Logic disconnect? Well, there have been ample situations in which Sony (NYSE:SNE) could be accused of just that. However, when it comes to disconnecting its Connect service, you could argue Sony's starting to get it.

You'd be forgiven if you're wondering what the heck Sony Connect is. It's a digital media service that has been around since 2004 and was Sony's answer to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iTunes. It's also closely linked to the Sony Reader e-book product.

Connect utilized Sony's proprietary ATRAC format, which has certainly seemed like a quaint idea in a digital world that's dominated by iTunes; this definitely hobbled the company's chances to compete with that juggernaut.

After all, iTunes has been a roaring success. Despite the fact that it's a digital-only music store, it's now one of the top five music retailers overall, clocking in at No. 3 -- behind Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), but ahead of Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Target.

Sony's stubborn tenacity on its ATRAC format meant consumers were trapped using only Sony hardware and software to listen to their music, and it's easy to see the ramifications of that, given iPod's success. Sony now says that it will support other, more open formats, like MP3, Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Windows Media Audio, and AAC (and incidentally, e-books purchased through Connect won't be affected by the changes). The news is also important because Sony is launching new music players in its Walkman line, which hasn't been able to regain its crown in the music-player space with iPod around. Sony's new Walkman players will incorporate video capability.

Opening up and ditching Connect makes a lot of sense for Sony, given the realities of the marketplace. It's not even all about iTunes now, since many companies are launching or rethinking their music services. Wal-Mart recently started offering some DRM-free tracks in its online music store, and while there may be some question how successful it will be, it's a formidable contender. Meanwhile, rumors are flying today that Amazon will debut its own digital music store by Sept. 17. Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO) has been hinting about DRM-free service for a while, too.

Sony's walls around its music products backfired, since it appears they kept consumers out more than they roped them in. Cutting a service that doesn't connect with current trends is a good move for a company that could often be accused of forgetting its customers, given its sometimes heavy-handed ways. (Rootkits, anyone?) This may not be a turning point in some of the company's strategic policies, but it's a step in the right direction.

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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that bops to the tune of sound investing advice.