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RealAudio ships 2.0, lowers prices

Hoping that companies with Internet and intranet sites will hear the difference, Progressive Networks will announce drastically lowered pricing for its RealAudio Server, as well as final shipment of RealAudio 2.0.

Hoping that companies with Internet and intranet sites will hear the difference, Progressive Networks will announce drastically lowered pricing for its RealAudio Server, as well as final shipment of RealAudio 2.0.

RealAudio, which was introduced in April of 1995, is a technology for streaming audio over the Net in real time so that users can listen to material as it is downloaded, not after. The company's server is in use on more than 1,000 Web sites, said Bruce Jacobsen, Progressive Networks' president and chief operating officer.

The company will now sell version 2.0 of its server beginning at $495 for five simultaneous audio streams. After that, a server with 20 streams will cost $1,895, while 100 streams will cost $8,495. For companies that deploy its server on intranets, Progressive Networks will charge $495 for five simultaneous streams and ten user licenses, $1,895 for 50 streams and 50 user licenses, and $3,995 for unlimited streams and user licenses.

Previously, RealAudio Server prices ranged from $1,495 for ten streams to $9,995 for 100 streams. As was the case with the original, RealAudio player client software can be downloaded for free from the Internet.

Today, the company will ship final versions of RealAudio 2.0 Server and Player, which boosts the quality of audio transmissions from AM radio to "FM mono" quality, according to Jacobsen. With 2.0, Progressive Networks has also improved the way audio streams work with firewalls, which previously sometimes blocked out transmissions.

The company will also announce today that has partnered with a number of value-added resellers (VARs) in a bid to improve distribution of its products.

Related stories:
Internet Explorer gets RealAudio
RealAudio Mac server unveiled
Tune in to Net radio
Review of RealAudio 2.0