Ever since U2 endorsed the first black iPod, the measure of a band's global status has been whether or not they emblazon a themed MP3 player. Few have been chosen for such an honour, the consumer electronics equivalent of being awarded the Victoria Cross.
While Apple opted for aging megastars, Sony has picked relative youngsters Franz Ferdinand as their favoured champions to promote the new Network Walkman. Darlings of the UK's broadsheet press for a while now, Franz Ferdinand's endorsement of this MP3 player should place the Sony brand right under the eager noses of those with huge disposable incomes and a lust for the latest electronica. Expect Apple to retaliate with an even more innocuous effort -- the Coldplay Shuffle?
Current reports indicate that Sony will manufacture only 100 of these Franz Ferdinand Walkmans, and sell them exclusively in Japan. Crave doubts they will stop there though -- the relative ease with which Sony Music and Sony Electronics can communicate will likely mean that we see many more artists from Sony's catalogue appearing on their new MP3 players. Given that the relationship between these two divisions of the company has been so fraught up to this point, it's heartwarming to witness some co-operation.
Let us know what bands you'd most like to see on a themed MP3 player. -CS