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News.com readers: Is Steve Jobs pigheaded?

Readers weigh in on claims that Apple's refusal to make iPod compatible with music services other than iTunes was "pigheadedness."

Audio
RealNetworks' CEO Rob Glaser makes critical remarks about Apple Computer Chief Steve Jobs, and readers take notice. Glaser described Jobs' decision to make the iPod compatible only with iTunes music store as "pigheadedness." Glaser, who made the comments Monday at a conference in Foster City, Calif., would like iPod owners to be able to shop for music at RealNetworks' music store. Music fans apparently have strong opinions on who they want to see control music downloads.

Here's a sampling of our readers' comments. What's your opinion? Join in the discussion in our TalkBack forum.

Pigheadedness
Posted by: Allen Harris

Glaser is being emotional and entirely misses the point. The sole purpose of the iTunes Music Store is to sell iPods. That is all it's ever been intended to do and every decision Apple has made regarding it supports that purpose. As a revenue model on its own, it is simply not worth it - Apple makes very little money on the music sold. Opening it to other players and other applications dilutes and defeats that purpose, and that is why it hasn't happened. Introducing other arguments and issues is politics and debate tactics, intended to muddy the waters and stir up response.

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Video: RealNetworks' CEO Rob Glaser
"Apple's pigheadedness."

Real gets it right
Posted by: Jesse Scott

Where Real is going with Rhapsody is a huge step in the right direction. The user doesn't need any bloated software -just a browser. Also, for the first time, I can access a legal music subscription service from within Linux. Now, if only they'd also port the ability to download music and burn CDs.

Beat Apple? Build a better product.
Posted by: Michael Greere

Consumers don't want choice. They want a good product.

The iPod and iTunes are fantastic, user-centric products. They're winning fairly: on merits. Word of mouth would still fetch Apple a healthy market-share because the products are so good.

Glaser probably gets this. But if he admits it, he admits Real is basically worthless.

Build a better experience. I'll buy it. But the idea of Real or MS being the ones to that to market is laughable.

Glaser is getting desperate...
Posted by: Earl Benser

(Glaser turns wrath on Apple, Jobs)...And he should be.

Who would really benefit??
Posted by: Bill Fant

Only Apple's competitors would benefit from an open iPod/ iTunes Store. Consumers wouldn't necessarily benefit as it would surely bring confusion, inconsistencies and problems. Apple has been hugely successful because it has control over the 'iPod experience' from usage to purchasing and that control offers value. iTunes pricing is reasonable and the selection is fairly large plus you can buy and (legally) rip most anything else you may want.

I don't think many iPod owners are complaining they cannot use Real or any other competing service. It's mostly people with competing players or stores who wish things were different

Why don't people GET it??
Reader post by: Anonymous User

Without defending or degrading Real, Apple or MS the issue is about one thing: DRM. Apple has a proprietary DRM (same as MS, same as the recording labels, et. al). An iPod can play either unencoded music or it can play music encoded with Apple's DRM. Those, I believe, are the two choices you have. What Real and the other companies want from Apple is what everyone states they want from MS...a fair shake and access to code. The current mindset leans towards DRM protected music sales. Without DRM the labels WILL NOT grant any company the rights to sell music online. Without this right an online music venture is obviously dead in the water.

What Real wants is to be able to either have Apple open up their DRM so that other companies/music stores can encode sold music with it, or they want Apple to open up the iPod to recognize multiple formats of DRM.

It's not about who has the better store, the better player, the better format or even the better music. It IS about other companies not being able to sell their product (recall the DRM issues above) to an iPod owner for use on an iPod. And an iPod owner who cannot play certain files on his/her iPod will not BUY those files.

Glaser is a jerk.
Reader post by: Chris English

This guy is so busy whining instead of focusing on making his own business better. Real Networks as a business had first mover advantage in the online world of digital audio. Remember all the sites in the early 90's that used Real Audio for sound clips exclusively?

Now that they fallen to number 3, Glaser prefers to whine and cry about other companies instead of focusing on his core business.

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