Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Apple Fixes RealNetworks' Hack

When RealNetworks used a hack to make their songs compatible with Apple's iPod, the company claimed it was doing this to provide consumer freedom of choice. RealNetworks launched a website Freedom of Music Choice with smooth content and a popular message:
"Choice Rocks! Consumers are getting a raw deal with the status quo in digital music, which limits healthy, open competition that drives down prices and encourages innovation. Stand up for your right to Freedom of Music Choice."
Yeah, Rock on! But no longer to RealNetworks' songs playing on your iPod. CNet reports that Apple has updated its firmware, so that the hack that outraged Apple, has become useless. RealNetworks' songs, and those of other providers using the same music format, will be unplayable on the (updated) iPods, yet again. What was clear from the start, has crystallized now: this is a competitive war fought over the back of consumers.
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Later: More at Ars Technica


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