• United States

RealNetworks, Apple continue to spar

Jul 29, 20041 min
Data Center

Apple is reacting to RealNetworks’ new Harmony software which allows non-iTunes purchases songs to play on an iPod. Real is doing this because their store offers music in the same format, but does not have the right DRM system to be compatible with the iPod, because Apple is keeping that for itself. RealNetworks essentially reversed engineered (though they’re not calling it that) the Apple FairPlay DRM system to make Harmony work. Now Apple is threatening to block “Harmonized” content in the next generation of iPods, which the company announced last week.

I understand why Apple is blocking others since it wants to keep the iTunes/iPod synergy flowing. But if they’re really not making money off the tunes (but are making a killing on the iPods), wouldn’t they want to open them to other download sources? Licensing the technology to Motorola is one step, but there’s still more Apple could do.