Real CEO Glaser calls Apple ‘deceptive’ with iTunes Music Store

“At the iHollywood Forum Digital Living Room conference taking place in San Mateo, Calif., today, [Rob Glaser, CEO of RealNetworks] called the Mac maker [Apple Computer] deceptive for not explicitly telling customers that iTunes songs can’t be transferred easily to other devices,” Michael Kanellos reports for CNET News. “‘It doesn’t say anywhere that you have to go through 57 different hoops to play a song on a different device,’ Glaser said. He also added that Jobs, one day, will have to think in terms of subscriptions (like Real), rather than selling individual songs. ‘The day that they introduce subscriptions is the day that Steve Jobs has the brilliant revelation that subscriptions are a good thing,’ Glaser said.”

Full article, complete with Kanellos likening Glaser to a “sperm whale” (we think – but, hey, if the fluke fits…), here.

Okay, last bit first: the day Steve Jobs thinks subscriptions are a good thing is the day Apple will introduce subscriptions to iTunes. Glaser is a “real” genius. What’s the alternative, that Jobs will introduce subscriptions to iTunes when he doesn’t think it’s a good idea?

MacDailyNews Take: Okay, now, “Apple Computer is ‘deceptive’ for not explicitly telling customers that iTunes songs can’t be transferred easily to other devices?” From’s main iTunes Music Store (iTMS) webpage (, “You can burn individual songs onto an unlimited number of CDs for your personal use, listen to songs on an unlimited number of iPods and play songs on up to five Macintosh computers or Windows PCs.” From’s main iTunes webpage (, “Auto-Sync with iPod. With an iPod and iTunes, it’s a cinch to sync: fast, simple and effortless. The new Autofill option even automatically syncs just enough music for your iPod shuffle. Got photos? Now you can copy them to iPod Photo and view them on the go or on a big-screen TV.” So, what’s “deceptive” about those statements? They clearly state iPod photo, iPod, iPod mini, and iPod shuffle will work with iTMS. Those statements clearly do not imply that any old music player from Tom, Dick, and Harry will work. Why should Apple have to list every minor music device that doesn’t work with the market-dominating online music store?

[UPDATE, 11:20 PM, ET: Credit “otter” below for calling our attention to the fact that iTunes’ “Help” menu features an entry titled, “Connecting your iPod or other music player” which clearly states, “iTunes works with several music players, but songs purchased on the iTunes Music Store only play on iPod. For information on which players are compatible with iTunes, see this article on the Apple Support website: .” The online article clearly states, “To play AAC and AAC Protected songs, your iPod must have iPod Software 1.3 or later installed. Not all digital music players can play AAC songs and only iPod can play AAC Protected songs. Songs you import from an audio CD using the AAC format can be converted to MP3 files, which you can burn to MP3 CDs or play on third-party digital music players. Songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store are encoded using the AAC Protected format and cannot be converted to MP3 format. You can burn them to audio CDs and play them in consumer audio CD players.” We also noticed a link from that page to the online article from Apple, “MP3 player compatibility with iTunes for Windows” which states, “iTunes for Windows can transfer a variety of audio and music files to iPod, including MP3 and AAC encoded files. Other MP3 players do not work with iTunes for Windows.”]

As for Real and their RealPlayer do they have one of the greatest or worst reputations online in regards to deceptive practices or lack thereof? And have you ever read this article about RealNetworks?

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Real CEO pitches to half empty room at tech symposium; Apple draws standing-room-only crowd – February 25, 2005
RealNetworks’ CEO Rob Glaser grabs 3 of top 10 spots on ‘Dumbest Moments in Business 2005’ list – January 31, 2005
Bono-Glaser photo caption contest now open – October 25, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: ‘Harmony’ hack legal, Mac lovers are very sensitive to Apple criticism, and more – September 14, 2004
Analyst: Rob Glaser’s ill-advised war against Apple ‘is going to bite RealNetworks on the ass’ – August 30, 2004
RealNetwork’s CEO Glaser crashes Apple’s music party – July 30, 2004
Real CEO Glaser: Steve Jobs’ comments on Real ‘not succeeding’ are ‘ridiculously humorous’ – April 29, 2004
NY Times: Real CEO Glaser was close to having ‘iPod’ before Apple, but let it ‘slip through his fingers – April 24, 2004
Real’s CEO Glaser: Apple’s iPod/iTunes combo ‘threatens to turn off consumers’ – April 20, 2004
Jobs to Glaser: go pound sand – April 16, 2004
Real CEO Glaser begs Apple to make iPod play nice with other music services – March 24, 2004
Real CEO Glaser: ‘iTunes is only going to be used for playing songs you bought using the iTunes store – January 16, 2004


  1. I actually saw a cassette tape for sale in a store the other day. I thought about buying it just for nostalgia sake. But I didn’t and when I got home, I realized that it wouldn’t play on my my wind up wristwatch because the battery isn’t Y2K compliant.
    I’m seriously considering litigation against Real for all of these incompatibilities.

  2. These people make me sick. Stop complaining about the competition all the time and do something about it. Get off your fat butt and work and stop being so damned lazy.

  3. frankly speaking,

    Wrong place. Off topic. Take it somewhere else, man. This is about BF Rob Glaser and his ongoing stupidity, not about your meaningless rabid personal politics.

    MDN Magic Word: “Values”

    UFB, MDN!

  4. He’s the CEO of Real Networks…a company that was innovating during the “dial-up revolution.”

    What do you expect from the leader of a company that can’t make a viable product?


  5. WoooooohOOOOOOO!! More Glaser Goodness…

    Let’s see.. they reverse engineer Fairplay so that Harmony tracks work on the best music player out there, the iPod line.

    Now here’s the deceptive part.. IMPLYING THAT THEIR HACK IS LEGITIMATE.

    Is anyone still talking about Harmony?! Why not? Probably because it was directed at the ‘hoardes’ of iPod owners who were so dissatisfied with the iTMS that they wanted access to the RealNetworks roach motel.

    In other words… nobody showed up.

    Which also explains why nobody is whining about being ‘screwed’ by Apple, when Apple put a stop to that, through iPod updates.

    This is hilarious… I imagine Glaser talking to the media is preceded by, “And you are…?”
    “Rob Glaser”
    “I’m hear for a story on Apple”
    “Oh Great, let’s get started..!”

  6. Y’know what I love? How, to Glaser, it’s “Us vs. Apple!” While to Gorog, it’s also “Us vs. Apple!” Ever notice the conspicuous absense of Napster in any Real discussion and vice versa?

    News flash guys: you’re competing against each other. You can focus on Apple all you like, the fact remains that the WMA services will cannibalize each other’s businesses first before they take any market share from Apple. Will Napster provide a serious threat to Apple? Perhaps. Will Real? Maybe. But one thing is certain: it will only be one or the other.

  7. LordRobin. . . i couldn’t agree more. napster and real aren’t looking at the whole picture. they should be going after each other and not apple. if done right, controlling 10% of the download market could work out for which ever company comes up with the best windows based interface and partners with or produces it’s own player. analysts are talking apple down to slow growth plane and simple. competitors wish apple ill will because they’re hoping for a mistep that will give them a lead (keep hoping). what creative should do is buy napster. real should partner with samsung and create a player not rebrand one like dell. dell now produces in that “look what i can do” (stewie of madtv emphasis)mentality by commoditizing and continual rebranding. i wouldn’t doubt that over the next 3 years you’ll begin to see players in the market move into one of these directions.

  8. Seriously, Glaser’s comments about Apple offering a subscription service clearly shows how much of an idiot he is. If I were him, the LAST thing I would do would be to “encourage” the competition to get into my business! If Apple were to offer a subscription service to the iTMS, the death of Real (and Napster) would only be ACCELERATED. Since almost everyone has an iPod anyway, that would be even more incentive for people to get one, therefore bypassing Real, Napster, and the other also-rans.

    Now that I think about it, Steve should add subscription services to iTMS , if only out of spite. That would be cool. Kill Real and Napster quicker. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

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