Feeds

Real and Napster catch portalitis

Online music providers go all fat and horrible

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

What a dismal future looms ahead for music lovers, if online subscription services turn out anything like promised.

Real Networks already has a pay-per-view model - and its own Digital Rights Management framework - in place. And in Napster, the industry has a 'brand' name everyone's heard of, which likewise is gearing itself for a subscription-based model.

Yesterday Real Networks announced that it would roll its clients into one application - combining Player and Jukebox - in a textbook exercise in gigantism it calls RealOne. Player has been getting ever more bloated since its debut - although by using it in compact mode, the incessant nagging, channels and 'picks' can effectively be backgrounded. And Jukebox, although it does a reasonable job of encoding, has been a huge, overweight infant since birth.

(Full disclosure: we were a paying customer of Jukebox until bugs and bloat prompted us to move our MP3s to the BeOS machine, where they remain).

Combining the two applications, says Real, will allow people to watch video while they browse the net, while they choose an audio file to play. Which for some reason, they suppose we can't do already.

This depressing vision is confirmed by a rummage through the Real DevZone, which prominently features tutorials on how to create an ad for RealOne.

It looks like the ads will be unmissable.

Real already has a viable business model, charging content providers for the Real server software, but RealOne gives it an opportunity to pick its viewers too, and there's little anyone can do about it short of changing platforms, or persuading the content providers to play the big three streaming media firms (Real, Apple and Microsoft) off against each other. Real is suffering a case of severe portalitis.

Yesterday, too, Napster announced that it was paying $26m to settle claims with authors and their music publishers that its erstwhile free-for-all file sharing service infringed copyright. The individual suits against record companies remain unsettled, however, and Napster gave no launch date for the commencement of the long-awaited subscription service. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.