Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Real Networks/Rhapsody - I will never use their products

I haven't been a fan of Real Networks for a longtime. I resent it when applications repeatedly steal your MIME types and generally do things to your computers configuration without your permission.

Late last year I did a brief consulting engagement where I provided an overview and evaluation of the various music services. It was fun getting back up to speed on the state of the various services.

After the evaluation I went about deleting the various applications. I had no problem canceling with any of them except Real/Rhapsody. When I tried to cancel, I found out that you could only cancel by a phone call. Hmmm. That's pretty weak for an online product. I called. It was Sunday. They were closed. I couldn't cancel. What a joke. Is that illegal?

This was in December, Yesterday while looking at the army of icons on my desktop I realized that this nasty program was still on my machine and I was STILL BEING CHARGED by them.

I called the number. They asked me why I was canceling. I freaked out. I promised them that I would ensure that there were no Real products on any of the machines that I own and that I would delete the products from any machines that I touch.

I know that the digital music space is a difficult business, but if this is how you have to make your money, I would recommend shorting their stock.

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