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Apple Exec Cancels Keynote After RealNetworks' News (UPDATED)

TMO Reports - Apple Exec Cancels Keynote After RealNetworks' News (UPDATED)

by , 8:00 PM EDT, July 26th, 2004

Apple executive Eddy Cue, vice president of Applications and Internet Services, canceled a keynote address Monday at the Jupiter Plug.IN Conference & Expo in New York City saying he was sick. The executive was seen later Monday in Chicago at an Apple press event. The developments happened on the same day RealNetworks' announced new software that allows songs purchased through its online music store to be played on any portable media player, including Apple's iPod.

Highly placed sources have confirmed to The Mac Observer that Mr. Cue pulled out from speaking at the conference saying he was sick. Attendees to the Jupiter conference were also told at the beginning of the keynote address that Mr. Cue would be unable to deliver his speech because he was ill.

But, Mr. Cue is quoted by various news organizations as being in Chicago on Monday where Apple announced an alliance with Motorola that will let customers of the iTunes music service transfer their music onto the mobile handset maker's next generation of MP3-ready cellular phones.

Mr. Cue was originally scheduled to be the first keynote speaker at the event, but his speech was replaced by another address from Charles Goldstuck, President and COO, BMG North America. All references of Mr. Cue's keynote have been pulled from the Jupiter Plug.IN Web site, but his original information page can still be reached as of this writing.

It was expected that Mr. Cue would be questioned during parts of his address about the RealNetworks announcement and Apple's reaction to it. Mr. Cue oversees Apple's iLife applications, including iTunes, the iTunes Music Store, iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD, as well as .Mac and the online Apple Store.

The Jupiter Plug.IN Conference & Expo is billed by show producer JupiterMedia as "the leading event to examine online music. It represents the music industry - labels, artists, marketing executives and promotions departments, all coming together to discuss the business of music."

Richard Wolpert, Chief Strategy Officer for RealNetworks will be giving a keynote address Tuesday morning at the conference and exposition and is expected to give further details of RealNetworks' announcement Monday of new technology that will allow consumers to play songs bought on Real's online music store to be played on various players, including the iPod. The new technology circumvents Apple's digital rights management technology, known as Fairplay. Apple has refused to license its DRM to company's like RealNetworks.

Apple did not return phone calls from TMO requesting comment on Monday's RealNetworks' announcement.

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