NEW YORK, Linux World, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- RealNetworks(R), Inc., (Nasdaq: RNWK) (Booth #747), the leading creator of digital media services and software, today announced recipients of the 2003 Helix(TM) Community Grant Program. From the dozens of unique projects submitted, the Helix Community grant review board chose five proposals to receive funding. Ranging from open source codec development to integration with an open instant messaging environment, the breadth of proposals funded illustrates the excitement behind the Helix Community. Recipients of the 2003 Helix Community Grant Program are: 1) "Supporting Multicast Functionality in Helix" submitted by Dr Kevin Almeroth, University of California, Santa Barbara, (UCSB); 2) "Research, Development & Support of Ogg Vorbis & Ogg Theora Codecs, Including Helix DNA Platform Integration" submitted by Christopher 'Monty' Montgomery, Xiph.org Foundation; 3) "Distributed Multimedia Using Helix and Jabber" submitted by Urlich Staudinger and Justin Karenges, Jabber Foundation; 4) "Integrated Metadata Cleanup in the Helix DNA Client" submitted by Robert Kaye, MusicBrainz; and, 5) "Integration of Helix DNA with Panda3D Gaming/Simulation Engine" submitted by Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon University. The Helix Community grant program was established to support researchers and open source developers within the Helix Community pursue their digital media innovation efforts, including work on the Helix DNA Client. Grant program funding was open to all, including independent developers, academic and research institutions, non-profits and commercial enterprises. The Helix DNA Client today supports RealAudio(R), RealVideo(R), MP3, MPEG-4, AAC, AMR, H.263 and SMIL file formats and is currently available on Windows, Macintosh and Linux, as well as the leading wireless platforms: Linux, OpenWave, Palm and Symbian. Additional porting projects are under development for the Solaris, HP-UX, WinCE, iTRON, VxWorks and PSOS operating systems. The five Helix Community grant program recipients receive partial or full funding for their digital media research and projects. In addition, RealNetworks has appointed a technical advisor to each project to assist with Helix platform development. A total of $75,000 in funding has been awarded through the 2003 Helix Community grant program. "We are overwhelmed with the level of interest, enthusiasm and support we have received from across the academic and commercial worlds as well as the open source and development communities," said Nagesh Pabbisetty, vice president, Consumer Products and Support, RealNetworks. Inc. "From the quality and quantity of the grant proposals we received, it is clear that passion for the Helix open-source digital media platform is stronger than ever and that exciting, cutting-edge work will continue to add to the capabilities of the Helix DNA platform". Grant recipients were chosen based on their ability to demonstrate clear utility in the open source community or their potential commercial application. Proposals were judged based on merit in one of three broad categories: Advanced Research -- solving complex network challenges facing digital media to open the path for new digital audio or video invention, and/or to create compelling new digital media functionality; Implementation Gap Solutions -- projects to extend operating system, codec, and/or device support, as well secure compliance with the latest industry standards, for the Helix platform; and lastly, Creative Projects -- applications and extensions of the Helix open multi-format digital media platform that simply wow the global Helix Community and users. Helix Community Grant Program Recipients -- "Supporting Multicast Functionality in Helix," submitted by Dr. Kevin Almeroth, University of California, Santa Barbara, (UCSB -- www.nmsl.cs.ucsb.edu). The Computer Science Department at University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) has specialized in multicast technologies for over a decade. RealNetworks is working with UCSB to extend the multicast functionality in Helix to include recent advances in multicast technology. In addition to program funding and an appointed Helix advisor, students working on the UCSB project under Dr. Kevin Almeroth will receive academic credit for their Helix research and innovation. "Multicast has long been a challenging Internet service to deploy," said Dr. Kevin Almeroth of UCSB. "Recent advances in the multicast research community have the potential to ease deployment challenges, and make multicast into a commercially practical technology. We're excited to be working with the Helix Community to ensure that this technology is used in mainstream multimedia applications". -- "Research, Development & Support of Ogg Vorbis & Ogg Theora Codecs, Including Helix DNA Platform Integration," submitted by Christopher 'Monty' Montgomery, Xiph.org Foundation, (www.xiph.org). RealNetworks has worked with the Xiph Foundation since the launch of the Helix initiative in 2002. With this latest round of grant funding, RealNetworks is extending its relationship with the Xiph Foundation. "We're excited to work with Real and the Helix Community to build a complete, seamless and entirely open source media system beginning with Ogg Vorbis and eventually also Theora and the other Ogg codecs," said Christopher 'Monty' Montgomery, Technical Director, Xiph.org Foundation. "We aim to see Ogg fully supported on the client, producer and server side -- this will bring our Ogg system to a larger audience and we certainly approve of that". -- "Distributed Multimedia Using Helix and Jabber," submitted by Urlich Staudinger and Justin Karenges, Jabber Foundation, (www.jabber.org). Jabber is a leading open source instant messaging and Internet communication platform. Over the last five years, the Jabber community has defined a set of XML streaming protocols, which are used for instant messaging and a range of other real-time applications. With the extension of this grant, RealNetworks is forging a new relationship with this important community. "Existing Jabber technologies will be significantly enhanced through integration with Helix, and Helix in turn will be enhanced by the real-time communications infrastructure that the Jabber protocols provide," said Urlich Staudinger, Principal Investigator of the Helix Community grant, Jabber. "This win-win synergy will help the Jabber and Helix communities become even more important in the Internet ecosystem over the next 12 months". -- "Integrated Metadata Cleanup in the Helix DNA Client," submitted by Robert Kaye MusicBrainz, (www.musicbrainz.org). MusicBrainz is a user maintained, community music metadatabase. Through the Helix Community grant program, RealNetworks will work with MusicBrainz to integrate metadata tagging features into the Helix client. "This grant will bring the Helix Community and the MusicBrainz community closer by integrating the technologies of both projects," said Robert Kaye, Mayhem & Chaos Coordinator and creator of MusicBrainz. "Helix offers an exciting new vehicle for commercial distribution of MusicBrainz's advanced tagging and metadata management features, which will enable a huge new audience of music lovers to communicate about music unambiguously." -- "Integration of Helix DNA with Panda3D Gaming/Simulation Engine," submitted by Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon University. The Panda3D community gaming and simulation engine will use the Helix Community grant to integrate Panda3D with Helix. "The possibilities for integrating video into 3D worlds are tremendous. Adding Helix DNA to Panda3D will allow many researchers and entrepreneurs to experiment with these technologies," said Jesse Schell, Carnegie Mellon University. "Panda3D's philosophy has always been to unify the very best open source projects to create a high-quality game and simulation system, so working with Helix is a natural fit." A detailed outline of the grant program is available at https://www.helixcommunity.org/2003/grants/ . More information on the five grant projects can be found at https://grants.helixcommunity.org/ . Stay tuned for news on upcoming rounds of the Helix Community grant program. 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 RealPlayer and the Helix Universal Server. About RealNetworks, Inc. RealNetworks, Inc. is the leading creator of digital media services and software including the award-winning Rhapsody Internet jukebox service and RealPlayer 10. Broadcasters, network operators, media companies and enterprises use RealNetworks' products and services to create and deliver digital media to PCs, mobile phones and consumer electronics devices. RealNetworks' systems and corporate information is located at http://www.realnetworks.com . NOTE: RealNetworks, Helix, RealAudio, RealVideo and RealPlayer are trademarks or registered trademarks of RealNetworks, Inc. All other companies or products listed herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
SOURCE RealNetworks, Inc.