RealNetworks has announced the Harmony Technology, a DRM translation system to enable consumers to transfer purchased music from device to device.
According to the company, Harmony Technology frees consumers from the limitation of being locked into a specific portable device when they buy digital music. Now consumers can build their library of downloads secure in the knowledge that it will play on virtually whatever device they choose. Devices currently supported include the Apple iPod (all generations) and devices from Creative, iRiver, RCA, Rio, Samsung, and palmOne.
Generally speaking, Harmony supports any device that uses the Apple FairPlay DRM, Microsoft Windows Media Audio DRM, or the RealNetworks Helix DRM. The company believes this gives the RealPlayer Music Store support for more secure devices than any other music store on the Internet.
"Compatibility is key to bringing digital music to the masses," said Rob Glaser, founder and CEO, RealNetworks, Inc. "Before Harmony, consumers buying digital music got locked into a specific kind of portable player. Harmony changes all that. Thanks to Harmony, consumers don't have to worry about technology when buying music. Now anyone can buy music, move it to their favorite portable device, and it will just work, just like the way DVD and CDs work."
The new technology will be demonstrated for the first time on Tuesday 27 July at the Jupiter PlugIn conference in New York City. Beginning on Tuesday, a beta test version of RealPlayer 10.5, the first consumer product to use Harmony Technology, will be available from RealNetworks' website.. Harmony Technology will be available later this year in other music products from RealNetworks including Real's Rhapsody subscription service.