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ATRAC stands for Adaptive Transform Acoustic Coding and ATRAC1 was first used in the 1990's with Sony's SDDS theater format system. The ATRAC term represents proprietary compression algorithms created by Sony Corp. and used with many of its digital audio electronics including MiniDisc and up until recently, it's web-based music download services. In the SDDS system, ATRAC1 offers 8 channel encoding with a rate up to 1168 kbit/s.
For a lot of listeners, this audio was pretty much indistinguishable from the source of the audio. ATRAC1 can be used for mono audio, doubling recording time. ATRAC technology was used with Sony's MiniDisc format which offered digital audio that was indistinguishable from CD-Audio on much smaller physical media. Further evolution of the ATRAC system say its use in digital downloads and Sony Walkman-brand audio players (in fact, Sony's first digital audio devices didn't support the much more common MP3 format.)
Sony is not the only manufacturer to support ATRAC in its products; Sharp and Panasonic are two examples of others who implemented the technology into their products.
Please also view our Glossary entries for..
- ATRAC Advanced Lossless
- Lossy Compression
- Lossless Compression
Sony to dump Connect music service - (August 31st, 2007)
Sony acknowledged that its proprietary ATRAC music format was a market flop by shutting down all its Connect music stores and making its devices compatible with other formats.
Sony kills off ATRAC and SonicStage with latest MP3 player - (April 28th, 2007)
The Sony B100 series of portable MP3 players killed off the ATRAC format.
Sony admits ATRAC was a mistake - (January 23rd, 2005)
Ken Kutaragi has stated that Sony has missed out on the sales of MP3 players and other gadgets by sticking to proprietary formats such as ATRAC.
Sony to add MP3 support to its portable music players - (September 23rd, 2004)
Sony confirmed plans to add MP3 support to its players, loosening its reliance on the proprietary ATRAC format.
Sony Connect music service launched - (May 5th, 2004)
Sony opened its Connect music service which used the ATRAC format for downloadable music files.