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This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

RealNetworks RealSystem Mobile

Fearing the loss of market share as the popularity of mobile devices increased, RealNetworks announced in March 2002 the mobile version of the RealOne Player, optimized for PocketPC devices and showcasing content from more than 30 content providers, spanning news, entertainment, and sports, and available to download for free at www.real.com/player/mobile. In its press announcement, RealNetworks stated that with RealOne Player, PocketPC users will be able to access and play RealAudio and RealVideo programming and seamlessly transfer their personal media collections such as music from RealOne Player on their PC to their PocketPC devices. RealAudio and RealVideo content can be streamed in real time directly over a wireless data connection or downloaded from the PC to a PocketPC device for later playback. Content providers will be able to leverage their existing RealAudio and RealVideo programming, easily reaching the rapidly growing mobile audience. In addition, mobile carriers such as AT&T Wireless and the South American Telefonica will be able to try out and deliver media programming to PocketPC devices with wireless connections over future 2.5G and 3G networks.

RealNetworks had partnered in the past with Nokia to develop a player for mobile phones. In 2001, this relationship produced the RealNetworks Player for the Nokia 9210i Communicator. Under this alliance, Nokia is committed to include the mobile version of the RealOne Player as a standard feature on all its mobile devices that use the Symbian operating system (Nokia's operating system for 2.5G and 3G mobile devices). The RealOne Player, with support for 3GPP media formats, RealAudio, and RealVideo, will be included as a standard feature on the Nokia Series 60 platform, the best-of-breed mobile device software platform available for license to other mobile-device manufacturers. Nokia Networks will provide integrated media solutions to mobile operators as an authorized reseller of RealSystem Mobile, RealNetworks's standards-based media-delivery platform.

RealNetworks has always been committed to providing consumers with the best Internet media experience on the broadest array of devices and platforms. In 2002, RealNetworks announced versions of the RealOne Player for many home and mobile devices, including the Nokia 9210i and 9290 Communicators, HP Digital Entertainment Center, Sony Playstation 2, Moxi Media Center, Nokia Media Terminal, and TiVo Series 2 Digital Video Recorder (DVR).

RealNetworks services for mobile devices are consolidated under the umbrella RealSystem Mobile, which provides end-to-end solutions for delivery to mobile devices. The RealSystem Producer enables content providers to create mobile-device-ready content as part of their current content creation process. RealSystem Mobile and RealSystem Gateway work within the carrier's infrastructure to deliver content over GPRS, 1xRTT, W-CDMA, and CDMA2000 networks. RealSystem Mobile is a flexible, robust, carrier-class platform designed for broad-scale distributed deployments. By leveraging over 1,000 published APIs, RealSystems can be seamlessly integrated into billing, provisioning, and customer care systems. The platform supports multiple data types, including RealAudio, RealVideo, and 3GPP-compliant MPEG4. The products in the RealSystem Mobile family have been designed to meet the needs and applications of content providers creating content for mobile users, mobile operators delivering to mobile devices, and consumers looking for a high-quality media experience on mobile devices. This product line includes:

  • RealSystem Mobile Server—This is a streaming media server delivering a mobile digital media experience. The media server supports over 53 data types including RealAudio, RealVideo, and 3GPP-compliant MPEG4. RealSystem Mobile Server is at the heart of the RealSystem mobile delivery platform. Designed for deployment within the carrier's network, the server supports up to 2,000 concurrent users, both live and on-demand. RealSystem Mobile Server is available on multiple platforms including Solaris, Linux, and HP-UX. Surprisingly, the server is not supported on Microsoft Windows NT or 2000 operating systems.

  • RealSystem Mobile Gateway—This is a streaming media proxy-cache that manages media at critical points in the network. RealSystem Mobile Gateway enables mobile operators to pull content from the general Internet as well as from central broadcasting locations within the mobile network and then to rebroadcast it as requested by users. RealSystem Mobile Gateway also minimizes redundant connections to the Internet for live content. Future features of this product may include bit-rate and layout optimization by device, as well as some subscriber-access functionality.

  • RealSystem Producer Plus—This enables the creation of RealAudio and RealVideo files that can be played on a variety of mobile devices, so that content providers can create media once for delivery anywhere to any device. Parameters for video frame size, video frame rate, bit rate, and codecs are recommended to ensure the best possible playback experiences on both the Nokia 9210 Communicator and the Compaq iPAQ; these parameters can easily be set within the current RealSystem Producer Plus.

  • RealOne Player for mobile devices—This plays both local and real-time streaming. RealOne Player is now available for the Symbian operating system and PocketPC. The media files must be hosted by RealSystem Mobile Server. RealNetworks promises in future versions to include the playback of 3GPP-mobile-device-compliant content and the advanced optimization of Internet content to device-specific constraints, a feature that will enhance content delivery to a variety of mobile phones.

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