Vid players split screens

Cyberbiz Brief

After years of hype and marketing expenditures, the top two online video/audio players are in a virtual dead heat when it comes to home users of multimedia applications, according to analyst comScore Media Metrix.

RealNetworks has 30.8 million unique users for various versions of its Jukebox application, while Microsoft’s Windows Media Player can claim 30.1 million. Apple’s QuickTime player has 12.3 million users for third place.

In related news, editing-system maker Avid Technology said it would incorporate Microsoft’s latest online-streaming software, Windows Media 9 Series, into its Avid/DS product line. Move will simplify the conversion of Avid-edited digital video to be played on a widely available Internet video and audio player. Avid said the move opens up many other distribution possibilities far from the Internet, including home-theater quality entertainment and corporate training. The capabilities will be added in new versions of Avid DS available later this year.

And in another related announcement, DuArt Film and Video said it will begin offering digital-cinema mastering services using the Windows Media Player technology. The 80-year-old New York company has long provided other post-production services, such as film mastering, ARRI laser scans and Dolby 5.1 sound mixing.

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