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Summary:

RealNetworks, having been knocked out of much of the online video craze, is trying to be scrappy about adding new features. That’s why two years ago it launched a version of its player that enabled users to download videos from around the web, entering a helper […]

RealNetworks, having been knocked out of much of the online video craze, is trying to be scrappy about adding new features. That’s why two years ago it launched a version of its player that enabled users to download videos from around the web, entering a helper software domain largely shunned by its larger competitors. The company still has some clout; RealPlayer 11 has been downloaded 300 million times since then.

Video to BlackberryBut once you have videos offline, what do you do with them? Real today is launching RealPlayer SP, which gloms on social and portable features. Beyond the market-standard Facebook and Twitter integration, the additions might actually be something consumers find more useful, because today it’s not easy to move videos onto a mobile device in a format it can play.

Basically (at least in the PC version), Real slaps on a little tab anywhere it finds a video on a page, inviting the user to download, move and share the video. Then, Real automatically converts the video to the right format (not just RealVideo) for a BlackBerry, Nokia, iPhone, iPod or Xbox. The drawback is, the whole scheme requires a lot of advance planning about the video you want to watch on-the-go.

Further, downloading streaming content isn’t something content owners love. Many video sites actually prohibit it. For instance, YouTube states in its terms of use: “Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use only and may not be downloaded, copied, reproduced, distributed, transmitted, broadcast, displayed, sold, licensed, or otherwise exploited for any other purposes whatsoever without the prior written consent of the respective owners.” Real’s response is that it doesn’t work on sites that put DRM around their videos, such as Hulu.

The beta of RealPlayer SP is available for free starting Wednesday. For $39.99 users can upgrade to H.264 video conversion and DVD burning. RealPlayer SP works only on PCs for now; a Mac version won’t be available until at least the end of the year. Real said eventually it hopes to add features such as basic video editing and Wi-Fi or over-the-air transfer.

  1. Great move by Real Networks. For the longest time, re-encoding videos so they can play on your own mobile device requires software that aren’t easily accessible to the general users. Hope they do a good job in the user experience of the feature.

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  2. I use http://reeplay.it to bookmark/share/save videos transcoding them for each of my devices (mac, ipod touch, wii, apple TV) without having to deal with tech parameters.

    after dinner I watch the videos on my TV with XBMC on Apple TV and sync them with iTunes for viewing on my ipod while commuting.

    I mean, you bookmark the video to a playlist and that playlist is a private podcast you can sync with iTunes. it’s a snap, just two clicks.

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  3. [...] No, thanks (TheAppleBlog) Open Source Sensing eyes how sensors affect privacy, more (OStatic) New RealPlayer downloads web video for playing off the PC (NewTeeVee) Talk and play tunes with BlackBerry’s Visor Mount Speakerphone [...]

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  4. [...] No, thanks (TheAppleBlog) Open Source Sensing eyes how sensors affect privacy, more (OStatic) New RealPlayer downloads web video for playing off the PC (NewTeeVee) Talk and play tunes with BlackBerry’s Visor Mount Speakerphone [...]

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  5. [...] Launches new player; enables sharing and portability of downloaded web videos. (we’d written about the beta — Real says it’s been used to download more than 22 million videos in the last two [...]

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  6. No matter what I do, I cannot seem to get Real Player working correctly! I used to have it so the feature: “Download This Video,” was working and downloading video’s I wanted saved. Now for some reason, it stopped working and I can’t get it back no matter what I try!! I’ve uninstalled Real Player and reinstalled it again and updated it immediately and still, nothing!!! WHATS WRONG WITH THIS DARN THING????

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  7. [...] SP was launched in beta last summer and has been downloaded more than 70 million times ever since, according to RealNetworks. For now, [...]

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