RealNetworks Teams With Sony Corp.

Monday, October 23rd 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) — RealNetworks Inc. has teamed with Tokyo-based Sony Corp. to introduce a new version of its RealAudio technology, which allows sound to be broadcast via the Internet.

RealAudio 8, due out Monday, uses a mathematical formula, called a codec, created by Sony to turn sounds into data. That data is then sent a bit at a time over the Internet and reassembled by RealNetworks' software on personal computers.

According to RealNetworks product manager Rob Grady, the new technology reduces the size of an audio file by a third. This is the first time RealNetworks' co-developed its codecs with another company.

RealAudio 8 also provides a discernible difference in musical quality than its predecessors and competitors, doing a better job in fleshing out the high-end treble and low bass, Grady said.

The new technology will also help Seattle-based RealNetworks break into the market for digitally stored music. While most digital music files are stored in the MP3 format, which is commonly accepted on most portable music devices, Sony's digital recorders will be able to store and replay RealAudio files now, Grady said.

Though the format will be made available on Monday, files created with older RealAudio technology will need to be re-recorded to take advantage of the new format.