RealNetworks abandons Mac server in Web suite

RealNetworks Inc. in late November shipped RealSystem 5.

RealNetworks Inc. in late November shipped RealSystem 5.0, its client-server streaming media suite, but did not upgrade its Mac server.

RealSystem 5.0 includes Mac-compatible audio and video players and encoders, but RealNetworks said it will no longer make a Mac server.

The company said it had developed a Mac beta version of the RealSystem server and then decided not to release the final product.

Phil Barrett, RealNetworks senior vice president of media systems, said there was not enough demand for a Mac server because, while most Web developers author on a Mac, they use Unix or Windows NT systems to serve their sites. RealNetworks offered Mac flavors of the RealSystem server in versions 3.0 and 4.0 of the suite but said demand was low.

"The Mac OS is not a strong platform for building a real-time pre-emptive server," Barrett said. However, he said the company is "very interested in Rhapsody as a media server."

RealServer pricing begins at $695. The RealPlayer client is free; a fuller version of the client, RealPlayer Plus, is $29.

Real Networks Inc. of Seattle, can be reached at (206) 674-2700; fax (206) 674-2699;


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