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Real Networks shows off new consumer product


Cross-platform media management
Video player maker, Real Networks is set to show off its first new major consumer product in ages. Apparently it will be a cross-platform media management service.

It will allow consumers to watch for new content they store on PCs and Mobile gear. There will be a Web service that can collect that media and stream or load it to any of the devices the consumer owns.

Real's CEO Robert Kimball believes that this product will bring Real back to the public eye after years of decline. Talking to Cnet Kimball said that Real's consumer-facing media player (remember that?) accounts for less than a tenth of the company's business and that he doesn't expect a major boost from the new service. Apparently where the money is is in in Real's gaming platform, its licensing of technology, and the back-end and white-label service Real provides to wireless carriers.

Kimball says Real has no intention of competing with Apple to build a media store, even though it does provide media store technology and services to carriers that they pitch under their own brands. Real's service will handle music, videos, and photos. It will respect digital rights and not enable streaming of protected content , but it will make it much easier to move music files and playlists between devices.

The first version will use mobile devices and computers, but later it might work on DVRs and game consoles.

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