“RealNetworks Inc., which is suing rival Microsoft Corp. for $1 billion, said it wants to use Microsoft’s software to help it sell music over the Internet for play on portable devices. RealNetworks wants to make its music files playable on devices that use the Windows Media Audio format, created by Microsoft, RealNetworks Chief Executive Rob Glaser, 53, said in an interview yesterday,” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports.
“Glaser earlier this month sent an e-mail to Apple Computer Inc. Chief Executive Steve Jobs seeking a similar relationship, which Jobs rebuffed. RealNetworks is boosting sales by getting customers to sign up for its Rhapsody music subscription service, which plays music on PCs only. Rhapsody doesn’t currently offer songs that can be listened to on the increasingly popular portable music devices, such as Apple’s market-leading iPod. But RealNetworks plans to add that feature to Rhapsody, and when it does, it wants the music to be playable on devices that use either Microsoft’s WMA format or Apple’s rival AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) format,” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. “‘Our philosophy is to serve the consumer by being universal,’ Glaser said. ‘Whatever formats devices support, we view it as being in the customer’s interest to come up with ways to support those devices. This is not about theology of formats.’ Glaser declined to say when Rhapsody will be able to sell music for play on portable devices or whether he is talking to Microsoft.”
“RealNetworks doesn’t have the software it needs to sell music for Apple’s iPod. Glaser said he sent Jobs the e-mail to try to get Apple to open up its software and Jobs declined. Apple’s iTunes music service competes with Rhapsody, and Jobs has said letting RealNetworks sell to iPod users would erode iTunes’ 70 percent market share,” The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. “After Jobs declined, a person close to Apple gave the e-mail to The New York Times, that paper reported. Glaser yesterday criticized Jobs for refusing to open up Apple’s software and Apple’s decision to leak his e-mail, joking that that he’s ‘grateful’ for Jobs’ efforts to get him publicity. ‘Steve leaked it in a way that one might say is not the apex of scrupulous business practices,’ he said.”
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