Sony Doesn't Get It
2005 November 2 by Josh
As you probably already know, Sony BMG recently began selling CDs with "copy-protection" built in. I purchased the new Switchfoot album a while back, and was immediately intrigued to find more FBI, anti-piracy and "Sony System Requirements" information than actual cover artwork. Really guys, does the FBI logo need to be larger than a silver dollar?
Regardless, after my wife had already purchased and unpacked the CD I was alarmed to read on the case that the music on the CD was "not compatible" with iTunes (or anything else not made by Sony). If you stick the CD into your Windows PC, it installs Sony's own media player and DRM setup, crippling you from putting the music on anything but a Sony device. I know the iTunes DRM can be strict, but this is ridiculous.
Fortunately, all my music is on my Mac, and Sony's crippling DRM doesn't function outside of Windows—yet. To be honest, I was wondering if I could even play the CD in a traditional CD player that wasn't made by Sony. Is this really the best way to solve piracy?
To add insult to injury, I also own a Sony PSP. While the device is pretty slick, the software for syncing your photos, music, and video has always been worthless. Two days ago Sony releases their new Sony Media Software, aimed at making the PSP experience more like Apple's iTunes. Only Sony's asking $20 for the software (or $25 for the boxed version).
What in the heck? Not that $20 is a lot of money, but I dropped $300 on my PSP (like everyone else). Doesn't it seem like Sony could win friends and influence people by dropping its new software for no charge? Hate to break it to you Sony, but your Media Software isn't anything special—it's what should have been included with the PSP to begin with.
While Apple is making its technology easy to adopt, Sony is burning through my goodwill fast will with its many craptastic solutions.