I agree with writier Sonia Arrison that Apple's insistance that the i-pod can only play back i-tunes and its negative reaction to the Real Network's "hack" is a really stupid move.
The world is too small for one company to push one standard, non-compatible with anything. I would also think twice about encoding all my CDs in a standard only supported by one company and then dumping the originals to save space. Looks neat on the surface, but I've been let down too many times by Apple Europe's lousy support. There is a book to be written there about how Apple failed to capture hearts and minds in Europe.