Daring Fireball (via Reuters) brings word that Sony has agreed to purchase Gracenote for $260 million plus "considerations".

Why should iPhone owners care? Gruber sums it up:

Gracenote owns the CDDB database iTunes uses to supply song and album names for CDs you rip. $260 million sounds like a lot to me, but at least now Sony can claim to have something to do, however tangential, with a popular portable digital music player.

So, any time you want to add your own CD music to your iPhone, Gracenote is the place that provides all the metadata you need to properly label them (artist, track, album, etc.)

Sony seems to be keeping the company fairly independent for now, but like the Amazon deal to acquire Audible, it certainly represents another competitor buying a piece of the greater iTunes content pie. Is Apple okay with that, or are they already looking into alternatives (and if not, should they be?) What do you think?