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 (www.helixcommunity.org). 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 (www.helixcommunity.org), 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 freedesktop.org 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, OpenOffice.org 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 Xiph.org. "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, ( https://player.helixcommunity.org/ ). The first of four project milestones, which delivers the first usable release, is scheduled for next quarter. ABOUT HELIX 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. ABOUT REALNETWORKS 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 http://www.real.com. RealNetworks' systems and corporate information is located at http://www.realnetworks.com. 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.