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RealNetworks Lowers Subscription Price
August 17, 2004
Thomas Mennecke
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If RealNetwork's ultimate goal was to look for nothing but publicity these last couple of weeks, then consider today's news mission accomplished. Ready for the next bombshell? RealNetworks today announced that for a limited time, they would slash their prices from 99 cents per music single to 49 cents, while albums will be cut to $4.99 each.

Late last month, RealNetworks agitated Apple by enhancing the compatibility of their music format to work on the iPod. Their so-called "Harmony" software allows individuals to defeat Apple's FairPlay technology. FairPlay is Apple's DRM software that prevents (or prevented) other music formats, such as Real, from downloading onto the iPod. Apple has flatly refused any licensing of their technology, which in the end appears to be working against them.

RealNetworks defended their tactic, which Apple harshly criticized as those of a "hacker." However, RealNetworks specified in a press release that Harmony is fully legal.

"Harmony follows in a well-established tradition of fully legal, independently developed paths to achieve compatibility. There is ample and clear precedent for this activity, for instance the first IBM compatible PCs from Compaq."

RealNetworks did not let up on their offensive, and today announced a surprising price break from the industry standard 99 cents per song. The move is seen as a direct attack on Apple, who has been the king of the legitimate music distribution market. The current campaign is dubbed "Freedom of Choice."

So, not only can you get you subscription-based music cheaper through RealNetworks, you can also play their format on the iPod. Seems like a no-brainer, unless you rather forget all these silly politics and download and burn an mp3 off Ares Galaxy.

This story is filed in these Slyck News categories
Authorized Music Store :: Other

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