Real: ‘We don’t understand why Steve Jobs just doesn’t want to open the iPod’

“Apple Computer Inc. apparently doesn’t want to sing the same tune as its Internet music rival RealNetworks Inc. Seattle-based RealNetworks said Thursday that Apple chairman Steve Jobs had rebuffed an offer by RealNetworks’ chief executive Rob Glaser to meet and discuss forming an online music alliance involving Apple’s best-selling iPod portable players,” The Associated Press reports.

“‘He’s in the neighborhood, but whatever meeting Rob wanted with Steve isn’t happening,’ RealNetworks spokesman Greg Chiemingo said Thursday. ‘Steve just doesn’t want to open the iPod, and we don’t understand that.’ Executives at Cupertino-based Apple declined to comment. As first reported in The New York Times, Glaser made the invitation in an e-mail to Jobs last week that suggested that the two companies join forces against their common enemy, Microsoft Corp. He proposed a meeting to discuss the matter this week while he was in the Silicon Valley,” AP reports.

“RealNetworks, Apple and Microsoft all are jockeying for position in digital media – in which encoding formats and copy-protection technologies dictate how and on which devices consumers play their music. Like Apple’s leading iTunes song-download store, RealNetworks’ online music store supports the Advanced Audio Coding format, which competes against Microsoft’s Windows Media Audio format predominantly used by other legal music sites. But because of Apple’s proprietary copy-protection standard Fairplay, songs attained from RealNetworks’ Rhapsody music service and RealPlayer music store cannot be played on Apple’s iPod players,” AP reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Steve just doesn’t want to open the iPod, and we don’t understand that,” says Real’s spokesman. What exactly doesn’t Real understand? Perhaps Real is getting dizzy as it circles the bowl? One more question: what has Real to offer Apple that Apple doesn’t already have?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
RealNetworks urges Apple to license Fairplay DRM; wants to form ‘tactical alliance’ in online music biz – April 15, 2004
RealNetworks caught between Microsoft rock and Apple hard place – April 08, 2004
Real CEO hopes for Apple iPod opening – March 31, 2004
Apple should not let any other online music services work with iPod – March 24, 2004
Real CEO Glaser begs Apple to make iPod play nice with other music services – March 24, 2004

38 Comments

  1. I agree with you MDN, so many people are supportive of this plan, but what DOES Real bring to the plate? Nothing. They would just end up leeching off of Apple. If anything, Apple should find another partner like they did with HP. IBM would be an AWESOME partner, but (sadly), they’re not in this arena.

  2. What has Real to offer Apple that Apple doesn’t already have?

    How about Real adopts QuickTime and uses it (not Real’s crap) to deliver exclusive programming like sports and whatever else they are peddling in exchange for being let in on the iPod party?

  3. jesus christ the iPod is not closed to any of them. mp3s and AACs and a load of other formats can be transfered onto your iPod that these players play. It’s just the music store offerings that are incompatible.

    and it should be that way.

  4. All Real has to do is sell non copy protected AAC music. That will work on iPods. So does mp3’s. He could also sell CD’s by mail like Amazon. That will also work in iPods.

  5. say it with me everyone: iTunes works in Windows, iTunes works in Windows, iTunes works in Windows, iTunes works in Windows, iTunes works in Windows, iTunes works in Windows, iTunes works in Windows, iTunes works in Windows, iTunes works in Windows….. why bother with ANY of the remainders? oh, it works best with the iPod, by the way.

    end of story.

  6. Backup a minute. Doesn’t the iPod ignore Fairplay? So why what does lisencing Fairplay have to do the the iPod? Wouldn’t that just open up a store that competes with iTMS for iPod users? Why would Apple want to do that?

  7. At least Real understands if your service works with the iPod your service will die! I think he don’t want to go with Microsoft but don’t have the funds to make his own dmr onto mp3’s. If they just made their mp3 copy protected then Real would work with the iPod and would actually have a fighting chance to survive in the download music store.

  8. ipoddering with what, what? It’s my dell dj that’s what, slappin the hits from iWalMArt, jivin’ down like I live in dell town. Oh whoot, whoot, won’t you take me to, spunky dell town. ipoddering, ya’ all macspack foos… can you give me a whoot, whoot, dellllllllllllll, whoot, whoot.

  9. The iPod most certainly is closed to anyone selling music files requiring DRM-encoding that does not have access to Fairplay. Sure, the iPod may be open to consumers who have music files in a supported format or who can convert their files to a supported format, but to suggest that commercial entities that are subject to licensing agreements with the RIAA have the freedom to do this as well … well, sorry, but such comments can only be described as Thurrott-worthy.

    Like most others, I can’t see what Real has to offer Apple. Futhermore, after Glaser has insulted Apple and Jobs on numerous occasions in the last few months, I can’t imagine why Apple should let Real in on Fairplay — Glaser’s made his bed, let him lie in it.

    All the same, I can’t imagine Apple will keep it’s dominance in the market too much further. It seems like Apple’s deal with HP could turn into a pretty slick move, particularly since it came out of left field. Any prognostications on who Apple might partner with in the future wrt Fairplay? I’m betting they’ll open Fairplay up to someone who isn’t in the market right now but who could shore up the Fairplay/AAC format should WMP actually start to encroach. No idea who that would be, but (sorry Ed) I doubt it’ll be IBM.

    Hmm … is MTV going to open an online music store?

  10. “RealNetworks, Apple and Microsoft all are jockeying for position in digital media – in which encoding formats and copy-protection technologies dictate how and on which devices consumers play their music.”

    This is where the logic is flawed. No one is going out buying MP3 players b/c of what DRM the music store is using. People go to the store that is compatible with their player. To the consumer, one music store is no different than the other. But since Apple made a killer device that everyone wanted, they use the software that is compatible with that device — iTunes. Once Apple incorporated a music store into the song management utility for these wonderful devices, that is all it took to make iTunes/iPods a mega-hit.

    Will these people ever understand?

  11. One thing that Real may offer that Apple has yet to is an on-line music store in Australia. We are still waiting for all the Apple services here in Australia. One place Apple tends to forget at times …

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