Apple ‘Stunned’ Over RealNetworks’ Harmony

Apple has issued a statement in response to RealNetworks’ announcement of its Harmony software, which allows consumers to transfer protected digital music to any device they choose, such as Apple’s iPod.

In a short and to the point news release, Apple Computer stated that they are “stunned” by RealNetworks’ actions:

“We are stunned that RealNetworks has adopted the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod(R), and we are investigating the implications of their actions under the DMCA and other laws. We strongly caution Real and their customers that when we update our iPod software from time to time it is highly likely that Real’s Harmony technology will cease to work with current and future iPods.”

Harmony, announced by RealNetworks on Monday frees consumers from the limitation of being locked into a specific portable device when they buy digital music. According to the company, consumers can now build their library of downloads secure in the knowledge that it will play on virtually whatever device they choose.

“Compatibility is key to bringing digital music to the masses,” said Rob Glaser, founder and CEO, RealNetworks, Inc. “Before Harmony, consumers buying digital music got locked into a specific kind of portable player. Harmony changes all that. Thanks to Harmony, consumers don’t have to worry about technology when buying music. Now anyone can buy music, move it to their favorite portable device, and it will just work, just like the way DVD and CDs work.”

Click here to read RealNetwork’s Harmony press release.