Sony Connect Online Music Store Launches Today, Offering Music Fans More Than 500,000 Legal Downloads From Major and Independent Record Labels Around the Globe

Sony Connect Inaugurates the Domestic Launch of Its Online Music Store With a Live In-Flight Concert on United Airlines Featuring a Performance by Grammy® Award-Winning Recording Artist Sheryl Crow


Sony Connect Inc. today formally announced the domestic launch of its new Connect™ online music store (, offering consumers an easy-to-use, affordable and secure means of purchasing music online for download to a wide variety of Sony® portable electronic devices. The announcement was made from United Airlines' Red Carpet Club at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport prior to the carrier's first-ever Chicago-to-Los Angeles in-flight concert. The concert features Grammy® Award-winning recording artist Sheryl Crow, who will perform at 35,000 feet in front of an audience of select fans and VIPs. Today also marked the launch of, a partnership between Sony Connect and United Airline's popular Mileage Plus® frequent flyer program. gives the more than 44 million Mileage Plus members the opportunity to earn and redeem miles for online music.

"We are very excited about the launch of Connect," said Robert S. Wiesenthal, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Sony Corporation of America. "Sony Connect provides consumers with an easy-to-use store that is integrated with a wide range of devices, while meeting the requirements from the music industry for secure distribution of digital content."

"Giving music fans the opportunity to connect with the widest range of artists is what our store is all about," said Jay Samit, General Manager of Sony Connect Inc. "Discovering new and exciting music is at the heart of the Connect experience. Additionally, consumers will benefit from the flexibility that only Sony can offer, with access to the largest selection of portable audio players on the market, priced to fit anyone's music lifestyle." has licensed more than 500,000 tracks from all major and many independent music labels, as well as exclusive content from such artists as Avril Lavigne, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Snow Patrol, and Toby Lightman. The store will not employ a subscription model; rather, it will offer content ala carte-style, with singles starting at 99 cents, and entire albums starting at $9.99. Users may play the Connect downloads an unlimited number of times on up to three personal computers that are registered with the Connect store, including the personal computer on which the Connect Downloads are originally downloaded. In general, users may then transfer the licensed Connect Downloads an unlimited number of times onto portable music devices and media that are compatible with the store. In addition, users may "burn" up to ten CDs (five in ATRAC format and five in Redbook format). Connect users can define their own genre home page to customize their shopping experience, and Connect is the only store with album pages for every artist.

Today's event also celebrates the launch of Hi-MD™ Walkman® digital music players. Hi-MD Walkman players are compatible with the Sony Connect online music store and use Hi-MD removable media, providing music lovers with massive storage capacity to build an infinite library of their favorite songs.

In the U.S. alone, Sony has sold more than two and a half million Walkman-branded devices that are already compatible with the Connect store. By the end of the year, that number will increase to over seven million. In addition to Hi-MD, other compatible devices include Net MD™ Walkman® recorders, ATRAC® CD Walkman players, and Network Walkman™ players. With devices ranging from $60-$400, Sony meets the needs of a broad range of customers and applications for digital online music.

The store will feature ATRAC3™ audio compression that effectively reduces the size of audio files while delivering superb sound quality. With ATRAC3 compression, music can be recorded and compressed to 132kbps (kilobits per second), allowing consumers to store more high fidelity audio on CD recordable, MD, Hi-MD™ or Memory Stick® media.

In the coming months, consumers will be treated to a steady stream of upgrades. Sony Connect plans to roll out newer versions of the software, providing users with more features and flexibility, and compatibility with devices from other manufacturers.

About Sony Connect Inc.

Sony Connect Inc., based in Santa Monica, California, is a subsidiary of Sony Corporation of America. Sony Connect currently offers consumers more than 500,000 music tracks from major label and independent artists, as well as the ability to enjoy that content on a wide range of digital music devices that are priced to suit any lifestyle.

SOURCE: Sony Connect Inc.

CONTACT: Mack Araki, +1-212-833-6821,, or Lisa
Gephardt, +1-212-833-6826,, both for Sony Connect

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