Sony Plans Video Downloads

Sony plans to add video content to its Connect music download service later this year, the head of the company's entertainment operations says. "Sony Connect, our music download service, has just been launched at beta-testing level and video downloading will follow later this year," said Howard Stringer, vice chairman and chief operating officer of Sony, at a Tokyo news conference. A company spokesman later downplayed the remarks and said that while Sony is considering a video download service it has made no decision on timing or the type of video content that may be offered.

Music Competitor

Sony launched its Connect music downloads service in the United States on May 5 and plans to launch the service in June in the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. It's a direct competitor to services like Napster and Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store, which launched a year earlier on April 28, 2003. Users of Connect can legally download songs and listen to them on a PC or compatible hardware device. Connect charges U.S. users 99 cents per song, or from $9.99 for an entire album. The songs are encoded in Sony's ATRAC3 format and protected against unauthorized copying with the company's MagicGate system.

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