RealNetworks, Symbian Put Media Player on a Phone
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Seattle-based RealNetworks Inc. has been working hard to take its media player beyond the PC, striking deals with companies like Sony to place the RealPlayer on the PlayStation 2 game console and eVilla Entertainment Center, and with Hewlett-Packard to create Linux-based entertainment products.
RealNetworks took the strategy further on Tuesday when it rollout out mobile multimedia offerings based on the Symbian mobile handset platform. The RealPlayer Mobile announcement represents the first offerings since the two struck an accord in June.
RealPlayer Mobile is shipping with the new Symbian-based Nokia 9210 Communicator handset, now available in Europe. However, other handset manufacturers are sure to follow suit; Symbian licensees include Ericsson, Kenwood, Motorola, Nokia, Panasonic, Psion, Sanyo, Siemens and Sony.
Putting a more concrete face on that likelihood, RealPlayer and Symbian also announced a multimedia resource center for downloading RealPlayer Mobile, finding links to content offerings and information on Symbian OS licensees.
"The RealPlayer Mobile and Nokia 9210 Communicator enable content providers to create rich multimedia programming for a new class of consumer devices," said Mark Bretl, vice president, Consumer Appliances, RealNetworks. "Our goal is to enable the more than 200 million RealPlayer users to access their favorite Internet media from any platform and on any device, and this is a huge step forward in that direction."
RealNetworks Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rob Glaser showed off the service with a Dave Matthews Band clip at Jupiter Media Metrix's Plug.In conference in New York City Tuesday.
European content providers -- including Virgin Radio, BMG Entertainment, Kirch New Media, TF1, Darker Than Blue, Aestheticom and Supersoni.com -- are already at work producing audio and video programming for the platform in English, French and German.
"The future of mobile media delivery is now, and we are excited to be a part of this new era in content delivery to advanced mobile media handsets," said Dr. Marcus Englert, chief executive officer of Kirch New Media. "Delivering short movies shows that streaming media will be an important and useable application also for mobile devices."
RealNetworks has already made content available for RealPlayer Mobile and the Nokia 9210 Communicator here. Content providers who want to make their offerings available to mobile users can contact RealNetworks for more information.