Thursday, July 29, 2004

Real Network's iPod adventures 

Real Networks has a product called Harmony that allows people to upload and play Real Audio format audio files on the iPod. Apple is of course upset by this since the Harmony software is basically a hack that makes changes to the iPod "OS." Real has been tooting the "consumers have the right to choose their audio format" horn to justify this contraversal move, but it really comes down to :

1) The iPod is the #1 selling digital music player
2) Real Networks has their own online music store with it's own proprietary file format
3) The #1 selling digital music player won't play songs from Real's online store.

So, to get in on the iPod action, as it were, Real writes a program that will force the iPod to play their stuff. What is dumb about this is that iPod software updates come out regularly and obviously these updates will break Harmony with each release. Why would someone buy songs from Real's online store for their iPod when it will only occasially work?

Full artice HERE.