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RealNetworks plays music database on jukebox

The Web media streaming giant partners with Alliance Entertainment to provide a music library in the latest version of its digital jukebox software.

Web media streaming giant RealNetworks today said it has partnered with Alliance Entertainment to provide a music library in the latest version of its digital jukebox software.

RealJukebox 2 now includes access to Alliance's All Music Guide, an online database that includes artist biographies, album reviews, genres and styles, discographies with album ratings, and similar artists and influences. The guide is part of Alliance's All Media Guide, which also includes databases for movies and video games.

RealNetworks has been working to supplement to its core technology offerings with media listings and promotions to guide consumers to digital entertainment online. The company recently launched a service, Take 5, to promote content on its RealPlayer media player. Today's announcement expands on those efforts by providing a promotional platform for music downloads.

"We believe the integration of the All Music Guide into the RealJukebox will create significant commerce opportunities for both content providers and retailers," Alliance chief executive Eric Weisman said in a statement.

RealJukebox lets people record their personal CD collections to PC hard disks, search and download Internet music, and manage their collections on their PCs. RealNetworks said 35 million copies of the software have been downloaded to date, making it the most popular jukebox on the market.

Last month, RealNetworks introduced RealJukebox 2, an upgraded version of its jukebox Swimming with sharks software that includes, among other features, a built-in radio tuner that has been upgraded to 2,500 radio stations worldwide.

"(The All Music Guide is) sort of a built-in music library that will give you biographical information, albums of artists and their influences," said RealNetworks spokesman David Brotherton.

RealJukebox 2 also offers compatibility with digital rights management (DRM) technologies and popular digital music formats, such as Liquid Audio's software, RealAudio, RealVideo and MP3.

RealNetworks recently struck deals with Apple Computer and Matsushita Electric Industrial as it battles for market share against Microsoft and its Windows Media player and formats.