RealOne for Pocket PC to debut next week

RealNetworks will debut its streaming media player for Microsoft's Pocket PC next week, but is keeping quiet about OEM deals that will see it actually bundled on devices

RealNetworks is expected to debut a version of its RealOne media player next week at the CTIA show in Orlando, Florida.

The arrival of this new port of RealOne will enable Pocket PC owners to receive content streamed from RealNetworks' content partners. RealNetworks claims some 85 percent of streamed online content, including 2000 radio stations, but it faces stiff competition from Microsoft, whose MediaPlayer is bundled on every PC sold with Windows, and on every Pocket PC device.

RealNetworks' senior director of business development, Lee Joseph, told ZDNet UK that the Pocket PC version of its multimedia player had been in development for some time now. "We will debut this at CTIA next week," said Joseph, speaking from the CeBIT electronics show in Hannover, Germany. But, he added, "we are not announcing any OEM partners at this time." OEM partners will be crucial if RealNetworks is to succeed in this market.

As previously reported, the player was first due to be publicly demonstrated at the 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France.

The announcement follows RealNetworks' deal, announced this week at CeBIT, to bundle RealPlayer as a standard feature on Nokia's Series 60 technology and in Nokia phones based on the Symbian OS.

Currently, RealAudio and RealVideo can only be played on one smartphone -- the Nokia 9210 Communicator -- and even on this only .SIS files downloaded from PCs can be played; streaming media formats are not yet supported. Inclusion of RealOne in the Nokia and on Pocket PC devices -- many of which now include telephony features -- will change that.


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