, never imitated, nominated by
Engadget readers for worst
of the year, Sony's Walkman Bean is now about to fade into history, after just six months on the market.
While the rapid demise of the Bean is sure to be blamed on the fierce competition in the digital audio market, where
being a distant second-place
earns a company bragging rights, the product had its own share of failings, including Sony's SonicStage software,
clunky controls, and the lack of PlaysForSure support. In fact, that last point might have automatically doomed the
Bean, given that the market is rapidly separating into two camps: those that support iTunes (the iPod and a handful of
phones) and those that support PlaysForSure (everyone else). Sony's product didn't fit into either camp -- opting,
instead for integration with the company's proprietary Connect service -- and in the end the company is left with a
costly failure, pondering what might have bean.