RealPlayer 7 beta unveiled

RealNetworks yesterday announced the beta release of RealPlayer 7, its audio and video streaming software, a new lean version that should start up 40 per cent more quickly than previous versions.

The beta release of RealPlayer 7 Basic and RealPlayer 7 Plus for the Windows and Macintosh operating systems can be downloaded from http://www.real.com, according to Steve Banfield, general manager of consumer products at RealNetworks. The Basic edition is free, and the Plus edition costs $US30, he said.

RealPlayer 7 received a user-interface overhaul, based on usability testing, Banfield said. "It definitely has much more of a consumer-product look and feel," he said. The software is also designed to take up 40 per cent less CPU space, he said. RealPlayer 7 also features an audio and video alert system called Take5, according to Banfield. Take5 is designed to send RealPlayer 7 users daily notification of several new audio and video clips, from a newly available video to a fun clip from late-night American television, though customers can opt not to receive Take5, he said.

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