Real Networks mixes Player, Jukebox software

RealNetworks is melding its RealPlayer and RealJukebox into a new product dubbed RealOne, the company announced Monday.

The standalone RealPlayer, popular among users who only want a basic player for streaming audio and video in the RealNetworks format, will no longer exist after the fusion. RealOne adds media player RealJukebox and the GoldPass subscription service, RealNetworks said.

RealOne will push the subscription service, which already has 400,000 customers. All users get free access to premium content for two weeks, after which a subscription in the U.S. will cost US$19.95 for the first month and $9.95 for following months. International pricing is in the works, according to RealNetworks.

Users can still use RealOne as a media player only, without paying, RealNetworks said.

RealNetworks is battling against Microsoft, which has also been building more features into its Windows Media Player. Recent data from Jupiter Media Metrix Inc. shows 10.7 million Internet users in the U.S. use Windows Media Player at work, compared to 10.2 million RealPlayer business users.

A preview version of the RealOne player is available now; the official version will be launched within 60 days. Over 150 content and technology partners, including ABCNews.com and forthcoming online music service MusicNet -- co-founded by RealNetworks -- have committed to RealOne, according to RealNetworks.

RealNetworks Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rob Glaser will unveil RealOne at the RealConference in Seattle later on Monday. The conference will be held offline as well as online for those who couldn't, or chose not to, make the trip to the U.S. northwest in the wake of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, D.C.

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Joris Evers

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