RealNetworks Debuts Mobile Player

RealNetworks, the market leader in streaming media delivery, yesterday brought its RealPlayer software to a cell phone for the first time. RealArcade is a distribution service for game users and developers that will debut in the fall.

The company’s mobile RealPlayer made its debut at the CeBit trade show in Hanover, Germany, where CEO Rob Glaser was heard and seen via video streamed to the Nokia 9210 Communicator cell phone. To be available initially in Europe, Asia and parts of South America, the 9210 runs the Symbian EPOC operating system and boasts a high-resolution color display.

The phone will be available by third quarter 2001. “Existing RealAudio and RealVideo content will not need to be modified to play back on the phone,” says RealNetworks spokesperson Lisa Amore, “because the player will adjust to available bandwidth. Users will be able to search for content from the phone itself.”

As for the gaming initiative, Amore says “we see it as the latest demonstration of our expertise in connecting consumers to great digital content.” The RealArcade moniker refers both to software design specifications and to a planned expansion of RealNetworks’ existing Web portal.