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May 31, 2007

RealNetworks introduces new RealPlayer

Posted by Kim Peterson at 1:25 PM

It almost seems like you can't mention RealPlayer without seeing someone wince. Too many bad memories of unnecessary software add-ons, buffering and a user interface that sometimes wasn't the most friendly.

RealNetworks is hoping to change that with a new RealPlayer, which it introduced today at the D conference in Southern California. (Release is here.) The new player will be out sometime in June.

If nothing else, the new RealPlayer is being recognized for one trait: It will let you download videos for offline viewing. The company said it will place a "download this video" button on Web sites to make it a one-click experience.

RealPlayer won't download rights-protected video, such as a movie trailer that a movie studio might want to keep control over.

The biggest part of this? YouTube. If Real makes it easy to download videos on the YouTube video sharing service, expect the new RealPlayer to become a lot less cringeworthy.

RealPlayer won't let you transfer those videos to a portable device yet. The company said it's working on that feature for future versions.

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