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Thursday, 26 May 2005
RealNetworks Goes Against Superpower Music Player Apple's iPod
Topic: Music:_Salsa/Hiphop

Select Your iPod Flavor Below:
Apple Computer Inc Vs. RealNetworks:
Score: 1-1
(In)Compatibility, Interoperability
Music Formats & Consumers' Choice

The domination of the iPod music player may not be for long. Is that so? RealNetworks has announced that it has come up with a technology, named Harmony, that can let users of RealNetworks' RealPlayer Music Store to transfer songs to the iPod. Now that's huge!. Consider how the Cupertino, California's company's iPod has been so dominant on the market, you'll realize the fight that was on to obtain a piece of this rich market. While Steve Jobs was dealing with some personal issues (surgery to remove a tumor according to the news), the engineers of RealNetworks were rejoicing. While the iPod technology is highly guarded secret, a closed system, these guys managed to create access to it. In other words, they are accused of using a hacker's technique to break into the iPod. For now, the party goes on for RealNetworks. How about a giant B-B-Q to celebrate the achievement?

All the Apple enthusiasts and iPod fans must be furious over this news. Maybe not all of them. After all, they are consumers who want to be able to make decisions based on comparision shopping tools. The computer maker may have its own move down the line. If its own engineers can verify or spot the access source, it is likely to be plugged to prevent Harmony from working.

The iPod Craze got fueled by Newsweek article, July 26 and the online media
How has the fight become so ugly?

In the technology world, this new development has been major news feed. Consumers acquire a new choice. Whether it's better than the iPod or not, no one can tell. What's a given is that the songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store can be played on a new music player. Money is at the foundation of RealNetworks'development. More songs from their RealPlayer's Music Store can be purchased by consumers who can transfer them to their iPod.

What's clear is that copyright lawyers will have a field day. They'll be able to refer to precedents such as PCs of the former Compaq corporation that were found to be compatible with IBM There is no doubt that Apple has the lion share of the download music market. Whether RealNetworks will be a viable competitor rests to be seen. It may come down to a question of taste for the consumers. They'll be able to pick whatever flavor they want.

This fight between these two companies is only at the beginning stage. Apple will try to settle the score and even beat RealNetworks in the end. No one can predict the final scores at this time. Once Steve Jobs is recovered, he'll be right back in the middle of the actions.

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