Real Dumb

Real Bites Apple on Downloads

Real’s promotion is the latest volley by the company to pressure Apple Computer into opening up its music format to interoperate with other players. Several weeks ago, Real unveiled its Harmony technology, which allows music bought from Real to be played on more than 100 different portable players, including Apple’s iPod.

Given Real’s history, it will probably hijack your player, corrupt all your non-Real music, and cause your iPod to start crashing on every other song.

Locking paying music fans into a particular device or service “is very anti-consumer and dangerous to the growth of the overall music business,” he said.

Wow. Saying that an iPod user is locked into the iTMS is like saying that the Coalition of the Willing was unilateral. You aren’t “locked into” the iTMS. You can buy regular CDs (that haven’t been intentionally corrupted by jackasses who think like the Real execs), you can use MP3s, you can use AIFF files, you can use quicktime music files — in fact, almost anything you can play on your computer (except Real’s locked rm format) can be converted to MP3 inside iTunes and played on an iPod.

What you can’t do is put another locked and restricted file on an iPod. And that is, from a DRM standpoint, a good thing. Apple has a responsibility to the iTMS labels to keep the songs reasonably secure. When people like Real start hacking into the system, the problem isn’t that they are coming in the door. The problem is that someone who didn’t have a key to start with has smashed a hole in the wall, and Apple has no idea who else can come in that hole and start taking things out. When Real starts hacking into the system, they are making holes.

I’ll be staying away from Real. They have been historically consumer hostile, and I’ll pay an extra $.50 a song to know that they aren’t going to screw up my $300 iPod.

One Comment

  1. guy in the UNLV jacket says:

    Maybe AOL will come up with an MP3 player next…