There aren’t many technology companies that I try to stay away from completely, but there a few, and RealNetworks is one of them. I have never liked their software, and frankly, I’ve never quite understood their reason for existing. I mean besides Rob Glaser getting to do his own thing, what has RealNetworks accomplished? They created media formats that no one wanted to use, so they switched to reverse-engineering their competitor’s formats. Oh and they took Microsoft for $460 million for beating them with “monopolistic power”. Nevermind that Microsoft’s software/technology was and still is superior.
Anyway, after a relatively long period with no news, RealNetworks has announced a new version of RealPlayer:
How is the new RealPlayer different from previous versions? Let’s touch on a few highlights: The most notable difference is visible across tens of thousands of web sites immediately after installation. On-demand and live streaming and progressive video in the four major formats – Flash, Windows Media, QuickTime and Real – is now downloadable through a very simple download button that temporarily hovers near video content as it plays.
Ignoring the fact that there are already dozens of ways to download YouTube videos, why would I want to? The quality is usually pretty horrendous. I suppose downloading live streaming content is cool, but not when you consider that most live feeds are posted in downloadable form later anyway.
Seems to me like this is a last-ditch effort to make Real relevant. If you’re really interested for some reason, Scoble has a video interview and demo with Vice President Jeff Chasen.
I think Jason Cox said it best in a comment on Scoble’s post:
Real? How about no. Friends dont let friends use Real.
Read: RealPlayer Blog