Feeds

RealNetworks launches universal digital music player

Supports MP3, rips CDs -- you need never download another player again

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

RealNetworks' launch of RealJukebox yesterday grabbed headlines more for its support for the controversial MP3 digital music format, but that's really the least of the list of points that make the offline music player software important. The release of RealJukebox sees not only Real's numerous strategies to beat back Microsoft begin to coalesce, but the start of moves to consolidate the diverse online music market. Right now RealNetworks has around 85 per cent of the streaming media market. Microsoft wants a part of that business -- a very large part indeed, we'd imagine -- and last month launched Windows Media Technologies (WMT) 4.0 to achieve its goal. What separates WMT from Real's RealSystem G2 is its focus not only on streamed media, but on the download market, what you might categorise those as the online and offline markets. The former requires an active Internet connection to play content; the latter only uses the Net as an acquisition medium -- play back can take place at any time. Pundits can argue about whether the real future of online content is streaming or download, but in the meantime WMT sets Microsoft to command whichever approach wins out in the end. Real's strategy so far has been predicated on the view that streaming will win out. It's not yet clear which approach will dominate, or even whether it's a battle that's going to be fought. However, content providers are a cautious lot and will favour solutions that cover as many bases as possible. The launch of RealJukebox allows Real to catch up with Microsoft and at last offer offline as well as online content. But RealJukebox cleverly goes beyond that. When Real people talk about RealJukebox, they discuss it not so much as an application but as a platform. The idea is that RealJukebox will provide a single front-end to a user's collection of music and video files. The big problem with online music today is that you need half a dozen player to get the most out of it. If Izzy and the Smegs release their latest single on MP3, you need an MP3 player. If, however, The Globules sign up for Liquid Audio, RealAudio, a2b or MS Audio, you'll need a separate player for whatever format they've chosen. That may not matter too much right now, while the online music audience is 90 per cent techies, but it's going to become much more of an issue as more mainstream music fans join in. And this is where RealJukebox comes in, in that it theoretically allows users to replace all their standalone players for a single, multi-format system. RealJukebox has apparently also been designed to interface with various portable players -- Diamond Multimedia and Thomson/RCA have already signed up (see RCA unveils Lyra MP3 player) -- so what we have is a universal PC music system in the making, especially if Real doesn't ignore other computing platforms, including Linux, MacOS and even PalmOS, as it has done in the past. RealJukebox also offers hooks into e-commerce sites -- Amazon.com is a supporter -- so it's gearing up for the business side, too. And you remember Real's upcoming consumer friendly front-end for IBM's Electronic Music Management System, announced the day before Microsoft's WMT launch? It's RealJukebox to a 'T'. Add in Real's RealSystem MP -- it's MP3-based download system a handy CD ripper into the bargain -- and you've got the system online music fans have been waiting for. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.