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Real CEO: iPod users steal music

Real Networks CEO Rob Glaser says that iPod owners steal music. The majority of music on the average iPod is obtained illegally, with relatively few songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store, Glaser said in an interview with The Guardian. “If you want interoperable music today, there is a very easy solution: it’s called stealing,” Glaser said. “The average number of songs sold for the iPod is 25, and there are many more songs on iPods than 25. About half the music on iPods is music obtained illegitimately either from an illegal peer-to-peer networks or from ripping friends’ CDs, which is illegal. But it’s the only way to get non-copy protected, portable, interoperable music.”

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Comments

41

All of my music is legally bought from iTunes or from my own cd collection.

Posted by Jason Harbison on May 11, 2006 at 1:33 PM (PDT)

42

Uh oh…. looks like someone pulled a “Ballmer”!

He’s about three years too late with his tired rhetoric.  Hey Bobbie Boy!!  Subscription services failed!  GET OVER IT!!!

Posted by Frank Z on May 11, 2006 at 2:21 PM (PDT)

43

HAHA buddy, well i have 39,880 songs encoded at 320AAC for over 340gb of music. They are all greatest hits, box sets, and newer remastered cd’s. I even know how to get the artwork from ITMS which is the highest resolution anywhere. Looking at my collection is like owning the entire Virgin Megastore. Hey Mr Real, would you like to buy a 400 gb harddrive so i can transfer all my hard work of the last two years of encoding to you for 2 dollars hahhahahahha.

Posted by tiger on May 11, 2006 at 2:22 PM (PDT)

44

Poor Rob!
He had a shot at it…back during the dot-com boom of the late 90’s.  But he and his company were greedy.  They wanted to charge massively for their licensed player, when the competition was giving their top-of-the-line player away for free.  They wanted to charge massively to either stream your content, or license their tools to stream it yourself.  They wanted to charge obscenely for advertising. (I was with a small entertainment conglomerate back then.  In 1999, I spoke with a muckety-muck from Real about an advertising deal.  His quote was equal to half of Real’s annual revenue at the time! Many millions of dollars!  We told him, “No thank you.”)  Their product was one of the original Ad-ware pieces, constantly bugging you to upgrade and pay, trying to take over all rich-media content on your computer.

And now they’ve lost out.  Real is an also-ran.  Destined to become orphaned.  (I like the analogy in the Guardian interview, “The Sun Microsystems of players…”)  And poor Ron is bitter about it.  Too bad.

-ddw

Posted by ddw on May 11, 2006 at 2:37 PM (PDT)

45

I have 2100 songs on my iPod. Of those, I’d say about 500 are stolen. I talked to my friends about it and they all seemed to have a similar ratio.

Posted by Kurt on May 11, 2006 at 2:55 PM (PDT)

46

Never one to defend those bozoes down the street from me…

I don’t care HOW supposedly good Real Plaguer is these days; the past evils will never allow ANY of their software onto any of my ‘puters ever again, no matter how many page links are broken as a result. And its gratifying to hear from iPod users who do their music legit. But GBs of legally acquired songs aside, does anyone truly believe a music thief is going to post here and flaunt their activities?

Especially considering that iPods readily plays MP3 format files, Mr. Plaguer could conceivably be telling something that isn’t a all-out BitTorrent lie. But it STILL would be REAL nice if Mr. Plaguer left his ill-gotten, dot-boom, mega-$$$ ride strategically parked outside his building and one of the dump trucks being used for the building the sculpture park two blocks down ‘accidentally’ had its parking brake let loose.

Real whiner.

Posted by flatline response on May 11, 2006 at 3:09 PM (PDT)

47

86% of statistics are made up on the spot…

Posted by Sean on May 11, 2006 at 3:22 PM (PDT)

48

Maybe we need a Record Owners Association that fights for consumer rights?

There is no evidence whatsoever that copying music hurts music sales. In fact, evidence points in the other direction. When you hear more, you want more


Yeah, And how many artists are on the streets now begging for money?  I am tired of these whiny music execs/artists that complain about piracy and it affecting their bottom lines.  Shut up and put out a product people want to buy.  I have an over 3000 CD collection and what Mr. Glaser says is rather insulting.

Posted by Wayne on May 11, 2006 at 3:30 PM (PDT)

49

What an idiot.  He’s not including songs people legally rip from their own purchased CDs. 

I can believe that the average iTunes user has around 25 songs on their iPod, but that doesn’t mean the rest were illegally downloaded.


Mr. Glaser is obviously twisting the facts for his own gain.  Once he adds the songs people ripped from their own CD collection, I’ll listen.

Posted by Homestar14 on May 11, 2006 at 4:34 PM (PDT)

50

Right on Homestar14!!!

Posted by Wayne on May 11, 2006 at 4:38 PM (PDT)

51

ha well im in high school, and the majority of kids who have an ipod, or any mp3 player, get their music through those peer- to-peer dl networks like Limewire, and next after that their CD collection.  Very few kids fill their ipod with songs from itunes.

Posted by wilson on May 11, 2006 at 4:57 PM (PDT)

52

I subscribe to Rhapsody To Go. You can download legal copies of albums or songs for download onto your music player. However, the iPod purposefully doesn’t accept the secure WMA files that most other players do. Great way to lock out the competition, iTunes Music Store! There’s a great program called TuneBite that legally converts your music from secure WMA files to regular WMA files which play very nicely on my iPod! It requires a bit of work to keep music organized until converting and loading onto iPod, but well worth it!

Posted by Doug W on May 11, 2006 at 5:15 PM (PDT)

53

My brother and I both have had iPods and used iTunes almost from day 1, I spent immeasureable hours uploading my 800 plus CD collection, have bought over 70 songs off of itunes and the only songs I have downloaded are songs which I already own in one format or another, and which I have already paid the artist several times for the same materials moving from LP to cassette to CD.  Mr. Glaser needs to keep his trap shut and produce something that someone wants to use instead of speaking badly about something that is almost universally viewed as the benchmark.

Posted by Dean on May 11, 2006 at 5:46 PM (PDT)

54

Of course everyone else that doesn’t have an iPod don’t steal music, right?

Posted by sno_cat219 on May 11, 2006 at 7:23 PM (PDT)

55

Actually, I’d say it’s less likely that iPod users steal music, personally.
Since iPod users have easy and direct connection to an easy-to-use music store that is 100% legal, they’re bound to check it out sometime and say “Hey! That’s cool! It’s like P2P, only legal!” and then they’ll like it and purchase from it and not have illegal music. That may only happen rarely, but it certainly happens with some people.
However, I’d say people who use Creative players or iRiver or whatever are more likely to steal music since the services that are out there suck and if they don’t even want to pay for those, they’re certainly not going to pay for a CD at $14.99.
I love CEOs that think the meaning of business is “win the market, and when you don’t win the market, whine about it.”

Posted by Freeze on May 11, 2006 at 7:30 PM (PDT)

56

@ Freeze:

I must have missed the smiley or winky that said your entire argument was some form of sarcasm…

Almost every other major player has far more options for download music purchases at better prices and better quality. For instance, take the new Chili Peppers, for $14.69 from Yahoo I could have it at 192 kbps with far more future flexibility than the iTMS will ever offer me. The iTMS wants me to hand them $19.90 for a lesser product. And the real question to both Mr. Glaser and Jobs is why anyone would pay them $15 or $20 for lossy versions of a product they can buy as a physical product with full audio for $12 from Amazon…

Posted by Code Monkey in Midstate New York on May 11, 2006 at 7:40 PM (PDT)

57

People download illegal music. Wow. Did he think of that all on his own?

Posted by nick on May 11, 2006 at 9:37 PM (PDT)

58

My iPod stats [30GB, 5G video; about 300 CDs of my own; 21 days of music total; numbers rounded off]:
6500 items total [songs, podcasts, some long radio show streams, only 2 music videos]
1000 iTunes purchases [some as albums, so less than $1000 spent]
75 songs under Limewire playlist

And Glaser… still a #####.

Posted by Snowy Owl in USA on May 12, 2006 at 4:30 AM (PDT)

59

@B

Real’s software is still clunky.

Posted by The Raven on May 12, 2006 at 4:34 AM (PDT)

60

Sounds like Mr. Glaser is pulling these numbers out of his *ss…pretty much like everything else he has to say.

For stats’ sake, about 100 of the 2800 songs on my pod were purchased from iTunes.  The rest are from my extensive CD collection.

Posted by The Raven on May 12, 2006 at 4:42 AM (PDT)

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