RealNetworks kicks off “Freedom of Choice” campaign | iLounge News

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RealNetworks kicks off “Freedom of Choice” campaign

picMacMinute.com reports “in a move aimed squarely at luring iTunes customers, RealNetworks today announced that it has slashed song pricing to 49 cents and album pricing to $4.99 for a limited time. The price cuts are part of the company’s new “Freedom of Choice” marketing campaign to tout its Harmony technology, which allows songs purchases from the RealNetworks Music Store to be played on Apple’s iPod. The high-profile print, radio, and online advertising campaign kicks off Tuesday with a full-page ad in The New York Times that reads: “Half the price of Apple. Welcome to freedom of choice.” The ads also show an illustration of an iPod made to look like an open padlock. In addition, RealNetworks has launched a very anti-Apple blog. “This community site will provide a forum where consumers can learn about compatibility issues and discuss the issues with other digital music fans,” the company says.”

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Comments

21

“The point is, you can’t use it if you run OS X. So, where is the freedom of choice?”

Well, if you’re using a Mac you’ve already exercised your freedom of choice to use an insignificant, niche, proprietary computer platform. Welcome to reality lesson 101. Apple may have created the iPod, and the iPod may very well drive where the DAP market goes, but it will be the iPod on *Windows* that is the driving force.

Posted by Code Monkey on August 17, 2004 at 7:48 AM (CDT)

22

check out all the positive comments they have in that guest book petition of thiers

I can see how popular they are

Posted by Pokey on August 17, 2004 at 8:03 AM (CDT)

23

Code Monkey - maybe in the short term, but Apple are introducing Windows users to to classy hardware & software, if they can’t cope - too bad, but even a small % swapping Wintel to Apple is objective acheived. Apple have a track record for innovation so over time the % using Apple will increase making Apple more of a driving force.

Posted by REALly Sad on August 17, 2004 at 8:05 AM (CDT)

24

Bobbo…

You’d be right, an iPod does offer the same options that most CD players do.  However in the land of mp3 players… nope.  Other players have no trouble working with all the music stores.  It’s just Apple that forces the consumer to use it’s specfic store (to get more money for those songs they try to say don’t make them any… right). 

I hate Real and I don’t plan on using their player, but I love the choice.  I love the thought that I will be soon able to ditch iTunes which I’m not particularly fond of either.  As of now I’m kinda forced to use that program to manage my iPod and definately forced to use the store to buy music. 

All that wouldn’t bother me if it weren’t for the fact that I just watched a buddy of mine buy a Creative Zen Xtra for a third the price of my iPod.  More features and it has none of the limitations. 

Maybe you Apple heads don’t like to make decisions for yourself but it’s something we Windows folks love!

Posted by JimmyStewart on August 17, 2004 at 8:14 AM (CDT)

25

Below is a link to the actual comments petitioners posted…  (pretty funny)

http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?r4apple&251;

Posted by iPoder on August 17, 2004 at 8:25 AM (CDT)

26

http://news.com.com/Can+Glaser,+Jobs+find+harmony?/2008-1027_3-5312857.html

The only plausible future for the digital music business, he says, is one in which customers can buy a song and have it work on any device—the same way CDs work today. The current balkanization of the industry, where songs bought at one store only work on specific brands of devices, doesn’t make any sense
...
I’ve become friends with this guy Al Franken. He wrote a book and called it “A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right,” and I kind of feel like Apple Computer is playing the same role on this that Bill O’Reilly played in “Fair and Balanced.”

You had attempted to ask Jobs if he was interested in providing a license to FairPlay and the iPod back in April. But you had the Harmony project already under way at that point?
Absolutely. We had reached the conclusion that technically we had all the bases covered, and that we were going to be able to implement something that was very good. We didn’t have all the finish on it, and all the user interface hooked up, and hadn’t done all the final tuning and everything, but at the time I contacted Steve, we were well on the way—which is when he decided to do a Bill O’Reilly on us.
...
Steve is a one-of-a-kind guy. You know that about him when you do business with him or when you work with him. I don’t take any of that personally. My view is that we’re doing something that’s important for consumers here. The personalities make for interesting press, but the reality is that we were going to do what we thought was the right thing for consumers
...
Apple has had the experience of having a wave of compatibility wash over it, it was and is hard to predict how they would feel if a wave of compatibility came in and they embraced it. Certainly when that happens, that changes the dynamics. But we think Apple does very innovative work. And if they keep driving innovation with the next generation of iPods, they could have a very successful business over the long haul.

Posted by one note Steve on August 17, 2004 at 8:26 AM (CDT)

27

I’d rather buy a taco for 49 cents and listen to my ipod.

Posted by ipodchan on August 17, 2004 at 8:29 AM (CDT)

28

I wonder if Apple will respond to this latest development.

Posted by Jeff C. on August 17, 2004 at 8:36 AM (CDT)

29

I hope apple takes extensive legal action against real.

How can real think the’ll benifit from attacking apple when they want to sell songs for the iPod.  I am an iPod user who would ushually be open to freedom of choice, but I don’t like hearing apple bashed this way when the’re the ones who made my iPod.

Most iPod users don’t like hearing bad things about the great company apple and it’s great products.

Posted by Jonathan on August 17, 2004 at 8:45 AM (CDT)

30

I don’t understand comments about “other” MP3 players “sounding better”. It’s digital. The headphones could easily be better on other machines, but that’s it.
As for Real, I am all for open formats. I don’t think Apple should have a monopoly, the same way MS shouldn’t have one.
I just read the agreement Apple signed with Apple Records, and it seems clear to me that perhaps Apple shouldn’t even be in the music business after all.

Posted by Carl on August 17, 2004 at 8:50 AM (CDT)

31

Guys - Blind loyality is a dangerous thing - why can’t we just get along as churchill once said to adolf. 

it always makes me think why is apple so protective,  this blind loyalty from users is strange,  they won’t let anyone play in their sand pit. 

unless we have open standards people are going to get put off buying mp3 portables and joining the services.  One site that currently allows compatibility across the board is emusic.com that’s because it’s mp3

Anyway real have a great case as they are trying to appeal to consumer choice and compatibility across the board.

If you bought a car - would you be happy that you could only buy petrol from one supplier?

Posted by musonic on August 17, 2004 at 8:56 AM (CDT)

32

Real appears to have removed all links to the petition as well as well as the ability to comment on various articles. 

It is ‘Freedom of Choice’ but apparently they didn’t want ‘Freedom of Voice’.

Posted by Interesting? on August 17, 2004 at 9:00 AM (CDT)

33

I hope Apple doesn’t (or simply can’t) take legal action against Real, except for maybe requiring a licensing deal and an agreement to maintain compatibility.

I’m not a big fan of Real (though they’ve gone to great lengths to avoid the take-over-your-computer tactics they pulled in the past).  I don’t like their software for audio playback, and if both stores became available in Canada I’d still probably stick to iTunes.  But the point is that there needs to be more than one DRM-enabled store to choose from ifor iPod-ready music.

On that note, there are stores like allofmp3.com, bleep.com and emusic.com that sell unprotected MP3s.  Their selection won’t always be the greatest (bleep mainly has Warp, Ninja Tune and a few smaller labels), but they’re there.

Posted by Commodus on August 17, 2004 at 9:02 AM (CDT)

34

It seems they took down the petition from the main page of their “blog.” Good for them, considering 99% of the stuff was hilerious and anti-real.

Posted by Sraphim on August 17, 2004 at 9:07 AM (CDT)

35

While I support Real’s right to develop Harmony and sell to iPod owner’s, I myself wouldn’t ever make use of it.

I think though, that Real misspelled the name of their campaign. It is obviously supposed to be “Free Dumb Choice.”

Posted by m.s on August 17, 2004 at 9:40 AM (CDT)

36

It simply amazes me that people get so personal about this. The quote by “Jonathan” is a real doozy. People are actually having their feelings hurt! Are you kidding? Kill yourselves please!

Posted by Zumpp99 on August 17, 2004 at 9:50 AM (CDT)

37

I don’t get why anyone would be upset over this unless you work for Apple. Compeition is always a good thing for the consumer. No one is going to force you to buy for Real so why do you care if they want to offer a secondary choice? Most Apple fans hate Microsoft for all their monopolistic tactics. Apple is trying to do exactly what Microsoft did to them but yet this time the Apple fans are siding with the company trying to create a monopoly. I hope more and more companies copy Real because it will benefit me.

Posted by Weasel on August 17, 2004 at 10:09 AM (CDT)

38

I use two different music stores and I have an iPod. So technically, I have choice. I use iTunes (rarely) and allofmp3.com. So there are choices.

Posted by duab815 on August 17, 2004 at 10:32 AM (CDT)

39

“Maybe you Apple heads don’t like to make decisions for yourself but it’s something we Windows folks love!”

Exactly… eventually the digital music business needs to agree on a single standard format that will play on all players and this is the first step.

Imagine buying a CD player at Best Buy that only plays CD’s from Best Buy and no other store!  If that happened, people would go nuts.  This is exactly the same thing, but most of you are too in love with Steve Jobs to actually admit that Apple is *GASP* wrong and that somebody else is right.

Posted by albrad84 on August 17, 2004 at 10:33 AM (CDT)

40

“Maybe you Apple heads don’t like to make decisions for yourself but it’s something we Windows folks love!”

Exactly… eventually the digital music business needs to agree on a single standard format that will play on all players and this is the first step.

Imagine buying a CD player at Best Buy that only plays CD’s from Best Buy and no other store!  If that happened, people would go nuts.  This is exactly the same thing, but most of you are too in love with Steve Jobs to actually admit that Apple is *GASP* wrong and that somebody else is right.

Posted by albrad84 on August 17, 2004 at 10:33 AM (CDT)

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