Real Networks has unveiled the twelfth iteration of its RealPlayer media playback software.
Dubbed "RealPlayer SP," the new RealPlayer includes version 11's capability to grab Flash-based videos from any Web browser (albeit with the usual caveat: the streams can't be copy-protected, which rules out most Hollywood movies and TV shows on sites such as Hulu). The "SP" designation in the name stands for "social and portable." The big upgrade is the capability to easily transcode and transfer those videos to a wide array of portable devices, including many BlackBerry phones, the Zune, and--via iTunes--the iPod and iPhone. It also offers the capability to easily share online video links via social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as via e-mail.
We were able to get a brief early look at the SP beta. The software made it easy to download several Flash videos from YouTube. It was also simple to choose the preset for converting and transferring the videos to a format compatible with a Palm Pre that we borrowed from a co-worker. However, once we transferred the files to the Pre, we weren't able to play them back. However, an earlier demo from a Real Networks representative successfully transferred videos to a Pre, a BlackBerry Bold, and--via a transfer to iTunes--the iPod Touch, so we're assuming we encountered an isolated glitch. … Read more