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Section B.1. RealMedia

B.1. RealMedia

Capability Rating
Browser compatibility and percent of browsers with Plug-in Excellent.
Interactive sound design capabilities Fair. Format is designed primarily for streaming media. Simple synchronized media presentations such as slide shows, audio with moving text, captions, and pictures.
Software cost for encoding and streaming Free to $695 to $21,595+. Basic Server with 25 simultaneous streams is free. Basic Server Plus (60 streams) costs $695. The full-featured Internet Solutions Server (400 streams) costs $21,595.
Level of documentation and support Outstanding.
Audio encoding and content generation Easy.
Audio authoring and delivery Medium to Easy. Medium difficulty to set up dedicated RealServer. Easy to post RealAudio files on standard web server for playback without bandwidth negotiation and other dedicated server features, etc.
Audio fidelity and compression Excellent.
Low-bandwidth performance Good/Excellent. RealNetworks' RealServer provides bandwidth negotiation for all types of bandwidth connections from 14.4 Kbps modems to T1 lines. RealMedia is designed to look at the user connection speed and then serve a stream that is optimized for that user's connection.
Server performance and quality of software tools for large-scale streaming Outstanding—RealServer. RealNetworks has the most sophisticated servers, hands down. RealMedia running on Unix is the preferred method for the most robust and reliable streaming possible.



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