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Apple stops the RealNetworks hack for iPod

Apple would have modified the iPod firmware to make it incompatible with the music sold on Real's store. Conditional obligation on a news item in circulation from the night that has been spread by some Internet sites including C / Net and Bloomberg but which does not yet have the necessary references to be able to be outlined in all its contours.

According to the sources, Apple would have proceeded to carry out the threats made a few weeks ago on the occasion of the launch of the "Harmony" project, an initiative in which Real, through a reverse engineering process, was able to make the audio in AAC format for sale on its online store to be played on iPod.

On that occasion, Cupertino, which founded part of the commercial success of its strategy for digital audio on an exclusive relationship between the iPod and the iTunes Music Store, does not hesitate to call the operation that aimed to market the music of "hacker tactics". Real, providing it with support that was not officially granted and not liked by Apple on the most popular player.

The irritation of the Apple was more than evident when the possibility of blocking through a firmware modification the songs modified and sold by Real was advanced.

This threat, as mentioned, would now have been implemented and the iPod firmware would block all "genetically modified" audio from Harmony. What is not clear, for what firmware is incriminated and capable of blocking Real's music. Apple, in fact, refused to comment on the news and Real, while confirming that changes were made to the form, not very precise in this regard, merely saying that "in iPod Photo Harmony's audio does not work".

At the moment, in the absence of references and in the impossibility of buying audio from Italy on the Real shop, it is only possible to make hypotheses and remember that in addition to iPod photo, iPod mini and iPod with click wheel could have been influenced by which in mid-November have been released firmware updates.

It seems difficult that even iPods with mechanical dials (iPod touch wheeel) and those with docks could have been rendered incapable of reading Real audio as firmware updates date back to mid-October, a sufficiently long time because the news of a possible incompatibility it could have already been spread for some time.

In practice it is possible that only the latest iPod models have been made incompatible.