Apple wanted to block all non-iTunes music from iPods

Recently we heard the disturbing news that Apple actually deleted music from iPods  simply because it hasn’t been purchased from the iTunes store. That was a low blow from Apple, but not as low as this would have been. According to a former Apple engineer, the company actually tried to prevent all third party music (i.e. not from iTunes) from being loaded onto iPods.

This news comes as part of the same lawsuit that revealed Apple deleted music from iPods, and according to the Wall Street Journal the former-engineer in question is Rod Schultz. Schultz testified that he was part of the team behind the music deleting, and they were working on a project named ‘Candy’. Candy’s aim was to block “100 per cent of non-iTunes clients” and “keep out third party players”.

The plaintiffs also attempted (and failed) to submit Schultz’s research paper on Apple’s “secret war”, where he claimed that “Apple was locking the majority of music downloads in its devices.” The fact that it was not accepted as evidence likely means that the contents of the paper not relevant to the proceedings, but we can’t really know for sure.

It does seem as though Schultz is opposing Apple in this case, but outside the court room he told the Wall Street Journal that his necessary for copyright protection, it just so happened to help create Apple’s “market dominance”. I can’t be the only one who’s getting mixed messages from him can I?

All-in-all this is not good news for Apple, and it was bad enough that it specifically had ways to delete non-iTunes music from iPods in the first place. But this? This is something else entirely. It’s just not that clear what Apple hoped to achieve from it.

Tom Pritchard

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