"You know Steve, he has his own agenda," Sony's CEO Nobuyuki Idei explained to Red Herring editor Tony Perkins.
"Although he is a genius, he doesn't share everything with you.
This is a difficult person to work with if you are a big company.... It is a nightmare."
Howard Stringer, then head of Sony North America, added about Jobs:
"Trying to get together would frankly be a waste of time."
Instead Sony joined with Universal to create a subscription service called Pressplay.
Meanwhile, AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann, and EMI teamed up with RealNetworks to create MusicNet.
Neither would license its songs to the rival service, so each offered only about half the music available.
Both were subscription services that allowed customers to stream songs but not keep them,
so you lost access to them if your subscription lapsed.
They had complicated restrictions and clunky interfaces.
Indeed they would earn the dubious distinction of becoming number nine on PC World's list of "the 25 worst tech products of all time."
The magazine declared, "The services' stunningly brain-dead features showed that the record companies still didn't get it."