The New York Times > Technology > RealNetworks Plans to Sell Songs to Be Played on iPods "Tomorrow, without Apple's authorization, RealNetworks will start to give away software that will allow people to buy and download songs from its online music store and then play them on Apple's popular iPod portable devices in addition to those that use the Windows Media Player format and RealNetwork's Helix format.
This will be the first time any company other than Apple has sold songs for the iPod. While the Microsoft Corporation has freely licensed the Windows format to various music stores and makers of portable players, Apple has kept its business proprietary. This has helped Apple keep the dominant market share both for online music stores and portable players with hard drives, the more lucrative half of the player market.
"Apple has basically locked in their users," Mr. Bernoff said. "We are not used to thinking of Apple as the monopolist, but in this market they are."