Convergence Fail

So, there’s a rumor going around that Sony is considering starting up an iTunes sort of service for the PSP.  It does make sense, in a way, because Sony does own an awful lot of content and the PSP could use some, even though their previous attempt at a music store in the US died a miserable, sad, and lonely death.

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Anyway, seeing an article on Sony making another try of it made me decide to try something.

See, I have an account on Sony’s “mora” music store in Japan, which is gamely struggling along in the face of iTunes.  It actually does have some advantages over iTunes for the Japanese market – for example, many fewer romanized track names – but it’s pretty shabby competition. The front end software, SonicStage, actually looks quite nice, but the store interface is a bit of a mess and makes it rather hard to find artists if they’re not currently featured performers.

Still, I’ve bought one track from it that wasn’t on iTunes, so I guess it has some point in existing.  It’s obviously designed for Sony’s Walkman line of portable media players and can’t talk to an iPod, but there’s the whole buy, burn to CD, re-rip into iTunes workaround thing.

Anyway, the article about the PSP music service made me realize that, while I don’t have a Walkman PMP – I keep wanting to say “mp3 player”, but Sony is more fond of their ATRAC format – I do have a PSP, and some brief googling revealed that some people have had luck using SonicStage to move music on to their PSPs.

Things were going swimmingly, at first.

I launched SonicStage – I have to use version 5.0 to talk to the Japanese store, and there’s no English version of the software, plugged in my PSP, and was gratified to see that the software recognized it right away.

Things were, I considered, going quite well.

Then I dragged the track I had purchased over to the PSP, SonicStage copied the album artwork over, there was a brief pause and then I got an error message about not having the correct rights to transfer the song in question.

I tried this a few times, making sure that I had a “MagicGate” comptible memory stick and fiddling with different options in the software, but eventually gave it up as a bit of a lost cause.  It seemed as though I simply wasn’t going to be able to move purchased tracks over to anything but an actual Walkman.

Then I thought, well, I’ve got SonicStage running, let’s rip a CD and move it over to the PSP. At least that way, I’d get album art on the PSP which has always been a bit of a problem.  I don’t often use it to listen to music, but at this point I was just trying to find some justification for the hassle I’d gone through so far.

So I put in my copy of “Perfume : Complete Best”, was happy to see that SonicStage recognized it and gave me track names, waited through a bit of a long ripping process, and tried to move it to the PSP, at which point I was again met with an error message about not having sufficient rights to the music.

You know what, at this point I give up.  I hope they do a better job with their upcoming store.

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