RealPlayer 11 soon available in Beta

RealPlayer logoThe beta version of RealPlayer 11 will be available to the public in June. You can enter your email address on the RealPlayer site to be notified the day it is released. So what does this long awaited version have in store for us? We managed to get a hold of the new version 11 and had a quick look around.

The new interface, shiny and dark, looks cleaner than the previous one. Unfortunately though, it seems that Real has gotten rid of the miniplayer view, and only opens the player at a full screen size. The window integrates the basic Real elements like Library, Real Guide, Music, Super Pass and Burn/Transfer. The process bar has been improved and you can drag exactly to the position in the clip that you want.

Cosmetic changes are not the most significant aspects of the new version though. The center point of RealPlayer 11 is downloading online video instantly. As Real puts it on its blog:

On-demand and live streaming and progressive video in the four major formats – Flash, Windows Media, QuickTime and Real – is now downloadable through a very simple download button that temporarily hovers near video content as it plays.

For the time being, “Web Download and Recording” is only supported on Firefox and Internet Explorer. Once you’ve clicked the download button, a progress window will appear to let you keep track of your download. When playing any video in RealPlayer you can also mail the link to a friend or add a rating or comment. The video in playback can also be resized by dragging the screen and you can set 3 different playback speeds. The new RealPlayer will also let you burn media to CD or DVD and is expected to “provide direct transfer to portable devices” in the future. Among the list of models supported are the Nokia 3300, Sony Networks Walkmans and the Rio players, but no sign of iPod or any mobile phone per se.

Naturally though, not all of the new features will be open to the public and you’ll have to dish out for the Plus version if you want to enjoy all the capabilities of version 11.

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