OS X Gets Real

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Any Mac OS X user who has spent a good deal of time surfing the Web has run into one of the down sides of using Apple's latest and greatest operating system: streaming audio and video links that require RealNetworks' RealPlayer. Since Apple shipped OS X last year, the multimedia player only runs in the new OS's Classic Mode.

Happily, the days of clicking on video links only to realize that you'd need to start Classic in order to see a clip are over. The OS X-only RealOne Player has arrived.

"The Velocity Engine and the quality of the Mac's hardware architecture allowed us to deliver the smoothest AV playback on any platform," RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser told Macworld Wednesday. As for his company's delay in getting to OS X, Glaser said that he made the decision late last year to set his Mac engineers on developing a native version of Real's player software--and egged on by Steve Jobs, who guaranteed a spot in Wednesday's Macworld Expo keynote address if a RealOne player for OS X was finished in time for the trade show, RealNetworks has delivered.

But while the RealOne player is now in beta for the Mac, RealNetworks' RealOne SuperPass subscription service won't be Mac-compatible until later this summer, when Mac users will finally be able to check out programming from CNN, Fox Sports, Major League Baseball, and more.

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