RealTime IT News

RealNetworks Rolls Out RealSlideshow, Upgrades RealProducer

Taking the company's multimedia products to another level, RealNetworks Inc. Tuesday launched RealSlideshow. The product enables users to make and broadcast RealAudio-enhanced digital pictures over the Internet.

Real also upgraded several of its current streaming media services.

RealNetworks announced the shipping versions of RealProducer G2 V6.1 and RealProducer Plus G2 V6.1 for Windows and the RealProducer software development kit for the Macintosh and Windows platforms.

New product RealSlideshow bases the presentations on the Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (SMIL), which uses native image formats, including the world's most popular JPEG and BMP, in RealPlayer G2, enabling the largest source of existing multimedia to be broadcast over the Internet.

The product creates a slideshow from pictures, text and audio using various features, including a simple timeline that shows thumbnails of JPEG images, visual "download bars" which monitor bandwidth and quality for streaming presentations from modem to broadband connections, transition effects; and wizard-based publishing to any ISP with RealServers.

RealNetworks has also inked agreements with Adobe Systems, Corbis, Macromedia, PhotoHighway.com, PhotoPoint.com, Sonic Foundry and IXLA to distribute RealSlideshow.

Adobe will include the RealSlideshow option in the next release of Adobe Photoshop and PhotoDeluxe.

Corbis, which recently overtook Getty as largest image agency following the purchase of Sygma, announced that it will be the first to provide digital image content to RealSlideshow users. Customers can access the Corbis digital picture selection through RealSlideshow's "Get Pictures" button.

"RealSlideshow significantly broadens the application of streaming media to now include personal Web authoring, from real estate listings to photojournalism online," said Ben Rotholtz, RealNetworks' general manager, systems and tools. "Through the integration of key RealSystem G2 technologies -- SMIL, RealAudio G2, and RealPix G2 -- RealSlideshow is an easy-to-use tool that enables rich media experiences to be created and broadcast in minutes using JPEG images and personal recordings."

GeoCities users, who were given free access to RealProducer G2 earlier this year, will also have access to RealSlideshow at no cost. RealSlideshow is also available as a free download.

The upgraded RealProducer G2 Plus V6.1 will include RealVideo with SVT (Scaleable Video Technology) which delivers broadband playback performance on all platforms of the RealPlayer, upgrade notification, and video prefiltering for sharper images and higher frame rate video quality.

"With hundreds of thousands of content creation tools distributed to Internet multimedia producers and more than 3,000 new tools downloaded daily from our Web site, RealNetworks has strengthened RealProducer to integrate the latest codec technology and workflow enhancements to enable even more flexibility and creativity," Rotholtz said.

There are now more than 65 million registered users of RealPlayer, and more than 85 percent of all Web pages use Real's streaming media products, according to search engine HotBot.