Real to Offer 'All in One' Jukebox

CNet reveals more details from RealNetworks upcoming Music Store and Jukebox software. While previous hints had suggested that Real's new service would be entirely incompatible with Apple's iPod as well as other systems, it appears Real is taking a different approach:

Real is betting that the flexibility of its music-playing software will distinguish it from rival stores and software packages. To this end, the company said it has created a jukebox that will play all the media formats used by its own and other song stores--including secure downloads from the iTunes store.

However, it appears Real accomplishes this compatibility by launching Apple's Quicktime/iTunes applications in the background to enable authorization.

Real's Jukebox is also said to provide transfer capabilities with the Apple iPod.

The new initiative could help Real draw potential customers from other jukebox/music services... however, incompatibilities will remain. As previously noted, Real's music store will offer AAC/Helix encoded songs which are not compatible with present audio players (such as the iPod).

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