Wednesday, November 10, 2004

RealNetworks' Harmony Awarded

Both RealNetworks' download service Rhapsody and its iTunes DRM hack Harmony have been awarded a Billboard Digital Entertainment Award. Harmony was proclaimed the 'Digital Music Innovation of the Year'. Richard Wolpert, the Chief Strategy Officer of RealNetworks, reacted:
"With Harmony, we knew that we were doing something groundbreaking. It is gratifying to see both consumers and the industry show us their enthusiasm and appreciation for Harmony and its ability to allow music fans to get the music they want and play it on any device they choose."
What RealNetworks should have been awarded is "Best Spin" award for its representation of a not-so groundbreaking technique as enabling consumer choice, while really seeking a gain in market share. As posted earlier, Jon Lech Johansen already offered the Hymn project to crack Apple's FairPlay DRM. And Harmony is mainly a technical solution to Apple's refusal to license FairPlay to RealNetworks.

The campagne that accompanied the launch of Harmony, Freedom of Music Choice, was extremely lame. An example of opportunism in name of the consumer. The connected website seems pretty much dead. Maybe this lame award will spark it again.

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