March 23, 2004 10:47 AM PST

Real's Glaser exhorts Apple to open iPod

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser has a message for Apple Computer chief Steve Jobs: Open iPod or shrivel.

Glaser, the feisty founder of the Internet entertainment network, said during a panel discussion Tuesday at PC Forum here that Apple is creating problems for itself by using a file format that forces consumers to buy music from Apple's own iTunes site. (CNET Networks, publisher of News.com, last week acquired EDventures, which sponsors PC Forum.)

Because Apple's iPod music player does not support other proprietary music formats and does not license its own format to rivals, Real's Rhapsody and other song sites are blocked from easily reaching iPod users.

"Apple's (market) share will go down if they continue to do this. The only way to presently put songs on an iPod is to (buy) them from iTunes," Glaser said, referring to downloads purchased from online music stores. In addition to iTunes songs, the iPod can play files encoded in the MP3 format, including tracks ripped from CDs.

Hewlett-Packard, which has partnered with Apple on digital music, is in a position to persuade the company to change its practice, he said.

"There is a good opportunity to say to Steve, 'You've done a good job of promoting this thing, but now one of two bad things will happen,'" Glaser said. "One, Apple's market share will go down to its historical single-digit levels, or two, it will slow down the development of this market."

Glaser predicted that customers will say, "I bought an iPod and can only shop at one store. What is this? The Soviet Union?"

Shane Robison, chief technology officer of HP, shared the panel with Glaser and said diplomatically that discussions on many issues are always ongoing.

Apple could not be reached for comment.

Glaser also applauded actions taken by European regulators to limit Microsoft's ability to bundle technology into Windows. Real has been directly affected by the practice, because it makes a competing media player.

"I think it is a step in the right direction. It is not transcendent," he said. "The specific solutions have not been announced yet, but the outcome suggests that the European regulators did the right thing for the right reasons."

Glaser further said that the European Commission's ruling is not likely to exert massive political pressures because most of the companies directly affected by the decision--Sun Microsystems, RealNetworks and Apple, among others--are based in the United States. The commission, however, has said it entered the investigation on behalf of European citizens.

Microsoft, meanwhile, struck a deal with Major League Baseball to offer live audio and video on its networks. MLB used to have a partnership with RealNetworks.

116 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
Why should they?
So, is Real just crying since they seem to be at the tail end of the
train following Apple's lead?

iPod owners have more choices than just buying music from
iTunes Music Store. You ever hear of MP3s? You can play those
on the iPod too, which can be encoded from CDs you own. Why
do iPod owners need other choices when iTunes music store
currently has the biggest selection of music?

iPod + iTunes is the slickest and easiest solution for digital
music, there's no need to change that!
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
testing test
testing testtesting testtesting testtesting testtesting test
Posted by Sharr-K (2 comments )
Link Flag
Why should they?
So, is Real just crying since they seem to be at the tail end of the
train following Apple's lead?

iPod owners have more choices than just buying music from
iTunes Music Store. You ever hear of MP3s? You can play those
on the iPod too, which can be encoded from CDs you own. Why
do iPod owners need other choices when iTunes music store
currently has the biggest selection of music?

iPod + iTunes is the slickest and easiest solution for digital
music, there's no need to change that!
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Somebody's lyin'!
I don't have an iPod (yet), but this is a quote directly from from Apple's web site (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/ipod/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/ipod/</a>):

"iPod supports the most popular audio formats  including MP3 (up to 320 kbps), MP3 Variable Bit Rate (VBR) and WAV."

Also, the Apple's iPod tech specs web page (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html</a>) says the iPod supports the following file types:

"AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible, AIFF and WAV"

Could somebody be involved in a "disinformation" campaign?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
they call it FUD
"fear uncertainty and doubt"

It spreads like wildfire.
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
Somebody's lyin'!
I don't have an iPod (yet), but this is a quote directly from from Apple's web site (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/ipod/" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/ipod/</a>):

"iPod supports the most popular audio formats  including MP3 (up to 320 kbps), MP3 Variable Bit Rate (VBR) and WAV."

Also, the Apple's iPod tech specs web page (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.apple.com/ipod/specs.html</a>) says the iPod supports the following file types:

"AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible, AIFF and WAV"

Could somebody be involved in a "disinformation" campaign?
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
they call it FUD
"fear uncertainty and doubt"

It spreads like wildfire.
Posted by (5 comments )
Link Flag
most popular audio
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/vacuum/miele_200_vacuum_chart.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/vacuum/miele_200_vacuum_chart.htm</a>
Posted by Ipod Apple (152 comments )
Link Flag
why they won't
They won't do it...yet. It would be smart for Apple to allow other
MP3 players access to the iTunes Store but they can't do this. If
they did, the other companies would instantly figure out the AAC
Fairplay encoding and start selling iPod-compatible songs of
their own, perhaps cheaper, ending Apple's monopoly on iPod
download stores.

As long as iPod is #1, Apple really has no reason to allow others
access to the iPod. Unless customers stop buying iPods because
they don't want to use iTunes (which hasn't happened), there's
no reason for them to make it open. If I were Apple, I'd be
watching this very carefully. As soon as large numbers of
customers were being lost because of the forced usage of
iTunes, they would have to open iPod to other store and open
their store to other players, while keeping the iPod-iTunes
syncing superior.
Posted by iKenny (98 comments )
Reply Link Flag
why they won't
They won't do it...yet. It would be smart for Apple to allow other
MP3 players access to the iTunes Store but they can't do this. If
they did, the other companies would instantly figure out the AAC
Fairplay encoding and start selling iPod-compatible songs of
their own, perhaps cheaper, ending Apple's monopoly on iPod
download stores.

As long as iPod is #1, Apple really has no reason to allow others
access to the iPod. Unless customers stop buying iPods because
they don't want to use iTunes (which hasn't happened), there's
no reason for them to make it open. If I were Apple, I'd be
watching this very carefully. As soon as large numbers of
customers were being lost because of the forced usage of
iTunes, they would have to open iPod to other store and open
their store to other players, while keeping the iPod-iTunes
syncing superior.
Posted by iKenny (98 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Is the AAC + FairPlay solution truly proprietary?
AAC is an open standard, and FairPlay is separate from Apple -
right? For the life of me, I can't find their website again, but the
FairPlay site definitely looked like it's own entity. If I'm right,
how on earth can this be a less attractive solution than those
offered by MS or Real? What's keeping others from using these
technologies?
Posted by (54 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Aha - here's the answer (?)
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp" target="_newWindow">http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp</a>

FairPlay does not appear to be Apple technology - Forgive them
for not jumping into bed with Microsoft or Real! This seems like
a much better solution
Posted by (54 comments )
Link Flag
not to be confused with Veridisc FairPlay
Apple's FairPlay DRM is NOT the same as the (apparently
defunct) Veridisc DRM solution of the same name.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://64.244.235.240/info_about.asp" target="_newWindow">http://64.244.235.240/info_about.asp</a>
Posted by TechStuff (4 comments )
Link Flag
Is the AAC + FairPlay solution truly proprietary?
AAC is an open standard, and FairPlay is separate from Apple -
right? For the life of me, I can't find their website again, but the
FairPlay site definitely looked like it's own entity. If I'm right,
how on earth can this be a less attractive solution than those
offered by MS or Real? What's keeping others from using these
technologies?
Posted by (54 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Aha - here's the answer (?)
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp" target="_newWindow">http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp</a>

FairPlay does not appear to be Apple technology - Forgive them
for not jumping into bed with Microsoft or Real! This seems like
a much better solution
Posted by (54 comments )
Link Flag
not to be confused with Veridisc FairPlay
Apple's FairPlay DRM is NOT the same as the (apparently
defunct) Veridisc DRM solution of the same name.
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://64.244.235.240/info_about.asp" target="_newWindow">http://64.244.235.240/info_about.asp</a>
Posted by TechStuff (4 comments )
Link Flag
Here's how I see it
FairPlay is not owned by Apple:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp" target="_newWindow">http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp</a>

In typical Apple fashion, they are ahead of the curve, and
discovered this technology. They anticipate its ultimate success
(802.11 anyone?) and have signed an agreement with Veridisc
(creators / owners) of FairPlay to use their DRM. Soon, once the
kinks are all worked out on Veridisc's end, this will become a
widely available form of DRM, and much more appealing than
that of MS or Real. This will all make sense shortly - it's
nonsense to think that Apple has anything to lose by
competitors offering the AAC + FairPlay solution - it can only
benefit them. Apple is embracing standards all over the place,
they wouldn't make the kind of lock-in mistakes they have in the
past.
Posted by (54 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Here's how I see it
FairPlay is not owned by Apple:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp" target="_newWindow">http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp</a>

In typical Apple fashion, they are ahead of the curve, and
discovered this technology. They anticipate its ultimate success
(802.11 anyone?) and have signed an agreement with Veridisc
(creators / owners) of FairPlay to use their DRM. Soon, once the
kinks are all worked out on Veridisc's end, this will become a
widely available form of DRM, and much more appealing than
that of MS or Real. This will all make sense shortly - it's
nonsense to think that Apple has anything to lose by
competitors offering the AAC + FairPlay solution - it can only
benefit them. Apple is embracing standards all over the place,
they wouldn't make the kind of lock-in mistakes they have in the
past.
Posted by (54 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What Glaser knows...
...is that no other service has a shot in hell at
outselling Apple's iTMS unless Apple allows services like
Glaser's to profit from the iPod.

Glaser's service doesn't even work on a Mac. I predict that
Rhapsody will die unless they open their service to more
platforms.

The concerted disinformation campaign being run by iTMS
competitors and added and abetted by media outlets like
CNET is the only hope for people who cannot produce a
best-in-breed application/hardware combo. Glaser should
worry about competing in the marketplace instead of trying
to manipulate it.
Posted by jfbiii (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What Glaser knows...
...is that no other service has a shot in hell at
outselling Apple's iTMS unless Apple allows services like
Glaser's to profit from the iPod.

Glaser's service doesn't even work on a Mac. I predict that
Rhapsody will die unless they open their service to more
platforms.

The concerted disinformation campaign being run by iTMS
competitors and added and abetted by media outlets like
CNET is the only hope for people who cannot produce a
best-in-breed application/hardware combo. Glaser should
worry about competing in the marketplace instead of trying
to manipulate it.
Posted by jfbiii (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Rhapsody will die
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/vacuum/miele.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/vacuum/miele.htm</a>
Posted by Ipod Apple (152 comments )
Link Flag
"closed ipod"?
The iPod plays acc, mp3, aiff, and wav files. The only thing it
does not play is wma vorbis orgg, and real files. There is a FREE
program that will make it so you CAN play these however.
ACC, iTunes and the iPod ARE the INDUSTRY STANDARD. Why
don't people understand this. WMA is as, or more proprietary as
ACC...actually ACC was developed be companies like Sony and
Motorola....WMA is windows only...hummm
Never happen.
Posted by 198775425444042216790779840523 (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
"closed ipod"?
The iPod plays acc, mp3, aiff, and wav files. The only thing it
does not play is wma vorbis orgg, and real files. There is a FREE
program that will make it so you CAN play these however.
ACC, iTunes and the iPod ARE the INDUSTRY STANDARD. Why
don't people understand this. WMA is as, or more proprietary as
ACC...actually ACC was developed be companies like Sony and
Motorola....WMA is windows only...hummm
Never happen.
Posted by 198775425444042216790779840523 (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
lol...
maybe if glasier spent his time making Real player streaming media a better format instead of complaining about apples blantant superiority he could make a format that would be as widely adapted as mp3 or aac is becoming.. no one is forced to buy from the itunes music store.. i ahvent bought one song there and this is my second ipod i've owned. i rip all the cds i own and put them on my ipod. i would be upset if apple was in bed with real or microsoft, they both make the worst streaming formats on the planet... and sadly they have no idea.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
lol...
maybe if glasier spent his time making Real player streaming media a better format instead of complaining about apples blantant superiority he could make a format that would be as widely adapted as mp3 or aac is becoming.. no one is forced to buy from the itunes music store.. i ahvent bought one song there and this is my second ipod i've owned. i rip all the cds i own and put them on my ipod. i would be upset if apple was in bed with real or microsoft, they both make the worst streaming formats on the planet... and sadly they have no idea.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Real's Glaser to iPod
Real's Glaser needs to get a life.
Apple does not have to. Real has to...

To partner with Apple just like Hewlett-Packard.
Smart move on their part to change and get off
the band wagon and smell the roses. iPod is the
future in the present.
Posted by hdimalanta (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Real's Glaser to iPod
Real's Glaser needs to get a life.
Apple does not have to. Real has to...

To partner with Apple just like Hewlett-Packard.
Smart move on their part to change and get off
the band wagon and smell the roses. iPod is the
future in the present.
Posted by hdimalanta (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Its called an MP3, idiot...
Hey, Earth to GLASER! Why don't YOU open YOUR stupid format and convert .rm's into MP3s and MPEGs. Then your "historic, single digit market penetration" might someday expand.
Posted by (60 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Its called an MP3, idiot...
Hey, Earth to GLASER! Why don't YOU open YOUR stupid format and convert .rm's into MP3s and MPEGs. Then your "historic, single digit market penetration" might someday expand.
Posted by (60 comments )
Reply Link Flag
market penetration
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/xm_samsung_helix.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/xm_samsung_helix.htm</a>
Posted by Ipod Apple (152 comments )
Link Flag
Related Quotes: REAL
Doh!, more poor editing at C|Net. REAL is not RealNetworks. Rather RNWK is the right ticker. But I guess the price is close enough, lol...
Posted by (60 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Related Quotes: REAL
Doh!, more poor editing at C|Net. REAL is not RealNetworks. Rather RNWK is the right ticker. But I guess the price is close enough, lol...
Posted by (60 comments )
Reply Link Flag
.RM is also proprietary..and have you ever heard of MP3?
Oh come on. I dunno why this guy even made the comments. If he wants to sell to iPod users, just use MP3 format. Apple has no reason to release the AAC format for use by other companies. There's no need. Apple's marketshare won't change over holding in the AAC format. ANd beside - Correct me if i'm wrong, but I don't see RealNetwork's own, proprietary .RM format playable with anything else but the RealPlayer. Hippocrite.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Once Again,
AAC is not proprietary, and neither, I believe, is FairPlay. - Well,
okay, they may be proprietary, but they are licensable (is that a
word?) from:

AAC:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.vialicensing.com/products/mpeg4aac/" target="_newWindow">http://www.vialicensing.com/products/mpeg4aac/</a>
standard.html

and

FairPlay (Veridisc not Apple)
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp" target="_newWindow">http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp</a>
Posted by (54 comments )
Link Flag
.RM is also proprietary..and have you ever heard of MP3?
Oh come on. I dunno why this guy even made the comments. If he wants to sell to iPod users, just use MP3 format. Apple has no reason to release the AAC format for use by other companies. There's no need. Apple's marketshare won't change over holding in the AAC format. ANd beside - Correct me if i'm wrong, but I don't see RealNetwork's own, proprietary .RM format playable with anything else but the RealPlayer. Hippocrite.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Once Again,
AAC is not proprietary, and neither, I believe, is FairPlay. - Well,
okay, they may be proprietary, but they are licensable (is that a
word?) from:

AAC:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.vialicensing.com/products/mpeg4aac/" target="_newWindow">http://www.vialicensing.com/products/mpeg4aac/</a>
standard.html

and

FairPlay (Veridisc not Apple)
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp" target="_newWindow">http://64.244.235.240/explained_contentprovider.asp</a>
Posted by (54 comments )
Link Flag
Mac is unPC ... and iPod is "unReal"
And thank God that Steve and Co. have had the good sense to do what they are doing: provide the best hardware, best NONproprietary formats, best download store .. the best of everything!

Remember the first iMac commercials: "about as unPC as you can get," wasn't it? Well the iPod is about as unReal as you can get, and we love it.

Glaser, everybody recognizes your sour grapes and "me too" attitude. Fix your own product and let Apple worry about theirs.
Posted by jstillmank (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.