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May 17, 2005

Eagle Rock Entertainment Embraces The Universal Media Disc (UMD) Format

Sony_umdPress Release: Eagle Rock Entertainment announced yesterday that it will become one of the first "visual music companies" to embrace the new Universal Media Disc (UMD) format and release selected music video catalog titles worldwide on UMD for play on the Sony PlayStation Portable (PSP) game device. Executive Vice President Mike Carden said, "As soon as we saw the quality of the image produced on the PlayStation Portable, we knew it could be a very successful vehicle for our products and we wanted to be the first-to-market with visual music titles."

The UMD, which has a maximum disc space limit of 1.8GB, has less than half the 4.7GB space of a single layer DVD or less than a quarter the space of a dual layer 8.5GB DVD. Although touted as a gaming machine first, the PSP is also the first versatile handheld device that has the ability to display photos, play audio MP3s and also movies. Sony thinks they have a shot at making the UMD a popular format for music and videos on portable devices and plans to give other companies access to the movie and music variants of the technology so that they might produce multimedia players that support UMD...Smart move...Hopefully, it will get farther than it did with Betamax and Minidisc with consumers AND content providers...The PSP has sold extremely well since its release last March..The WSJ reports that Sony expects to ship 12 million units worldwide this year and sales of film titles available for the device have already exceeded expectations...Video Business predicts that by the end of the year - most film studios will be making releases available in the UMD format... This could get interesting since the UMD format was successfully hacked recently...but extracting data seems of little importance given blank UMD media and UMD writable drives are not yet available.

Posted by Todd in Sony | Permalink


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