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RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #75
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We were arguing that you're free to choose iTMS or Real's solution. The fact is that you are also free to choose the computer and OS you run.

I think the point is that Real is being hypocritical by advocating choice of players but not OS's.

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Apple hasn't lost anything. They still offer the iPod/iTunes integration. If you want to choose their way, then do so. iTunes still works as well as it always did. So does the iPod. Nothing Real has done changes that.

Umm... no they don't. When Apple sells the iPod they say (to those who listen) "It just works". They also say, in finer print, as long as you use us for everything. You, as the new owner of the iPod should have the right to purchase music from anywhere. Apple, should have the right to say that they will only warrant the "It just works" statement when you buy from them.

Before Helix this was easy. Now it is not.

The point is, Apple was walking along knowing they alone had keys to the kingdom. Helix gives others the key >>to play music on the iPod<<. The kingdom, post "Harmony" is not so harmonious...

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Frankly, I don't think you are neutral either. However, I don't work for anybody in this particular industry. My only connection is that I'm a computer programmer who happens to own an iPod.

The point was that you said the case was solved. Frank pointed out that no neutral party has decided that. Frank did not say he was neutral.

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If you had songs from Rhapsody before Real released the Harmony Beta, iTunes still wasn't able to sync them to the iPod. Nothing has changed in that respect. The fact that iTunes lacks support for other music stores...

In the interest of trying to get you to see the issue, let me try another approach.

Before Helix your only choice was iTunes
After Helix your choice is between Helix or iTunes
Once you "choose" Helix, your only choice is Helix

The act of choosing limits future choice. "Real" choice would be to be able to use BOTH. Until you can, please say "you can choose either Helix or iTunes but not both." Your choice ends once you choose Helix.

Here is another try: you can sync all songs with Helix or with iTunes. If you choose iTunes, then you must only buy from the iTMS. If you choose Helix, you can buy from either iTMS or Real. [I think this is what you mean by choice] But no song purchased from Real will synch with iTunes. Only Real software will allow you to play Real purchases on your iPod.[And this is what I mean by limiting future choice.] [See solution at the bottom of this post.]

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Apple becomes more and more responsible (practically if not legally) for the interoperability, or "squatter's rights", of third-party stores and music it never wanted on the iPod.

Apple is under no obligation to be responsible for whether other people's stuff works or not. If other people's stuff stops working, they will change it as needed.

I think this idea needs to be explored in greater detail. "Squatters rights" could become a major future issue.

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Furthermore, Apple can only really break third party applications by breaking compatibility with their own older software.

You speak with such... authority. I wonder if time will not prove you wrong.

----

What I would like to see is real choice. Since Real is an advocate for such things now (right?) how bout they just go about selling whatever they want on their music site. Release Helix under the GPL and let us all see the code. Then we can make a super-whizz-bang-thingie-mah-bob that translates ALL the music stores to whatever DRM we want. Heck, if we want to get spiffy we can look at (http://nanocrew.net/blog/) JustePort and make something really useful

My question for Real is, are you an advocate for choice... or just the ability for customers to get locked into YOUR system? If the latter, you could change your marketing to read; "Don't like Apple? Choose Real instead. We are better and you can play your songs on the iPod." I mean... that is the truth right?

Nah... talking about choice is better - even if it is "less accurate".

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #76
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I think the point is that Real is being hypocritical by advocating choice of players but not OS's.

Real makes players. They don't make OS's. So I think this is a rather stupid point you're trying to make, unless I'm misunderstanding something. Which I admit that I may be, as it seems to be a really dumb way to take the conversation to me.

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Umm... no they don't. When Apple sells the iPod they say (to those who listen) "It just works". They also say, in finer print, as long as you use us for everything. You, as the new owner of the iPod should have the right to purchase music from anywhere. Apple, should have the right to say that they will only warrant the "It just works" statement when you buy from them.

But they never said that, because they cannot guarantee that. Look, if "it just worked" then Apple's own user forum wouldn't be full of people finding that usually, it don't just work. Nothing ever "just works". That's not how reality is.

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Before Helix this was easy. Now it is not.
The point is, Apple was walking along knowing they alone had keys to the kingdom. Helix gives others the key >>to play music on the iPod<<. The kingdom, post "Harmony" is not so harmonious...

Not harmonious for Apple, I agree. But nobody ever said actually *having* competition was easy. I doubt Real's intent was to make things easier for Apple.

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In the interest of trying to get you to see the issue, let me try another approach.
Before Helix your only choice was iTunes
After Helix your choice is between Helix or iTunes
Once you "choose" Helix, your only choice is Helix

So? Once you choose iTunes, you're limited to iTunes. They use DRM as well. You can hardly fault Real for something when Apple does the *exact same thing*.

I mean, you're saying that Real has done something wrong, essentially, and that Apple has not. But functionally, from a black-box persepctive, both iTunes and Harmony do the *exact same thing*. So I fail to see how one can be wrong and the other can be right, unless you're simply an Apple-apologist who feels that Steve Jobs walks on water and can do no wrong.

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The act of choosing limits future choice. "Real" choice would be to be able to use BOTH. Until you can, please say "you can choose either Helix or iTunes but not both." Your choice ends once you choose Helix.

"Choice" is not a binary state, where you have it or you don't. Reality is shades of gray. Maximum choice would be for both iTunes and Real to dump the silly and easily broken DRM, and thus be wholly interoperable with one another and everybody else, offering maximum choice and competing on selection, price, and quality.

But having two virtually identical offerings to choose from is a hell of lot more choice than having one. It's not maximum choice, but it's better than before.

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Here is another try: you can sync all songs with Helix or with iTunes. If you choose iTunes, then you must only buy from the iTMS. If you choose Helix, you can buy from either iTMS or Real. [I think this is what you mean by choice]

Actually, I think Karl stated above somewhere that iTMS songs won't transfer to an iPod when using Harmony. I admit I have not tried it myself yet.

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But no song purchased from Real will synch with iTunes. Only Real software will allow you to play Real purchases on your iPod.[And this is what I mean by limiting future choice.] [See solution at the bottom of this post.]

My personal solution is to remove all DRM from every song I buy. I've worked out how to do this for iTMS, and Harmony makes it easier for me to do it with Real's songs as well. Once I have removed DRM, I have total choice. I admit this is not the best solution, but it works for me.

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I think this idea needs to be explored in greater detail. "Squatters rights" could become a major future issue.

I utterly fail to see how. Apple has no obligation to preserve compatiblity with third party apps, and have made changes in the past that were designed specifically to break third party apps.

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You speak with such... authority. I wonder if time will not prove you wrong.

Let's be very clear here. I have not examined the operation of Harmony in detail, and so it's quite possible Apple could break Harmony without breaking old iTunes versions as well. In fact, I know they could. If Apple changed the iPod to expect Protected AAC files to be 128 kbits and not 192 kbits, then that would certainly do it, for example.

However, in theory, it's possible to create Harmony, or a program like Harmony, which behaves in an manner so as to produce files indistinguishable from iTMS files, with regards to the iPod. The upshot of this would be that Apple would not be able to break it without breaking backward compatibility. I have no proof that Real has done this good of a job, but it's within the realm of possibility.

Take Hymn for an example. One of the things iTunes 4.6 did was to break Hymn decoded songs. It did this by recognizing things in Hymn decoded songs that were not in normal songs. Hymn found a fix, but is still distinguishable. However, this did lead to an offshoot of Hymn (which you can find if you look hard enough) that will produce files that are indistinguishable from iTunes encoded M4A files. Apple will never be able to break this offshoot version of Hymn, because there's nothing to distinguish the resulting files. No way to tell.

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #77
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Since when can the Nomad Xtra play AAC, or REAL files????
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Ever since it was released, but only in the form of Helix and AFAIK only with real software 
My question is rather when Creative gets their act together and updates the firmware of their other players to support the same, and why Helix/real, why not standard mp4/m4a to begin with

Add/Edit:
Frank, u must be american. This is like 2 secs undocumented knowledge from a 21-year-old dane: One of the major accomplishments of the EU has actually been to ban all proprietary products, in the 80's it was mostly VCR's, TV's and other "analog" consumer electronics. But everything is of cause in constant motion. In the 90's my dad administrated all EU funds tied to communication stantards, maybe ETSI rings a bell, or standards like GSM, 802.11... ALL there so that NO company can monopolise the market. Ever heard of the 500 mill EUR Microsoft owes the EU!?
I'm not saying that private technology investments should be open and exploitable to everybody but there's a difference.
As an example u can point at all the hopelessly stupid patents the americans hands out to everybody. Most people i know laffs over stuff like ebay's one-click-shoppping patent, or what did microsoft expect with the brand windows, they didn't even invent the windows-like interface, they stole it from apple, who wasn't much better and stole it from xerox.
bit more than 2 secs, flaming welcome

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #78
Quote from: Otto42,Aug 17 2004, 06:55 AM
Quote from: FooFoo,Aug 12 2004, 02:47 AM
I think the point is that Real is being hypocritical by advocating choice of players but not OS's.

Real makes players. They don't make OS's. So I think this is a rather stupid point you're trying to make, unless I'm misunderstanding something. Which I admit that I may be, as it seems to be a really dumb way to take the conversation to me.


Sorry for being foolish. Last I checked, apps ran on top of operating systems. I do not think you need to write an operating system in order to write an app.

iTMS, if I recall, was created on Max OS X and later ported to Windows. If Real is going to talk about choice, does it raise any concerns to you that they do not write an app that runs on BOTH OS X and Windows? They are giving "choice" only to Windows users - even though iTMS was started on a non-Windows OS.

And just in case you are wondering, Real makes OS X applications.

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Umm... no they don't. When Apple sells the iPod they say (to those who listen) "It just works". They also say, in finer print, as long as you use us for everything. You, as the new owner of the iPod should have the right to purchase music from anywhere. Apple, should have the right to say that they will only warrant the "It just works" statement when you buy from them.

But they never said that, because they cannot guarantee that. Look, if "it just worked" then Apple's own user forum wouldn't be full of people finding that usually, it don't just work. Nothing ever "just works". That's not how reality is.


Let me guess, you don't own a Mac. FYI, on Macs, things "just work". Please point to a single user forum "of people finding that usually, it don't just work." Hubris is fun to read but not factual. FYI, Apple has the highest consumer satisfaction rating in OS, hardware and software. There is a reason - things "just work". I have yet to find an iPod/iTMS install that did not "just work". And this, I think, is what we are discussing. (PS: If you know of one, please point it out.)

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Before Helix this was easy. Now it is not. The point is, Apple was walking along knowing they alone had keys to the kingdom. Helix gives others the key >>to play music on the iPod<<. The kingdom, post "Harmony" is not so harmonious...

Not harmonious for Apple, I agree. But nobody ever said actually *having* competition was easy. I doubt Real's intent was to make things easier for Apple.


You agreed to my main point. Thank you.

I was not talking about competition. I was talking about a kingdom where Apple had complete control. Now that Harmony is out, that Kingdom is less harmonious. Apple has taken issue with that. The debate, as I see it, is 1) if Apple believe Real has done something illegal and 2) if Real has not, what taht does to Apple's "game plan".

Both 1 & 2 will take work for Apple. No, that is not easy. But I think your original statement was that Apple should not be upset. I was simply trying to point out that to me, and my foolish way of thinking, it makes sense that Apple might be perturbed.

As for Real, they are simply trying to survive. I do not fault them for trying. I think they are lame for the way they are trying, but hey, that is my opine.

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In the interest of trying to get you to see the issue, let me try another approach.
Before Helix your only choice was iTunes
After Helix your choice is between Helix or iTunes
Once you "choose" Helix, your only choice is Helix

So? Once you choose iTunes, you're limited to iTunes. They use DRM as well. You can hardly fault Real for something when Apple does the *exact same thing*.


Um... not. Real crashed the party. If I go home and sit on my sofa, I think I have a right to protest if you barge into my house uninvited and sit on my sofa - even if we are both sitting on the same sofa.

Or are you going to do another typical Windows logical leap:

1) It will never work. It can not happen.
2) Apple did it. So what, it does not matter. Who cares?
3) We have figured out how to do it better and cheaper. Apple should change their solution to adhere to the standards we just created because consumers want choice.

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unless you're simply an Apple-apologist who feels that Steve Jobs walks on water and can do no wrong. 


U r funny.

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The act of choosing limits future choice. "Real" choice would be to be able to use BOTH. Until you can, please say "you can choose either Helix or iTunes but not both." Your choice ends once you choose Helix.

"Choice" is not a binary state, where you have it or you don't. Reality is shades of gray. Maximum choice would be for both iTunes and Real to dump the silly and easily broken DRM, and thus be wholly interoperable with one another and everybody else, offering maximum choice and competing on selection, price, and quality.


So if choice is not binary, how to folks who buy songs on Real get them to work in iTunes? Oh, they can't. I call that binary. What do you call it? There is not grey here. Either use Helix or iTunes. Pick one and stick with it. Either or... not both.

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But having two virtually identical offerings to choose from is a hell of lot more choice than having one. It's not maximum choice, but it's better than before.


I agree. I only disagree with the word choice. As I said before, a more accurate marketing campaign would be "Choose either iTunes or Harmony, the choice is yours." Saying consumers have choice implies the ability to move back and forth. Anything purchased on iTMS can be played in either Harmony or iTunes. Anything purchased on Real can ONLY be played in Harmony. I think Reals houdl be clear.

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My personal solution is to remove all DRM from every song I buy. I've worked out how to do this for iTMS, and Harmony makes it easier for me to do it with Real's songs as well. Once I have removed DRM, I have total choice. I admit this is not the best solution, but it works for me.


You and me both. DRM is foolish - truly. But the RIAA requires it so apple is doing their best to comply. I think Apple will drop all DRM once the requirement is dropped.

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #79
Quote from: FooFoo,Aug 17 2004, 06:11 PM
iTMS, if I recall, was created on Max OS X and later ported to Windows. If Real is going to talk about choice, does it raise any concerns to you that they do not write an app that runs on BOTH OS X and Windows? They are giving "choice" only to Windows users - even though iTMS was started on a non-Windows OS.

Yes, they do. They also make RealPlayer 10 for Windows, Mac, and Unix/Linux. It works pretty well on all three.

They have only created the iPod plugin with the "Harmony" thing available on Windows so far, and Rhapsody still is Windows only, I grant you. However, as I recall, iTMS was Mac only for about 18 months or so. I think a bit of leeway is granted here. Apple has iTMS on Mac and Windows, but where's the Linux version? See, it's a matter of time and effort, and in any case is wholly irrelevant to the argument.

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Let me guess, you don't own a Mac. FYI, on Macs, things "just work"

Hell no I don't own one. Wouldn't take one if they paid me to. I use them. I also hate them. They *NEVER* do what you expect them to do, and only rarely what you want them to do. OS X is the most unintuitive interface ever invented.

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Please point to a single user forum "of people finding that usually, it don't just work."

http://discussions.info.apple.com

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I was not talking about competition. I was talking about a kingdom where Apple had complete control. Now that Harmony is out, that Kingdom is less harmonious. Apple has taken issue with that. The debate, as I see it, is 1) if Apple believe Real has done something illegal and 2) if Real has not, what taht does to Apple's "game plan".

1) They're wrong.
2) Nobody cares about Apple's "game plan" except Apple.

Here's the thing.. Apple having complete control is good for Apple, it's not good for me. And call me selfish, but I don't much care if Apple survives or not. I don't much care if Real survives or not, for that matter. When something is good for me, then I consider it to be good.

I consider Real's Harmony offering and iPod compatibility to be good. Anything beyond that, and I don't farkin' care.

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But I think your original statement was that Apple should not be upset.

You thought wrong then, as I never stated any such thing. Apple can be upset all they like, I won't attempt to calm them down, nor do I care how upset they are. How upset Apple is is *not the point*.

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As for Real, they are simply trying to survive. I do not fault them for trying. I think they are lame for the way they are trying, but hey, that is my opine.

For many years I have thought Real sucked. Worse than Apple. They have a branding issue, as Real Player has been the worst crap ever made for years and years and years.

With this new software and the path they are taking on it, I'm beginning to think they might have turned it around and are no longer "lame".

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Um... not. Real crashed the party. If I go home and sit on my sofa, I think I have a right to protest if you barge into my house uninvited and sit on my sofa - even if we are both sitting on the same sofa.

Yes, except your analogy sucks. Real isn't sitting on your iTunes sofa. They're making a new Harmony easy chair available for you to sit on. And even then you have to go to the furniture store and pick it up. Yes, the people that make the iTunes sofa (Apple furniture) are understandably unhappy about you being able to use your new Apple-branded ass in somebody else's easy-chair, but there's little they can do about it.


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Or are you going to do another typical Windows logical leap:
1) It will never work. It can not happen.
2) Apple did it. So what, it does not matter. Who cares?
3) We have figured out how to do it better and cheaper. Apple should change their solution to adhere to the standards we just created because consumers want choice.

Actually, Real created choice in iPod music stores to use by converting their software to use Apple's standards. Apple has no reason to change their solution, Real adapted to their system.

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So if choice is not binary, how to folks who buy songs on Real get them to work in iTunes? Oh, they can't. I call that binary. What do you call it? There is not grey here. Either use Helix or iTunes. Pick one and stick with it. Either or... not both.

Exactly. Pick one of two. Where before you could not pick anything other than one, now you can pick one of two. Ahhh, isn't choice wonderful?

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Saying consumers have choice implies the ability to move back and forth.

You're reading some kind of implication into there that I cannot find *anywhere*. I would say that you reading something that even you admit is not explictly there is your own problem.

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Anything purchased on Real can ONLY be played in Harmony. I think Reals houdl be clear.

Real's music can also be played on an iPod or an iRiver or any portable music device that Harmony supports (many of them). Last I checked, iTunes supported only one music device, the iPod.

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You and me both. DRM is foolish - truly. But the RIAA requires it so apple is doing their best to comply. I think Apple will drop all DRM once the requirement is dropped.

The requirement will never be dropped until the RIAA is destroyed and the middlemen in the music industry are jobless. This is my opinion.

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #80
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/scienc...sp?story=552489

I guess you are right - nothing ever works as intended on a Mac...

You do, however make a good point; Harmony is good for some. I happen to think what they did is illegal. If it is not, more power to them. Live long and prosper. I give them 6 months.

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #81
I ordered a 4G 40GB iPod from the Apple Store.  I'm looking forward to loading up on 49 cent tracks and half-price albums from the RealPlayer Music Store.

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #82
Not to dredge up this topic again, but I ran across this chart that might be helpful to some people, if no-one has posted it yet, showing which on-line store works with which music player.

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6490_7-514029...l?tag=cnetfd.ld

Sorry for any duplication
I'm sure someone here will find some mistakes ;-)

Frank

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #83
ATTN: Karl from Real (or n e 1 else),

would it be possible for you to give me a link to the creative zen xtra firmware, i cannot find it!

can you get the documentation also (source code)?


ps. how did u crack creative's firmware code? did they give you permission or did u come up with it? what language is used?

thx in advance

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #84
The updated Creative firmware is available from the Install devices page in RealPlayer.
Tools->Add A New Device... ( http://music.guide.real.com/realplayerdevices )
Here is what the description says: "Clicking 'Install' below will also update your firmware to support the Music Store." This means the f/w supports AAC, but I think it means AAC wrapped in Helix DRM only. There is no 'hacking' involved: this is an official firmware, developed in collaboration with Creative.

You have to ask Creative why they are not offering AAC in their normal firmwares, but I do suspect it has to do with patent/IP licensing costs for the technology in AAC, which unfortunately is probably the case for most other "MP3/WMA" players as well.
Sr. Codec Engineer (video) | RealNetworks Codec Group | helixcommunity.org 
This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties,  grants no rights, and reflects my personal opinion.

RealNetworks Says Files Can Play on iPod

Reply #85
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The updated Creative firmware is available from the Install devices page in RealPlayer.
Tools->Add A New Device... ( http://music.guide.real.com/realplayerdevices )
Here is what the description says: "Clicking 'Install' below will also update your firmware to support the Music Store." This means the f/w supports AAC, but I think it means AAC wrapped in Helix DRM only. There is no 'hacking' involved: this is an official firmware, developed in collaboration with Creative.

You have to ask Creative why they are not offering AAC in their normal firmwares, but I do suspect it has to do with patent/IP licensing costs for the technology in AAC, which unfortunately is probably the case for most other "MP3/WMA" players as well.
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thx karl, is there any way real can incorporate ogg vorbis in a new version?

 
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