Sony kills Walkman Bean after failure to sprout

Often derided, never imitated, nominated by Engadget readers for worst device 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 to Apple 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.