ArsTechnica reports that last month's iPod firmware update makes music encoded in RealNetwork's Harmony unplayable on certin iPod models.
The Harmony software mimics the FairPlay DRM used by Apple's iTunes Music Store for all of the tracks it sells. RealNetworks introduced the software with great fanfare last July, announcing that they had broken the stranglehold Apple held over the iPod and enabling customers of its RealRhapsody music service to purchase tracks that could be played on iPods. Apple was not pleased with RealNetworks' efforts, accusing them of adopting "the tactics and ethics of a hacker to break into the iPod."Link
Reader Stefan Pause says,
Just thought this might be of interest to a few readers -- credit where credit's due and all that -- it wasn't Real who did the hard work of reverse-engineering Apple's FairPlay DRM, it was "dvd Jon" Lech Johansen (of DeCSS fame). The Register did a good write-up of the whole thing back in January: Link, and there's more general commentary over at Jon's blog's Apple section: Link