When I walked into midtown Manhattan's flashy Arena nightclub on Tuesday evening for an event celebrating the introduction of RealNetworks' Rhapsody music service on TiVo, a waiter approached me with a tray full of tumblers containing a clear liquid accompanied by slices of lime.
I was thirsty. "Is this water?" I asked him.
"No, it's an HD Crystal Clear Cosmo," he replied matter-of-factly, "so, no, it's not water."
A little bit of journalistic digging--i.e. finding a sign detailing the evening's signature drinks--yielded that that the HD Crystal Clear Cosmo consisted of vodka, triple sec, white cranberry juice, and lime juice. The Cosmos were accompanied by pale blue Rhaps-a-Tinis that consisted of Hypnotiq, vodka and white grape juice.
Personally, I never knew that vodka, white cranberry juice and triple sec were responsible for the crystal-clear picture on the awe-inducing Discovery Channel HD documentaries that I occasionally watch while eating take-out Chinese food in my apartment. Guess you learn something new every day.
But I digress. The TiVo-Rhapsody event wasn't all that momentous, considering the news that Rhapsody would be fueling a TiVo-based music service had already hit the wires hours ago. This was, rather, a party, albeit one with an approximately 65-35 male-female ratio. (Hey, that's the industry.) TiVo president and CEO Tom Rogers and RealNetworks Chairman and CEO Rob Glaser made brief speeches--about which Rogers joked that "you can't fast-forward through" like you do with commercials on a TiVo.
The crowd was, overall, a suit-clad industry set. But I spotted a few fellow members of the online tech press: Gizmodo's Richard Blakeley, the Silicon Alley Insider's Peter Kafka, and camera-toting CrunchGear blogger Nicholas Deleon, who thought the Rhaps-a-tinis were gross.
Then there was entertainment. The event featured a live performance by alterna-pop band Fountains of Wayne, and emcee skills courtesy of The Bachelor host Chris Harrison, who spoke of TiVo and Rhapsody as a "perfect match" in the vein of the reality show that employs him.
(Yes, he also made a few self-deprecating jokes about how the couples on The Bachelor don't typically last too long.)
The relationship analogies got a little bit uncomfortable when Harrison started talking about how TiVo kept forming alliances with other companies like Rhapsody and Amazon Unbox to boost its set-top service. "That TiVo's kind of a whore," Harrison joked. "TiVo gets around. It's my kind of guy."