Real spins out gold version of universal player

RealNetworks spun out the gold version of its new "universal" RealOne Player version 2 Tuesday, boasting enhanced CD burning features and faster playback.

The gold release comes just one month after Real unveiled the beta version of the version 2 player, which has been promoted as a universal product due to its ability to play back audio and video content in over 50 different media types, including Windows Media and QuickTime MPEG 4.

The RealOne Player version 2 is the company's first consumer product to take advantage of its Helix Platform, which allows content providers to stream different media formats from a single server.

The newest version of the player also includes what the Seattle, Washington, company calls TurboPlay, a technology that enables "near-instant" playback of content for broadband users, and includes MP3 and DVD playback support as well as access to 1700 radio stations.

A free version of the RealOne Player version 2 is currently available for download at http://www.realone.com.

The souped up version, RealOne Player Plus version 2, with advanced CD burning options, access to more than 3,200 radio stations and additional audio and video controls, costs a one-time fee of US$29.95, however, and can also be downloaded at http://www.realone.com.

The premium version also serves as the foundation of Real's line of subscription services, such as RealOne SuperPass and RealOne RadioPass.

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