First, the market responded to the abuse of DRM measures (though, the very existence of DRM is an abuse of computing technology). Now, the industry wants to respond. Yes my friends, it’s called market pressure. From the Electronic Frontier Foundation:
“What strikes me about this announcement is the implicit rejection of DRM that it represents. After all, while Real touts Rhapsody as primarily a ‘streaming’ music service, everyone knows that it is trivial to turn a ‘stream’ into a ‘download’ by using widely available software tools. Audio Hijack, for example, records Rhapsody streams without any problem on my OS X machine. And everyone knows that Linux users will have new ‘stream-ripping’ applications aimed at Rhapsody before you can say ‘DVD Jon.’ So it seems clear that Rhapsody has managed to talk its major label licensors into allowing them to concentrate on attracting customers, rather than shackling them in a misguided attempt to restrict the music that is already available on P2P networks for free.”
Sweet. Finally. Yeah, it would be better if they simply offered a download, but seriously mplayer -dumpstream / mplayer -dumpaudio is not that hard to type. Did I expect Real to be the first ones to do this? Nope. But I applaud them for it.