Sony's Reply to the NetMD Upload Petition
September 2002

In late August a NetMD Upload Petition with over 2000 signatures was submitted to Sony Japan, Europe and USA asking for a simple and direct way of moving audio from Minidisc to PC. Sony USA's reply follows:


Sony Electronics Inc.
1 Sony Drive, Park Ridge, New Jersey 07656-8003 Telephone (201) 930-1000

September 4, 2002

Mr. Eric Woudenberg

Dear Mr. Woudenberg,

Thank you for forwarding the Net MD Upload recommendations and signature drive. Sony always values customer feedback, and I truly appreciate the time and effort put forth in compiling the information.

As with any product developed by Sony, we continuously study our customer needs and evaluate the development of products/features that meet them.

Please understand that many factors must be considered when determining whether or not to include a specific feature into products like Net MD. These factors may include impact to product cost, operation/function, user interface, etc.

We are aware that many users are interested in having the audio uploading feature added to Sony Net MD Walkman recorders. We have and will continue to evaluate the inclusion of this particular feature into Net MD, though at present we have no immediate plans to do so.

Thank you for your continued interest in Sony MiniDisc.



Robert Ashcroft
Senior Vice President
Personal Mobile Products Division

My Impressions

I suppose we can look on the bright side, he did not indicate that there would be no hope of having such a feature as long as Sony Entertainment is part of the equation. The message was that Sony values user feedback and tries to meet customer needs, but that one must consider the impact of these changes on aspects of the product.

So, let's briefly consider them:

Taking Mr. Ashcroft at his word, I remain puzzled why a NetMD upload feature seems so uninteresting to Sony. Sony could easily charge extra for such a capability, introducing it in an elegant prosumer Minidisc recorder fashioned along the lines of their venerable TCD-5M cassette recorder. As is the pattern with Sony equipment, if this "top-end" feature were well received it would trickle down from season to season, eventually becoming available in entry-level units.

My assessment is that adding NetMD uploading would have essentially no negative impact and I think the only reason such a feature has not appeared is due to Sony's misunderstanding of their customer's needs. If it pleases you, do consider writing a few words expressing your interest in having a NetMD audio uploading feature. (And as I have advised in the past, I feel it is important to speak in a kindhearted way, especially when addressing an individual. Whatever the reason for Sony's unwillingness to provide this capability, what will change it is a person within Sony willing to champion the cause. Harsh or abusive words will not further a willingness to challenge the status quo within Sony). Mr. Ashcroft has stated that his team monitor this site and the discussion forums, and letters may be addressed to him at the Sony address in the letterhead.

Eric Woudenberg
20 Sep 2002

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