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RealNetworks Introduces RealJukebox Plus, the First Complete Digital Music System With CD-Quality Recording and Playback

CD-Quality MP3 Recording Capability, 10-Band Graphic Equalizer and Fully Customizable Music Management Enable Superior Digital Music Experience

New, Free RealJukebox Beta 2 and RealJukebox Plus Provide Seamless Integration With Multiple Portable Digital Music Players and New 'Skins' Feature For Unlimited Personalization of RealJukebox Interface

SEATTLE, Aug. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- RealNetworks®, Inc., the recognized leader in media delivery on the Internet, today introduced two new versions of RealJukebox(TM) -- already the most popular digital music system only 8 weeks after its introduction.* The company introduced the beta release of RealJukebox Plus(TM), the first complete digital music system including the ability to record at CD-quality -- up to 320Kbps using the MP3 format. RealJukebox Plus, now available for $29.99 at www.realjukebox.com, includes a 10-band graphic equalizer, powerful new music management capabilities and many other features.

"The tests confirm in my mind that the 192Kbps and higher MP3 music files that are created by RealJukebox Plus are effectively indistinguishable from the original CD," said John Seymour, audio engineer, whose credits include work with platinum recording artists Dave Matthews, Alice in Chains and Bad Company. "RealJukebox Plus will enable music lovers to enjoy the same high quality digital sound directly from their PCs and portable digital devices that they now expect from compact disc players. Music enthusiasts will be extremely pleased with today's release of RealJukebox Plus."

RealNetworks also announced today the Beta 2 release of its free RealJukebox. Both RealJukebox Beta 2 and RealJukebox Plus enable consumers to easily acquire, play and manage their personal music collections, and are the only digital music products to support seamless integration with multiple portable devices, including RCA LYRA, Creative Labs' NOMAD, Diamond Rio and Philips' newly announced device (see separate release). RealJukebox and RealJukebox Plus support the broadest range of popular downloadable music formats, including RealAudio®, Liquid Audio, MP3, WAV, AT&T's a2b and IBM's EMMS. Both versions of RealJukebox now provide consumers with the ability to completely personalize the way the software appears with a wide variety of cool faceplates called "skins." RealJukebox and RealJukebox Plus users can select from fifty unique skins available now for download, or easily create their own custom skin.

"In just three months, more than seven million people have used RealJukebox to play and record more than 20 million CDs," said Rob Glaser, Chairman and CEO of RealNetworks. "With today's introduction of RealJukebox, we're taking digital music to the next level with full CD quality, integrated support for secure portable music players and downloadable music from major record companies such as the Warner Music Group."

RealNetworks, Warner Music and Trans World Entertainment announced today that they are working together to jointly market and promote a series of popular artists from Warner Music Group labels including Warner Brothers, Elektra, Atlantic Records and Maverick (see separate release).

"As far as I'm concerned, there are really only two choices for complete digital music systems, RealJukebox and RealJukebox Plus," said Richard Doherty, Research Director of The Envisioneering Group. "With high quality record and playback, support for multiple portable devices and the leading digital music formats, RealNetworks is providing consumers and audiophiles alike with the best way to manage and enjoy their digital music collections."

About RealJukebox Plus

RealJukebox Plus is an enhanced version of the free RealJukebox, the most popular digital music system available that enables consumers to acquire, play and manage their personal digital music collections. RealJukebox Plus provides all of the functionality of the free product as well as the following premium features:

    * CD Quality Recording and Playback -- RealJukebox Plus features the
      highest bitrate MP3 recording and playback available. It offers a broad
      range of recording options, with sound quality indistinguishable from
      the original CD. Also new is a MP3 recording option called variable bit
      rate (VBR), which reduces the amount of disk space needed for high
      quality sound.
    * Graphic Equalizer -- The 10-band graphic equalizer enables users to
      fine-tune their RealJukebox Plus for superior sound and includes built-
      in presets for genres including Classical, Rock, Pop and more.
    * Powerful Music Organization -- In addition to the music organization
      features of the free RealJukebox such as automatic song categorization
      and indexing, RealJukebox Plus adds significantly improved capabilities
      that are ideal for managing large digital music collections. Features
      include:  three customizable information fields for adding song details;
      hierarchical groupings so that consumers can sort within categories;
      time-saving ability to edit an entire category or track properties
      simultaneously; and capability to hide or show track information columns
      according to user preferences.
    * File Conversion -- RealJukebox Plus allows users to easily convert
      files to any other compression size or format. This feature enables
      consumers to reduce data storage requirements by lowering file bitrates,
      or convert songs so that they can be transferred to various devices such
      as writable compact disc drives (CD-Rs) or portable media such as Zip
      disks.
    * Customer Support -- RealJukebox Plus customers are provided with phone
      support for 90 days (extendable to a full year). An optional copy of
      RealJukebox Plus on CD, product manual and upgrade subscription will
      also be available.

The new RealJukebox Beta 2 and RealJukebox Plus both provide the following new features:

    * Integrated Portable Device Support -- RealJukebox and RealJukebox Plus
      now include fully integrated support for the RCA LYRA and Diamond Rio,
      and will soon include support for Creative Labs' NOMAD and Philips' new
      portable digital music device. Consumers can now simply select tracks
      and then drag and drop them onto the portable music player, so they can
      enjoy their digital music collection while on the go. When transferring
      songs to a portable device, RealJukebox automatically converts digital
      music files to the optimal music format for that particular device,
      enabling users to easily transfer any music file format to any supported
      device. RealJukebox also provides the option to automatically compress
      music files further so that users can transfer up to three times more
      minutes of music to their portable music devices.
    * Customizable Appearance -- "Skins" enable users to dramatically change
      the appearance of their RealJukebox to suit their individual
      preferences. Eleven unique skins will be included with RealJukebox and
      dozens more will be available for free download from the RealJukebox
      Central website ( http://realjukebox.real.com ). A RealJukebox skins
      creation kit is also available, allowing anyone to create their own |
      custom skin using a standard graphics program and text editor.
    * More Compatible Music Formats, Including Liquid Audio -- RealJukebox
      and RealJukebox Plus now support Liquid Audio's secure music format,
      immediately enabling consumers to securely purchase and download
      thousands of Liquid Tracks.
    * RealJukebox Metadata Package (RMP) -- RealJukebox now supports a
      metafile format called RMP, which enables content providers to package
      traditional downloadable music files -- including MP3, Liquid Audio,
      AT&T's a2b, and RealAudio -- along with value-added information such as
      playlists, custom skins, and links to relevant web sites. Music
      providers can take advantage of RMP by using the free toolkit available
      from http://realjukebox.real.com.

The new features in RealJukebox and RealJukebox Plus are built on RealSystem(TM) MP, the open, extensible architecture enabling integration with a wide range of Internet services and hardware devices. At the heart of RealSystem MP is a powerful set of software interfaces that enable ongoing enhancements, including the integrated portable device support and additional music file format support announced today.

About RealNetworks

RealNetworks, Inc., based in Seattle, is the recognized leader in streaming media delivery for the Internet. It develops and markets software products and services designed to enable users of personal computers and other consumer electronic devices to send and receive audio, video and other multimedia services using the Web. RealNetworks can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.real.com. Source: Media Metrix, June 1999. See Separate Press Release.

NOTE: RealNetworks, RealSystem, RealJukebox, RealJukebox Plus, and RealAudio, 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.




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