RealNetworks Releases Helix DNA Client to Helix Community

Nov 01, 2002

RealNetworks, Inc. has announced that Helix DNA Client source code is now available to developers in the Helix Community. The Helix DNA Client, the core engine powering the RealOne Player, is now available for software developers, consumer electronics companies, and mobile phone manufacturers to use in building their own digital media applications and products. Developers can now access the code of a commercial grade media player, integrate support for the audio and video formats, RealAudio and RealVideo, as well as other formats, and create a robust media player for their own specific needs.

Over 2,000 developers and companies have joined the Helix Community since July to create digital media products and applications on a standardized platform. With server, player and encoder code, the Helix Platform is designed to enable companies to create applications that interoperate and support a wide variety of media types. The Helix DNA Clients being added to the community includes Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X-based clients that developers can use to support a wide variety of medial formats including RealAudio, RealVideo, MPEG-4, MP3, H.263, and 3GPP formats for PCs, mobile, and consumer electronic devices. Server and encoder code will be added to the Community later this year.

Some specific elements included in the source code include: example user interfaces for Windows and Motif; cross-platform, multi-project Python Build System in source code; support for MP3 and the mandatory 3GPP codecs, NB-AMR, and H.263; RealAudio and RealVideo codecs in object code form; RTSP, RTP, RTCP, and SDP network playback; Multicast, UDP, and TCP support; RTSP/RTP cloaking support; local file and multiple source playback; multiple audio/video source mixing; HTTP authentication and Proxy Auto Configure support; RTSP authentication and Proxy Auto Configure support; and more than 600 exposed APIs for building media playback applications as well as custom data types.

The Helix DNA Client is licensed through the Helix Community under two license options: the RealNetworks Public Source License (RPSL) or the RealNetworks Community Source License (RCSL). Both licenses are available at Helix Community. The RPSL is structured to provide developers maximum flexibility in their use of the source code if their products are also open source. RPSL licensees also receive royalty-free licenses to certain key RealNetworks patents. The RPSL has been submitted to the Open Source Initiative (OSI) for an open source certification. The RCSL is structured to ensure that all products built under the RCSL remain compatible with the Helix interfaces, while enabling licensees to retain control over the intellectual property in the products they build using the code. Licensing of the Helix DNA Client under the RCSL is free for research and development.

RealNetworks, Inc. also announced that numerous consumer electronic companies have integrated portions of the Helix DNA Client into their products. For consumers, this means access to Internet media from their phones, digital video recorders, PDAs and more. The Helix DNA Client includes the source code from the core media engine for RealNetworks' latest media player, the RealOne Player. By combining the Helix DNA Client with RealAudio and RealVideo, now available from RealNetworks under a simplified distribution license, consumer electronics companies have access to a flexible solution for creating audio and video software products that suit their unique requirements. Companies or individuals who distribute the Helix DNA Client will hold a royalty-free license to the Helix code for the first million units annually and $0.10/unit beyond that. Separate pricing is available for broadband video-based devices. As a part of the Helix DNA and RealAudio/RealVideo licenses, RealNetworks is licensing an array of RealNetworks-owned patents, including several patents that are fundamental to general streaming media and implementations of highly desirable features and functionality.