Jackass of the Week: Real Networks’ Rob Glaser… Or Keep Your Grubby Pop Up Hijacking Flash At Me Crazy Ass Upgrade Me Now Balloons Off My PC

Daring Fireball: Jackass of the Week: Rob Glaser: Fireball is out with a post today about Real Network’s CEO Rob Glaser and gives him the pleasant title of Jackass of the Week. Nice.

From the article: “Iím never quite sure what to make of Rob Glaser, CEO of Real Networks. As his companyís digital media technologies fall further behind Appleís and Microsoftís (at least in terms of popularity), he frequently pipes up in the press with ridiculous statements about Apple and its products ó statements so patently false that Iím always left with the impression that heís either a moron or a liar. (My money is on liar.)

Iím willing to cut him some slack because itís his job as CEO to be an advocate for his company and its shareholders. I certainly donít expect him to stand up and admit that Apple has them licked. But thatís no justification for just making shit up.”

Basically Daring Fireball takes Glaser to task for acting as though somehow his company has any chance in hell of surving vs. Apple and Microsoft.

The problem as I see it is perhaps not with Glaser it’s more that Real Networks media player is a pariah. It is a piece of crap thing that I bump into every so often on the internet and it sends shivers down my spine.

In a joke lawsuit to rival the Apple Records vs. Apple Computer one ruled on earlier this month, recently Microsoft settled with Real Networks and agreed to a package valued at $761 million dollars! that’s right $761 million dollars. You could buy like 25 Flickrs for $761 million.

The thing that kills me is that there is no way that Real is going to survive and so instead you’ve just got this crazy company burning through the $301 million in cash Microsoft gave them along with a bunch of annoying inkind advertising etc.

Why do I hate Real Networks. Well let me count thy ways and allow me to repeat myself:

“NO. I don’t want pop ups thank you. NO. keep your crazy software that wants to reinstall itself all the time to yourself. Get out of my systray. No I don’t want “free” aol or internet. And god no. I do not want you as my primary media player. I don’t want the Real OneSearch Internet Explorer toolbar or any of your other spyware. I don’t want to have to “register” my product with you and I don’t want to be kept updated with your product news and updates. I hate you.”

Look. Real is in no way a legitimate competitive player in the game anymore. Best they *might* be able to do is to scrap their name (remember that thing how Gator turned into Claria?) and try to hope that people forget that they were the sticky pest that you could never quite get off your computer.

Windows Media Player is a kick ass player. Despite it’s flaws it’s priced right and with a version of WMP11 most likely coming out shortly (like as in this summer) and Vista around the corner, Real has no hope on the PC. And on the Mac? Fugedaboutit. You really think people are going to use that crap over iTunes?

And then you’ve got Yahoo getting into the music business as well on the subscription side. So much better than that crap service Rhapsody.

Real Networks has got a horrible past and are the little dog who will get left behind in an increasingly competitive music landscape surely to be dominated by Apple and if not them Microsoft and Yahoo!

Rather than just blither all that cash away that they were able to pirate from Microsoft I’d recommend that rather than shooting his mouth off like he does and getting called a Jackass by Daring Fireball, that Glaser instead change the name of his company. Quickly sell of whatever assets he can and then take his remaining cash and the cash that’s on hand now and write his current shareholders a big going out of business check. Better to get a check now, than nothing later.

4 Replies to “Jackass of the Week: Real Networks’ Rob Glaser… Or Keep Your Grubby Pop Up Hijacking Flash At Me Crazy Ass Upgrade Me Now Balloons Off My PC”

  1. I agree to Robert – Quicktime (on the PC) is probably just as bad.

    One thing about Real though: they’re investing a lot in their casual games business. Perhaps they’re using the Microsoft money to build their business there, and slowly let the media part die off.

  2. Whoa, I’m used to seeing opinionated posts, but this one is more of a blind-bashing without facts.

    Have you actually used any RealPlayer past the previous generation RealOne player from a few years ago?

    It does not:
    1. Reinstall itself
    2. Show popups in the corner after you turn that option off.
    3. Steal mimetypes without asking (it’s WAY friendlier than Quicktime)
    4. Install any spyware (just the standard Google Toobar bundle)

    It does ask you to register (you can skip that) and that IS stupid. It’s also pretty slow compared to some alternatives like Media Monkey. But it is easy to use and has some nice device management features.

    And what’s this calling the Rhapsody Music Service crap? I actually like the UI on that service a good deal. I use it and Yahoo both.

    Overall, I respect a good opinion, but seriously, have you used the thing recently? It’s WAY less intrusive than Quicktime/iTunes bundle.

  3. I agree with the last anonymous comment…everything about Real is configurable [including the google tollbar]…everything u need and nothing u dont…
    And Rhapsody’s only flaw for me has been DRM handling [digital rights management]…clunky. But the info and user interface is right-on…
    But, then, I guess, eveyone has their opinion…

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