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New iPod Firmware Locks Out RealNetworks Music

michael posted more than 9 years ago | from the providing-negative-customer-service dept.

Media (Apple) 718

rishimathew writes "Apple Computer has quietly updated its iPod software so that songs purchased from RealNetworks' online music store will no longer play on some of the Mac maker's popular MP3 players." You may remember the backstory: Real found a way to allow their DRM-restricted music to play on iPods, Apple protested, and there was a little back-and-forth. You asked Rob Glaser about the situation, and he said Real had a "comprehensive plan", whatever that means.

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Ha ha! (-1, Flamebait)

BWJones (18351) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086112)

You asked Rob Glaser about the situation, and he said Real had a "comprehensive plan", whatever that means.

Nelson: Ha ha!

Hammer Revolution! (1)

hammer revolution (836067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086121)

--;

The hammer revolution has begun!

--;

Re:Hammer Revolution! (1, Funny)

darth_MALL (657218) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086208)

--;

In Soviet Metallica, Hammer of Justice Crushes YOU!

--;

The Hammer Revolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086370)

What's it all about?

Is it good, or is it whack?

What about Hymn? (5, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086123)

If they broke RealNetworks playback on iPods, what about files de-protected by Project Hymn? [hymn-project.org]

I would assume it's broken since I figured Real used some of the code from this app. But the article does not say, and there is no news on the Hymn site (lterally, some kind of server error).

Re:What about Hymn? (5, Informative)

Slack3r78 (596506) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086184)

I wouldn't think so. Hymnn strips the file of all DRM; what Real had done was essentially finding a way to get the iPod to play *their* protected files, just like files you bought off iTMS. Apple has evidently changed up the way their authentication behaves so this no longer works.

Since there's no DRM in a file that's been run through Hymn, there's no reason they shouldn't still work.

Re:What about Hymn? (1, Informative)

twiddlingbits (707452) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086241)

For now there is no reason. But I bet soon if not already the iPod will check to make sure the DRM signature is in the file. No Sig, No Music. Hacking the right DRM INTO a music file is a lot harder than hacking it out especially if they use encryption.

Re:What about Hymn? (2, Informative)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086359)

I would bet anything that you're wrong. The reason is because that would involve removing mpa playback (i.e. mp4 AAC files without DRM built in) entirely. This would be a terrible move for several reasons, the least of which being that when iTunes rips a CD to AAC, it does so in mpa files without DRM. I think you just didn't realize what the grandparent poster was saying when he said Hymn stripped out the DRM. It creates a new file that simple doesn't have DRM in it.

Re:What about Hymn? (2, Informative)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086361)

I don't understand the fuss. As long as there are ways to convert your m4a or whatever formats to plain mp3 files, who can stop you?

Re:What about Hymn? (5, Informative)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086363)

You seem to be confused about both the iPod and Hymn.

1. The iPod will play unprotected AAC and MP3 files.
2. Hymn produces unprotected AAC files.

For Apple to disable the ability for the iPod to play files produces with Hymn, they would ostensibly have to either (1) remove unprotected AAC playback or (2) (a) watermark their AAC files prior to encryption and (b) update the iPod firmware to check for such a watermark for unprotected AAC files before playing.

However such a watermark would likely be a prime target for a reverse engineering and removal tool, hey why don't we just build it into Hymn in the first place?

Besides, updating iTunes, Quicktime, FairPlay, and iPod software from Apple doesn't force the end-user to update that software on any or all of their machines. So the most Apple could really hope for with the best possible solution would be to create an un-removable watermark (very, very, very hard), non-trickable FairPlay libraries (somewhat hard but then again it seems they're not really trying at this point), and even then there would be huge gaping holes w.r.t. the million or so songs already downloaded without the watermark technology.

Re:What about Hymn? (4, Insightful)

badasscat (563442) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086427)

For now there is no reason. But I bet soon if not already the iPod will check to make sure the DRM signature is in the file. No Sig, No Music.

Yeah, and about 80% of all the music on all iPods around the world instantly stops working (hint: mp3). Great business plan.

If you mean strictly AAC files, well, that wouldn't make much sense either, because any CD's you rip with iTunes are encoded by default as non-protected AAC files. So Apple'd be screwing their own customers with that strategy. (And of course iTunes is not the only AAC ripper, so even if they locked down iTunes and just decided to ignore everybody who ripped non-protected files with it to this point, they'd still have problems.)

They realistically cannot lock out non-protected content, unless they want their player to be rendered absolutely useless. What do you think happened to Sony all this time? It'd be even worse for Apple, because there's already so much non-protected content on iPods throughout the world - they'd have an outright revolt on their hands.

This, kids, is why DRM sucks, and no DRM is good. Honestly, why do people put up with this crap? Use MP3 and play it back on whatever the hell player you want. That's the way it should work, and that's the way it does work for those of us who refuse to host any DRM'd files on their PC's or music players.

Re:What about Hymn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086343)

solution? use hymnn to strip the DRM from the real stuff.

taDA!

if I owned an ipod I would do that to every song I bought for it anyways... it's mine, I will not have some asshat telling me what to do with it in the privacy of my own equipment.

That's another good question... (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086407)

I assume since they were trying to make the REAL AAC files identical, that Hymn would work on them as well - anyone know the answer to that?

I can possibly answer my own question myself (if they have the update for the original iPod, which I think they might). But I dislike the thought of paying Real anything even for a test...

More from the standpoint of simply not liking Real, than thinking they are doing anything wrong in this case. I fully support Real's attempt to try and create protected AAC files.

The one thing I have wondered though is how it is possible that Real is not violating FairTunes patents by using the DRM without permission.

Re:What about Hymn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086338)

Hymn uses DVD-Jon's GPL'ed code. If RealNetworks used that code, they would be forced to make RealPlayer GPL'ed.

In other words, it's not very likely that they're using that code...

Well, don't use iTunes (0, Offtopic)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086127)

Well, here's yet another reason not to use iTunes.

There, I said it.

I think iTunes sucks. I know everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but when I see iTunes get lauded on this site as a playlist godsend, I shudder. Apple is a trendy company that makes trendy products. Unfortunately all of them don't work as well as the iPod, but the fanboys will use whatever is fed to them.

Winamp works for me, and has worked since I dumped Frauhnhoeffer mplayer for it. It doesn't take up a lot of real estate on the screen, can play just about anything, and can work with the iPod (although I haven't tried that)

I got a iPod (free by the way, the pyramid scheme works). I first tried using iTunes to load music onto it, but the way it handled the tags of mp3s was pathetic in my opinion. I use J. River Media Center for my Tivo, and that supports iPod, so I used that for a while. What I settled on was Anapod Explorer. I did have to pay a little for it, but it's smart (sql interface anyone?), the interface is simple and what I'm used to (unlike iTunes), and it supports features iTunes doesn't.

It took me a while to set it up so iTunes didn't try to rape and pillage my playlist whenever I plugged it in.

Oh, and I can't forget Ephpod, it's free but the interface is slightly lacking. I use that for taking music of other people's iPods.

I still use iTunes to buy music when I'm too lazy to go to the store, and I use hymn to convert them so I can enjoy them drm-free on my iPod.

Problem solved.

Re:Well, don't use iTunes (1)

elid (672471) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086157)

I'm not crazy about using iTunes as a general-purpose media player, but it's very handy for streaming audio over a network with shared libraries.

iTunes has absolutely zero to do with this (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086178)

You're speaking in the context of media players, and I'm sorry to say that "iTunes" in the context of a media player has zero to do with this situation. This is about the Apple iPod playing DRMed content from Real as if it were FairPlay-protected content.

So take your "I hate iTunes" troll elsewhere.

Re:iTunes has absolutely zero to do with this (-1, Troll)

The_Rippa (181699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086194)

I'm not trying to troll.

iTunes will try to update the firmware on your iPod.

And you don't have to let it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086276)

Subject says it all

Re:iTunes has absolutely zero to do with this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086307)

The guy is right... Apple sucks and so does all it's iCrap!!! Go fuck yourself Apple fag!

Re:Well, don't use iTunes (3, Insightful)

cinderful (586168) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086182)

Slashdot has turned into Livejournal.

Re:Well, don't use iTunes (2, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086231)

I got a iPod (free by the way, the pyramid scheme works).

Pyramid schemes always do, for those that make it to the top of the pyramid. That's what makes them so insidious, and evil.

KFG

Re:Well, don't use iTunes (3, Insightful)

SamSeaborn (724276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086284)

Well, here's yet another reason not to use iTunes ... I think iTunes sucks.

Good for you! (Not being sarcastic) If you don't like something don't buy it. That's the right attitude.

I, for example, love Apple products but bought a VAIO instead of an iBook because Apple caps the video out of the iBook at 1024x768 and the equivalent PowerBook was far too expensive. If Apple wants me to buy their hardware they'll have to do something about the price/feature match-up with their competition.

I will continue to use iTunes because I think it rocks. I think it's the best software of its kind.

Apple took a huge risk with their iTunes/iPod strategy -- lots of people I know laughed their heads off at the idea that people would *pay* to download music, and pay hundreds for an "mp3" player.

Apple has created a huge industry for itself, and if Real doesn't like it they should try and make a better product.

Someone may come along tomorrow with a product or service that will put Apple's music business in the toilet. It's way too soon for people like Real to be crying about monopolistic tactics. Apple's created their market and they're doing a great job nuturing it.

Sam

"comprehensive plan" (4, Funny)

k4_pacific (736911) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086129)

It turns out that this "comprehensive plan" involves a free screensaver download that DDOS's the iTunes store.

Workaround for this problem (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086135)

I just heard some sad news on talk radio - Horror/Sci Fi writer Stephen King was found dead in his Maine home this morning. There weren't any more details. I'm sure everyone on Doomworld will miss him - even if you didn't enjoy his work, there's no denying his contributions to popular culture. Truly an American icon.

Thoughts (3, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086137)

Number one, this is old, since the iPod firmware that did this, iPod Updater 2004-11-15, was released a month ago.

Number two, Apple is under no obligation to support ANYONE else's DRM, period.

Unprotected AAC, WAV, AIFF, MP3, etc., files from ANY source will play fine on ANY iPod. This is ONLY about Real reverse engineering FairPlay (more power to them) in order to allow their "Harmony" DRM-protected files to play on an iPod. They succeeded. And Apple is under NO obligation of any kind to allow it to continue. The iPod DOES NOT SUPPORT DRM files from ANY other source, so this isn't a matter of "doing what you want with something you bought". If you can personally get Real's songs to play on your iPod again, go for it. If Real re-engineers it such that the files work, great. Further, you are not forced to update the firmware. What's that? You'll eventually have to to get new features and bug fixes? Tough. Don't like it? Don't buy another iPod.

Apple is doing nothing legally, technically, ethically, morally or wrong.

Additionally, Apple does play with other vendors, such as Audible.com content [apple.com] , and Macrovision will have to be a FairPlay licensor [arstechnica.com] to support some of its product claims (though more details aren't known), and Motorola phones will run a version of iTunes [motorola.com] and support Apple's protected music. Apple can do whatever it wishes with its own products, and consumers may decide whether or not they would like to purchase them.

The reason why the story is old (5, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086211)

is because this morning was the first time anyone actually tried to play a song purchased on Harmony on an iPod.
(In related news, that was also the first person to actually use Harmony to buy a song!)

Apple is under no obligation to support ANYONE (5, Insightful)

glrotate (300695) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086217)

Obligated to ensure compatability, probably not. Obligated to refrain from taking antocompetitive measures in a market in which they are the dominant supplier, that's another question.

How many people remember:
DOS isn't done 'till Lotus won't run.

Re:Thoughts (1)

PoderOmega (677170) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086257)

I wonder if someone has ever made a comment like this support Microsoft software lock in.... Yes, you are correct. But I like toys that are not limited to what the manufacturer intended them to do (or intended them to perpetuate income... I doubt Apple is selling those things at a loss, they aren't paying RETAIL for those mini-hard drives)

Re:Thoughts (1)

SomeGuyTyping (751195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086260)

Yeah, but it makes me go back to Kazaa or SuprNova instead of buying DRM bullshit.

Re:Thoughts (1)

yabos (719499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086357)

WTF are you talking about. How does not allowing Real's DRM make you go back to Kazaa?

Ah! I was waiting for this one. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086261)

Yep. Apple fanboys have successfully defended "no freedom" and "digital rights management" and scored themseleves "+5 insightful".

Way to to, Apple fanboys !!!!

You guys amaze me.

(shakes head)

Re:Thoughts (0, Troll)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086329)

I find it funny how the Apple fanbois will scream and yell until they turn blue in the face about Microsoft being an evil, anti-competitive monopoly, but then, when their beloved company turns around and does something anti-competitive and monopolistic, they're suddenly "doing nothing legally, technically, ethically, morally or wrong."

May I remind you that thousands of people paid hundreds of dollars each for their iPods, with the expectation that they would be able to play the music that they legally bought and paid for on it? Now, all of a sudden, Apple is taking a step away from that premise and towards iPods being an "Apple-approved-music-only" device. And you don't see anything wrong with that? Get over your fanboyishness and look at the big picture.

Re:Thoughts (5, Insightful)

yabos (719499) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086412)

You buy an iPod knowing that it won't support other DRM schemes. So what. You buy an XBox knowing it won't play Playstation 2 games.

If you don't like it, don't buy it.

If you buy something that works with WMA only, why should you expect them to allow you to play Real files or Fairplay AAC files?

Re:Thoughts (2, Insightful)

jmcleod (233418) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086387)

The hell it's not wrong.

Apple doesn't own those iPods, therefore they have exactly zero right to make any sort of modifications to them whatsoever.

It would be exactly the same thing if Apple modified that Sony NW-blahbX42fnordwhatever portable MP3 player to not be able to playback Real's tracks.

It's anti-competitive and pseudo-monopolistic (since iPods are more or less ubiquitous in the portable player market).

Don't be an Apple-apologist just because you're a rabid Apple fanboy.

So. Decide not to purchase them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086393)

Apple is, once again, officially NOT cool.

brand loyalty (3, Insightful)

farble1670 (803356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086396)

Apple is doing nothing legally, technically, ethically, morally or wrong.

i think this can be better phrased as: "nobody can stop them". sorry, but if our friends in redmond did something like this the /. community would be screaming bloody murder. apple is certainly under no obligation to actively, support real's DRM, but that's not what we're talking about. apple has taken specific action to disallow real's DRM.

apple is using it's monopoly in the digital audio player market to maintain it's monopoly in the online digital music market. what if microsoft used it's monopoly in the OS business to maintain it's monopoly in the browser business? oh! wait that already happend.

the only difference here is that /. loves apple, and /. hates real. folks should try to look a few millimeters past their brand loyalty.

Great? (0, Flamebait)

sammykrupa (828537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086138)

Apple did the right thing, but still everybody is going to say that Apple is the criminal. They just made it not work right?

Re:Great? (1)

EnormousTooth (678644) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086315)

How, exactly, is that the "right thing" to do?

Re:Great? (2, Insightful)

SoSueMe (263478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086418)

Apple is not the criminal. This is their SOP. Hardware lock-in coupled with software/service lock-in.
It is their business model.
It is their choice.
You like it or you lump it.

Once again the user gets screwed. (3, Interesting)

fredistheking (464407) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086139)


So is Real going to refund the money that was spent on music that was "compatible" with the Ipod?

Re:Once again the user gets screwed. (1)

vandon (233276) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086181)

Hell no they're not going to refund any money. It's not their fault you don't have anything to play it on any more. Besides, you can always install RealPlayer on your home computer.

Re:Once again the user gets screwed. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086227)

Hah...anyone buying anything from Reel deserves to loose thier money.

Don't you just... (1, Interesting)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086150)

Apple Computer has quietly updated

Don't you just hate it when that happens?

They just reduced the functionality of a unit I already own. I want a refund now for the lost functionality.

And when the next 999,999 people join me, it will happen!

Re:Don't you just... (1)

nordicfrost (118437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086230)

They just reduced the functionality of a unit I already own. I want a refund now for the lost functionality.

No. The advertised functionality is still there. The third-rate hack from a third-party company is not supported, and it was never intended to be supported.

And when the next 999,999 people join me, it will happen!


If you can find even 20% that many actually using Harmony, I'll buy you a coke when you visit Thule AFB.

Re:Don't you just... (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086247)

They just reduced the functionality of a unit I already own. I want a refund now for the lost functionality.

Um, no, they didn't. First of all, read this [slashdot.org] . Second, the iPod doesn't support DRM content from anyplace other than Apple. Even if Apple intentionally disabled it, Real cannot predict legitimate changes that might be made to the product or the DRM technology that might break it. And guess what? Real's trickery reflects poorly on APPLE. If they're so concerned about getting their music on iPods, maybe they should be the champion of DRM-free music, eh? After all, non-DRMed music in numerous formats plays on the iPod just fine. Real's whole reverse-engineering house of cards was built on shaky ground to begin with. As for the issue of DRM in general, the iTunes Music Store and quite possibly some of the success of the iPod wouldn't exist today if Apple hadn't allowed for SOME DRM in their store. Apple made it as invisible as it could, and also, Apple's product win is the tight integration between iTunes, the iPod, etc. It's their right to treat their products as they see fit. And if this really concerns you that much, then yes, by all means, don't buy any more iPods.

Re:Don't you just... (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086256)

Sorry, but you never paid Apple for that functionality in the first place.

Re:Don't you just... (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086271)

They just reduced the functionality of a unit I already own. I want a refund now for the lost functionality.

Which advertised function do you base this claim on? Apple has never claimed that its iPod product would play RealMedia files.

Re:Don't you just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086356)

OK, put it this way: Identify one way that any iPod user benefits from Apple going out of its way to prevent a certain class of song files from playing.

For people who don't use those files, there is no benefit. For people who do use those files, there is no benefit and also a disadvantage.

How does this benefit iPod users?

Re:Don't you just... (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086287)

dude, you were using a hack which Apple said from the first day it was announced that they would do everything that they legally could to prevent from being used. They issued public warnings that they would not support Real music and that it was wasted money.

And you bought Real's music anyway. More fool you.

Re:Don't you just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086294)

Apple never claimed that functionality. Who are you going to demand a refund from?

Re:Don't you just... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086403)

Don't you just...love mods who call this parent 'Offtopic.' If anything it should be a troll.

I am pro-reverse engineering. (4, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086151)

RealNeworks said in a statement that it remains "fully committed to providing consumers with the freedom to use the music libraries they purchase from us on different portable audio devices they acquire, both now and in the future--including the iPod Photo."

I know the popular opinion here is typically pro-Apple/iTMS/iPod but honestly I just don't see why we can be pro-reverse engineering on everything else and not this.

I applaud Real for working to give their customers the most choice and I really don't approve of Apple *refusing* to support their customers the best way that they can.

Re:I am pro-reverse engineering. (1)

diamondsw (685967) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086190)

Apple *is* supporting their customers. Apple is *not* supporting RealNetworks' customers, nor do they have any reason to.

Re:I am pro-reverse engineering. (1)

FEEBLE*BMX (695853) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086268)

Didn't these "Real-Networks Customers" throw down $400 on an I-Pod?

Re:I am pro-reverse engineering. (1)

athakur999 (44340) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086272)

If you have an iPod, you obviously own an Apple product, thereby making you a customer of Apple.

Apple's move isn't about helping their customers. It's about stifling competition from Real. Competition is good for customers and if Apple were really pro-customer they'd modify iTMS to address its disadvantages to Real's offering.

Re:I am pro-reverse engineering. (4, Insightful)

Issue9mm (97360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086365)

Not necessarily. For all we know, they patched something completely unrelated, and moved a memory offset that Real's code depended on.

Certainly you wouldn't hold Apple responsible for the quality of Real's code would you? It's certainly not their fault if they recompile an executable and stuff doesn't work anymore.

It might not have deliberately broken a damn thing, other than shifted memory offsets, which will cause Real to have to disassemble the code and try to relocate.

Don't get me wrong, if Apple did it on purpose, then yeah, it's kind of shitty... but we have no way of knowing that they did.

-9mm-

Re:I am pro-reverse engineering. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086375)

What's so great about Real's offerings?

Have you considered anything else? (0, Redundant)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086417)

Have you considered that reverse engineering isn't guaranteed to work with changes to the iPod and/or FairPlay and/or the implementation of such, etc.?

Apple may have deliberately disabled Real's reverse engineering, but what if, for the sake of argument, some third party reverse engineered service became popular in some circles, and then was inadvertently broken due to updates in Apple's products, or because the parties responsible for reverse engineering aren't aware of Apple product and firmware roadmaps, etc.?

Then your answer is, well, they should just license to anyone, and make SDKs and whitepapers available regarding their implementation. Why? Who are you to say? It's their product. Furthermore, the tight iTunes(-only) and iPod integration - and the associated ridiculous ease of use - is one of Apple's biggest selling points for the combo. Why would they want to support anything that dilutes that?

If you don't want to support Apple because of it, fine. And their refusal to license may ultimately doom iPod to the same "fate" as Macintosh in the marketplace. But Apple isn't doing anything legally or morally wrong here; the only question is whether or not you want to support Apple for their decisions.

Re:I am pro-reverse engineering. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086292)

In this case people trying to play Real's songs on an iPod are Apple's customers. They bought their iPods from Apple.

Re:I am pro-reverse engineering. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086303)

Good. Produce plain MP3 files w/o any DRM and they will really give their customers choice on what is used to play it.

Re:I am pro-reverse engineering. (1)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086358)

I know the popular opinion here is typically pro-Apple/iTMS/iPod but honestly I just don't see why we can be pro-reverse engineering on everything else and not this.

I don't see why people keep targeting Apple's DRM and not all the WMA stuff out there.

Crack Apple's DRM, you get to listen to the songs you already paid for in the program and OS of your choice.

Crack MS' DRM, you get to listen to any song you want for a small subscription fee.

Clear advantage in cracking a subscription based DRM. Why isn't it done?

Big Surprsie... (3, Insightful)

DiscoNick (743960) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086160)

Did anyone really figure anything different would come out of this? I'm a die-hard Mac fan, but Apple really does have a way of getting away with murder when they pull Microsoft-like actions. Granted they need their protection, I thought this was the company that embraced Open-Source? I think it should be "Selectively Embraced Open Source", thanks for the code guys!

Meh. (2, Insightful)

nordicfrost (118437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086172)

I'm an Apple fanboy, but I don't really see this as the correct approach to the problem. In my opinion, the iTunes store is sufficient to attract customers and make the stick with Apple. For ordniary people, the store is cool, updated and fairly priced. Geeks all over the world know what pain in the ass Real is and mostly avoids them at all cost.

Real is only continuing the war with different means. They don't do anything remotely original or radical like just dropping the DRM alltoghether for RIAA-influenced music. Honestly, I can't see the point of having DRM on ANY recoring that is also out on CD, it's just retarded.

iPod Firmare Update Blocks Use of Songs from RealN (1)

sammykrupa (828537) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086173)

Back in Augest, I believe, RealNetworks created a software program called "Harmony" which let users put music from RealNetworks' online music store on their Apple iPod. Well an article [com.com] over at News.com says that a recent update to the iPods firmware released by Apple brakes compatibiltiy of the Harmony software. Here's the kicker: Apple did not mention anything about Harmony in the release notes for the firmware, imagine all the people who used their iPods' with RealNetworks' online music store and now it just stopped working?

C'mon... (1)

BalorTFL (766196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086174)

Did anyone -not- see this coming? I have a sneaking suspicion that the breaking of Real's iPod hack is the most significant feature of the new firmware, at least from Apple's perspective.

And yet again, consumers lose (2, Insightful)

Bequita (813032) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086180)

May I inquire why it should matter who you bought the music from as long as you own it?

Who cares? (5, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086183)

You shouldn't use DRM'd files anyway.

Weird DRM Attitude (1)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086205)

So the music-distribution industry apparently cares about DRM, but only when it's *their* DRM.

Hmm... if I didn't know better I'd say these corporations weren't actually out to protect their property from evil pirates, and that they only want to cling to their own piece of the proverbial pie. But we know better than that, don't we?

Don't we...?

This is freedom. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086218)

We don't want Real networks. Apple offers us choice and we choose Apple. Digital Rights management gives the protection against piracy and guarantees that a profitable company will support us.

I told you so... (1, Insightful)

ziggyboy (232080) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086222)

Many Mac people would say that the world would have been a better place had Apple been the Microsoft of today. The fact is, Apple would be as f---ed up if they took over the personal computing.

A business is a business and that's just it.

Legality of Harmony (1)

stefanmi (699755) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086224)

Are you concerned at all that Apple might sue Real under the DMCA for basically hacking the iPod to allow compatibility between Real and the iPod? If Apple does do this, what measures are you taking to make sure that the files people buy from Rhapsody will continue to play on their iPod after Apple locks Harmony out using a firmware update or something similar, and would you offer refunds to people with iPods who purchased music on Rhapsody?

Re:Legality of Harmony (1)

redwoodtree (136298) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086304)

Once again, Real did not hack the ipod to allow compatibility. Not even "Basically" as you say. They didn't reverse engineer, they didn't employ "hacker tacticts".

The ipod belongs to the owner who paid for the device. Not to Apple. If you want to load Real content on it or if you want to store your Microsoft XP home directory on there, you should be able to do whatever you want to do.

Apple takes careful aim.. (2, Insightful)

davidtupper (228631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086234)

and shoots themselves in the foot. Again. If I pay for music I should be able to play it on any hardware I own capable of audio reproduction, not just the files "authorized" for that piece of hardware. Or conversely, not just on the peice of hardware "authorized" for those files.

Or maybe I am just a dreamer...

Re:Apple takes careful aim.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086283)

Real vs. Apple isn't going to let you play music on any hardware you own. They're not fighting about that.

They're fighting about the fact that Apple doesn't think Real's money is good enough for it, while Real will try take what it wants/needs without paying for it.

Fantasy world (1)

reptilicus (605251) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086311)

---If I pay for music I should be able to play it on any hardware I own capable of audio reproduction, not just the files "authorized" for that piece of hardware---

So you should be able to play your 8 track tapes on your cd player?

What's that? You mean you'd have to convert the media format to do that? What's stopping you from doing that with your Real purchased tracks?

Re:Fantasy world (2, Insightful)

davidtupper (228631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086405)

The files are already in a format(other than the DRM) that the hardware understands. Why should I not be able to play it? Why should I have to convert from MP3 to MP3 to allow a piece of hardware that understands MP3s to play it?

This is where I have the problem, not Apple wanting to sell more music. You can play any music you buy on it as long as you buy it from Apple. That would be like buying a Ford and having to buy gas only from a Ford authorized station, and if you go to a Chevy authorized station your car stops running.

Re:Apple takes careful aim.. (1)

nokiator (781573) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086333)

Again. If I pay for music I should be able to play it on any hardware I own capable of audio reproduction, not just the files "authorized" for that piece of hardware. Or conversely, not just on the peice of hardware "authorized" for those files

This is why I still buy CDs instead of downloads from iTunes, etc. Music industry's attempts at switching to various copy-protected CD formats seemed to have failed over and over again. Ripping CDs to the digital format of your choice is just a few minutes worth of effort per CD.

MOD PARENT UP! (0, Troll)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086348)

You're not a dreamer!
Just last week I was trying to play some songs that I've purchased on my '83 monte carlo.

My plan was to rev the engine really high to reproduce the base, rattle the trunk for treble, use the horn for midtones, and rig the muffler for the vocals.
But alas! No, nothing works. Fscking Chevy has disabled me to play purchased music on the hardware I OWN!
I think other chevy users will join me in hating chevy!

(ps. tip to mods... it's called sarcasm, not trolling)

Of course... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086235)

Apple would be monumentally stupid not to do what it did. Real Networks has been trying to force some of those iTunes dollars to go their way. So in the name of freeing folks from iTunes, they'll parasitically try to siphon the profits Apple earns from its innovation and marketing.

Which is not bad for consumers in the short run.

I'll tell you what Real's comprehensive plan is... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086236)

...right after you give me you email address and let me stick some harmless executables in your startup folder.

Apple sucks, move along (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086253)

Nothing to see here except this post being modded -1 flamebait by the fanbois.

This is deplorable (-1, Flamebait)

d_jedi (773213) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086259)

I CALL FOR A BOYCOTT ON ALL OF APPLE'S PRODUCTS.

While Apple has no obligation to support music from competitor's stores, it appears they have gone out of their way to intentionally disable (and not accidentally, through addition of a new feature) songs purchased from Real's website.

Re:This is deplorable (1)

FooGoo (98336) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086334)

Why would Apple care? The only people who would boycott are people who don't own Apple products or wouldn't buy them in the first place. There is no incentive for Apple to care. Buy an iPod and then complain then you have a stake in the game.

Hmm, is this why the update was "quiet"? (1)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086270)

I was wondering why the update was extra quiet, as opposed to Windows updates which have the whole IS world clamoring and telling users not to update. (ie. SP2)

Re:Hmm, is this why the update was "quiet"? (1)

pkinetics (549289) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086395)

When MS releases patches, they are often security fixes. As in, if you don't run this security patch, your machine will be exploited by this very nasty virus, and its your fault.

And where do I (2, Insightful)

stuffduff (681819) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086280)

And where do I get a mod for that?

I mean how many minutes will it be before a mod is available? Probably well under an hour when the right person gets the upgrade and loses a substattial part of their library!

We remember. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086281)

Realnetworks supported Linux.

Apple didn't support Quicktime for Linux.

Rob's Patented Comprehenisve Plan... (1)

bob670 (645306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086289)

Real seems to be doomed by bad decision making and a complete lack of timing. They had streaming media all to themselves for a year or so and squandered that trying to parlay it into huge distribution deals. No doubt they were at least partially screwed by trying to make a deal with MS, which Rob should have known better than to try, and this ate up a few more years. Now we get regularly scheduled ovetures toward OSS (HelixPlayer) while they are still trying to make big money deals with the likes of MS, and forcably muscle in to Apple's stuff. So instead of the typical 3 steps to success that was so common in the dot.com era, I give you Rob's 8 steps to success in the age of digital media..

1. Create and distribute inferior technology

2. Whine and cry when you squander a market you had to yourself

3. Stew for 6 years

4. Suddenly realize you blew it and try to leech on to Apple success

5. Get smacked by Apple

6. Return to brooding

7. ???

8. $$$

hmmm... (1)

viva_fourier (232973) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086298)

I thought phase 2 was going to be a 'quiet upgrade' of the iPod's mind-control equalizer features as to penetrate even the sturdiest foil hat...

/dev/null got your tongue? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086301)

[yet another sympathical] Dugh,

Now it is time for the understanding to come into the human souls. It has been too long for thurh to be revealed and, therefore, my speach to you sould sound again.

What is the reason of your live, the unhappy geeks? Have anyone of you even thought about the kind the stereotypical image emerging in imagination white thinking of a ``slashdottian''? The culture level, revealed by language, tone and topic of disscussions held here (...OMG, FP!... ...<a href="goat.cx">Click Here</a>... ...Imagine a... ...in Soviet Russia... ...AYBABTU!, etc.) is just impressive in its <add_any_negative_adjective_here>tidity.

Dont you find participating yourself in excistance to such a community an insult for your nature, of course, if you are different from the ``wide masses''
and, if so, are you going to just swallow it... Now isn't that a noteworthy subject for reflection

Hopefully you share the idea of this being the last post of such a matter and content needed...

- A. != Coward, -1 UNIX Epoch, Overflowed

--

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=44091&cid=45 92 270 <=- Here the TRUTH is.

Thats why they call it the iPod (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086305)

Because I get to decide what you get to play on it. I being not you.

I want my 49 cents back! (1)

Smilin (840286) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086328)

Maybe Real will launch a new "petition" website to get Apple to refund the 49 cents that everyone paid Real to get a song that will no longer play. hehe. Actually they are already working on a version of RealOne player that steals your file associations, makes your car run on leaded-only gasoline, refuses to uninstall from your dog and turns your iPod into a web banner.

Yet another story... (0, Offtopic)

flokemon (578389) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086332)

...that makes me love my Iriver with OGG support even more :)

New firmware: (1)

t_allardyce (48447) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086352)

Seriously:

if (realnetworks_file && 30_day_money_back_expired) {
remove_ability_to_play_file();
}

way to go Apple!

embrace and extend (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11086354)

Looks like Real got the "Embrace and Extend" treatment from Apple.

Apple is becomming more and more like Microsoft - in all the evil ways, not the negligent ones.

I don't get it... (1)

nordicfrost (118437) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086394)

...because you can just un-DRM the stuff you bought from the Real Networks store and then import it to the iPod, right? I mean, iTunes Music Store lets you have an un-DRMed version of your bought songs (actually, as many as you want) on CD so it is a no-brainer. Right?

This is Apple's platform (3, Insightful)

bubba451 (779167) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086416)

Apple has not at all been coy about it's iTunes+iPod business platform. iPod sales support the iTunes store, which in turn increases the "value" of the iPod. Break that cycle and you start losing market share.

I don't think there's anyone out their who naively bought Real songs to put on their iPod. Anyone who's savvy enough to know it could be done had to know that eventually Apple was going to pull the plug.

What? (1)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086423)

I love Apple. I hate Real.

But why would Apple think I want them to take a feature OUT of something I already bought? Firmware updates should fix stuff and give me new features, but under no circumstances do I want them to REMOVE functionality that I once had.

Obligatory GEB quote (3, Interesting)

Florian Weimer (88405) | more than 9 years ago | (#11086425)

Tortoise: Oh, yes. Well, you see, the Crab came over to visit one day. You must understand that he's always had a weakness for fancy gadgets, and at that time he was quite an aficionado for, of all things, record players. He had just bought his first record player, and beign somewhat gullible, believed every word the salesman had told him about it -in particular, that it was capable of reproducing any and all sounds. In short, he was convinced that it was a Perfect phonograph.

Achilles: Naturally, I suposse you disagreed.

Tortoise: True, but he would hear nothing of my arguments. He staunchly maintained that any sound whatever was reproducible on his machine. Since I couldn't convince him of the contrary, I left it at that. But not long after that, I returned the visit, taking with me a record of a song which I had myself composed. The song was called "I Cannot Be Played on Record Player 1".

Achiles: Rather unusual. Was it a present for the Crab?

Tortoise: Absolutely. I suggested that we listen toit on his new phonograph, and he was very glad to oblige me. So he put it on. But unfortunately, after only a few notes, the record player began vibrating rather severely, and then with a loud "pop", broke into a large number of fairly small pieces, scattered all about the room. The record was utterly destroyed also, needless to say.

Achiles: Calamitous blow for the poor fellow, I'd say. What was the matter with this record player?

Tortoise: Really, there was nothing the matter, nothing at all. It simply couldn't reproduce the sounds on the record which I had brought him, because they were sounds that would make it vibrate and break.

(More is here [geocities.com] . Buy the book, those dialogues are really fun to read, even if you are scared by the remaining parts of the book.)

The Apple vs. Real battle will be fun to watch, and of course, Apple has no chance of winning within the system. We'll see when Apple realizes this, steps out of the system, and sues Real.
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