Real Network’s online petition backfires | iLounge News

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Real Network’s online petition backfires

Update: In an effort to thwart negative comments, Real has started a new petition without public comments available. The freedomofchoicemusic.org site now points to a new URL. This new petition currently has 35 signatures.

Yesterday Real Network’s launched the “Freedom of Choice” anti-Apple ad campaign, website and online petition in its efforts to stop Apple from keeping the iPod a “locked” platform. Today, the campaign has backfired with over 500 mostly anti-Real comments appearing on the petition’s website resulting in Real removing the link to freedomofmusicchoice.org on its website.

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Comments

61

The selection of iTunes music files is horrifying?  I am not sure if I follow your reasoning here?  There are 1 million songs on iTunes.  There are 700,000 songs on Rhapsody - this doesn’t mean that there will be 1.7 million songs to download when you have both services, as there is overlap between Real’s 700,000 songs and the iTunes million.  So lets say that the music selection nets out at 1.3 million original songs total between the two services - is it really that much of an improvement?

I am a music snob and I still find a ton I like on iTunes!!  Please tell me why the iTunes music selection is horrifying, I just don’t get it. 

Posted by K-Rock on August 18, 2004 at 10:53 AM (PDT)

62

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Posted by Voice your opinion on August 18, 2004 at 11:30 AM (PDT)

63

me,
    It would be better if iTMS would support the world. I’m sure Apple would love that and is planning that. But it’s easier said than done. It’s called “politics” and “Red Tape.” Every country has their own Govt. and every Govt. is different.

Posted by 6nsa on August 18, 2004 at 1:25 PM (PDT)

64

dudes,
this is all just craziness, man.  craziness.

Posted by burned out hippy on August 18, 2004 at 2:09 PM (PDT)

65

I understand that Real just wants to survive, but I can’t feel sympathetic because Real is just the kind of company I can’t stand. I hate to make it a Mac / PC thing, but as everyone knows, Real’s software is buggy, ads..etc. If you hit anything, you have a godamned icon in your “Start” menu!! Real is so PC. (That’s PC as in Wintel, not as in politically correct)

I always feel that every piece of MS software has code in it to screw you in some way as part of the company’s business strategy. I never get that feeling with Apple software, and I hope it stays that way. I hope iTunes isn’t updated just to block competitors.

Still, I’m glad Real exists. If Apple raises their songs to 192 kbps, why would anyone buy from Real if they were able buy within iTunes? This is whole issue they had with Microsoft. Unless Real makes a music player superior to iTunes, they’ll never have the access. And they can’t build such a music player—it’s not within their capabilities.

Posted by Questioner on August 18, 2004 at 8:05 PM (PDT)

66

I agree with penguin’s statement that it is Apple’s right to lockdown their own unit. If a consumer feels that they don’t want to deal with the iTMS, they have the right to not choose the iPod as their digital audio player.

I still fail to see what’s wrong with just using the iTMS. For Pete’s sake, it has the best software, and the best selection.

Also, the debate over whether Real’s actions are legal is far from over. They hacked code that they did not license from Apple. Their actions are unethical and intollerable. Real is just a scummy company - they have made no innovations, nor have they ever produced any quality products.

And Apple is not behaving like Microsoft. Apple has not invented its own second-rate audio codec and tried to force it down the throats of their users. They are not being monopolistic; they are selling their product the way they see fit, as is their bloody right.

Posted by jbrez on August 18, 2004 at 8:53 PM (PDT)

67

jbrez = clueless Apple fan

First, all your falling back on *rights* in regard to a corporation are kind of silly. Corporations have no rights in any nation of the world, they have the power to do what is legal. Apple has the power to not license Fair Play; they didn’t. Real has the power to reverse engineer to make their DRM compatible with the iPod; they did.

Both companies did what is legal; objectively speaking, this is not open to debate. People and Apple PR can toss around spurious comments like “hacker ethics” but it still won’t ever be true. Every company out there is free and legal to do what Real did, or if they don’t want to go through the hassle, to simply license Harmony from Real since Apple (Jobs) seems determined to fight its (his) religious war to the end.

As for what’s wrong with the iTMS, there is a long list of possible reasons not to use it. My top 3 are that the bitrate is far too low for DRM’d song that costs full price. Until Apple licenses fairplay there is still no chance that an iTunes song will play on anything other than an iPod so paying full price for a song that may be completely useless three years from now is idiotic (yes, you can always burn and re-rip, but what would be the point to get a 128 bit file?). The cost is far too high for a compressed song regardless of compatibility or other related issues.

As for innovations, OSX is just another GUI layered over Unix with a silly animated program launcher and just enough tweaks to the kernel to make sure it’s not 100% compatible with many open source projects for Linux/Unix. Hows that for being innovative? Apple innovated even less than Microsoft did with Win9X. Everyone “borrows” ideas and free technology, it’s stupid not too - you can’t keep re-inventing the wheel.

Your Microsoft comment is just plain silly. If this were the Windows OS and MS had been determined that no one could make a word processor besides them that ran on Windows and someone made a competing product that could do word processing on Windows and MS was crying foul you’d be one of the first people to shake your fist at Microsoft for lording their “monopoly” power against competition. FWIW, Apple is selling their product as they see fit, they just aren’t doing it very well since other companies are more than free to compete with them using technology such as Harmony if Apple won’t play nicely.

The sycophants are so entertaining…

Posted by Code Monkey on August 19, 2004 at 6:17 AM (PDT)

68

1970 - purchase vinyl LPs
1977 - replace LPs with cassettes
1981 - replace cassettes with CDs
2001 - replace CDs with iTunes 128Kbps tracks
2005 - replace 128Kbps tracks with 192Kbps
2010 - replace 192Kbps with Lossless

I have to agree with Code Monkey - I think we are being led down a path here to purchase and repurchase these songs.  But this is off topic here—this is most likely the goal of EVERY download service - to create the defacto media application and file type.  For the life of me, I couldn’t understand all of the random players getting into this space—its not about the size of the music market now - its about future opportunity to churn songs by offering quality upgrades… WOW!

Posted by K-Rock on August 19, 2004 at 6:55 AM (PDT)

69

I tried out Realnetworks $4.99 album downloads for my Ipod, and it all worked fine UNTIL I plugged my Ipod into my work machine and it booted up Itunes automatically.

What RealPlayer FAILS to tell you when you buy their music for an Ipod is that ITUNES will corrupt all the REAL files so they are unplayable.  So if you use REAL, forget about EVER using Itunes again.  I guess the only option is to burn the REAL files onto a CD and re-rip using Itgunes, but then you are losing quality.

Posted by Kador on August 19, 2004 at 7:51 AM (PDT)

70

If you download and install REAL music on your IPOD, the next time you run ITUNES it will corrupt ALL of the REAL files so they are unplayable.  SO if you want to download music from REAL, forget about ever running ITUNES again.

Posted by Kador on August 19, 2004 at 7:54 AM (PDT)

71

“I guess the only option is to burn the REAL files onto a CD and re-rip using Itgunes, but then you are losing quality.”

It’s doubtful that you are losing any significant (if *any*) quality. Real’s files are a 192 bit AAC file, the information described by the compression algorithm of the AAC codec is burned in an uncompressed format as a CDA file and then re-compressed using the AAC codec to a 192 bit (or less if you’re inclined) AAC file - since the data looked and stored by the compression format is the only data present that is what’s going to still be there after re-compression. Any loss of quality would be due to tiny codec differences between the codecs used by iTunes versus Real.

Posted by Code Monkey on August 19, 2004 at 9:26 AM (PDT)

72

Real Networks has a great promo going on.  $0.49 a song and full albums for less than 5 bucks.  I don’t think you could ask for a better deal.  Unfortunately, when you try to burn the songs you just bought and downloaded…you can’t.  All you can do is listen to them on your PC and transfer them to your iPod.  You can’t say you have a copy of the songs you purchased because you’re extremely limited to how you can use your music.  This really sucks.  I was planning to go wild with this promo but now that I know I can’t burn any of the songs…what’s the use?

Posted by Tchocky on August 19, 2004 at 9:45 AM (PDT)

73

code monkey,
  your comments are ridiculous

Posted by 6nsa on August 19, 2004 at 9:53 AM (PDT)

74

6nsa: if only. Unfortunately, they’re dead on, and they’re also echoed widely in the press regarding this Real-Apple debacle. Unfortunately, I shouldn’t expect there to be much in the way of critical thinking on a largely pro-Mac site like this.

The Macintosh platform was once great, it was killed by Jobs’ mania for proprietary and closed systems. The iPod is now great, but Jobs is repeating the same mistakes that killed the Macintosh.

BTW, it’s customary to actually refute a point/comment - merely declaring yourself victor doesn’t amount to squat.

Posted by Code Monkey on August 19, 2004 at 11:42 AM (PDT)

75

You deserve respect for your work here. Unfortunately, you’re not getting it from me. why?

All your time and energy used to make a statement here, only to have your statement dissed by somebody else. Gee, you must feel like Apple, having used time and energy and resouces to create the iPod experience, only to have someone else diss(or hack) it.

Posted by 6nsa on August 19, 2004 at 12:35 PM (PDT)

76

“Backfires” suggests that this happened by chance, when in fact it was an orchestrated protest.

“is sabotaged” would be more appropriate.

Posted by Iblis Pasha on August 20, 2004 at 5:04 AM (PDT)

77

Let me get this straight. Apple wants people with ipods to only be able to buy songs from iTMS? What if the price is lower somwhere else? What if iTunes raise thier prices. They didnt tell me this before i paid my 399.95.  Also they didnt tell me that 3 days later they will anounce the 4g for 100.00 less. I have never liked realnetworks but apple is wrong on this one. From a consumers point of view If apple doesnt wise up another company will take over.

Posted by BBman on August 20, 2004 at 11:29 AM (PDT)

78

BBman,
    the ipod supports other music formats. just not Real’s format, for fear of what Real is now doing(locking you into their store, use their store and you find out). you can play any mp3 song on your ipod regardless of where you get it. First and foremost, the ipod is an “mp3 player” just like the others out on the market, the fact that it can play other formats, is an added bonus. It’s an mp3 player, plain and simple.

Posted by cleared air on August 20, 2004 at 1:16 PM (PDT)

79

Code Monkey,
Your arguements against my previous comment made me consider this situation a bit more, and I have concluded that basically the only reason I still don’t like the situation is that I dislike RealNetworks. Your comments are probably indeed dead-on. But I still think the whole anti-Apple campaign that Real has launched is a crock. Despite what they say, they aren’t out to provide freedom, but to get money.

Now that I’ve said that I agree with you, I have something else to say. You would be much better at debate if you didn’t come across as a judgemental #######. For your (limited) information, I am NOT a clueless Apple fan. I do not own a Mac, or any Apple product besides the iPod. I was merely stating my opinion of the situation as I saw it.

Oh, and burning a compressed file to a CD, then re-ripping it, DOES cause degradation to the audio quality. A compressed audio file cannot be “uncompressed” onto a CD-R. The compressed file is called such because certain bits of the original audio information have been eliminated to make the file smaller. You cannot magically make an mp3 or aac file into a CD-quality file.

Posted by jbrez on August 21, 2004 at 9:06 PM (PDT)

80

I used real player with my ipod and now i have to reformat to get it to work with itunes. i have 15 gig on my ipod and now it will take me a long time to get all that music back. does anyone know an easy way of fixing this with you losing music. itunes wants me to restore factory settings to my iPod and i don’t want to erase it.

Posted by Whoops on August 25, 2004 at 3:45 PM (PDT)

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