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RealNetworks, AOL extend partnership

RealNetworks and America Online have extended their agreement to include updated versions of RealNetworks' media playback software in the latest releases of AOL. The deal, announced Wednesday, will allow AOL to offer video streams encoded in the RealVideo 9 format for AOL 9.0 Optimized, the most recent edition of its flagship online service. In addition, the Internet company will provide revamped RealNetworks' software for Mac OS X users. It has already begun using RealNetworks' Helix server software to stream media to its members.

Despite the RealNetworks upgrades, AOL will continue to offer other forms of streaming media, including proprietary versions produced by its Nullsoft subsidiary. In May, AOL took a step away from its long-standing partnership with RealNetworks when it switched to Dolby AAC as its preferred audio-streaming technology for online radio products.