In late 2008, Sony launched a new online music store to replace their failed CONNECT Music Store called "bandit.fm" on a trial basis in Australia and New Zealand. bandit.fm was conceived and designed by Gavin Parry, GM Digital at Sony Music Australia and Craig Simmons, Director of Online at Sony Music Australia. The store does not require specific software (such as CONNECT Player/SonicStage CP) or hardware to be used (though Sony's Media Go software, Walkman and Sony Ericsson products are recommended), offers its downloads without Digital Rights Management copyright protection and in MP3 format at a high bitrate; its downloads are also compatible with virtually all MP3 players including the iPod, iPhone and iPad range of products. bandit.fm also provides the users with the ability to pay for content via a number of flexible methods including PayPal, giftcards/vouchers and credit cards. Although unconfirmed, it is widely expected that Sony will launch bandit.fm globally in the medium-term future, pending the results of the Australian/New Zealand trial.
bandit.fm recently introduced a number of new, highly competitive pricing models, alongside a music streaming service and in addition to a new "My Channel" function that allows for a personalized page on the Web site, based on a user's music tastes.