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RealNetworks ships streaming software

The firm begins shipping the final release of its media delivery package RealSystem G2 and announces a new partnership with Excite.

    RealNetworks today released media streaming software and developer tools and announced a new partnership with an Internet portal company.

    RealNetworks begins shipping the final release of its media delivery package RealSystem G2, which includes RealServers, RealPlayers, and RealProducers. The new system also includes Intel's Streaming Web Video technology, providing production technology for creating streaming video content.

    RealNetworks' major competitor in the streaming media market is Microsoft, which makes the Media Player product.

    Just last week, shares of RealNetworks plunged nearly 10 percent in early trading after Microsoft announced that it is divesting its holdings in the market-leading streaming media firm.

    The alliance between Microsoft and RealNetworks has become increasingly untenable as the two companies have sparred over their relationship and fought tooth-and-nail for market share in streaming media.

    RealNetworks today also rolled out Real Producer G2 and Real Producer Plus G2, a line of media tools for the RealSystem G2 package. The new tools replace RealEncoder and Real Publisher as the core tools for producing streaming media content for RealSystems G2.

    The company today said it also has entered into an agreement with Excite under which Audio/Video Search will become a component on RealNetworks' MediaPlayer G2. Using Excite Audio/Video Search, customers can search the Web for audio, video, and multimedia content right from the RealPlayer where they are listening to or watching multimedia clips.

    In addition, the new RealSystem G2 includes enhanced RealAudio features like SureStream transport technology for delivering continuous end-user playback under real network conditions. SureStream also helps in the delivery of video content.

    The G2 system also supports SMIL (synchronized multimedia integration language), the W3C standard for Web-based multimedia. It also supports RealPix, RealText, and RealFlash, which are data types codeveloped with multimedia product maker Macromedia .

    The final version of RealPlayer G2 is available for free download off the company's Web site, while RealPlayer Plus G2 is priced at $29.99. Pricing for the new RealProducer and other tools have an estimated price of $89.95, while the RealSystem G2 price was not readily available.