in Europe in August. Sony hasn’t announced a date for a possible release in the US or Japan yet. Is this the start of a new approach for a good quality, DRM and software-free Digital Audio? Or is Sony simply testing the waters?

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