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RealNetworks CEO urges Steve Jobs to open iPod

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By Dennis Lloyd

Publisher, iLounge
Published: Tuesday, March 23, 2004
News Categories: iPod

“RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser has a message for Apple Computer chief Steve Jobs: Open iPod or shrivel. Glaser, the feisty founder of the Internet entertainment network, said during a panel discussion Tuesday at PC Forum here that Apple is creating problems for itself by using a file format that forces consumers to buy music from Apple’s own iTunes site. (CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, last week acquired EDventures, which sponsors PC Forum.)

Because Apple’s iPod music player does not support other proprietary music formats and does not license its own format to rivals, Real’s Rhapsody and other song sites are blocked from easily reaching iPod users.

‘Apple’s (market) share will go down if they continue to do this,’ Glaser said. ‘The only way to presently put songs on an iPod is to (buy) them from iTunes.’

‘There is a good opportunity to say to Steve, ‘You’ve done a good job of promoting this thing, but now one of two bad things will happen,’ Glaser said. ‘One, Apple’s market share will go down to its historical single-digit levels, or two, it will slow down the development of this market.’”

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Comments

121

“You sound like a geek. First lesson in Mac users…we’re not geeks.”

Speak for yourself! OSX is BSD Unix!

“Mac users are _______ (has anyone coined a term yet?) Basically, it’s a different culture, lifestyle: creative-minded and productive.”

People who identify their personalities through their purchases make me feel quite pessimistic about the future of mankind.

The 1980s called - they want their yuppies back!

Posted by BSD on March 25, 2004 at 9:33 AM (PDT)

122

“I’m too busy being creative to figure out how to play around with a $40 open-source freeware (that just makes no sense to me).”

Me too! I think it’s the case the Media Center is closed source, and costs $40, but Media Player is open-source, and free. And I’ve looked at this open-source VideoLan and it seems like it has potential, but it is a little gnarly to configure.

Posted by Closed Source on March 25, 2004 at 9:36 AM (PDT)

123

> I don’t know why winning the MC vs. iTunes argument is so important to you

Hey I checked back Mr Wolf and your the dude what said everything but itunes was crummy freeware. Seems like you have some defending to do.

Ive downloaded Media Center and its a bit overkill. I downloaded itunes and its pretty but it ran like crap on my Athlon 2400. Ill stick with Winamp thanks a lot - fast sleek and cool. It really whips the llamas ###!

Posted by Dreamer on March 25, 2004 at 9:51 AM (PDT)

124

I would defend myself if I said that. I was referring to the Real format and how you need crummy shareware to play it if you don’t go with Real Player.

Don’t misquote.

Posted by Wolf on March 25, 2004 at 10:06 AM (PDT)

125

BTW. I purchase based on my personality, not id my personality from my purchase…I’m much more stable-minded than that.

Posted by Wolf on March 25, 2004 at 10:09 AM (PDT)

126

What exactly does “crummy” mean?

Posted by Cummy on March 25, 2004 at 10:39 AM (PDT)

127

Bah. The simple fact of the matter is that while Apple does not own AAC, it does in fact own the FairPlay DRM, which is an integral part of every single song you can download from iTMS, and so far, Apple hasn’t been letting other media players use it.

While I personally don’t stray from the mp3 format (I still have songs I grabbed off of napster, and for the sake of sameness I’ve done all my own encoding in mp3, at 192) I must say that WMA has a much wider user base, and it makes no sense for the iPod not to support it.

iTMS has merits other than ACC, and it’s survival and success are based on that, not which format it uses. not that it really matters, because Apple makes #### all off of the songs they sell. If they opened up the iPod to play more formats, they would sell more of them, which you think they’d want to do, as the iPod is what makes them money.

And this pointless pissing match surrounding codecs is juvinile and has no real grounding in reality. Lets face it - people who are active listners and concerned about the fidelity of the music they buy still by CD’s, and rip them to much higher bitrates than anything availible for download - end of story.

Posted by Frank on March 25, 2004 at 1:23 PM (PDT)

128

According to their website, Real Player Music Store downloads ARE AAC. The file format is a .rax which is AAC with Real’s DRM on top of that. So this is not an WMA vs. AAC argument. It is an Apple DRM vs. Real DRM argument. I think Rob Glasser is being pretty hypocritical then. iPod’s don’t support other DRMs just as much as other players don’t support Apple’s DRM.

Posted by Dejo on March 25, 2004 at 1:53 PM (PDT)

129

“You sound like a geek. First lesson in Mac users…we’re not geeks. Geek is a term given to hackers (in the legal sense) who only like to work on computers for the customability on not for the functionality. Get out and see the sunshine or are you too busy listening to 150GB of goth metal?”

I don’t think I am a geek, but nice there with the name calling. You are a piece of work.

I generally prefer listening to music the way I like it within an environment that is adapted to my tastes. iTunes doesn’t allow that - it’s a straitjacketed piece of software that says basically take your music this way or the highway.

Media Center gives me choice and control and I like that.

I am not entirely sure what goth metal is. I like having endlessly customizable fields because I listen to a lot of Baroque Music and getting the writers, performers, and conductors straight within iTunes was impossible.

Only by creating seperate fields for each contributor and for important soloists within the orchestra within Media Center was I able to create custom SmartLists that meant I could make playlists to follow specific individuals or groups of individuals as their playing styles evolved through their life. Only when you can enter in 5-10 custom artist/name/performer/part fields and cross-reference them with date fields could you accomplish this sort of beautiful listening experience.

Posted by AntiGeek on March 25, 2004 at 5:59 PM (PDT)

130

You know, I haven’t been able to figure this out either. It seems like the logic is that people buy the iPod so that they can use iTMS as their download store. I doubt that’s true. We mostly buy the iPods because of better design, etc. If Apple doesn’t make any money off iTMS downloads anyway, why is the iPod so parochial? It seems like Apple has everything to gain by allowing the iPod to play downloads from a wider variety of sources, and it shouldn’t really matter what their market share of paid downloads is.

Posted by ronco on March 26, 2004 at 7:43 AM (PDT)

131

Isn’t Baroque related to Gothic anyway?

Posted by Baroque on March 26, 2004 at 10:38 AM (PDT)

132

I’m impressed, AntiGeek. I totally misjudged you. That’s what I like about anonymous postings; it’s nothing personal.

Since MC works for you, that sounds just dandy. I just hope you don’t neglect all the great features because of one issue you have with the program. If you can get past that, you’d realize so much more that it offers.

(Goth Metal: typically a hard-edged metal sound involving a lot of screaming and frustration because the writer had a disturbing childhood experience, or various other reasons.)

Posted by Wolf on March 29, 2004 at 9:49 AM (PDT)

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