Sony’s somewhat unexpected decision to add MP3 capabilities to its digital music players suddenly makes its players look a whole lot more appealing. Previously only compatible with the company’s own music file format, Atrac, portable hard drive players like the NW-HD1 now stand a much greater chance of offering serious competition to the iPod. The VGF-AP1 already offers MP3 playback and the company is aimiing to launch newly MP3-compatible devices later this year. Software upgrades for those who already own the music players will also be available.
One of the best things about the decision is that it will be far easier to use other downloads services and there will be no more faffing about converting files on your PC before copying music across. Sony Connect is one of the less user-friendly online music downloads services around, so the company should probably think about giving that a bit of a revamp before it loses all its customers to other sites.