Real Networks Announces Cloud-Based Media Library Service

Next week during the D Mobile tech conference, Real plans to unveil their first major product release in quite some time. The cross-platform media management service has two parts to it: software that you run on your computer or mobile device that watches for new content stored on them; and a Web services that will collect your media and stream (or load) it to all devices you own. This product hasn’t been named yet, but I’m thinking it should simply be called Genius.

This service plans to handle your music, videos and photos. It will – of course – respect digital rights and not allow you to stream protected content, such as television shows and movies. It will be much easier, though, to move files and playlists between your devices. This first iteration will focus on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet and computers. Future versions might just include support for devices such as digital video recorders and gaming consoles. The service is designed to work with media files you own.

Real CEO Robert Kimball says Real has no intention of competing with Apple to build a media store, even though it does provide media store technology and services to carriers that they pitch under their own brands. In fact, Kimball says, the media aggregation service will make iTunes and other media stores more valuable to consumers by enabling them to move their content around to all the devices they have, no matter what technology platforms they’re using (except for all-Apple users; Kimball admits people who live completely in the Apple cocoon don’t need an aggregator).

The company is candid when talking about their current media viewer accounts for less than a tenth of the company’s business. They don’t expect a major income boost from the new service. From what we’re seeing thus far, this seems to have the potential of allowing you to truly tame your media libraries. If it goes over as well as expected, it could possibly bring Real back to the forefront of consumers’ minds.