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RealPlayer Adds Social Features, Updates Free and Paid Players

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It may not be the center of the online video world anymore, but the RealPlayer is still alive and streaming. Today RealNetworks introduced new versions of both the free and paid versions. The RealPlayer is getting social with this release: the big feature this time is Facebook integration that automatically collects videos posted by friends and organizes them into a Facebook tab. This feature is available in the Windows application, but not the Macintosh version.

"Every month, over 20 million videos are uploaded to Facebook and viewed more than 2 billion times," says Rishi Mathew, general manager of RealPlayer at RealNetworks. "Those kinds of numbers make it easy to see why it has become so hard to keep up with all the Facebook videos posted by friends and pages. With the new RealPlayer, we're bringing Facebook videos right to you, so you can check them out in one place and view, save, share, and comment on the ones you want." 

The paid version of the video player, RealPlayer Plus 15, lets users burn high-definition DVDs that can be played on Blu-ray players. This lets people avoid buying higher-priced Blu-ray discs when saving their HD footage. The paid version is currently available for an introductory price of $39.99. The standard price is $49.99.

We downloaded the free Macintosh version (version 12) and found that it comes with a converter app with a number of easy presets that convert videos for use on popular mobile devices and game consoles. Surprisingly, the RealPlayer doesn't support the increasingly popular MKV format, and the converter choked when trying to convert an MKV file.

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