updated 04:05 pm EDT, Thu May 31, 2007
RealPlayer 11 Preview
Real Networks today revealed RealPlayer 11, the next major version of its media player software. The jukebox is the first to focus attention on capturing web-based video instead of simply offering tools to play it back. A unique extension to the player's web plugin can automatically detect videos that are recordable from the web and saves multiple clips at one time; this works for both live video events as well as prerecorded shows, Real says. The software is intelligent enough to also recognize copy protection on certain streams and will refuse downloads when DRM appears. Any video can be linked to a friend through a sharing feature to save the trouble of recreating the link.
Equally new in version 11 is Video CD recording. Any saved video recognized by RealPlayer can be burned as a standard VCD, which works both in a large number of DVD players as well as some playback tools on computers without any version of RealPlayer installed. The paid Plus version will also burn directly to DVD.
Overall performance has been given a boost, Real claims, in terms of load times as well as an improved visual interface and a less intrusive install routine. Support for multiple player-specific formats such as QuickTime and Windows Media will carry over from earlier versions.
A public beta of RealPlayer 11 will be available for free beginning in June, the company says, but at first will require Windows as well as either Firefox or Internet Explorer for viewing and saving web-based streams. A Mac version is promised but will be posted later in the year.