The gossip from the recent Apple Expo in San Francisco is that its iTunes music download service will launch in the spring, possibly coinciding with the arrival of the new iPod mini. While iTunes has been enormously successful in the US, the company has obviously found it significantly trickier to negotiate with the huge number of record companies based in the various countries across Europe.
It appears though that Apple will have soon have a rival as Sony is set to launch a music download service in the UK. At CES it announced a US system called Connect that will offer tracks for around a dollar a throw.
The system uses Sony’s ATRAC compressed music CODEC with users able to choose between three different sound quality formats. Connect will begin offering download in April in the US, with a similar service launching in the UK a few months later. The new service will be compatible with Sony’s recently launched HiMD format (click here for more details).
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