Image Processing Reference
There is a comprehensive metadata package built into the player that allows you to
re-skin the appearance to produce some very distinctive designs.
The introduction of Real Networks video version 10 coding improves on the state of
the art but still plays back on the version 9 players. Real Networks has been consistently
good at continuing to support their older players and codecs, which is good for the end
user who prefers not to reinstall the player every few months.
The Helix family of products includes Helix Producer Plus and the Helix server. These are
available with all the other tools from the Real Networks web site. You can choose to run
the Helix producer tools or the Real Producer kit which is also available.
Primarily, the Helix producer tools let you create Real Networks-format video out-
put and some standards-based output. You can also create MPEG-4 audio (AAC) and
video (Part 2) and H.263-coded video.
The matrix of what works where is increasingly complex as new formats are devel-
oped and the commercial decisions that proprietary video-format manufacturers make
carve out different, incompatible, and mutually exclusive niches. It is incredibly frustrat-
ing trying to build workflow infrastructures that cope with the diversity of formats and
achieve that with the minimum number of machines and operating system variants. This
complexity will ultimately drive people toward using open standards.
Interestingly for a company that gets no direct benefit from one operating system
over another, Real Networks only supports production tools on Windows or Linux
machines. Support for Solaris has been withdrawn with Real 10 encoders. Until recently,
Real Networks support for Macintosh was based on the older Classic operating system.
The implications of this are that tools such as Cleaner that use the Real Networks SDK
would only produce Real Networks-format video when running in the Classic environ-
ment on a Macintosh.
Popwire Technology has engineered its own codecs for some formats rather than
using libraries provided by the operating system. These codecs are embedded in its com-
pression products. They support RealVideo and RealAudio output on Mac OS X at version
2 of the Compression Master software independently of any other support that is installed
for that format.
It is possible that some additional Real Networks-oriented production tools could be
put together using the Helix open-source kits as a starting point.
Real Networks and Apple have agreed to serve each other's content on their stream-
ing servers. This makes it possible to stream QuickTime on a Real Networks server and
stream Real Networks content on a QuickTime or Darwin streaming server. You cannot yet
create QuickTime content on a Linux system, although you can create it on Windows. You
can create Real Networks content on all three operating systems.
Real Networks developer resources: http://www.realnetworks.com/resources/index.html