Ina Fried

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RealNetworks’ Unifi Cloud Sync Service Lives — In Germany

Remember Unifi, the RealNetworks service designed to do many of the same things as Apple’s iCloud — automatically back up photos and send music to any device?

It’s okay, you are probably not alone, but RealNetworks has not given up on its cloud ambitions. The Seattle company said Wednesday that the service is debuting now for Vodaphone customers in Germany and should come to the U.S. this fall.

Though clearly overshadowed by Apple’s iCloud, and to some extent by cloud services from Google and Amazon, RealNetworks said the promise of its service is the fact that it works on many different types of devices. The service is designed to allow users to do things such as play their iTunes library on their Android phone or share photos to Facebook.

“Customers want to be able to easily find and enjoy the media they own, no matter where it resides,” Interim CEO Mike Lunsford said in a statement. “With Unifi, they have the freedom to choose the phones, computers, tablets, services and platforms that best meet their changing needs -– and still have access to all of the media they love.”

RealNetworks demonstrated the technology at our D: Dive Into Mobile conference in December.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus