RealNetworks, Inc. is delighted by initial consumer and music industry support for Harmony. Compatibility, choice and quality are critically important to consumers and Harmony provides all of these to users of the iPod and over 70 other music devices including those from Creative, Rio, iRiver, and others. RealPlayer Music Store provides the highest sound quality of any download music service. That’s why so many consumers have welcomed news of Harmony. Consumers, and not Apple, should be the ones choosing what music goes on their iPod.
Harmony follows in a well-established tradition of fully legal, independently developed paths to achieve compatibility. There is ample and clear precedent for this activity, for instance the first IBM compatible PCs from Compaq. Harmony creates a way to lock content from Real’s music store in a way that is compatible with the iPod, Windows Media DRM devices, and Helix DRM devices. Harmony technology does not remove or disable any digital rights management system. Apple has suggested that new laws such as the DMCA are relevant to this dispute. In fact, the DMCA is not designed to prevent the creation of new methods of locking content and explicitly allows the creation of interoperable software.
We remain fully committed to Harmony and to giving millions of consumers who own portable music devices, including the Apple iPod, choice and compatibility.
MacDailyNews Take: The war is on! Wonder which company will win? We also wonder if and when Apple will update iPod software causing Real’s Harmony technology to stop working with current and future iPods. Don’t buy a song from Real for your iPod unless you are prepared for it to become unplayable on your iPod sometime in the future.
Again, to those who would scream about “choice,” you have the choice to buy a Dell Digital Junkbox and use the Real Music Store as much as you wish. Enjoy your experience. We prefer to choose Apple’s iPod working with Apple’s iTunes Music Store and have found no other legal music service/player combo that even remotely compares to Apple’s solution.