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RealNetworks Rolls Out Some Updates To RealPlayer — And Hints At The Product’s Future

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RealNetworks (NSDQ: RNWK) is rolling out several small updates to its latest version of RealPlayer that likely signal the future direction of the 15-year-old media player; RealNetworks says that users of RealPlayer SP will now be able to upload videos directly to social networking sites with just a few clicks; they’ll also be able to make simple, quick edits to videos. The moves follow the release of RealPlayer SP last June, which for the first time let RealPlayer users transfer their video files to almost any device. It also comes as RealNetworks has said it will double down on its RealPlayer business as part of a major reorganization.

In an interview, RealNetworks VP of product development Jeff Chasen said that since the release of RealPlayer SP’s predecessor, RealPlayer 11, the company has focused less on building a “big monolithic application” and instead on “building a bunch of apps — a video trimmer, a converter, a (video) downloading (tool).”

Now, he says, the company’s strategy is also increasingly about making it easy for users to access and share their media wherever they are. A “cloud” component will obviously play a role, although the company isn’t being specific about its plans. RealNetworks has, however, made plenty of hints that something is in the works. For instance, the company hired industry vetran Hank Skorny this fall as part of a new effort to create products and services that it said would