CNet reports that Real Networks

  • CNet reports that Real Networks intends to open its source code for its streaming media products. That’s one I could have hoped for, but never would have predicted. I’m a professional user of Real’s streaming server, and have found it to be the most user-friendly and flexible one available, but the independent in me has always been less-than-happy with the proprietary nature of their codec. As a content creator and provider, the one big worry is that Real could go away, and then you’re Real-encoded content would be all-but-useless. Opening the source gives the Real codec a life that can transcend the company, but also strengthens the company and its prospects for survival. However, I wonder how this affects their RealAudio8 codec, which actually uses a version of ATRAC, which is the codec Sony created for minidisc. I have doubts that Sony would be quite so gung ho on open source, but who knows.

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