Real’s CEO Glaser: Apple’s iPod/iTunes combo ‘threatens to turn off consumers’

“RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser on Tuesday brushed off a recent rebuff from Apple Computer and called on Hollywood to keep new digital technologies open for all to use. Incompatible piracy prevention tools in new digital entertainment services such as Apple’s iTunes Music Store and its iPod portable music player threaten to turn off consumers, he said,” Stefanie Olsen reports for CNET News.

[MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iTunes Music Store has “turned off consumers” to the iTune of an annual run rate of 130 million songs per year. (source)]

“‘It’s kind of a Soviet model,’ said Glaser, referring to Apple’s closed environment in a remark that drew laugher from the audience at the annual National Association of Broadcasters conference here. ‘Taking secure music off the PC is a morass of incompatibility. This is not going to fly in the mainstream market,'” Olsen reports.

[MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s iTunes Music Store has “not flown in the mainstream market” to the iTune of 2.5 million songs sold per week as of March 15, 2004. (source)]

“RealNetworks has sought to position itself as a technology neutral Switzerland amid an array of competing and incompatible formats from Apple, Microsoft and others. RealNetworks’ Helix multimedia software supports all major formats, but it hasn’t won much support for its own technology among device makers,” Olsen reports.

[MacDailyNews Note: Helix, Schmelix. How do you spell failure? H-E-L-I-X.]

Olsen reports, “The company had approached Apple CEO Steve Jobs with a proposal to create a technical alliance that would allow customers of RealNetworks’ music service to play songs on the iPod, to no avail. That could now force RealNetworks into a deeper relationship with archenemy Microsoft, which has won support for its technology on dozens of players and plans a major upgrade later this summer.”

[MacDailyNews Note: “Dozens of players” that all totaled together do not equal Apple iPod market share when measured by revenue. (source)]

Full article here.


  1. Well that Glaser…what a bitch.

    To Adamac: Hello Tokyo.
    Quicktime streaming: Cause MS puts their player on every machine out there. If you know the market share of Apple you should get an idea. Other factors of course but MS dominance plays a key role IMHO.

    Real Player: Low quality video, the program is almost viral in nature. Constant messages appear to upgrade or other junk, icons installed all over the place and a few other features obnoxious to a lot of users.

    I have found that Japanese servers can be slow and go down, but don’t have much else to offer. Hey, its the net, not that effective yet.

  2. I do agree with Glaser, like I said in another forum, suppose I would buy a Sony CD and could only play it on a Sony CD player! Apple in this area of music has got as low as M$ and its policy is inconsistent with its overall support of open standards. We as Apple-fans should not turn a blind eye to Apple when they are starting to abuse the market like M$ does, instead we are the ones who should correct them. For me this means no ITMS-songs or or an iPod.

  3. Rob Glaser is the “Baghdad Bob” of the music download arena:

    “Everybody hates Apple!!”

    “No one wants to buy iPods or visit the ITMS!!”

    “Perhaps if Apple comes crawling to REAL we can save them!!”

    These people are amazing! (Like Sony, and the others either predicting Apples ‘ approaching failure, or refusal to acknowledge that Apple is in the drivers seat and they are lost in the desert) Do they really think they can spin their way out of this, and that the buying public will be conned into creating this alternate, Bizarro world, that reduces Apple to nothing, merely because the SAY it is so?

    If anyone is acting SOVIET, or 1984-like it’s Rob Glaser!!

    He is the perfect example of Double-Think!


  4. I do have a complaint on quicktime. I tried to help a coworker download the Quicktime player onto her PC yesterday. I took her to the Apple Quicktime download site, hit “Download Quicktime” and it kept trying to force download iTunes (which I know QT does come bundled with). While I’d like her to discover iTunes I didn’t want to force it on her when she only wanted Quicktime. We finally gave up. Way too Microsoft like for me. Come on Apple!!!

  5. Jump
    You are complaining that Apple gives QT and iTunes free for and bundels those together and forces PC users to try excellent Apple software? They can trash it if they don’t like it. (okay it is PC so that may not be possible)
    You want her to discover iTunes… How hard do you want it to be? How long she has to suffer?

  6. “… a technology neutral Switzerland?” First of all, since when is Real Network’s digital formats compatible with anything but RealNetwork’s products? Adn second, if RealNetworks is, Switzerland, I guess we can say that the pairing of RealNetworks and Microsoft is akin to Switzerland surrendering to the Nazis (which Switzerland never did historically).

  7. Rob, Rob and Paul. Members in good standing of the losers club. The 3 Stooges were much funnier and relevant then these bozos (now that I think of it, Bozo has it all over these guys too!)

  8. “I do agree with Glaser, like I said in another forum, suppose I would buy a Sony CD and could only play it on a Sony CD player!”

    Bullshit. Rip the iTune to CD and reimport it. It can now be enjoyed anyplace.

    The only “Soviet” style player in this is Glaser: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Glaser can’t invent anything worth a shit but he feels as though he is entitled to the work product of others. This guy is a character right out of “Atlas Shrugged.” Life imitates art.

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