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

61

buffalowings:
I’m aware of that so in a way yeah, real would have won the battle but I’m guessing most other companies would want to play fair (no pun intended…) if apple started to license fairplay. If only to make real look like the black sheep it would be kind of…interesting.

Problem is (or not depengding on your opinion) is that Apple might have to license in the end just because other companies might try some halfassed attempt on writing their own fairplay-hack. In the end there will be a lot of customers angry about bugs other companies have introduced. Bugs that Apple really can’t have any control over. And many average Joes probably won’t be aware of the fact that Apple isn’t behind their choice of AAC DRM store why these Joes slander Apple of a non-functioning product. So what to do? Start bug-hunting to be compatible with some AAC DRM hack or do it the safe but less profitable way; start licensing. Although whether it’d really be profitable or not is another question depending on how much companies would be charged for using Fairplay. Having “Using Fairplay directly from Apple - no hassle!” slapped on your digital music internet based store is bound to attract some people why some/most companies could actually be more interested in high licensing fees from Apple rather than the cheap hack.

Posted by blip on August 17, 2004 at 1:08 PM (PDT)

62

*F* Real….I had my freedom of choice, and I picked iPod and iTunes.  Real is nothing but REAL GARBAGE!!!

Posted by bguettle on August 17, 2004 at 2:27 PM (PDT)

63

real is so gay.

Posted by Jody on August 17, 2004 at 3:22 PM (PDT)

64

This just in….

Real still sucks.

Posted by Schiano on August 17, 2004 at 3:25 PM (PDT)

65

it’s funny how when I go to the music download site and TRY to download a song on my mac, a window pops up stating:
      “Sorry,
Downloads are only available on PCs running Windows 98 and up and with: 
 
Internet Explorer 5.5, or newer
Netscape 7.0, or newer”

Oh yah that’s sooooo much more open then the ITMS, and where do they get off saying “Stop apple from breaking your ipod”  now how exactly are they breaking it, it works just like it did the day I bought it, I don’t see apple running after me with a hammer trying to smash my ipod.  I think real just needs to go away, they’re software has sucked for years.  They’re just jealous that apple succeeded where they failed so miserably.

Posted by MATRIXsjd in Burbank, Ca on August 17, 2004 at 8:08 PM (PDT)

66

it’s funny how when I go to the music download site and TRY to download a song on my mac, a window pops up stating:
      “Sorry,
Downloads are only available on PCs running Windows 98 and up and with: 
 
Internet Explorer 5.5, or newer
Netscape 7.0, or newer”

Oh yah that’s sooooo much more open then the ITMS, and where do they get off saying “Stop apple from breaking your ipod”  now how exactly are they breaking it, it works just like it did the day I bought it, I don’t see apple running after me with a hammer trying to smash my ipod.  I think real just needs to go away, they’re software has sucked for years.  They’re just jealous that apple succeeded where they failed so miserably.

Posted by MATRIXsjd in Burbank, Ca on August 17, 2004 at 8:12 PM (PDT)

67

This little joke that Real is doing w/ the discounted songs is only a intro.  The price will go up.  Lets get serious.  Real stole the code.  Then they use the code to make their own store.  Then they say people have a choice when people had a choice all a long.  If Real is as great as they are, why don’t they allow comments?  What do the users that actually try it say?
  iTunes Music Store users, step up and speak out and be heard.  Sign a petition against the RealNetwork.
http://www.petitiononline.com/notreal

Posted by al on August 18, 2004 at 5:39 AM (PDT)

68

musonic-  Just curious, why are the labels not ok wiht mp3?  It seems to me that if real wanted to go after apple’s (or anyone else’s for that matter) business, using mp3’s would be the way to go,  but I didn’t know the labels had issue with mp3.

Posted by djfeld01 on August 18, 2004 at 5:49 AM (PDT)

69

I’m a new iPod owner (4G) and am VERY happy with it.  However, being happy with my iPOD and being happy with APPLE as a company are two different things.

These online petitions and blogs prove nothing except that the people who have the strongest negative opinions about something are more motivated to post their flames.

I see lots of emotions here, but I have to honestly wonder what the correlation is between the people who say “long live Apple…death to Real” also own Macs with their iPods, vs. iPods with Windows.  Because it seems to me that Apple has a small but fervent bunch who would cut off their right arm if it would help that company.

The fact is, if this weren’t an APPLE issue, I don’t think you guys would be so quick to jump to its defense.  All the smoke and mirrors about MP3 vs AAC is just a way to disguise the following salient points:

1.  The music companies want DRM for downloadable music
2.  MP3 is NOT DRM
3.  AND The only DRM music you can play on your iPOD comes from iTunes..from APPLE.

Now, Apple is happy charging us .99 per song at 128kbps, while Real is charging us currently .49 for a 192kbps song.  Sounds to me like the value is clear here.  If nothing else, maybe Real’s move will prompt Apple to consider raising their compression rate for their customers, so our music sounds better.  Competition is always a healthy thing.  This irrational, blind hatred of all things not Apple (or all things Real) is just cutting off your nose to spite your face.  Apple should not get a pass on things other companies do not.  If Microsoft is evil for being monopolistic in its business practices, then why isn’t Apple when it acts the same way? 

Take the pro-Apple blinders off.  The company exists to make a profit off of you.  To the extent that your blind loyalty helps them do that, you are ‘useful idiots’ to them.  The day you stop providing sufficient revenue for them is the day you cease being noticed by Apple’s decision-makers.  It’s not personal.  It’s business.  To YOU it’s personal.  To them you are a source of money.  No more.

Posted by RMagruder on August 18, 2004 at 6:31 AM (PDT)

70

So if you think Real did something illegal, fine -> let Apple sue for huge damages and we’ll let the courts decide (great, more software companies trying to win by lawsuit).  But otherwise, you should be cheering the fact that there is a push out there to make it so that music you buy ONCE can be played on the device you own now, and the device you choose to buy tomorrow.  Apple hates that.  They absolutely do not want you buying music for your iPod today, but buying someone else’s player tomorrow.  By locking you into iTunes for your DRM downloads, they lock you into perpetual iPod upgrades.  Do they have the right to do that?  Sure.  Do customers have the right to try to find a way to move their music from one player to the next…certainly!  As long as no laws are broken.

I support Real’s effort not because i have any great love for the company, but because I recognize that stifling competition has never benefitted the consumer in the long run.  And I’m a consumer.  I’d be just as happy to see Apple raise bit rates and/or lower prices so I can just stick to iTunes.  And I wouldn’t mind if other companies joined the fray so I could get the best deal I can on music and not have to worry about all this DRM infighting between companies.

I am reminded of a movie quote here:

Princess Leia:  The more you tighten your grip, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

It lost them the desktop computer war - it could ultimately lose them the portable music player war.  Apple needs to learn some valuable lessons from the past, and ignore the loyalists that’ll just bless whatever they do, right or wrong.

Randy

Posted by RMagruder on August 18, 2004 at 6:31 AM (PDT)

71

In the words of the the govenator….
STOP WHINING!!!
Stop being such hardcore apple fanboys (and gals) and see this is a sweet deal. Sure…hand over your double money for ITMS. Ill be getting double at real while this is going on..sure only while its going on then back to apple but come on people. Its called rivals…rivals help eachother just like in florida with disney and universal..universal builts a sweet ride disney has to do something about it so it makes something cooler. Hopefully what will happen from this is ITMS will go down in price. (I’m not holding my breath, though)

Posted by Boaguy on August 18, 2004 at 5:12 PM (PDT)

72

In the words of the the govenator….
STOP WHINING!!!
Stop being such hardcore apple fanboys (and gals) and see this is a sweet deal. Sure…hand over your double money for ITMS. Ill be getting double at real while this is going on..sure only while its going on then back to apple but come on people. Its called rivals…rivals help eachother just like in florida with disney and universal..universal builts a sweet ride disney has to do something about it so it makes something cooler. Hopefully what will happen from this is ITMS will go down in price. (I’m not holding my breath, though)

Posted by Boaguy on August 18, 2004 at 5:15 PM (PDT)

73

sorry for the double post.

Posted by boaguy on August 18, 2004 at 5:17 PM (PDT)

74

” Its called rivals…rivals help eachother just like in florida with disney and universal..universal builts a sweet ride disney has to do something about it so it makes something cooler. Hopefully what will happen from this is ITMS will go down in price. (I’m not holding my breath, though)”

All a question of how long Real keeps it up and whether it significantly boosts sales for them. If Real finds their net revenue is increased by this move it might become permanent - most American businesses thrive on the maxim of lower profit, higher volume sales. That’s a maxim Apple has *never* understood and if Real can make it work it will be interesting.

Again, no matter how scummy Real has been in the past, if they wind up providing “real” competition to the iTMS it can’t help but be good for everyone, even those that love the iTMS.

Posted by Code Monkey on August 19, 2004 at 7:10 AM (PDT)

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