----- Original Message -----
To: "Greater NH Linux Users' Group" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Monday, July 22, 2002 7:48 PM
Subject: Re: RealNetworks going Open Source?

> On Mon, 22 Jul 2002, at 2:04pm, Rich C wrote:
> > It appears the goal is to allow proprietary streaming media
providers to
> > supply "plug-ins" to RealNetworks' framework, in order to make a
> > versatile client. They don't appear to be opening up RealNetworks'
> > streaming protocol.
>   I haven't been able to derive much in the way of goals (or, indeed,
> anything more than vaporware) from any of this.  I've seen the usual
> conflicting rumors.  If you know of any more information, pointers are
> welcome.

I only read the links you provided. In the second link was this:

"RealNetworks is gambling that with a proliferation of different
standards and formats for video and audio, the media corporations that
make content available over the Internet will flock to a single system
that supports multiple types of data. The company is trying to shift the
focus of the competition from the PC desktop to the server, according to

Of course this implies only that RealNetworks can supply streaming data
in Microsoft's format. If they can do this, you have to assume they can
decode it as well.


> > As an amateur content provider, I can say that my chief motivations
> > using streaming content ...
>   As an amateur content provider, RealNetworks has zero interest in
> You are not paying them tens of thousands of dollars in license fees
> their production and distribution tools.

And that's the way I like it. Once I create a RealAudio file, I can
supply it as a downloadable entity OR stream it with very little
additional effort.

>   As an amateur content provider, I would assume things like MPEG and
> would be of the most interest to you.  Encoders are low-cost or free,
> very little needs to be done to enable "streaming" functionality.  At
> same time, nothing special needs to be done for those (like me) who
> sustain the stream: We just download it like normal, and play it back
> deferred time.

They ARE very interesting to me. The MPEG moreso than Ogg Vorbis right
now, as my target audiences are not that computer savvy. Almost no one
in my audience has an Ogg Vorbis-capable player, or even knows what it
is, but they have all heard of RealNetworks.

And your particular dilemma is why, since I must store the content on my
server anyway, I make a downloadable version available.


> > If I WERE concerned with such matters, I certainly wouldn't go
running to
> > Microsoft, since RealNetworks' player can now decode that format as
>   Since when can RealPlayer decode Windows Media?  The version I have
> Linux ( certainly cannot.  More information, please.
I should have said that the Helix client will be able to do this.
Current RealPlayer clients cannot do this.

> > Any client plug-in that can capture RealNetworks' stream to a file
> > likely be capable of doing the same with the Media Player stream as
>   That's not the point.  The point is that the media cartel regards
> Source as a lethal toxin.  They might start favoring Windows Media if
> even appears to be "tainted" by the Open Source poison.  Reality has
> to do with this argument.  Remember, the media cartel argued that VHS
> be the death of their industry, too.

Upon reading some of the Helix web site documentation further, it
appears to me that RealNetworks is attempting to use the open source
community to get RealMedia proprietary formats into non-PC devices such
as cell phones and PDAs, without having to do the development
themselves. By open sourcing the client and transport protocols, they
are allowing independent developers to make clients that can receive
RealMedia streams (in addition to other formats) on devices that are
currently not accessible to either RealNetworks OR Microsoft.

It would be ironic if RealNetworks conquers these markets first, and the
Media Cartel runs to Microsoft, who can't distribute their content to
any of these devices. :-)

Rich Cloutier
President, C*O

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