Sony has called for the digital music market to make the various compression and anti-piracy technologies compatible.

Sony Europe senior marketing and sales manager Peter Durr told Reuters: "It is crucial for Sony and its rivals to reach a consensus on making various compression and anti-piracy technologies interoperable, thus giving the consumer more choice."

"We all have to sell music, not formats. That's what consumers want," said Durr.

Sony has received some criticism for its digital music player as it only works with Sony's proprietary ATRAC3 music format, incompatible with other players. The company recently confirmed that it would add support for the MP3 format to some of its flash based players in the future.

Sony will commence a marketing campaign for its Connect music download store in Europe next week in an attempt to take the limelight away from Apple's iTunes.

The company will also heavily promote four new Walkman products, including its new hard disk player, the NW-HD1.

Apple has confirmed that it will extend its European iTunes stores to cover the rest of Western Europe this month.