Way Too Free
August 19, 2004 10:20 AM   Subscribe

FreedomOfChoice's Apple petition was shut down yesterday by Real Networks after a single day. Why? Seems that allowing comment backfired. Instead of lambasting Apple, everyone used the forum to vent their ire at Real. Only so much freedom at a time, thank you very much.
posted by rtimmel (16 comments total)
Why is [BUFFERING...] Real [BUFFERING...] even still in busi[BUFFERING...]ness?

posted by quonsar at 10:27 AM on August 19, 2004

Yeah, people still bitching about buffering need to stop complaining and upgrade from 28.8.
posted by punishinglemur at 10:44 AM on August 19, 2004

It was obvious from most of the real-bashing that I saw, it was people who hadn't used a real product in 5 years, and were still holding a grudge.

While real's made mistakes in the past, their player is easily better than itunes and windows-media-player. Of course I think so because it's the only non-Sony software that can use a net-MD, and it has the dancing sheep visualization =p
posted by nomisxid at 10:51 AM on August 19, 2004

The iPod plays regular mp3 files without drm perfectly well.

real's bid was more "please let us oppress you instead of letting apple have all the fun" than "consumers should have a right to choose." If real wanted to sell to iPod users, it should've sold mp3s without the drm crap - instead, it pulled a borderline illegal stunt by reverse-enginering apple's drm stuff and followed it up with a marketing campaign designed to make people think it was a grassroots campaign.

i'd be inclined to tell both companies to go to hell, myself.

on preview: nomisxid, i have had a lot of experience with the real codec and the real player. real's codec itself is actually quite good - the video quality is low, but you can compress huge videos to insanely small sizes almost in realtime. the big problem is that the player is not fault-tolerant in the slightest - i've had real videos that were ever-so-slightly corrupted that required the user to actually move the time slider past a certain point of the program would go into an infinite loop. i've seen real videos that PROHIBIT stopping the video and/or fastforwarding/rewinding for no reason at all, even using the latest version of the player. there are also legal issues with the codec - I actually think real has put some sort of license on the codec that says you're explicitly not allowed to convert real format videos to other formats legally. couple that with the spyware and "buffering" and you have yourself one horrible player.
posted by Veritron at 10:59 AM on August 19, 2004

Hey, I bought am album from Real. After all, it was cheap. 5 dollars for an album is a good deal.

Especially after I burn the tracks to a blank, and then rip them in iTunes as MP3 files. For my own use, of course, but still...
posted by benjh at 11:20 AM on August 19, 2004

it's a sad day when fanboyism gets to a point where people actually trash a company for offering competition and lower prices against another dominating company. it's even worse to see some of the red herrings Real's opponents are throwing out there. no mac support? they just released the tech--how long did it take before Windows users got an iTunes port?

that all said, the developers at Real are pretty nice guys.
posted by lotsofno at 12:43 PM on August 19, 2004

I'm amazed that Real was clueless to think it had more fanboys than Apple. They've spent most of their years pissing off customers with adware, hard-to-find free downloads, tricking people into paying for their player. Trickery was part of their business plan for crying out loud! Meanwhile Apple has their reality distortion field in full effect.

Of course the people berating Real for offering the same product for half price need to take a deep breath. But this kind of fight is exactly what DRM was designed for - controlling the marketplace.
posted by revgeorge at 1:45 PM on August 19, 2004

I won't knowingly buy DRM tracks from Real, Apple, MS or anybody else. I don't care if they are $1 or $0.01.
posted by infowar at 2:26 PM on August 19, 2004

Who wants to bet that those Real reversed engineered songs work on an ipod when Apple releases iTunes 4.X (and iPod updator x.xx)?

And certainly Real won't have anything to cry about. But customers who bought Real songs to go on their iPod will...
posted by dig_duggler at 2:30 PM on August 19, 2004

That's like hoping that AIM locks out Trillian users with their next update.
posted by smackfu at 2:48 PM on August 19, 2004

That's like hoping that AIM locks out Trillian users with their next update.

Apple is waaay more paranoid than AOL. They locked out PlayFair (but it sure didn't take long to overcome that).
It just depends on how much they change things (and how quick and smart Real is), but the past points to them vigorously defending their technology...
posted by dig_duggler at 3:18 PM on August 19, 2004

Yeah, this just tips Real over from Evil to Incompetant.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 6:49 PM on August 19, 2004

i bet theres someone who works for Real with a MeFi account, LETS SMOKE EM OUTTA THEIR HOLES.
posted by Satapher at 12:20 AM on August 20, 2004

I am married to someone who works for Real.
posted by litlnemo at 2:02 AM on August 20, 2004

Yeah, some mefi users have to work at Real.
posted by jragon at 9:30 AM on August 20, 2004

didn't take long. Harbinger?
posted by dig_duggler at 4:27 PM on August 20, 2004

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