new Sony Connect player

We'll probably forever have our issues with Sony—first and foremost that they won't return our calls, but that's neither here nor there—but it is pretty weird when for years you air complaints about what they're doing, and one by one they actually, you know, fix their problems. We're not sure if it's Sir Howard Stringer at the helm, or if it's just a corporate mid-life crisis, but we almost fell out of our chairs when Sony announced last year that their audio players would start supporting MP3. They dealt another knockout as late as last week when—get this—they started putting SD slots in their machines. Yeah, right alongside MemoryStick slots. Seriously. And what's more, after they announced their new line of Network Walkman devices late yesterday, we discovered they even had intentions of adding WMA support, which just about dislocated our jaws, they dropped so hard.

But you're going to love this one best of all, Sony fans and audio player aficionados: according to parties in (earlier) attendence at their press conference, Sony's killing SonicStage. That's right, gone, done, fin… the nightmare is over. Well, kind of. We don't know if their forthcoming devices are properly mass-storage compliant (something still tells us they won't be), but at very least you'll have to start doing the brunt of your music-loading work in their new version of the Connect Player they've got coming out—which looks a helluva lot like the Sony take on iTunes. So we'll see, we'll see. But SonicStage: after you go gently into this good night, please, do not rest in peace. We hope you toss and turn in your grave for all eternity, SonicStage, and then some.

Love, Engadget.

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The latest chapter in Sony's sea change--SonicStage dies