Macromedia Inc will release the next version of its multimedia Shockwave Netscape Navigator plug-in with enhanced Internet sound delivery technology this week. But audio specialist Progressive Networks Inc says it’s too early to tell whether or not it will prove to be a competitor for its RealAudio Internet and client-server software. Progressive president Bruce Jacobsen […]
Macromedia Inc will release the next version of its multimedia Shockwave Netscape Navigator plug-in with enhanced Internet sound delivery technology this week. But audio specialist Progressive Networks Inc says it’s too early to tell whether or not it will prove to be a competitor for its RealAudio Internet and client-server software. Progressive president Bruce Jacobsen said Friday if Macromedia’s new system still requires users to completely download whole sound files rather than merely sending them in pieces as required, Then they’re not competing with us, he said. Progressive spent last week promoting its first RealAudio software developers’ kit to spread the technology it says is quickly becoming the de facto standard for Internet sound transmission. The company says it has shipped thousands of servers since it launched RealAudio in April and more than 25,000 RealAudio players have been downloaded from its Web site. RealAudio technology enables sound to be streamed over the Internet so that only the pieces of sound the user wants are on the client, and its random access capability so that
users can fast forward or rewind sound quickly. It enables live broadcasts and also includes error correction code to prevent gaps in sound play. But Progressive, a private Seattle, Washington-based firm of 160 people, may have a hard time competing if Macromedia, which had revenues of almost $117m last fiscal year (CI No 2,907), wanted to promote a rival standard. Macromedia’s Shockwave is a plug-in which allows developers using Macromedia authoring tools, such as Director or Freehand, to be viewed and played over the Web. Currently Shockwave delivers sound by downloading it onto the client. But word is that Shockwave’s enhanced audio will mean a more seamless download process for users than in its current version. For the time being Progressive’s Jacobsen says the companies are partners, But it’s unclear so far what it is they are doing. At this point we still want
people to use the two products together. He said many developers currently design systems with the RealAudio player using a Shockwave GUI front end. Macromedia would not comment on its Shockwave update on Friday. The RealAudio developers’ kit shipped last week at about $500.