Pioneer Corp., Kenwood Corp, Sony Corp. and Sharp Corp. have came together at the start of the year to form Any Music Planning Inc.. Under this banner they co-developed a Linux-based music HiFi platform that enables home users to accesses and purchase music via networked services. Yesterday they showed working prototypes. Although co-developed – each of the four companies own a equal percentage of the development company – the units will be sold under their own brands.
Other devices such as the Onkyo Net-Tune NC-500, have had a similar form and functions – playing digitised music, delivered over a network connection and in the form of a traditional HiFi unit. Where this initiative differs is that the listener can buy the music via the device, without having to use their computer.
The new devices will initially pull content from online music service, LabelGate. It is thought that “OpenMG X”, Sony’s digital rights management and distribution technology will be used to protect the content.
The working versions will initially be released in Japanese, but “ultimately, our dream is to make the service a worldwide standard,” said Any Music CEO Fujio Noguchi.
Sharp’s audiovisual systems department head, Moriyuki Okada gave a stark comment – “Our industry is in crisis. We want to emerge from that by offering new business ideas.”