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RealTime IT News

RealNetworks, Compaq Play it Again

RealNetworks Inc. continued its aggressive partnering moves at the CTIA Wireless 2022 conference in Orlando, Fla. Monday when it unveiled the newly-complete mobile version of its RealOne Player, which was demonstrated on Compaq Computer Corp.'s Pocket PC.

Content from some 30 media providers was played on the Pocket PCs with the mini RealOne software, whose Gold release for regular PCs went live March 5. Consistent with the firms' previous relationship of marrying software and hardware, Compaq will feature RealOne over Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media or Apple Computer Inc.'s QuickTime on its popular handhelds.

What does this mean for those of the mobile persuasion? Basically, users can transfer songs or other digital media content from their PCs to their Pocket PCs. RealAudio and RealVideo content can be streamed for real-time consumption, or downloaded for frequent playback. Such portability, analysts say, is a key driver for the success of digital content. RealNetworks said PC-side plug-in to do this will be available by this month's end.

Cindy Box, director of marketing for iPAQ Mobile Solutions at Compaq, said: "This is a natural extension of our partnership to distribute RealOne Player on numerous Compaq products; we are thrilled to offer our customers this expanded digital media experience on the iPAQ Pocket PC."

Indeed, the partnership between Seattle's RealNetworks and Houston's Compaq runs deep. In October 2001, RealNetworks agreed to offer its RealSystem iQ across Compaq Computer Corp.'s server and corresponding platforms. Then, in December 2001, Compaq agreed to fit its Presario PCs with RealOne.

On a broader level, RealNetworks has been working to land its software on as many devices as possible to reinforce its position in a market it already leads. Just last week, it secured Nokia Corp. to provide RealOne over the 9210i and 9290 Communicators, and, in recent months, it found spots on Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Digital Entertainment Center, Sony's Playstation 2, Moxi's Media Center and TiVO's Series 2 DVR.

While RealNetworks does battle with Microsoft, it should be noted that many of the device makers Real's software lands on are powered by the Redmond, Wash. firm's Windows CE operating system. The RealOne Player for handhelds can be used on Audiovox's Maestro Pocket PC, Casio Cassiopeia E-200 and above, Compaq iPAQ Pocket PC H3600 Series and above, HP Jornada 565 and above, NEC MobilePro P300, O2 xda from mmO2 (upon availability), Sagem WA3050 (audio only), and the Toshiba e570.