Seattle-based RealNetworks is looking to gain traction in the social realm by launching a cloud-based service with an integrated video player for storing, watching and sharing video content across multiple platforms. Called RealPlayer Cloud, the new service provides users with 2 GB of free storage space and optional subscription models for those who need a little (or lots) more.
"The amount of video content that consumers are capturing and watching is exploding, but moving that video around is often painfully difficult," said Rob Glaser, founder and interim CEO of RealNetworks. "RealPlayer Cloud is a breakthrough product that gives consumers a seamless and easy way to move, watch, save, and share their videos across all their devices. In short, we've made video easy."
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RealPlayer Cloud automatically transforms video formats in the cloud to give viewers the highest quality experience possible, the company claims. This is made possible thanks to the company's new SurePlay tech that auto-formats videos to fit the device type, size of screen, available bandwidth and storage space available on the device.
The company explains that videos are optimized before they're uploaded, and then once stashed away in the cloud storage, multiple copies of different profiles are created and placed in a secondary storage space on RealNetworks' servers. Thus the source file is always available for the user to download, and only the source file counts against the user's storage limits.
"During playback, HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) are appropriately served depending on the environment of the user. If [the] user wants to download the file to a device for offline playback, the right Progressive Download (PD) profile is delivered," the company states. "The SurePlaysystem exists on both the cloud and on the devices where RealPlayer Cloud is installed. This allows guaranteed playback not only in cloud-to-device mode, but also device-to-device mode."
Users who sign up for the premium subscription models will receive additional streaming and progressive download profiles, as well as more secondary storage. Thus premium subscribers receive a higher definition experience in high bandwidth, large screen environments. Videos can be uploaded and streamed on apps provided on Google Play and Apple's App Store, on Roku set-top boxes, and via a downloadable client on the PC.
RealPlayer Cloud offers three premium subscription services: Silver (25 GB) for $4.99/month or $49/year, Gold (100 GB) for $9.99/month or $99/year, and Pro (300 GB) for $29.99/month or $299/year. All paid plans include a subscription to RealPlayer Plus, which allows users to play a wider variety of video formats, burn videos to DVD, and clean the user's music library.
A list of video file types that RealPlayer Cloud will convert can be found here. The popular mp4, AAC, MPEG4, H.264, and .mov formats require RealPlayer Plus or QuickTime, and MPEG-2 and VOB files require RealPlayer Plus. RealPlayer Converter is designed to convert VOB files from home videos that have one audio track; commercial videos or videos with multiple audio tracks may not convert successfully, the company said.
To get started with RealPlayer Cloud, head here.