Sony has at last posted a firmware update which brings native MP3 support to its Vaio Pocket music player.
The update, which was announced on the Japanese giant's Vaio support site earlier this month, is accompanied by updated versions Sony's music transfer applications, SonicStage and Vaio Transfer.
Until now, both apps forced users to convert MP3 music files into Sony's own ATRAC 3 Plus format before copying them over to the player. From today, MP3s will be sent straight to the player without this intermediate conversion stage.
The firmware update will also improve the machine's performance generally, add a speed-scroll facility to the UI and - a big improvement this - introduce gapless playback, eliminating the often irritating playback pause between songs.
In total, the firmware update will address some 34 issues in the Vaio Pocket models VGF-AP1 and VGF-AP1L.
Last month, Sony announced its first native hard drive-based MP3 player, the NW-HD3, the result of the Japanese giant's September decision to incorporate the format into such devices. The company already offers a line of Flash-based players with native MP3 support. ®
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