Who Likes Transcoding?

july 26, 2004

Uhm, hands? Anyone? Yea, just as I thought. No one likes to transcode their music. I have 20GB+ of music ripped and encoded using LAME at a high bitrate. I am not going to let some crappy software like SonicStage transcode my music to ATRAC3. And I can bet that no one out there will want the same either. So, why can't Sony see the same? The NW-HD1 is a great looking machine and the specs are all wonderful -- except for the fact that in order to listen to music on it, all music has to be encoded as ATRAC3 or ATRAC3plus. So, that whole library of MP3s that you spent hours building will have to be transcoded from MP3 to ATRAC3, which is not only time consuming, but will result in lost audio quality. Yes, MP3 is a very lossy way of storing music, so why lose even more by re-encoding it into ATRAC3? Why not release a music player like the iPod that can play both a DRM'd file and MP3 (or even an open file standard like Ogg)? Sounds much like the Sony Entertainment arm of the corporation is still forcing the Sony Electronics arm to create crippled hardware in order to "protect" the assests of the entertainment arm. Not only does it not protect anything, this sort of action is killing the electronics arm. Sony Electronics needs to give Sony Entertainment the finger and tell them to screw off. Then Sony Electronics can come out with the cool hardware that it needs to -- especially if Sony wants to squash the iPod, which if it wanted to, it could.