updated 12:35 am EDT, Thu July 29, 2004
Real vs. Apple
Apple will need to respond to RealNetworks' Harmony application "fairly quickly, as the other digital-music download stores will likely want to add the 'iPod Compatible' sticker to their sites and ," according CNN/Money, who notes that Apple may have to balance iTMS song sales with iPod sales: "To create Harmony, Real reverse-engineered Apple's proprietary AAC format, and created a way for Real's downloads to appear in AAC format when loaded onto an iPod. Industrious hackers have attempted such a feat but have been spooked by legal threats. Apple may yet decide to challenge Harmony in court, but it should carefully think through the consequences: Harmony may actually prove beneficial to Apple and the industry as a whole....The question the company now must answer is, Is it strategically more important to preserve its closed system, or is the iPod the future profit machine for the company? In the latter case, it should pump up sales numbers at any reasonable cost. It's quite a pickle."