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


  1. I cant beleive the arrogance of this Real fella. Real Networks are nothing in this market. Nothing. And they feel they are in a position to give Apple ultimatums? Get real Real! As to open standards. The iPod supports all the open file formats except ogg vorbis, so I hear. After M$ stole QuickTime a few years back to make its Media Player Apple would be very foolish to trust its tech to another dodgy third party.

  2. Apple’s music store is only a feature in the USA. The rest of the world is being taken over by WMA based operations. Up here in Canada the big player is, a Windows only service that is backed by one of the country’s largest telephone and internet services companies.
    It’s a problem Apple needs to address if they want to keep their iPod momentum.

  3. Its all about mindshare. Apple NEEDS to license Fairplay as much as possible. The real money is in the DRM, sad to say. The iPod is a short-term money maker. Eventually it will be taken over by cheaper music players. If a consumer looks at 10 online music stores and 9 of them use WMA and one uses AAC, it will look pretty obvious to them that WMA must be the standard. Thats why Apple should license Fairplay to as many stores as possible.

    Remember IBM owned the PC, while Microsoft owned the OS. Eventually, other companies sold cheaper PC’s. Yet used the same OS. Who made out here?

    Fairplay could be the equivalent of the OS for music players.

  4. I agree that the real money maker is iTMS and not the iPod. Short-term it is iPod and long-term iTMS. You spend $400 for the iPod and $10 000 to iTMS (long period of time).
    Problem is not Real or WMP. THE real problem is that iTMS must be compatible with Nokia. Nokia sells hundreds of millions of mobile telephones a year and Nokia uses AAC and could be easily compatible with iTMS.
    Apple has to fix this and forget the Real and WMP.

  5. pffft.. EXACTLY.. Real is a joke in this race.. WHAT IS THEIR ‘proprietary format”? I keep thinking about their .ra streaming files..but what is their own format?

    Ugh… Obviously if Real cared about pleasing customers, it would fix its own software first, then think about growing share…

    Mmmmm Growing Share.. HAHAHAHAHA… (image)

    Man this is such an interesting ‘race’… lol..i LOVE it.. in the Summer, Apple should roll out the Europe store.. god imagine how much better it’s gonna be than the Napster (diff. price for each country) store!!

    Napster wants to be the first.. well.. OD2 and Coke are already over there.. so they’re not really first..


    Pffft…Real does not mention anything except.. IF YOU LET US.. WE’LL PLAY ON THE iPOD!..Sounds like a Win-Lose for Real.. Great negotiator.. lmfao

  6. well now real will go to microsoft, this is ipods last year on top, microsoft/real/roxio will all eventually adopt WMA and apple’s closed system will die on the windows machine. Apple had there chance to bring real to quicktime by Licensing for a limited time to see how it works. actually real player isnt as bad as people say, there is a lot of exclusive stuff for it and it will soon be the only player to play all formats. as a stand alone player (not streaming) it sucks though, and takes over system resources to much.

  7. This is only about REAL and only about a way for them to find a
    way out of the slowly spinning flush cycle that they are currently in. REAL has never ever affected my life in any way.
    I have never used realplayer or anything that they have to offer. Apple can’t meet demand currently until December…why do they need REAL to increase more demand at this time. Based on the past, why should Apple’s borders be open until they have to be. What goes around comes around.

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