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RealNetworks, Sony pact

Electronics giant's technology will speed up RealAudio

Under a deal Monday between streaming media provider RealNetworks and Sony, the latter will include the former’s software on digital music devices and PCs.

The RealPlayer, which plays streaming video content, and RealJukebox, a music application, will be embedded in Sony’s portable music devices and Vaio portable computers starting next year.

In exchange, RealNetworks will use Sony’s audio compression technology to speed transmission of CD-quality digital music in its RealAudio 8 software, which also bowed Monday.

A Real boost

Deal reps a huge boost for RealNetworks in its battle for market share against Microsoft. Microsoft’s Windows Media player is already available on a number of personal data assistants.

“By teaming with one of the world’s leading consumer electronics and technology companies, RealNetworks will continue providing the best and latest secure digital music solutions for consumers worldwide,” said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of RealNetworks.

Shares of RealNetworks bumped up almost 2%, closing at $22.38. Sony closed down $1.56 to $95.44.

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