It looks like Navio Systems have made good on their promise to open up the iPod
to non-iTMS content, at least according to a report by Business 2.0, which says that the company is planning to enable its customers to offer iPod-compatible, copy-protected videos by the end of June. Although the details of Navio's methodology are not entirely clear, it seems that their engineers have deconstructed Cupertino-neighbor Apple's FairPlay DRM in order to create a separate-but-equal copy protection scheme that content providers can use to offer their own encrypted products to iPod owners. You'll remember that RealNetworks employed a similar tactic with their Harmony technology
, which allows songs purchased from the RealPlayer Music Store to play on iPods, and which Apple did their part -- albeit unsuccesfully -- to thwart by way of firmware updates
. Will Navio's technology spark a similar firmware arms race? Only time will tell, but we can't really see Steve and friends just sitting back listening to Beatles tunes while other players start eating away at iTunes' market share.