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(The Verge)   Sony is weird   (theverge.com) divider line 60
    More: Weird, Sony, OLED  
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7736 clicks; posted to Geek » on 30 Sep 2013 at 8:33 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-30 08:22:54 AM  
List is missing the  DCR-IP7 (a pocket-sized camcorder from 2001 that had bluetooth and could do web browsing), the Mavica (a jacket pocket-sized ILC camera from 1981), the MVC-C1 (first digital camera from 1988), and the DSC-F1 (point and shoot digital camera from '96 that had IR transfer), but there's some interesting stuff in there.
 
2013-09-30 09:01:26 AM  
Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.
 
2013-09-30 09:01:52 AM  
the Odo digital camera, for instance, was charged simply by spinning it.

Holy shiat I want one.  Yes, I know, cameras are on our phones these days, but I would assume a dedicated camera would have better resolution and not risk going insane if I pulled it out of my pocket to take a picture on an international trip.
 
2013-09-30 09:06:22 AM  
My favorite Sony product was my old 1 MP digital camera that used it's onboard 3.5" floppy drive to store pictures. Absolutely ate the 4x aa batteries to operate, but damn was it easy to use and share those pictures.

You could take about 6 pictures with flash before those 4 batteries were dead.
 
2013-09-30 09:16:35 AM  
I really wish OLED small TVs and monitors would become a thing already. Yes I know that you can get a big screen one now, but I find that large LCDs tend to produce better colour than small ones.

/heck, just give me a 7" AMOLED tablet already and I will be happy
 
2013-09-30 10:07:51 AM  
I think with  AIBO  that Sony has made the greatest and most sophisticated cat toy in existence. (Not that I can afford a cat toy that expensive.)
 
2013-09-30 10:12:11 AM  

skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.


The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.
 
2013-09-30 10:12:56 AM  
A friend of mine has a Rolly based alarm clock.  He's notoriously difficult to wake up and can literally get up, walk across a room, turn off a normal alarm clock, and go back to bed without waking significantly.  The Rolly however, he has to literally chase around the room to turn off and the process wakes him.  It's similar to this one, but also plays music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07oXGYf64Lo
 
2013-09-30 11:12:17 AM  

Mad_Radhu: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.


This is where their eReaders have been better, reading industry standard formats. Of course, having a proprietary DRM'd format didn't hurt Amazon.

skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.


They still experiment with goofy ideas and overengineer the shiat out of things.  Some of those ideas pan out, and, really, they only need a few of them to pan out to make it work.  The PS3 had way more than the 360 in it, and took a huge risk with BRD, but it drove Bluray into homes and won a format war, now if only they'd stop taking stuff like Other OS away
 
2013-09-30 11:14:09 AM  

Memoryalpha: A friend of mine has a Rolly based alarm clock.  He's notoriously difficult to wake up and can literally get up, walk across a room, turn off a normal alarm clock, and go back to bed without waking significantly.  The Rolly however, he has to literally chase around the room to turn off and the process wakes him.  It's similar to this one, but also plays music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07oXGYf64Lo


I have similar issues, where even having phone alarm apps that make me answer math questions aren't enough to fully wake me up. My only concern with something like Rolly is that it'd be a one-time use - once I had caught it.
 
2013-09-30 11:19:33 AM  

Mad_Radhu: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.


Sony music is a horrible division, who can nto adapt to modern technology.  they probably cost sony more marketshare then any of the other divisions combined.
 
2013-09-30 11:43:54 AM  
The last support of mine Sony got was for a VAIO I purchased back in 2005. Within two years the damn thing ceased to function due to a noted manufacturer defect. Do you think Sony cared to resolve the issue for the many customers they screwed over with their shoddy merchandise? No, and so that was the last of my money they ever saw.
 
2013-09-30 11:48:52 AM  

Mad_Radhu: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.


For a while back in the early '00s, Sony's Minidisc players were some of the best on the market, and they really had a huge leg up on comparable MP3 players in terms of size, music capacity, and price.  They even made some that you could connect to your PC via USB to transfer music over, but IIRC it only worked in real time, and had some funky DRM thing going on as well.  It's a shame, Minidisc was an awesome format, nearly lossless compression, virtually skip-proof, the discs were hard to damage, and the players and discs were tiny, it should have caught on.
 
2013-09-30 12:12:19 PM  

Obbi: Memoryalpha: A friend of mine has a Rolly based alarm clock.  He's notoriously difficult to wake up...

I have similar issues, where even having phone alarm apps that make me answer math questions aren't enough to fully wake me up. My only concern with something like Rolly is that it'd be a one-time use - once I had caught it.


It's pretty durable, he's thrown it against the wall and once through a window. and it's still working.  Was crashed out on their couch after a party when that thing went off and started doing it's thing, next thing I heard was the sound of breaking glass, The clock was still going outside his window, though it wasn't getting very far due to wet grass.
 
2013-09-30 12:19:25 PM  
Am I out of my gourd in remembering a Sony Discman, early 90s, that was smaller than a CD?  In that like 1/4th of the CD was inside the machine and 3/4ths of it was spinning out in free space like a buzz-saw.  I've occasionally Googled for it, but never found what I sorta-kinda remember seeing once.
 
2013-09-30 12:20:16 PM  
Never mind... someone posted a link to it in the comments section of TFA.
 
2013-09-30 12:35:27 PM  
Oblig?

www.pocketgamer.co.uk

/hot
 
2013-09-30 12:39:00 PM  
Missing the A1000 Walkman

img.engadget.com

Curved OLED Screen
 
2013-09-30 12:51:41 PM  
Another vote for the minidisc. 40 hours of radio programs on one small disc, the player gets 120 hours per 'aa' battery. The company sort of lost its' way when Morita died. He was quite the salesman, always trying to get my father to work for the company. At one point Raytheon owned a substantial part of the company.a couple of times when stranded traveling I have seen iPhones/mp3 players die and not being able to find a socket. I just drop in another 'aa' battery. Same with my ebook reader - runs on two 'aaa' batteries for weeks.
Of course, that is my backup ebook reader, the kindle paper white is awesome and my primary when traveling. Another travel hint while I digress. Carry two phones. An ancient flip that can be used as a backup due to the extended battery life (and can be charged from two 'aa' batteries) as well as your smartphone that  doesn't have a huge battery life.

My favorite story was when Sony was buying RCA records. The stock market crashed and the purchase price in the contract went up a couple of hundred million due to the exchange rate. Morita was asked is he wanted to call off the deal, he said to go through with it. As it tuns out later, the RCA hq in Japan at the then real estate rates was worth more than the rest of the company. Sony got the floor space they needed to expand and got a huge entertainment company tossed in "for free".
 
2013-09-30 12:57:48 PM  

Lawnchair: Am I out of my gourd in remembering a Sony Discman, early 90s, that was smaller than a CD?  In that like 1/4th of the CD was inside the machine and 3/4ths of it was spinning out in free space like a buzz-saw.  I've occasionally Googled for it, but never found what I sorta-kinda remember seeing once.


BJ's Club sold those; seemed kinda an iffy design, but got rave reviews from a good friend; compared to the pathetically low memory MP3 players of the time it was amazing, but the expense of both the player and the mini-discs made it prohibitive. A fine example of a technology lost in the cracks of the flood of new tech... MP3 players evolved fast enough and were inexpensive enough to compete and outpace them before anyone could afford the minidisc players. Kinda how Kodak spent MILLIONS of 1980s dollars on developing self-developing Super-8 home movie film, only for the cheap VCR Tape caperas to bury them. In fact, Kodak's reluctance to embrace the very digital tech that they invented in the R&D department was their downfall.

As for the Sony Clie Palm Handheld... holy shiat those things were AWESOME but at $600 in late 90s/early 2000s dollars that was once again a lost cause; Handspring beat them on price and adaptability, Palm beat them in reliability, and eventually the iThing revolution killed them all, but for one brief, glorious moment they were the gold standard in the future of hand-held devices. The swivel camera, the swivel screen, the speed of the hardware... that thing was phenominal for its time, but the economic crash buried them at that obscene price; I mean, a decent Handspring could be had for $150, and a color one for $200; compared to $600 the Clie never stood a chance.
 
2013-09-30 01:10:51 PM  
I've still got a MD player. It was far better than the MP3 players at the time. Would run for most of the week at work on a single battery, and could fit plenty of music on a couple of high capacity discs. I still dig it out from time to time since it has music on it I don't have on anything else.

I think many of the things they did are in retrospect failures, but at the time they were different options that often were better. MP3s were crap, and still are in some ways, but the ease of sharing and other factors helped them win out in the long run. That's just how stuff works. Multiple ways of achieving something sprout up and eventually one wins out and the other(s) fade away only to be rembered as a stupid idea.

I also can't remember being let down by sony products like I have by many others.
 
db2
2013-09-30 01:17:24 PM  

StupidFly: My favorite Sony product was my old 1 MP digital camera that used it's onboard 3.5" floppy drive to store pictures. Absolutely ate the 4x aa batteries to operate, but damn was it easy to use and share those pictures.

You could take about 6 pictures with flash before those 4 batteries were dead.


That's impressive. You don't often see a digital camera that costs more to operate than traditional film and developing/printing.
 
2013-09-30 01:30:12 PM  
On the sony clie. I have two of their "high res" units that took that awful standards they tried to push against sd cards, etc. awesome for reading books. Bad memory management, but the 320 resolution display was very readable (monochrome) that with the little spin bar for right handlers made reading on the go so awesome. One handed reading, decent display, thumb to go page forward, I could drop back for one of those 'aaa'  powered monochrome units for my travel ebook unit.

Seriously, everything I carry on due to today's security crap fits in a very small box. Jetbook, minidIsc, headphones, 5x minidisks media, smartphone,  dumb phone, batteries, battery adaptor, 2 small solar chargers. In far less space than the average woman's purse, extra rechargeable batteries.
 
2013-09-30 01:41:24 PM  
NBSV: I also can't remember being let down by sony products like I have by many others.

Memory Stick
 
2013-09-30 01:46:24 PM  
Every so often I want to forgive Sony for dumb shiat, then I find new dumb Sony shiat.

Latest example, ended up with a Sony headend in a used truck I just bought.  I probably would have tossed a $50 cheapie in since it's just the truck, but hey, whatevs.  Mildly cool... no optical drive, just USB. Works well enough with iPod/Phones, not so much with Android stuff.

So, fiddling around in the dash, and it's got a perfectly normal set of RCA plug audio inputs.  Plug in an aux jack, and Bob's your uncle, right?

Ha ha... nope.  Have to trigger the separate 'Unilink' port to make the bog-standard RCA-in do anything.  Sony would be glad to sell you an external box, for $100 flipping bucks, that triggers the little digital port and passes the analog audio through.  There are some hacks that involve programming an external IC/circuit.  Or, I'll just ignore it.  Still... so, so Sony.  Apple learned lots from them.
 
2013-09-30 02:21:56 PM  

Electrify: I really wish OLED small TVs and monitors would become a thing already. Yes I know that you can get a big screen one now, but I find that large LCDs tend to produce better colour than small ones.

/heck, just give me a 7" AMOLED tablet already and I will be happy


Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Your welcome.
 
2013-09-30 02:23:57 PM  

Lawnchair: Every so often I want to forgive Sony for dumb shiat, then I find new dumb Sony shiat.


Same with me.  Some of their stuff is brilliant but some of it is just garbage or even worse it's beautiful but implemented so poorly that it makes you pine for what it could have been. I'm looking at you PS3 you magnificent turd.  I remember turning to my wife when reading patch notes for the PS3 and saying the following, "Look at this crap they are backslapping themselves about adding text chat functionality to the PS3 when the Xbox has had voice chat for years."

How can you hate on a company that made the minidisc though? I loved those things and they were miles ahead of the MP3 players available at the time.  "Oh you need to buy an expensive memory card* to increase your storage? That sucks. Hey look 5 mini-discs for $10!"

The original discman was great too. Yes it did destroy CDS if you used it wrong, but that was your fault not the hardware.

*Yes they used to be expensive, small, and unreliable
 
2013-09-30 02:31:13 PM  

Z-clipped: Electrify: I really wish OLED small TVs and monitors would become a thing already. Yes I know that you can get a big screen one now, but I find that large LCDs tend to produce better colour than small ones.

/heck, just give me a 7" AMOLED tablet already and I will be happy

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Your welcome.


D'oh. Stupid Swype keyboard.
 
2013-09-30 02:45:50 PM  

skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.


The change came when Sony made more money making movies and music, and leadership shifted in that direction. It didn't help that quality declined in the 90s (Sony optical drives were crap for many years).

It seems to be changing back, but there is a lot of damage to be undone.

Sony also has an obsession with proprietary technology to the point of shooting themselves in the foot sometimes.
 
2013-09-30 02:57:31 PM  
 
2013-09-30 03:01:01 PM  

LesserEvil: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The change came when Sony made more money making movies and music, and leadership shifted in that direction. It didn't help that quality declined in the 90s (Sony optical drives were crap for many years).

It seems to be changing back, but there is a lot of damage to be undone.

Sony also has an obsession with proprietary technology to the point of shooting themselves in the foot sometimes.


Sony likes to be on top of the component supply/production food chain, like Samsung, Philips, Panasonic, Qualcomm, etc.  Even if their product fails, they're selling components to a hundred other companies to offset the R&D and the product losses
 
2013-09-30 03:25:45 PM  

Z-clipped: Electrify: I really wish OLED small TVs and monitors would become a thing already. Yes I know that you can get a big screen one now, but I find that large LCDs tend to produce better colour than small ones.

/heck, just give me a 7" AMOLED tablet already and I will be happy

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Your welcome.


Are the new Tabs AMOLED? I thought they were still LCDs?
 
2013-09-30 04:06:13 PM  
I wish SCD would of stuck around.  It and DVD Audio were fighting for a super niche market.  5.1 High Definition Audio sounds amazing, I used to have a DVD player that played the format so I ordered 2 Audio DVD's that were remastered for 5.1 and they sounded amazing on a decent surround sound setup.  The problem is back then most people didn't have 5.1 systems.  Way more people have them today and I would pay more for digital 5.1 versions of music but sadly that will probably never happen even though it's more practical today then it was ten years ago.
 
2013-09-30 04:12:49 PM  
I used to have a Sony Minidisc MP3 player. I had 12 gigs of mp3s back in the early 00's when most people didn't have one, and they were all stored on a collection of Minidiscs. I wish i still had it, but I sold it to a music student who wanted a reliable recording device.
 
2013-09-30 04:26:28 PM  

blacksharpiemarker: The last support of mine Sony got was for a VAIO I purchased back in 2005. Within two years the damn thing ceased to function due to a noted manufacturer defect. Do you think Sony cared to resolve the issue for the many customers they screwed over with their shoddy merchandise? No, and so that was the last of my money they ever saw.


The lesson here is: NEVER EVER buy a Sony PC.  Overpriced, underperforming POS.  That's one place Sony either needs to get out of or hire people that know what to do with PCs.  Sony trying to be the Apple of PCs is one of the dumbest ideas they've had.
 
2013-09-30 04:29:15 PM  
The digital camera you just spin to charge probably would have had more takers if it didn't look like a baby toy.
 
2013-09-30 04:30:10 PM  

Memoryalpha: A friend of mine has a Rolly based alarm clock.  He's notoriously difficult to wake up and can literally get up, walk across a room, turn off a normal alarm clock, and go back to bed without waking significantly.  The Rolly however, he has to literally chase around the room to turn off and the process wakes him.  It's similar to this one, but also plays music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07oXGYf64Lo


Obbi: I have similar issues, where even having phone alarm apps that make me answer math questions aren't enough to fully wake me up. My only concern with something like Rolly is that it'd be a one-time use - once I had caught it.


The thing with Clocky is that it is so loud and offensive sounding that you get up just to turn it off so you don't need to hear it in the first place. I use it as my back-up alarm and set it to go off a few minutes after my main alarm.

(It also scares the hell out of the cat)
 
2013-09-30 05:03:44 PM  

Cork on Fork: Memoryalpha: A friend of mine has a Rolly based alarm clock.  He's notoriously difficult to wake up and can literally get up, walk across a room, turn off a normal alarm clock, and go back to bed without waking significantly.  The Rolly however, he has to literally chase around the room to turn off and the process wakes him.  It's similar to this one, but also plays music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07oXGYf64Lo

Obbi: I have similar issues, where even having phone alarm apps that make me answer math questions aren't enough to fully wake me up. My only concern with something like Rolly is that it'd be a one-time use - once I had caught it.

The thing with Clocky is that it is so loud and offensive sounding that you get up just to turn it off so you don't need to hear it in the first place. I use it as my back-up alarm and set it to go off a few minutes after my main alarm.

(It also scares the hell out of the cat)


Clocky is also $45, the Rolly was $400. I don't know about you guys, but when I am listening to music, I want my speakers to stay put. I just can't picture anyone buying one of those.
 
2013-09-30 05:43:40 PM  

Z-clipped: Electrify: I really wish OLED small TVs and monitors would become a thing already. Yes I know that you can get a big screen one now, but I find that large LCDs tend to produce better colour than small ones.

/heck, just give me a 7" AMOLED tablet already and I will be happy

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Your welcome.


The only thing I have against AMOLED screens is that on my galaxy nexus there appears to be an issue with burnin.   I think the only reason it did is because it uses softbuttons on the main screen (for the standard android back, home and tabs buttons), and the statusbar on top.   On blue screens or some movies, I can see the edges where the black bars would normally be.

Not MUCH of an issue and it's just one of those, you only see it because you know to look for it, but it soured me a bit.

New tech probably fixes that issue.
 
2013-09-30 05:44:53 PM  

Dragonflew: Cork on Fork: Memoryalpha: A friend of mine has a Rolly based alarm clock.  He's notoriously difficult to wake up and can literally get up, walk across a room, turn off a normal alarm clock, and go back to bed without waking significantly.  The Rolly however, he has to literally chase around the room to turn off and the process wakes him.  It's similar to this one, but also plays music. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=07oXGYf64Lo

Obbi: I have similar issues, where even having phone alarm apps that make me answer math questions aren't enough to fully wake me up. My only concern with something like Rolly is that it'd be a one-time use - once I had caught it.

The thing with Clocky is that it is so loud and offensive sounding that you get up just to turn it off so you don't need to hear it in the first place. I use it as my back-up alarm and set it to go off a few minutes after my main alarm.

(It also scares the hell out of the cat)

Clocky is also $45, the Rolly was $400. I don't know about you guys, but when I am listening to music, I want my speakers to stay put. I just can't picture anyone buying one of those.


I saw some cool alarm clocks that would incorporate wheels and would drive around your room when it went off, requiring you to chase it down.  Great for people like me who could hit the snooze alarm for 4 hours straight without realizing it.
 
2013-09-30 05:46:22 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: Mad_Radhu: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.

For a while back in the early '00s, Sony's Minidisc players were some of the best on the market, and they really had a huge leg up on comparable MP3 players in terms of size, music capacity, and price.  They even made some that you could connect to your PC via USB to transfer music over, but IIRC it only worked in real time, and had some funky DRM thing going on as well.  It's a shame, Minidisc was an awesome format, nearly lossless compression, virtually skip-proof, the discs were hard to damage, and the players and discs were tiny, it should have caught on.


if it came a few years earlier, maybe, but the iPods killed the market for that, influencing people to go with MP3 players which had a larger music library capacity.
 
2013-09-30 05:58:41 PM  

Latinwolf: TuteTibiImperes: Mad_Radhu: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.

For a while back in the early '00s, Sony's Minidisc players were some of the best on the market, and they really had a huge leg up on comparable MP3 players in terms of size, music capacity, and price.  They even made some that you could connect to your PC via USB to transfer music over, but IIRC it only worked in real time, and had some funky DRM thing going on as well.  It's a shame, Minidisc was an awesome format, nearly lossless compression, virtually skip-proof, the discs were hard to damage, and the players and discs were tiny, it should have caught on.

if it came a few years earlier, maybe, but the iPods killed the market for that, influencing people to go with MP3 players which had a larger music library capacity.


MiniDisc had about a ten year lead on the iPod as a format, however I can't remember when the first NetMD players hit (the ones that let you transfer music over USB from a computer).

The hard drive based MP3 players changed the game.  Flash memory was very expensive for little space in the late 90s/early 00s.  The first Diamond Rio units that jump started the whole segment had, I believe, 32mb worth of memory, and cost around $300 in '90s dollars.
 
2013-09-30 06:00:02 PM  

Latinwolf: TuteTibiImperes: Mad_Radhu: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.

For a while back in the early '00s, Sony's Minidisc players were some of the best on the market, and they really had a huge leg up on comparable MP3 players in terms of size, music capacity, and price.  They even made some that you could connect to your PC via USB to transfer music over, but IIRC it only worked in real time, and had some funky DRM thing going on as well.  It's a shame, Minidisc was an awesome format, nearly lossless compression, virtually skip-proof, the discs were hard to damage, and the players and discs were tiny, it should have caught on.

if it came a few years earlier, maybe, but the iPods killed the market for that, influencing people to go with MP3 players which had a larger music library capacity.


A lot of sony products are 'Oooooh you were so close', or were awesome products, but were just awesome for about 1 year before another technology blew it out of the water.

It doesn't help that they always seem to do whatever it takes to retard the market adoption of their own tech.
 
2013-09-30 06:03:35 PM  

Electrify: Z-clipped: Electrify: I really wish OLED small TVs and monitors would become a thing already. Yes I know that you can get a big screen one now, but I find that large LCDs tend to produce better colour than small ones.

/heck, just give me a 7" AMOLED tablet already and I will be happy

Samsung Galaxy Tab 7.7

Your welcome.

Are the new Tabs AMOLED? I thought they were still LCDs?


Nope, all of the newer phones and the Note 1, 2 and 3 are AMOLED, but that was the only Tab that was built with it. It's also "super AMOLED", which supposedly compensates for the usual lack of brightness those displays have.

You can still buy the 7.7, but they aren't cheap, and they're only available on Verizon if you want 3/4G.
 
2013-09-30 06:04:35 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: The hard drive based MP3 players changed the game. Flash memory was very expensive for little space in the late 90s/early 00s. The first Diamond Rio units that jump started the whole segment had, I believe, 32mb worth of memory, and cost around $300 in '90s dollars.


When my friend got one of those, we basically viewed it like some sort of holy relic.   Being able to squeeze about 2CDs worth onto one player...

And of course, putting 'One Winged Angel' on it and then riding our ghetto-cruiser around the neighborhood probably contributed to the fond memories I had of the Rio.

(It really was a ghetto-cruiser.  Little did I know our first test of that MP3 player would lead to a gang beatdown that I never knew I was being driven to.   So there's some fodder for the **AAs our first exposure to a production MP3 player led to gang violence)
 
2013-09-30 06:11:49 PM  

Latinwolf: TuteTibiImperes: Mad_Radhu: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.

For a while back in the early '00s, Sony's Minidisc players were some of the best on the market, and they really had a huge leg up on comparable MP3 players in terms of size, music capacity, and price.  They even made some that you could connect to your PC via USB to transfer music over, but IIRC it only worked in real time, and had some funky DRM thing going on as well.  It's a shame, Minidisc was an awesome format, nearly lossless compression, virtually skip-proof, the discs were hard to damage, and the players and discs were tiny, it should have caught on.

if it came a few years earlier, maybe, but the iPods killed the market for that, influencing people to go with MP3 players which had a larger music library capacity.


MP3s were big before the iPod came along, Archos and Rio players were popular. In 1999, I created an MP3 player for an AutoPC deck I was working on for an automotive supplier.

Sony's obsession with ATRAC was rather nasty. One supplier I worked with to engineer a line of radios for GM looked into using Sony's chips to encode music to a hard drive. The big gotchas at the time were automotive-grade (temp range, g-shock, etc,..) hard drive prices and the ATRAC format we'd be stuck with. At the time, for legal reasons, they didn't want to allow MP3s to be directly loaded into the radio anyway, but we still wanted the flexibility to go that way if legal got around that bit.

At least the iPod pretty much swept away the concern manufacturers had for liability with regards to pirated MP3 music files... but Sony could have been 4 years ahead of the game had they dumped ATRAC in favor of the generic format.
 
2013-09-30 06:13:32 PM  

Latinwolf: TuteTibiImperes: Mad_Radhu: skozlaw: Sony was weird. Most of that stuff is old. Makes me wonder if the same culture shift that resulted in them sliding from respected electronics giant to malware manufacturer also cut engineers off from experimenting with goofy ideas.

The malware was from the Bad Idea Bears over at Sony Music, a whole separate division of the company. Unfortunately, their meddling is probably what cost Sony the DAP market by insisting on stupid things like requiring early Walkman player convert all music transferred to the player into DRM'd ATRAC format music instead of just playing normal MP3s like every other player on the market.

For a while back in the early '00s, Sony's Minidisc players were some of the best on the market, and they really had a huge leg up on comparable MP3 players in terms of size, music capacity, and price.  They even made some that you could connect to your PC via USB to transfer music over, but IIRC it only worked in real time, and had some funky DRM thing going on as well.  It's a shame, Minidisc was an awesome format, nearly lossless compression, virtually skip-proof, the discs were hard to damage, and the players and discs were tiny, it should have caught on.

if it came a few years earlier, maybe, but the iPods killed the market for that, influencing people to go with MP3 players which had a larger music library capacity.


I had two MD players back in the late 90s. The "funky DRM" thing was a concession to the RIAA at the time if I remember correctly... Basically, you could record in high quality digital format, but they were crippled to only allow analog dubbing to other MD players (you could still dub digitally to DAT) to prevent users from flooding the market with cheap digital bootlegs.

I was running a jazz club at the time, and I made some awesome recordings of some pretty big names using my little Sony player. From what I understand, a lot of amateur recording nerds still use MD for its portability.
 
2013-09-30 06:35:47 PM  
www.porterelectronics.com
Mavica CD500, rather hi-tech for 2003   http://www.docs.sony.com/release/specs/MVCCD500spec.pdf
 
2013-09-30 06:46:34 PM  
One of Sony's biggest strengths traditionally has been displays.  They were hands down the best on the market when it came to CRT televisions, and one of the best when it came to CRT monitors.

They fell behind a bit in the flat panel age, failing to find a balance between affordability and performance with the SXRD tech (the Qualia reference products they released were incredible, but insanely priced, the mass market stuff was affordable, but nothing special) and then falling mid-pack for much of the plasma/lcd/led fight.

They're finally starting to really innovate again.  Using quantum dots for LED TVs is a cool idea, though at the moment they're just using them as color filters with white LEDs, but if they can create dedicate RGB quantum dot arrays they could make some awesome TVs.

They had what they called a 'crystal LED' tv at CES a year or two back, which basically made each pixel a set of RGB LEDs, combining the best elements of CRT and LCD performance without the pixel life issued of OLED.  So far I haven't seen anything come to market based on it, but it would be a game changer if they could make it work.
 
2013-09-30 09:12:36 PM  

diggumsmax: I wish SCD would of stuck around.  It and DVD Audio were fighting for a super niche market.  5.1 High Definition Audio sounds amazing, I used to have a DVD player that played the format so I ordered 2 Audio DVD's that were remastered for 5.1 and they sounded amazing on a decent surround sound setup.  The problem is back then most people didn't have 5.1 systems.  Way more people have them today and I would pay more for digital 5.1 versions of music but sadly that will probably never happen even though it's more practical today then it was ten years ago.


SACD faded into relative obscurity for good reason, IMO. As with so many other Sony technologies, the record company boys sabotaged it. SACD players will only play discs that are digitally signed - and only the pressing plants have the signing keys. You can't burn your own, regardless of how much you like DSD audio. It's another way to lock out the little guys in the name of "fighting piracy."
 
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