Sony on Friday, updated the music player application on their Xperia branded smartphones. While at it, they deemed it fit to change the name of the app from ‘Walkman’ to a more mundane ‘Music’. There had already been rumors about the impending re-branding for a while, and newer devices at the MWC 2015 had been launched with the ‘Music’ app rather than with ‘Walkman’ but Sony Mobile has now made it official. The reason given by Sony is that not everybody was making “the connection that Walkman is about music”. So to save them the hassle, Sony has decided to do away with the moniker that was a tribute to a ubiquitous device from decades ago; one that conjures up fond memories of a bygone era for a lot of users. Presumably, it is a section of the younger users (who were not around during those times), are the ones who are failing to make the connection. Sony’s Walkman range of portable music players from the 1980s, virtually gave rise to a whole new category of gadgets, so much so, that the term almost became generic for all portable music players for years to come. Sony’s understanding is, that younger buyers who do not know about (or remember those days), are apparently failing to make that connection and hence, felt the need to change the name to make it simpler for that target audience.
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Then again, it might just be a simple act of re-branding to keep the distinction between hardware and software in the Sony scheme of things. Just like what Apple did with its music app on the iPhone. Apple had stopped using the iPod branding for their music app as far back as in 2011. As for Sony’s music player app, it is still not ready for primetime and Sony is yet to release a stable version of it. The latest beta version comes with the build number 9.0.0.A.2.0. Users who do update, will see a splash screen on the first startup after the update, informing them about the change of name. The first stable version of the app will probably ship with the rumored release of the new flagship, the Xperia Z5, or might even be released earlier depending on Sony’s marketing strategies.