Robert Ashcroft, Sony’s VP for European Network services has commented that the company’s online music offering, Connect, will be launching in Europe this Monday.
All five of the major labels, along with 150 independents, have signed up for the service.
Tracks will be encoded in Sony’s proprietary ATRAC format, not MP3, so you’ll need Sony’s Sonic Stage software to make use of the music store. And forget about using your iPod too.
Meanwhile, Apple are getting the champagne ready for the 100,000,000th iTunes track sold. To mark the event, Apple are giving away 50 new iPods, a gift certificate for 10,000 iTunes downloads (!) and 1 17” Powerbook. iTunes customers around the world are eligible.
“As we approach the unprecedented milestone of 100 million legally downloaded songs, we want to thank our customers who have made the iTunes Music Store such a stunning success,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iTunes is pulling even further ahead of its competitors, and it’s all due to the wonderful customers we have.” That’s right Steve, don’t you forget it.
Jobs originally predicted that 100 million milestone would be reached within the first year of iTunes – but that would have been the end of April. This celebration is coming a little later than expected, but nevertheless iTunes has been an incredible success and its monthly totals are now far in excess of previous expectations.