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
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
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
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.