RealPlayer 11 – Rip/Save/Burn
Remember Harmony? It was a RealNetworks utility that Real hoped would enable it to infiltrate Apple’s music empire by allowing consumers to play songs purchased at Real’s download store on the iPod. And it got the company in a lot of trouble with Apple.
That episode, and Real’s penchant for developing tech that annoys the heck out of other businesses, comes to mind today as RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser takes the stage to demo RealPlayer 11, which enables one-click downloading of online videos from thousands of Web sites, as well as the ability to organize them and even burn them to DVD and CD.
The new device automatically displays a download button near the video playing on a Web site, facilitating the selection process (it will download most video formats that are not DRM protected). It also enables the user to build a library for storing playlists of favorite downloaded videos. For reviewing, the RealPlayer has a large screen for post-download display, and it will also transfer downloads for watching on a conventional TV. It can also make copies to a CD, which can then be viewed with a DVD player.
- 12:05 p.m.: Ah. Interesting. Glaser notes that videos in which ads are embedded are downloaded with those ads. “We support the content creators’ business model.”
- Walt asks Glaser to demo the software on Viacom’s Colbert video, which the company just requested AllThingsD.com take down.(Update: The Viacom request to which I refer here was the result of a miscommunication. The video is currently live on-site.)
- 12:10 p.m.: Glaser tries to download a DRM protected video file and is prevented from doing so.
- Burn-and-transfer feature supports video CD and DVD. Software transcodes to Mpeg-4.
- RealPlayer has always been closely tied to Real’s stores. Is this an example of Real moving away from services and back to software? Glaser doesn’t seem to think so.
- Glaser whips out an iPod. Oh, oh. Harmony all over again?
- 12:15 p.m. Loads a video into the iPod.
- And that’s it. Short demo.