Jump to content


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
MagicGate logo
Memory Stick Pro and Memory Stick Pro Duo supporting MagicGate
PlayStation 2 memory card supporting MagicGate

MagicGate (MG) is a copy-protection technology introduced by Sony in 1999 as part of the Secure Digital Music Initiative (SDMI).[1][2] It works by encrypting the content on the device and using MagicGate chips in both the storage device and the reader to enforce control over how files are copied.[3]

MagicGate encryption was introduced with Sony's first digital audio players, with the related OpenMG technology being its software counterpart.[4] Since then, the encryption has been rolled out to other Sony devices – it is used in the memory cards of the PlayStation 2 and, as of 2004, has been introduced into all of Sony's Memory Stick products. Some devices will only accept Memory Sticks which use MagicGate technology.[5]

All Memory Stick Duo cards equipped with MagicGate can be identified by a notch located on the rear end of the card.


Few (USB or PC Card) Memory Stick-compatible memory card readers support secure MagicGate. Although manufacturers list Memory Stick Pro/Pro Duo (MG) compatibility, where MG means MagicGate, they may not support the security portion of MagicGate. This becomes important when purchasing a card reader/writer for use with SonicStage and Sony CONNECT as even Sony itself does not fully support MagicGate on certain readers. Non-MagicGate memory card reader/writers do not show up in SonicStage, with the notable exception of Sony Ericsson phones.

Current Sony devices that support MagicGate DRM as of summer 2007:

  • Most Memory Stick capable Sony VAIO notebooks and desktops
  • PlayStation Portable – The PlayStation Portable in service mode will only boot to Memory Sticks with MagicGate enabled
  • PlayStation Vita – Used for verifying memory cards and PSP Emulation
  • PlayStation 3
  • MSAC-US40 USB Memory Stick Card Reader/Writer
  • PlayStation 2

Current Sony Devices that do not support MagicGate DRM as of summer 2007:

  • All U.S. Sony Ericsson phones – most Sony Ericsson phones should show up in SonicStage for MP3/AAC transfer
  • VGP-MCA10 PCMCIA Card Reader/Writer – does not sport the MagicGate logo
  • Sony 17 in 1 Card Reader/Writer MRW62E/S1/181
  • Sony AVCHD camcorders such as HDR-UX5/UX7

Current Sony Devices that do not support MagicGate DRM as of summer 2007, but the support may be possible via future firmware updates:

  • Mylo Personal Communicator – Mylo's 1GB internal memory can be used with SonicStage and supports OpenMG
  • Sony Reader portable e-reader PRS-500 & PRS-600 – may show up in SonicStage for MP3/AAC transfer.

State of DRM[edit]

In March 2009, Sony Electronics announced they were phasing out the Sony CONNECT service in favor of Windows Media Audio & Windows Media DRM, though they have not officially announced plans to continue a Windows Media DRM music service, either. As of June 2009, the future of MagicGate DRM was unknown. MagicGate slots were still a part of the default Vaio configuration as of May 2010.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Press Release - Sony Announces Memory Stick™ for Audio Application "Memory StickTM Walkman®" and "MagicGate Memory Stick™" To Be Launched". Sony Global. September 22, 1999. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  2. ^ Memory Stick copyright protection technology
  3. ^ Friedman, G. (2006). The Complete Guide to Sony's Alpha 100 DSLR (B&W ed.). Gary Friedman. p. 297. ISBN 978-0-9790196-0-9. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
  4. ^ "Mobile:今週のモバイルキーワード「OpenMG【おーぷんえむじー】」".
  5. ^ "Memory cards get skinny". RCR Wireless News. 1999-11-30. Retrieved 2023-04-17.