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REAL NETWORKS LAUNCHES REALSYSTEM 5.0

Real Networks, formerly Progressive Networks Inc, has launched RealSystem 5.0, the latest version of its media streaming suite of products, including RealPlayer, RealServer and its newly developed web publishing tool, RealPublisher to create media-enabled pages in Hyper Text Markup Language. And the company has signed a bundling deal with Macromedia Inc for its Flash 2.0 animation tool, included as part of the package. Real Networks says the 5.0 release has enhanced audio and video capabilities including full-screen streaming video at 100 to 300kbps and near-CD quality voice at 28.8kbps. The key new feature is a range of commerce-oriented services aimed at companies who want to sell advertising space or streamed video and audio over the internet. Custom options include pay-per-view, demographic tracking and facilities for creating subscription services and another for inserting advertisements. Macromedia’s Flash 2.0 animation tool – which Macromedia acquired from FutureWave Software Inc last year (CI No 3,073) – is for creating and animating high resolution vector-based graphics, and is intended for professional designers creating web interfaces and objects like advertising banners, navigation buttons and logos for Internet sites. The software will ship as RealFlash and will be sold by both RealNetworks and Macromedia. Real Networks’ Realserver basic server, RealEncoder and RealPlayer 5.0 beta versions are now available free for individual use and can be downloaded at http://www.real.com. The internet package including Realserver 5.0, RealAudio, RealVideo and 100 streams costs $8,390 with 12 months support or $12,300 including RealFlash. The Commerce Solution additionally offers pay-per-view, demographic tracking, user authentication, database, templates and toolkit for $16,780 or $24,600 including RealFlash.

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