AfterDawn: Tech news

Real to release RealOne - supports MPEG4

Written by Lasse Penttinen @ 26 Jun 2002 10:43

Real has been very busy lately. Future plans include a new RealOne software, MPEG4 support, alliance with Sony and more.
So far this year RealNetworks has been very active—one might even say aggressively active. The company seems to be pursuing with Microsoft-like zeal a campaign to rule the world—or at least the world of Internet-delivered media. This spring RealNetworks made a number of announcements following on the heels of the fall 2001 release of its ambitious RealOne player/platform. Most of the announcements were obviously meant to prop up RealOne and keep its momentum going.

Among RealNetworks' announcements were those regarding the release of RealVideo 9, an initiative to integrate and support MPEG 4, a strategic alliance with Sony, the unveiling of two RealOne add-on tools (Enterprise Desktop and Desktop Manager) for customizing and managing the enterprise media experience, and the availability of some nifty third-party tools media content creation/authoring tools.

A combination of browser, media player, and jukebox, RealOne appears to be a Microsoft-style bid to be all things to all people and thereby establish RealNetworks as the world's dominant media delivery platform. RealNetworks group enterprise marketing manager Janinne Brunyee says that RealOne is intended to make life easier for everyone by consolidating all media in one browser/player. But didn't we hear this same sort of rationale from Microsoft when they blew the competition out of the water with Windows and then again when they swept the competition under the rug with Internet Explorer?

Brunyee, however, insists that there is a demand for integrated brower/players within enterprises. She says that enterprises that standardize on an integrated browser/player avoid confusion, duplication of efforts, and product support headaches. She complains about confusion caused by the countless overlaying browser windows that Internet Explorer creates. In contrast, thanks to RealOne's three-pane interface, "Everything fits neatly into thre windows," says Brunyee. "It is a new content paradigm that is less distracting."

RealOne takes a different tack because Real believes that media is of paramount importance, says Brunyee. "While other companies are putting the player into the browsers," she says, "we decided to put the browser into the player." She believes that RealOne will pave the way for interactive television (iTv).

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