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RealTime IT News

'Code-Complete' Real Gold Hits Market

In its ongoing quest to lure new paying subscribers for its a cable-style Internet audio and video subscription service, RealNetworks on Tuesday announced the Gold released of its RealOne v2.0 media player.

RealOne Gold, which runs of the company's Helix platform, is billed as the "final code-complete version" of the media player and showcases improved CD-burning capabilities and integrated support for new SonicBlue MP3 players.

More importantly for Real's business, the premium RealOne software allows playback of formats created by its main competitors in the space. Real's new player allows playback of Microsoft's Windows Media and Apple's QuickTime MPEG 4 formats, as well as over 50 additional media types, the company said.

Real, which is hawking the premium player for a one-time fee of $29.95, highlighted the advanced CD-burning options within the upgrade. The options include improved burning speed and CD ripping defaulted to 192 Kbps MP3 for paying users.

To attract users looking to solve the portability problem with digital music, Real added integrated support for the new SonicBlue Rio S10 and S30S MP3 players. Users also get access to more than 3200 radio stations and additional audio/video controls, Real said.

The company, which is locked in a high-stakes battle with Microsoft in the digital content distribution space, is relying heavily on users' need for its TurboPlay technology, which promises near-instant playback of content for broadband users.

Real's technology goes up against Microsoft's new Windows Media 9 Series (formerly codenamed Corona), which promises to turn PCs into TVs.

Real's strategy is to position the Helix Universal Server software as an alternative to enterprise customers looking to avoid setting up several servers to support competing digital media formats.