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Downloads up for Real

The streaming media firm says 3.5 million users downloaded its RealPlayer software last month.

    Streaming media firm RealNetworks today announced 3.5 million users downloaded its RealPlayer software last month.

    The announcement, which the Seattle-based company called a record, comes during a lull in the battle between RealNetworks and Microsoft over alleged compatibility flaws between RealPlayer and Windows software.

    The public war of words between the two companies began as RealNetworks chief executive Rob Glaser testified before a Senate committee that Microsoft's Windows Media Player "broke" his company's RealPlayer.

    Following accusations back and forth over which party was responsible for the problems and as supporters jumped into the fray, RealNetworks and 20 other companies called for new software file format standards.

    The streaming company's downloads include all versions of its RealPlayer. The number for July doubles the amount of RealPlayer downloads from July of last year, the firm said, claiming there are now 28 million registered RealPlayer users.

    "This surge in downloads is evidence of consumers' desire for the highest-quality audio and video programming available on the Internet today," Glaser said in a statement. "The RealPlayer G2 has been the most enthusiastically adopted player that we've released to date."

    He added that "daily viewership of RealChannels has more than tripled since the beta release of RealPlayer G2, demonstrating consumers' wide acceptance of convenient, one-button access to the most popular audio and video content on the Web."

    RealNetworks' stock, which plummeted during the height of its fight with Microsoft, closed at 36 today, up 12.06 percent.