AfterDawn: Tech news

HP dumps iTunes for Rhapsody

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 06 Jan 2006 6:12 User comments (17)

HP dumps iTunes for Rhapsody In a move following the company's 2005 decision to cease producing iPods, Hewlett-Packard has now stopped distributing Apple's iTunes software with its PCs. Instead the company will now distribute Real Network's Rhapsody software. HP had been distributing iTunes with new PCs since 2004. The deal had been announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Los Vegas. Now that HP is distributing Rhapsody instead of iTunes, customers will also receive a 30 free trial to Real's music subscription service.
iPods sold by HP accounted for about 5% of all iPod sales. The popularity of the iPod has lead to massive profits for Apple, but not a lot was gained for HP. The original deal with Apple was secured by the former HP chief executive, Carly Fiorina, who was ousted from the company in February 2005. It wasn't until July that HP ended the iPod deal with Apple under new chief Mark Hurd.

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17 user comments

17.1.2006 0:17

Wise move by HP

27.1.2006 7:02

Heh, more like spite... it's hard to try and play with the big boys, they arn't always as nice as the nerds...

37.1.2006 15:31

Smart move.

47.1.2006 23:47

Extremely smart move on the part of HP. Who wants to be locked into a contract with a service where there is only one real provider? Not me! Apple needs to start letting other people and other software applications incorporate their Fairplay DRM and support it. If they don't, they will keep losing customers and sales. At least Microsoft will license WMA and WMV-DRM to anyone who asks them if they can license it.

59.1.2006 8:31

Well... I can see this as 2 ways. 1) They finally realized a bad product to be tied up with. 2) They just took in another bad product. If they really want to increase sales for their products, then they should have just accepted BluRay's changes, and they should have better upgrading capabilities for their PC's.

69.1.2006 9:10

if they want to make money they should cancel the real networks.. and let ppl decide what they want.. and make better computers...

79.1.2006 11:50

it is a good move, real player is so much better than itunes. only fall back is aussie customers wont be able to access the rhapsody feature as it is "no longer available to customers in this country". or so their website keeps telling me....

89.1.2006 12:00

I agree with weazel200 and others. The move away from iPod was a wise move. At the same time, the move to Real's Rhapsody is a big mistake. Real software is notorious for data mining. On the other hand, HP has become known for hooking up with companies whose software routinely--and discretely--sends personal, usage, and tracking information back to its creator and to who knows who else. Wild Tangent and Backweb are two that come to mind besides the obvious Real culprit. I have stopped using Real One media player altogether. If I visit a site that has video news clips or sound bytes only available in Real format, I don't watch the video or listen to the audio. I refuse to give Real any more information than they were able to glean from my machine before I realized and stopped what they were doing. No software compnay needs any information from me that I am not willing to provide voluntarily. It certainly does not need the level of access that Real programs try their darnedest to acquire. I would not have known about a lot of things that Real software tries to do except that my firewall was constantly alerting me that this or that Real application wanted permission to access the Internet for various reasons, none of which were, in my opinion, valid or necessary. It seems that both Real and Microsoft are making an awfully lot of "deals with the devil" these days. The fact that Windows Messenger cannot be uninstalled from Windows XP aggravates me to no end. The best that can be done is to disable it; and in certain circumstances, that cannot be done without a fight. Why do these companies find it so necessary to stick their noses in everyone's business and gather information that, in reality, has nothing whatsoever to do with demographics? More and more, it seems, software developers are trying to take security choices away from consumers rather than simply offering the options and allowing users to make their own choices. I would suggest that HP give its customers back their privacy and ditch Real's Symphony and all other data mining software. Has anyone else noticed that this all began to really escalate right after the announcement of a settlement between Gates and the U.S. government regarding the cases against him? That was about the same time that the Clinton administration was conducting its covert op of illegally intercepting and monitoring e-mails, browsing habits, and computer usage of ordinary U.S. citizens using Carnivore and other techniques. That was when Windows Messenger and other data mining and usage bugs were inextricably woven into the fabric of Microsoft's Windows operating systems. Microsoft also cut deals with software companies that incorporated into their design the use of known Trojan-like applications known as data miners, malware, spyware, etc.

99.1.2006 13:03

i can't stand real player, but hp/compaq make a solid product. I use an hp laptop for work and I only get BSODs every once in a blue moon

109.1.2006 13:25

That's a good point, tsalagi. I didn't really see much of spyware or any of that stuff until the last few years of the Clinton Administration. I saw many programs go to the share-ware side, filled with all sorts of unacceptable junk. But, I like HP. After formatting my HDD ('cause of all the junk that I didn't need), it worked pretty smoothly, plus they got some pretty good printers and cameras.

119.1.2006 14:35

Good decision by HP. A lot of good reasons have already been mentioned, but I think that the best reason is maybe the most obvious one. Rhapsody is a very good music service based on several things. First and foremost, Rhapsody has as good of a collection of music as you will find anywhere. Every so often something that I'm looking for returns as unavailable, but it's usually on music that is hard to find anywhere, in general. To sum it up, Rhapsody also has a nice looking and very intuitive user interface. The sound quality is comparable to Foobar2000 or Launchcast Plus, which is good in terms of streaming audio. Of course, Rhapsody has one large disadvantage compared to i-tunes as Rhapsody is not free. However, you do get a lot for your money, so if you are a music lover who likes these types of services, you owe it to yourself to check it out. At least it seems that HP thinks so.

129.1.2006 17:39

To comment on an earlier post, Realplayer does NOT datamine. They collect only the BAREST information from your system, such as what processor you are running and how much memory you have. That's all they collect UNLESS you also go into the preferences and say "Send information to Real Networks". Then they collect a LOT of information, the same as Microsoft does when you choose the comparable item in Windows Media Player.

139.1.2006 18:20

If that's the case, then why is it that I have to actually remove the rest of it's programming embedded in various parts of my registry? Is there really a need to get so deep into the fabric of somebody's computer? That product was identified as spyware and/or malware by various programs, and I really believe it because I couldn't remove several elements by just removing it with Add/Remove Programs. Even if it doesn't datamine, it still adds and takes several things to you computer that you would usually try to avoid, so I consider it a bad product by far.

1410.1.2006 9:35

ya tht was a pretty wise moove can nebody help me with my ipod nano

1510.1.2006 16:42

I would look into asking Lethal_B for help; he's a pro at setting up iPod stuff. You can also log on to #ad_buddies using my sig and see if he's there, or you could look around the forums for descussion on iPods in general. What seems to be the problem?

If Im online, Im usually on Steam:

1610.1.2006 23:06

Necronite and Rikoshay, I agree with you that HP has some outstanding products. I have three computers and all of them are HP. HP has not always had very good tech help at their helpdesk, but they have always given the customer more than their money's worth. An additional feather in HP's cap is the fact that they are not proprietary like Gateway and some other computer systems. For example, Gateway at one time was so proprietary that if the CD drive or other components went bad, you could only replace the part with Gateway's brand. No one else's parts would work on a Gateway computer. Packard Bell (not to be confused with Hewlett-Packard) was a proprietary system, too. I have not looked inside either brand for awhile, so I don't know if they are still proprietary or not. With HP, you can install a lite-on, HP, Sony, AKAI, or any other brand CD or DVD deck and it will work fine--unless the drive is bad from the start. Also, their software is not so interlaced into the fabric of the operating system that it crashes if you remove something. I was very disappointed when I bought my first HP running Windows XP. I was disappointed with Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, too. My biggest gripe--right off the bat--with MS was the integration of Windows Messenger in such a way that it cannot be uninstalled through the Add or Remove Programs. In fact it cannot be uninstalled without manually tracking down and deleting every file and registry entry. My disappointment with HP was all the software that they included and promoted that were powered by blatant malware and spyware applications. For that reason, as soon as I saw all the spyware garbage, and before going online for the first time, I went through my registry and other stored personal information, such as the machine owner's information, and changed everything to bogus names, addresses, phone numbers, etc. I am also careful what info I allow to accumulate on my machine. I use PGP to wipe the cache files and cookies after any and all online business transactions; and I don't even keep my PGP keys on the hard drive. After I changed all my info to bogus info, I uninstalled and otherwise eliminated all the garbage from my system. Other than HP's partnership with malware and spyware developers, I have nothing against the company. I do like their products. Even their low-end printers are very good quality and gives the user a real bargain for the money spent. They literally have a quality product to fit almost any budget. Chris 1000, you must have a better-behaved version of RealPlayer or whatever on your machine than I did, or you aren't running a firewall that tells you these things. Even after disabling all the auto updates and denying permission for RealPlayer to send out any information, it still tried to do so, especially when I tried to play a song on a CD, even without going online. When RealPlayer started, it immediately activated RealScheduler and tried to go online to send information about what I was listening to--even though all permissions were denied in the preferences settings. I had to use ZoneAlarm to keep RealPlayer off line. As soon as I would go online to view a steaming video, even before I clicked a link, RealPlayer would start sending out info--without my knowledge, it assumed. The only way I knew what was going on was through ZoneAlarm Pro. It told me which program was trying to go online, its target destination, etc. There is no reason for RealPlayer's creators to know which song I am listening to on which privately owned CD. I bought and paid for my CDs, so I have already paid royalties to everyone connected with the production of that CD; so I don't owe any information to anyone about what I am listening to, from which album, or when I decided to play it. CDs and DVDs that are bought legally are not some sort of pay per view deal. You buy the CD or DVD, and you own it to play when and where you please. For sure, the developers of RealPlayer have no horse in the race. So, as far as I'm concerned, Real will not get another iota of information from me, because I refuse to use their products. There are better software programs that render better performance than RealPlayer ever thought about--and they don't secretly gather information about the user everytime the user goes online. When you opt out on sending info to them, they respect and honor that decision. Real software won't take "no" for an answer, no matter what they tell you. They just try to do it discretely enough so you won't notice. As for Windows Media Player (WMP), I use it because it plays some file types better than other programs. Overall, though, it is a mediocre media player. I don't like it, either, because of its trying to "phone home" with information to MS. There is no way to disable some of the info gathering tools that are programmed into WMP; but a good firewall and a few tweeks keep the buggers from delivering the info. It's too bad users can't legally share software. I would like to have a copy of a RealPlayer version that actually honors one's preference to NOT gather and report the user's personal info to RealPlayer's creators. They should rename their software to RealTrojan or RealSneaky. The bottom line is that Real DOES mine data. It always has and it always will, unless someone at that company suddenly has a change of heart and can quell his insatiable desire to pry into the personal lives of others. You overlook one important detail: The major software companies and service providers, such as Real, Microsoft, Apple, AOHell, etc., are in the perfect business and position to gather personal data on virtually everyone who owns or accesses a computer. With the Clinton administration's illegal Carnivore program and the current President's borderline invasion of the privacy of ordinary U.S. citizens through any means available, what better way to infiltrate a home and gather tons of information about millions of people than to partner up with the major players in the computer and software industry? With all the webcams, microphones, e-mail accounts, downloading of music and videos, and Internet browsing, there is a goldmine of personal information out there. All one needs in order to glean all that data is the right stealth technology strategically placed. Id doesn't take a degree in computer engineering to figure out the most strategic placement of such stealth technology. They just didn't factor in those of us who monitor our systems, notice the outbound packets of information, and do something about it. I am a Vietnam era Marine. That is to say, I am not active duty any more. I did a tour of duty to do my part to preserve our rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The oath of every soldier, sailor, or Marine is "I do solemnly swear to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic." Stealth technology incorporated into any software that covertly gathers and transmits to another party any information about me, my family, or even the things I have in my house is a violation of my Constitutional right to privacy and civil liberty. It is an infringement upon my freedom and attacks the Constitution that I swore an oath to defend. I'll be damned if I will surrender one iota of my rights to such underhanded program developers or those who instruct them as to what information to gather. The oath was against "ALL enemies, foreign and domestic." Edmund Burke wisely wrote: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Later. Tsalagi

1711.1.2006 17:17

That was pretty deep. And it's true; big companies are now using their resources as a way to view what a person's info on their PCs without them knowing. You could more or less call this a good or bad move, but only to the people who use that product and don't care about other people's wants. I've been to an HP factory once, and really liked how things were run and how they respected their workers and products. I still think they are better than some other companies, but it makes it more harder to comply to what they have to offer based upon some of their current choices.

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