Sony To Support MP3
C|net reports that Sony has confirmed that it is working to add native MP3 support to its flash memory-based portable music players in an effort to gain competitive ground against rivals such as the iPod. Sony's players currently use a proprietary format called ATRAC which uses a different compression algorithm for maximizing the number of songs that can fit onto the devices. Apparently the changes are coming about due to consumer complaints that audio files from sources other than Sony's download site 'Connect' are unplayable on the company's portable offerings without first re-encoding the music to be read by the device.
Sony has yet to publicly announce whether they will support MP3 file playback on hard drive-based players.