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AIN’T NOTHIN’ LIKE THE REAL THING, BABY
RealNetworks Unveils New RealONE Player

RealNetworks today will unveil RealONE, a music and video player designed to replace the company's three flagship consumer products, RealPlayer, RealJukebox and GoldPass.

The all-in-one system marks the company's move toward the broader and potentially—we stress "potentially"—more lucrative goal of also selling online content.

"We are very much in the media subscription business now," said Real’s Peter Card. Company officials plan to unveil the new app at RealNetworks’ RealConference which happens RealSoon (today even) in Seattle. RealONE will have its consumer debut in about two months, Card said.

The fully redesigned system boasts a cleaner, more consumer-friendly look that is in keeping with the industry trend echoed by Microsoft's Windows Media Player and Apple's Quick Time.

The music and video player, which replaces the company's flagship RealPlayer, includes a system for easily storing and cataloging downloaded songs and movies, or even burning CDs—tasks RealJukebox used to do.

The revised player utilizes two screens during playback, one playing the video or music piece, the other providing additional information about the song or movie. In addition, a separate Web screen allows the user to search for other music and videos online without leaving the domain of the RealONE player.

RealNetworks plans to heavily market the system as a natural introduction to its paid subscription materials, previously called Gold Pass premium service. With 300,000 users, Gold Pass currently costs $19.95 plus $9.95 a month and gives users access to such content as major league sports and popular music.

RealONE also is the platform for MusicNet, the online music subscription joint venture among RealNetworks, AOL Time Warner, Bertelsmann and EMI.

Rival online venture Pressplay (a Sony/UMG joint venture) will support Windows Media Player and partner with Microsoft's music Web site, MSN Music.

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