RealNetworks Announces Helix, An Open Standard For Digital Media Delivery

RealNetworks today announced Helix, a new platform and community for the standardization of digital media creation, delivery, and playback. Developed over the past eight years, the source code for Helix will be made available to the online community as "Open Source" for the purposes of improving and adapting technologies within Helix in order to take digital media into the future. From the press release.

The Helix Platform is based on the industryis most powerful and widely used digital media software technology, with over 1,000 application interfaces. The Helix Community will enable companies, institutions and individual developers to access the Helix Platform source code in order to both enhance the Helix Platform and to build Helix-powered encoder, server and client products. In tandem, the Helix Platform and the Helix Community will provide the standard infrastructure to empower developers, IT companies and CE companies to drive the Internet media industry forward into the future.


Via the Helix Community, developers and technology companies will gain access to millions of lines of source code providing a wide variety of capabilities needed to build digital media products, such as live and on-demand streaming, local and remote playback of digital media, and the ability to add new media formats and data types.

Supported by twenty-nine companies and organizations, including Cisco, HP, Intel, and Sony, Helix will be the basis for a new family of products from RealNetworks. The first of these new applications was announced today: Helix Universal Server. From the press release:

Helix Universal Server dramatically lowers the cost of digital media delivery by supporting every major digital media format while also breaking new ground in delivery performance. The Helix Universal Server streams all major media types, including RealAudio¨, RealVideo¨, Appleis QuickTime, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 and Windows Media. Helix Universal Server also provides a true performance breakthrough, delivering over 10,000 concurrent audio streams on standard hardware. This represents a 100% increase compared to the previous state of the art, RealNetworksi RealSystem¨ 8. Helix Universal Server is available today on all major Linux, Unix and Windows server operating systems.

The Helix family of products are available immediately from RealNetworksi web site. More information on Helix can be found in the press release. More information on the Helix family of products can be found here. Note that "all major Unix server operating systems" doesnit seem to specifically include Mac OS X Server, though the Open Source community might well change that.