Sony senior vice president Takao Yuhara met with reporters yesterday to announce that the company is working on -- drum roll, please -- a new digital audio player, software and download service to take on Apple's iPod. Yuhara didn't provide a whole lot of details, though he did say the player would be "typically Sony," by which we assume he meant it would be hobbled by intrusive DRM, poor support for formats other than ATRAC and prices that will make it completely uncompetitive in a market where you can get a decent 512MB flash player for well under $100. Still, we wish Sony luck. We really would like to see the company come up with an audio player that could return this pioneer to its early Walkman-era glory (we have an idea: hand the division over to the team that designs the Walkman phones). But we fear that what we'll be seeing will instead be this year's answer to the Bean.

Visa and Nokia team up for mobile payments