RealNetworks and Helix Community to Build Open Source Media Player for Linux, Solaris and Unix

The Helix Player Will Be the First Comprehensive Open Source Media Player

Aug 06, 2003, 01:00 ET from RealNetworks, Inc.

    SEATTLE and Linux World, SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ --
 RealNetworks(R), Inc. (Nasdaq:   RNWK) (Booth #567), the global leader in
 digital media services and software for consumers and businesses, today
 announced the launch of the Helix(TM) Player project.  Today's announcement
 comes as the Helix community hits another milestone in a short 12-month span
 -- registered community membership has now eclipsed 20,000, and includes both
 open source and commercial developers (
     The goal of the Helix Player project is to develop a comprehensive open
 source media player for Linux, Unix, and Solaris, with broad industry support
 among companies and organizations distributing and developing Linux software.
 The open-source Helix Player, with the addition of the RealAudio(R) and
 RealVideo(R) binaries, will enable Linux, Unix and Solaris users for the first
 time to enjoy a similar level of media playback and SMIL 2.0 support that
 millions of consumers do today using the free RealOne(TM) Player on Windows
 and Mac.
     "With nearly a decade of experience and as the world leader in building
 award winning cross-platform media players for desktop, handheld and mobile
 devices alike, RealNetworks is uniquely positioned to back the community
 building of an open source media player," said Nagesh Pabbisetty, vice
 president, Helix Products and Solutions, RealNetworks, Inc. "For years,
 RealNetworks has offered Servers, Gateways and other enterprise commercial
 software on Linux.  We are thrilled to now build, in collaboration with
 members of the Helix open source community, the best media player for Linux,
 as yet more evidence of our longstanding commitment to Linux."
     As with the Linux operating system, the Helix Player will be an open
 source, collaborative effort.  RealNetworks encourages and welcomes those who
 are passionate about open source to join members of the Helix community
 (, already working on the Helix Player project. The
 open community approach will ensure that those who will use the Helix Player
 have an opportunity to help shape it.
     The Helix Player is being built on top of the cross-platform open source
 media engine Helix DNA Client.  Initial versions of the player will be built
 for Linux and Solaris following standards and using the GTK+
 toolkit.  Further, the modular architecture of the Helix Player will ensure
 the code is easily portable to any operating system or embedded device.
     "As an important contributor to two of the world's largest open source
 projects, and GNOME, Sun is well aware of the momentum of the
 open source movement on the desktop," said Curtis Sasaki, vice president of
 Desktop Solutions, Sun Microsystems. "We are pleased to see a company with the
 skill and expertise of RealNetworks increase this momentum by driving the
 development of Helix Player as the leading open source media player for Linux
 and the Solaris(TM)Operating System."
     "Last year, we announced our intention to integrate Ogg Vorbis, our open,
 unencumbered and royalty-free audio format and codec with the Helix DNA
 Client, RealNetworks' open source media engine," said Jack Moffitt, CEO of  "We are very pleased to support RealNetworks initiative to go
 further, and build the Helix Player."
     "Today we distribute the RealPlayer(R) 8 with our Ximian(R) Desktop 2
 Professional Edition, which enables enterprise customers to cost-effectively
 adopt and support Linux desktops," said Nat Friedman, co-founder and vice
 president of product development at Ximian. "We look forward to working
 closely with RealNetworks and other Helix community members to build and
 distribute the open source Helix Player."
     The project timeline, which evolves as members of the Helix community
 contribute to the Helix Player project, along with product specifications, is
 available on the Helix community web site,
 ( ).  The first of four project milestones,
 which delivers the first usable release, is scheduled for next quarter.
     Helix is a platform and a community for the standardization and expansion
 of digital media. The Helix platform, Helix DNA, consists of source code for
 creation, delivery and playback of digital media developed by RealNetworks
 over the past nine years, as well as a set of interfaces for building media-
 enabled applications. Helix community members are able to use this source code
 to build media-capable products with industry-leading technology and commonly
 used interfaces. The Helix community offers source code of Helix DNA under
 commercial community and open source licenses. RealNetworks has also released
 a family of commercial products built on top of the Helix DNA platform,
 including the free RealOne Player and the Helix Universal Server.
     RealNetworks, Inc. is the global leader in digital media services and
 software for consumers and businesses. Consumers use RealNetworks' RealOne
 Player and our content subscription services to create and play free and
 premium digital content. Broadcasters, network operators, media companies and
 enterprises use RealNetworks' products and services to deliver digital media
 to PCs, mobile phones and consumer electronics devices. Consumers can access
 and experience audio/video programming and download RealNetworks' consumer
 software at RealNetworks' systems and corporate
 information is located at
     NOTE:  RealNetworks, RealOne, RealAudio, RealVideo, RealPlayer and Helix
 are trademarks or registered trademarks of RealNetworks, Inc.
     Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, and Solaris are trademarks or
 registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other
 countries. UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other
 countries, exclusively licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd.

SOURCE RealNetworks, Inc.