Sonique (media player)
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Sonique's default skin
1.96 / March 2002
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
Sonique was under development until 2002. It was one of the most popular desktop audio players, second only to Nullsoft's Winamp audio player. The major features of Sonique included support for irregular skins, the audioEnlightenment MP3 decoding engine by Tony Million, innovative audio visualizations, and a powerful graphic equalizer.
Sonique had roots in the lesser known Vibe MP3 player created by Andrew McCann, Ian Lyman and Paul Peavyhouse, students at Montana State University working together under the name Night55, a reference to the speed limit signs used in Montana.
In 1997, Night55 sold the rights to Vibe to SGS Thompson to use in COMDEX '98 to showcase some DVD features. After selling the rights to Vibe, Andrew McCann and Ian Lyman began work on a more comprehensive MP3 player which they named Sonique. Sonique debuted in January 1998 at the first annual MP3 Summit to enormous excitement, receiving several acquisition offers the same day. Shortly after the MP3 Summit, Lyman and McCann returned to their hometown of Bozeman, Montana and formed Mediascience, Inc., leasing office space in a former coffee shop and bringing on additional staff to help with management, development, and support of the burgeoning user base. These early hires included Al-Riaz Adatia, Nicholas Vinen, Pol Llovet and Tony Million. In 1999, after talks with both Yahoo and Lycos, Mediascience (now named Internet Music Distribution, Inc.) was sold to Lycos for US$38.8 million. Shortly after the Lycos acquisition, the Sonique team began work on Sonique 2, a totally new version of the player application intended to become a platform for listening to, organizing and purchasing digital music.
After Lycos was acquired by Terra Networks, S.A. in mid-2001, the collapse of the dot-com bubble caused the entire Sonique team to be laid off, with the exception of McCann and Lyman. Unhappy with the summary termination of their colleagues, McCann and Lyman left shortly thereafter and were replaced with a smaller team based out of Lycos corporate headquarters. Because of an internal shift in priorities, the updated version of Sonique was never completed. An alpha and later a beta version of Sonique 2 was eventually released.
Sonique fused a highly stylized aesthetic with a fluid, windowless interface and fully animated menu systems. Additional functionality included a basic playlist editor, a variety of unique output visualization modes via plug-ins, and a robust control set featuring pitch, balance and amplification adjustment, as well as a 20-band equalizer with spline-based level adjustment. It supported many audio formats, including MP3, MP2, Ogg Vorbis, WAV, MOD, XM, IT, S3M, Audio CD and Windows Media Audio. Further audio and visual formats were playable through various plugins, for example AVI video files. Sonique could also be used to listen to audio streams.
Sonique's look and feel could be completely customized via skins.
Sonique's bundled test audio file featured an a cappella song snippet by Mamasutra entitled "Sonique Theme", with the comment field in the MP3 saying "Its so good, so good, so good," mirroring part of the lyrics.
- "The Official Vibe Homepage". Swooby.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- "First Annual MP3 Summit Hits San Diego This Week". Stereophile.com. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- "Yahoo may join MP3 player fray". CNET News. Retrieved 2011-09-09.
- "Lycos Purchases Closely Held Media Science". Company News. New York Times. 1999-08-07. Retrieved 2011-09-09.