Real Networks’ (NASDAQ:RNWK) latest player - called Real Player SP - was taken out of beta Thursday and, just with one quick test, lived up to its promise of converting and delivering web video to mobile devices with ease.
I installed the software, plugged my Blackberry Pearl into my computer and did some video searching, using Real’s search box. Up popped the cutesy little video that my kids and wife have been sharing with friends these past few days - so I downloaded it for my Blackberry and watched as it did an on-the-fly conversion for my device and then transferred it over.
It lists a number of devices that it supports, including several Blackberry models, the Palm Pre and, of course, the iPhone and iPod Touch. That last part is interesting because the iPhone and iPod Touch already syncs videos with iTunes. Not only is Real tapping into the non-iPhone users to level the playing field for easy-synchronization of video to mobile, it’s also reaching out to the iPhone users who want a seamless way of searching for non-DRM videos found on YouTube, Hulu and other Web-based video sites.
The player is a free download but is only available for Windows, though I’m told a Mac version is in the works. There is also a $40 premium version that offers support for DVD playback and DVD burning.