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Sony Speeds Up Memory Sticks

Sony has announced they will soon update and replace their existing purple memory stick line. Sony is updating the flash memory format with faster cards with built in copy protection.

Sony Electronics is updating the original Memory Stick media by adding the ability to read data at higher speeds with built in copyright protection. The new cards will be distinguished by a new cobalt-blue color and will be available at retailers nationwide this spring.

New Memory StickWhen used with compatible (4-pin parallel), high-speed Memory Stick media-enabled hardware, users can enjoy read speeds that are up to four times faster than current standard Memory Stick media. The new media will allow users to speed up viewing their digital images on a compatible handhelds, camera and streaming video storage.

MagicGate copyright protection technology is also being incorporated across the new media family to allow for the secure distribution of commercial content, such as digital music. Sony has sold over 60 million memory sticks, and more than 50 million Memory Stick-enabled products have shipped to date.

Pricing for Sony's new Memory Stick media will be about $30 for 32MB, $40 for 64MB, $60 for 128MB, and $100 for 256MB and available in the spring.

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Cobalt blue

ceejay @ 2/13/2004 7:42:25 AM #
So I assume they will be OS 6 compatible then?

RE: Cobalt blue
The Black Moose @ 2/14/2004 12:00:41 AM #
Cobalt blue, was the pun intended or not?

Logically Sony would take into consideration their new memory stick when designing their new Clies for Palm OS 6 (a.k.a. 'Cobalt'). Curious though, how might one expect these newer sticks to be backwards compatible with older devices adhering to an older standard. Shall it be almost as flawless as if a USB 2.0 device were to be plugged into a USB 1.1 port?

I'd really prefer if Sony started using more universal types of storage media. It is obvious no other company wants to use MS unless Sony is just not permitting them use of technology.

Magic Gate

Quik_Fix @ 2/13/2004 8:08:03 AM #
I'm glad that they're including the Magic Gate. I tried for quite some time to get my hands on the mythical white memory stick about two years ago and had no luck whatsoever. I was interested in using the media program that game with the Clie. Since then, I just use Import and explorer to get music on the Clie, so I don't know if I would use it now. I just think it makes sense to allow customers access to the technology that lets them use all the features of the included software.



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RE: Magic Gate
hkklife @ 2/13/2004 9:11:34 AM #
If there is anyone who will manage to turn a good move (speeding up MS access for existing MS-compatible) devices, it'll be Sony with their ensouring MagicGate technology. The white MG sticks flopped *hard* upon their release 2 years ago and Sony's insistence to use them boggles anyone not affiliated with a major record label (as Sony is with Columbia, Epic, etc)

Truth be told, it's always been an uneasy alliance between Sony Computer, Sony Electronics, and Sony's Media groups (Columbia etc). There's a reason you never see a Sony-brand flash-based MP3 player:with the costly MG sticks, cheesy AATRAC "check-in" policies and so forth, they are an absolute waste in $. You can buy a decent mp3-playing Discman or any of numerous Clies and do a better job with "illegal" and non-protected MP3s than the lame Magic Gate players Sony's tried to toss onto the market for the past 3 years or so.

While SD in theory, a few years ago, looked like it might be Panasonic's version of MS, it has fortunately become far more widespread and popular than I ever envisioned. That way, there will always be a certain amount of leniency in the format that MS will never enjoy.

Rant: I personally refuse to buy ANY mp3 type player that requires me to check in/convert any file before I can put it on my player (Rio, Nomad, etc). If I cannot drag'n drop with Windows Explorer than I won't buy it, simple as that. USB 1.1 transfers take long enough as it is and I don't want to be bothered by any extra steps of flaky proprietary "Manager" software.

RE: Magic Gate
hkklife @ 2/13/2004 10:11:14 AM #
Whoops, I didn't read carefully enough--faster speeds only with "compatible" hardware. Sorry! Well, there's another mark against MS-Sony should've just throw in the towel years ago and jumped in bed with SD.

I think it's hysterical how Sony has long managed to steer around anything approaching an industry standard for flash memory. Let's see, that old Mavica digicam from '95/'96 used some sort of proprietary floppy disk cartridge format (not a standard 1.44mb floppy), then they had their PCMCIA memory card camera, then the Mavica line that used standard floppies, still available to this day. Next came a camera or two with nothing but internal RAM for picture storage before MS launched in '99/'00. Oh yeah, can't forget those nifty mini-CD-burning digicams too! Nowhere in Sony's history will you ever see a peripheral/camera using CF,SM, or SD/MMC, aside from the lame CF implementation on the recent Clie NX/NZs.

RE: Magic Gate
footy @ 2/13/2004 2:59:59 PM #
It's true that Sony loves proprietary solutions, but my DSC-F828 camera has a CompactFlash slot in addition to the Memory Stick slot.
RE: Magic Gate
PlasticMan @ 2/14/2004 1:49:03 PM #
> I think it's hysterical how Sony has long managed to steer
> around anything approaching an industry standard for flash memory.

my nx80v has a compact flash slot, something no palmone pda does.


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RE: Magic Gate
hkklife @ 2/15/2004 10:22:22 PM #
Right, but that's still a half-a**ed impleementation of a CF slot--you have to store your mp3 files on a MS instead of the larger/cheaper CF cards etc. If the CF slot on the NX60/NX70 Clies were an afterthought, it's still a half-hearted implementation on the NX80 & NX73. If Sony could have somehow afforadably done it with internal wi-fi or a wi-fi MS (via dual MS slots) they would've done it and not thought twice. The fact that Sony stuck a CF slot on that pricey new camera just seems like a carrot to dangle in front of "semi-professional" photographers who might own several Microdrives or very large & pricey 1gb+ CF cards.

Backward compatible

a3 @ 2/13/2004 9:30:47 AM #
I hope that the old purple media can be used in the new devices and that the new cobalt blue media can be read in older devices (without the speed increase of course)

___________________________________________________________________
Current fan of a 320x480 tablet shaped PDA with built in BT+Wifi for less than US$500
RE: Backward compatible
spaceboy @ 2/16/2004 9:52:15 PM #
Yes, according to the Lexar press release of their own line of enhanced memory sticks:

Las Vegas, February 12, 2004 (PMA Booth H100) -- Lexar Media, Inc. (Nasdaq: LEXR), a leading manufacturer and marketer of high-performance digital media and accessories, today announced a new line of updated Memory Stick™ products that will have significantly increased read speeds. Available this spring in capacities of 64MB, 128MB and 256MB (total 128MBx2), the enhanced Memory Stick delivers data read speeds that are up to four times faster than current cards, when used with compatible (4-pin parallel), high-speed Memory Stick-enabled devices. The new Memory Stick cards are also compatible with serial interface Memory Stick-enabled products.

“Lexar is pleased to provide this advancement in Memory Stick technology,” said Dave Klenske, Director of Product Marketing, Lexar Media. “These new cards will improve consumer experience because with faster read speeds, users will have shorter download times and faster access to information stored on the card.”

In addition to the increase in read speed, the enhanced Memory Stick memory cards include MagicGate™ copy protection technology, which enables the secure distribution of commercial content, such as copyright protected digital music and digital images.

Lexar’s new Memory Stick will be available with expected retail pricing of $39.99, $59.99 and $99.99 for capacities of 64MB, 128MB and 256MB, respectively.



RE: Backward compatible
a3 @ 2/27/2004 4:45:03 PM #
Thanks Spaceboy

____________________________________________________
Current fan of a 320x480 tablet shaped PDA with built in BT+Wifi for less than US$500

Not very successful

DevPOV @ 2/13/2004 3:57:35 PM #
50m MS devices have sold but only 60m memory sticks themselves. Not that my math is great, but doesn't that mean that most people buy one MS card and call it a day? I know I have several SD cards, so I assume a lot of the buyers of the 50m do also. But that leaves a ton of folks who either bailed on it, or bought 1.


RE: Not very successful
doctor__no @ 2/13/2004 5:27:04 PM #
Not quite.

It's actually really simple, there are a plethora of Memory-stick enabled gadgets out there that most people won't buy MS for.

For instance, Sony releases TVs, Memory Stick Readers, Camcorders, CD-burners, PSX,laptops, desktops, and even mouses with MS slots. The fact is, most people wouldn't buy a new memory stick just because their Sony Laptop comes with one, the MS-slot is there so that ppl that have a digital camera or PDA could use transfer files between them.

Of course, people that buy a MS-enabled digital camera or PDA would likely buy multiple MS, but people that have an MS-enabled computer/MS readers/laptop/ etc. won't need to buy another MS. Besides, flash memory is designed to be portable, in essense which means you should have at least two devices to take advantage of it's portability.

So which one is faster? SD or Sony Stick?

batmon @ 2/13/2004 5:08:04 PM #
Just wondering which one is faster in read and write. Any idea? Thanks.

Speed comparing to MS Pro?

achen @ 2/14/2004 1:35:47 AM #
Which one is faster ?


------ achen@clie.info ------
Why get Palm when you can get a Clie?

RE: Speed comparing to MS Pro?
AmrMan0628 @ 2/17/2004 2:08:54 PM #
I could be wrong... but I think the MS PRO's read/write speed is 10mb per sec. If the new ones are "up to" 4 times faster and the old Mem sticks are 2... then... "up to" 8mb per sec (keyword obviously is "up to")

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