My post about the iPod and Real got lots of response. Some followup.
First, a big raspberry to Real, who posted the full text of my blog post to their marketing site without permission or proper attribution. It's still there, although they've trimmed to a fair-use-sized quote.
Second, a thank you to Aaron, who in email pointed out a flaw in my logic. I called the iPod a "jail for music" because Apple makes it hard to copy music out of the iPod. However, I also said "Real has succeeded in unlocking the door". That's not right; Real didn't make the iPod less of a jail. They just enabled another DRM format on the iPod. Not so exciting, really, although I still don't see it as a bad thing.
Finally, a theory. I was truly puzzled why people were beating up Real and defending Apple when both parties seem enamoured of DRM technology. Then I got it. Basically, people like Apple more than Real. Even if iTunes has some DRM they've done it in a way that mostly doesn't annoy users (with some exceptions). By contrast Real has a long history history of annoying users with hostile software and proprietary awkward formats. Now their captive users are issuing some payback.