So long ATRAC, thanks for nothing

In case you missed it, Sony's CONNECT music services based on the ATRAC audio format are finally -- at long last -- coming to an end. In North America and Europe, anyway. The off again, on again music service with a penchant for the ol' ATRAC lock-in will be phased out. Buried in that US-bound video Walkman press release, Sony states that, "Specific timing will vary by region depending on market demand, but will not be before March 2008." The CONNECT e-book service for the Reader will not be affected." We expect the swift demise of ATRAC to follow.

Update: Connect customers are already being notified of Sony's move away from their "proprietary music format." They'll even provide future "guidance" for converting your library over to WMA or MP3 formats. Good times, eh?

Update 2: Those conversions are just for music you added to your library -- not for music you paid for. Sorry, you're gonna be out that cash unless you strip the DRM.

[Thanks, Robert H]