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iPod firmware update breaks Real\'s Harmony

updated 02:45 pm EST, Tue December 14, 2004

Apple vs. Real goes on

Apple has quietly so that songs purchased from RealNetworks' online music store will no longer play on some of the Mac maker's popular MP3 players, according to a report by CNET News.com: "The move could render tunes purchased by many iPod owners unplayable on their music players. For the last four months, RealNetworks has marketed its music store as the only Apple rival compatible with the iPod, following the company's discovery of a way to let its customers play their downloaded tunes on Apple's MP3 player." Apple had previously warned users of the possibility that RealNetworks' "hacker tactics" may lead to problems, declaring that Harmony-based songs--those created with RealNetworks' technology--would likely "cease to work with current and future iPods." The report says that Apple confirmed that the software released with its Photo iPod will not play music purchased from RealNetworks' music store.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. zac4mac

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    hahahahahahahahahaha

    heheheheheheheheheheheh

    Have a nice day Rob!

    Z

  1. ericdano

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Merry Xmas Rob

    Merry Xmas Rob. Oh, and be nice answering all those questions why Real purchases don't work on iPods anymore.

  1. gadgetgav

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Fizzled out

    So much for their ".org" website too... Nothing new there since early Sept and it wasn't news anyway. I always thought it was funny that it was supposed to be a grass roots uprising .org site and the title was "freedom of music choice is what YOU want" not "we" you notice..!
    The sruvey they commissioned to back up their reasons for hacking the ipod didn't even support their position and was never formally published.
    RIP Harmony.

  1. Faceplant

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Well...

    In spite of the fact that there are now some songs I cannot play, the update HAS made my iPod just a bit snappier, I am certain.

  1. ronjamin

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Bwoohaaa

    Spankings for Real. Cut a deal with Apple and quit being a B*****.

  1. gadgetgav

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    No one cares

    They got about 2,500 signatures on their online petition... out of more then 5 million iPods sold that's 0.05%
    hahaha

  1. horvatic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Happy New Year Rob!

    Happy New Year Rob! Hacking others will just get the door slammed in your face! That was a real dumb stunt to pull anyway.

  1. Sebastien

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    And so it begins

    Sure, Apple can perhaps decide what its player should do, but iPod users COULD play other songs format as THE USER CHOOSES (it is, afterall, the users' own iPods, so they should be able to use it how they wish), but now that Apple has purposely made it so users CAN'T use their (updated) iPods the way THE USER WANTS, and I don't see how anyone can defend apple on this.

    Except of course for the usual zealots, which I'm sure we'll hear from real soon now...

    This idea that a company says you can't use the product you bought the way you want it sure looks like the beginnings of monopoly tactics.

  1. TheBum

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Oh, really...

    "but now that Apple has purposely made it so users CAN'T use their (updated) iPods the way THE USER WANTS"

    Hmm...I WANT to play my existing MP3s and they still work fine. I can go buy the CD for other music I WANT that's not available on iTMS and rip it as an MP3 and it works.

    Besides, who's to say that Apple did it on purpose (and I'm not saying that they didn't)? I remember back in the old Amiga days when programmers would use reserved fields in the API to store their application's data. More often than not, the app would break on the next OS update (and, just as likely, the OS would crash) because those fields were being actively used. I don't see where Harmony is any different.

    If you really want to blame somebody, blame the record companies. They're the ones driving this whole DRM mess.

  1. discotronic

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Bad PR for both

    I don't believe that Real should be allowed to hack something in order to get their way. If Apple doesn't want to license their technology for free that is there choice. There will come a time when they may do it but until then. it is what it is and Real will just have to suck it up.

    People know that the iPod only works (legally) with iTunes. If they want to use other services they should by a Dell or other brand player. Apple warned that in a future firmware update that Harmony may not work. If people are not able to play their songs because they downloaded them from Real it is their own fault. It isn't like Apple didn't warn them.

    I really believe that both companies are in the wrong (to a certain extent) with this one. I don't believe that Apple should stop a person from using their iPod with any service they want. Having a choice is better for the consumer. On the other hand Apple is out to make money plain and simple. Can anyone really blame them for what they did with the firmware?

    If someone really wanted to use another service they could. Just download the music, burn it to a CD, and then put it back in iTunes. It's the long way around but it works.

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