Space Ramblings

Verizon and Rhapsody Team up to take down iTunes

It would almost be so funny if it wasn’t so repetitive, but the tech, entertainment and telecom industries can’t seem to escape doing a Keystone Cops routine when trying to take on Apple, particularly when it comes to creating big alliances. Verizon has worked hard to set itself up as the multimedia music oriented cell phone provider, utilizing those endless and endlessly annoying commercials, in which music stars stopped by ordinary people’s lives to burst into song. Or what roughly passes for song anyway. Now Verizon has joined together with RealNetworks Rhapsody, which has relaunched its service to sell DRM free MP3 music, about 6 months after everyone else began doing it, is trying to take on iTunes. RealNetworks had no luck with Rhapsody in its previous incarnation working with MTV to rent music. Before that MTV had been partnered with Microsoft to create the URGE store embedded in Microsoft Windows Media Player, a rival to RealNetworks RealPlayer. Microsoft managed to blow the whole venture, particularly when it released the Zune MP3 player that turned out to be incompatible with Play For Sure. Now Verizon, which ought to be focusing on service, is instead trying to beat Apple at its own game. Good luck.

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