Sony’s new music store, Connect, is a combination of Apple’s iTunes, and Napster 3.0, yet it still has some potential for the future. The library of songs is a bit smaller than some other music applications, but then again Connect is a new product, and has new songs added every single day. Sony Connect is definitely going to be a competitor to iTunes and Napster in a few years, as it has a great base, and is constantly expanding.
Sony followed in iTunes footsteps when it comes to music downloads, offering 99 cents tracks, and $9.95 for most albums. With Sony Connect, you have two options for downloading your music. The first option is to download it directly from your browser, such as Internet Explorer, and right on to your hard drive. The second option is to download Sony SonicStage, which is free software used for managing your music, and burning it to CD’s. This increased versatility is very useful for users to get their music in the simplest way possible. The one main issue with Sony Connect is the lack of compatibility. Sony Connect is only compatible with Sony MP3 players and PDA’s. With only a few Sony MP3 players on the market currently, this extremely limits the possibilities for Connect. Also, Connect can not support MP3 files in its SonicStage program. All downloaded files are in ATRAC3 format, which take a considerable time longer than MP3 files, to transfer to a portable device. Like most music applications, Connect allows unlimited plays for your library, and limits the number of times you can burn a playlist to ten times. However, with Connect, five of the ten times have to be in ATRAC3 format, which means they will only work on certain Sony CD players, and Walkmans. The one thing Sony does have going for it, is the diversity of music that most music applications can not offer. Because Sony owns a ton of music, this can all be used exclusively in Connect, and no other application. Sony also includes a good number of independent artists, which often are the up and coming popular stars. Sony’s design in SonicStage, is easily navigable, and offers a few unique features. One of the more interesting features is called MoodMix. It allows you to click on different feelings, such as Mellow, Sad, Romantic, Wild, Happy, Upbeat, and then it recommends music to you, which is based on recommendations from their staff. Connect also offers free online radio, like most music applications. Other exclusive music with Connect includes Jimmy Kimmel sound clips, from the Jimmy Kimmel Show, which are truly hilarious. Overall, Sony Connect has a lot of room to improve, but has a good solid base to improve upon.
Sony Connect is a pretty good music application, but I wouldn’t recommend it to you, unless you own a Sony MP3 player, or Sony portable product, which you want to load music on. Sony has a reputation in the music industry to always be the best, and I think in a couple of years, you will see this reputation prove to be true, as they are, or close to the best music application.