Rhapod Please Rob

Real Networks is planning a big event on April 26th in NYC.  I can just imagine Rob Glaser standing up and doing his best Steve Jobs impersonation, holding up some new invention that will jumpstart his "groundbreaking initiative in digital music."

I hope he holds up a Rhapod.

What’s a Rhapod?

It’s an iPod that works with Rhapsody, the best online service in the digital music world.

I can get almost anything I want on Rhapsody.  There are a few holdouts, but not many.

Generally, I’ll hear about some band or remember a record that I love listening to, type it into Rhapsody and viola, I am listening to it.

But that’s only when I am on my laptop.

I want Rhapspody in my iPod, in my car, and on my stereo.

That’s where the Rhapod comes in.

As we all know, with all the great accessories that have been made for the iPod, you can use the iPod to play music wherever you are.

I want Rhapsody to work just like that.

So, here is what a Rhapod needs to do:

-    It needs to be able to synch with any of the music that is on Rhapsody.  If I can listen to it on my laptop, I can synch it my Rhapod.
-    It needs to have wifi built in.  If I am in Starbucks, it should allow me to listen and synch to music that isn’t currently on the Rhapod
-    It needs to integrate into my car radio.  Ideally, it would have a FM transmitter like the iTrip built in.  87.9 (or any other frequency you choose) becomes Rhapod radio everywhere.
-    It needs to integrate into my home stereo.  There should be a Rhapod connector that uses wired and wifi connections to allow me to play the Rhapod in any stereo I want.
-    Rhapsody needs to include a podcasting client so that I can download my podcasts to my Rhapod no matter where I am as long as I’ve got some kind of IP connection.

That’s my dream machine.  That’s the iPod killer.  That’s what Real needs to announce on April 26th.

Because Apple has become (or maybe always was) a they company.  They aren’t going to open up the iPod and iTunes.  So Rob should.  And while he’s at it, he should make the hardware spec and the software for the Rhapod open for anyone who pays Real a license to make one.  Do to Apple what Microsoft did to Apple the last time.

That’s what I want to see.  And if he does it, I’ll sell my Apple stock and buy some Real.