Real-Time Messaging Protocol
Real-Time Messaging Protocol was a proprietary protocol developed by Macromedia for streaming audio and data over the Internet, between a Flash player and a server. Macromedia is now owned by Adobe, which has released an incomplete version of the specification of the protocol for public use; the RTMP protocol has multiple variations: The "plain" protocol which works on top of and uses TCP port number 1935 by default. RTMPS, RTMP over a TLS/SSL connection. RTMPE, RTMP encrypted using Adobe's own security mechanism. While the details of the implementation are proprietary, the mechanism uses industry standard cryptographic primitives. RTMPT, encapsulated within HTTP requests to traverse firewalls. RTMPT is found utilizing cleartext requests on TCP ports 80 and 443 to bypass most corporate traffic filtering; the encapsulated session may carry RTMPS, or RTMPE packets within. RTMFP, RTMP over UDP instead of TCP, replacing RTMP Chunk Stream; the Secure Real-Time Media Flow Protocol suite has been developed by Adobe Systems and enables end‐users to connect and communicate directly with each other.
While the primary motivation for RTMP was to be a protocol for playing Flash video, it is used in some other applications, such as the Adobe LiveCycle Data Services ES. RTMP is a TCP-based protocol which maintains persistent connections and allows low-latency communication. To deliver streams smoothly and transmit as much information as possible, it splits streams into fragments, their size is negotiated dynamically between the client and server. Sometimes, it is kept unchanged. Fragments from different streams may be interleaved, multiplexed over a single connection. With longer data chunks, the protocol thus carries only a one-byte header per fragment, so incurring little overhead. However, in practice, individual fragments are not interleaved. Instead, the interleaving and multiplexing is done at the packet level, with RTMP packets across several different active channels being interleaved in such a way as to ensure that each channel meets its bandwidth and other quality-of-service requirements.
Packets interleaved in this fashion are treated as indivisible, are not interleaved on the fragment level. The RTMP defines several virtual channels on which packets may be sent and received, which operate independently of each other. For example, there is a channel for handling RPC requests and responses, a channel for video stream data, a channel for audio stream data, a channel for out-of-band control messages, so on. During a typical RTMP session, several channels may be active at any given time; when RTMP data is encoded, a packet header is generated. The packet header specifies, amongst other matters, the ID of the channel on which it is to be sent, a timestamp of when it was generated, the size of the packet's payload; this header is followed by the actual payload content of the packet, fragmented according to the agreed-upon fragment size before it is sent over the connection. The packet header itself is never fragmented, its size does not count towards the data in the packet's first fragment.
In other words, only the actual packet payload is subject to fragmentation. At a higher level, the RTMP encapsulates MP3 or AAC audio and FLV1 video multimedia streams, can make remote procedure calls using the Action Message Format. Any RPC services required are made asynchronously, using a single client/server request/response model, such that real-time communication is not required. RTMP sessions may be encrypted using either of two methods: Using industry standard TLS/SSL mechanisms; the underlying RTMP session is wrapped inside a normal TLS/SSL session. Using RTMPE, which wraps the RTMP session in a lighter-weight encryption layer. In RTMP Tunneled, RTMP data is encapsulated and exchanged via HTTP, messages from the client are addressed to port 80 on the server. While the messages in RTMPT are larger than the equivalent non-tunneled RTMP messages due to HTTP headers, RTMPT may facilitate the use of RTMP in scenarios where the use of non-tunneled RTMP would otherwise not be possible, such as when the client is behind a firewall that blocks non-HTTP and non-HTTPS outbound traffic.
The protocol works by sending commands through the POST URL, AMF messages through the POST body. An example is POST /open/1 HTTP/1.1 for a connection to be opened. Adobe has released a specification for version 1.0 of the protocol dated December 21, 2012. The web landing page leading to that specification notes that "To benefit customers who want to protect their content, the open RTMP specification does not include Adobe's unique secure RTMP measures". A document accompanying the Adobe specification grants "non-exclusive, royalty-free, non-sublicensable, worldwide" patent license to all implementations of the protocol, with two restrictions: one forbids use for intercepting streaming data, another prohibits circumvention of "technological measures for the protection of audio, video and/or data content, including any of Adobe’s secure RTMP measures". Stefan Richter, author of some books on Flash, noted in 2008 that while Adobe is vague as to which patents apply to RTMP, U. S. Patent 7,246,356 appears to be one of them.
In 2011, Adobe did sue Wowza Media Systems claiming among other things, infringement of their RTMP patents. In 2015, Adobe and
The Mozilla Organization rewrote the entire browser's source code based on the Gecko rendering engine. The Gecko engine would be used to power the Mozilla Foundation's Firefox browser. Under AOL, Netscape's browser development continued until December 2007 when AOL announced that the company would stop supporting the Netscape browser as of early 2008; as of 2011, AOL has continued to use the Netscape brand to market a discount Internet service provider. AOL renamed the Netscape Communications Corporation to New Aurora Corporation, transferred the Netscape brand to themselves. AOL sold the former Netscape company, now known as New Aurora Corporation, to Microsoft, who in turn sold them again to Facebook; the former Netscape company is a non-operating subsidiary of Facebook, still known as New Aurora Corporation. The Netscape brand remained with AOL. Netscape Communications is now part of America Online. AOL envisioned the Netscape Web site as a Web portal, providing a source of revenue through advertising and e-commerce.
After the antitrust ruling found that Microsoft had held and abused monopolistic power, Microsoft settled with AOL for $750 million. As part of the settlement, AOL gained the rights to distribute Internet Explorer. Entrepreneur Jason Calcanis leveraged the Netscape brand to create Propeller, a social bookmarking and news site similar to Digg.com. Netscape was the first company to attempt to capitalize on the nascent World Wide Web, it was founded under the name Mosaic Communications Corporation on April 4, 1994, the brainchild of Jim Clark who had recruited Marc Andreessen as co-founder and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as investors. The first meeting between Clark and Andreessen was never about a software or service like Netscape, but more about a product, similar to Nintendo. Clark recruited other early team members from NCSA Mosaic. Jim Barksdale came on board as CEO in January 1995. Jim Clark and Marc Andreessen created a 20-page concept pitch for an online gaming network to Nintendo for the Nintendo 64 console, but a deal was never reached.
Marc Andreessen explains, "If they had shipped a year earlier, we would have done that instead of Netscape."The company's first product was the web browser, called Mosaic Netscape 0.9, released on October 13, 1994. Within four months of its release, it had taken three-quarters of the browser market, it became the main browser for Internet users in such a short time due to its superiority over other competition, like Mosaic. This browser was subsequently renamed Netscape Navigator, the company took the "Netscape" name on November 14, 1994, to avoid trademark ownership problems with NCSA, where the initial Netscape employees had created the NCSA Mosaic web browser; the Mosaic Netscape web browser did not use any NCSA Mosaic code. The internal codename for the company's browser was Mozilla, which stood for "Mosaic killer", as the company's goal was to displace NCSA Mosaic as the world's number one web browser. A cartoon Godzilla-like lizard mascot was drawn by artist-employee Dave Titus, which went well with the theme of crushing the competition.
The Mozilla mascot featured prominently on Netscape's website in the company's early years. However, the need to project a more "professional" image led to this being removed. On August 9, 1995, Netscape made an successful IPO; the stock was set to be offered at US$14 per share, but a last-minute decision doubled the initial offering to US$28 per share. The stock's value soared to US$75 during the first day of trading, nearly a record for first-day gain; the stock closed at US$58.25. While it was somewhat unusual for a company to go public prior to becoming profitable, Netscape's revenues had, in fact, doubled every quarter in 1995; the success of this IPO subsequently inspired the use of the term "Netscape moment" to describe a high-visibility IPO that signals the dawn of a new industry. During this period, Netscape pursued a publicity strategy packaging Andreessen as the company's "rock star." The events of this period landed Andreessen, barefoot, on the cover of Time magazine. The IPO helped kickstart widespread investment in internet companies that created the dot-com bubble.
Netscape advertised that "the web is for everyone" and stated one of its goals was to "level the pl
Simple Network Management Protocol
Simple Network Management Protocol is an Internet Standard protocol for collecting and organizing information about managed devices on IP networks and for modifying that information to change device behavior. Devices that support SNMP include cable modems, switches, workstations and more. SNMP is used in network management for network monitoring. SNMP exposes management data in the form of variables on the managed systems organized in a management information base which describe the system status and configuration; these variables can be remotely queried by managing applications. Three significant versions of SNMP have been deployed. SNMPv1 is the original version of the protocol. More recent versions, SNMPv2c and SNMPv3, feature improvements in performance and security. SNMP is a component of the Internet Protocol Suite as defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force, it consists of a set of standards for network management, including an application layer protocol, a database schema, a set of data objects.
In typical uses of SNMP, one or more administrative computers called managers have the task of monitoring or managing a group of hosts or devices on a computer network. Each managed system executes a software component called an agent which reports information via SNMP to the manager. An SNMP-managed network consists of three key components: Managed devices Agent – software which runs on managed devices Network management station – software which runs on the managerA managed device is a network node that implements an SNMP interface that allows unidirectional or bidirectional access to node-specific information. Managed devices exchange node-specific information with the NMSs. Sometimes called network elements, the managed devices can be any type of device, but not limited to, access servers, cable modems, hubs, IP telephones, IP video cameras, computer hosts, printers. An agent is a network-management software module. An agent has local knowledge of management information and translates that information to or from an SNMP-specific form.
A network management station executes applications that control managed devices. NMSs provide the bulk of the memory resources required for network management. One or more NMSs may exist on any managed network. SNMP agents expose management data on the managed systems as variables; the protocol permits active management tasks, such as configuration changes, through remote modification of these variables. The variables accessible via SNMP are organized in hierarchies. SNMP itself does not define which variables a managed system should offer. Rather, SNMP uses an extensible design; these hierarchies are described as a management information base. MIBs describe the structure of the management data of a device subsystem; each OID identifies a variable that can be read or set via SNMP. MIBs use the notation defined by Structure of Management Information Version 2.0, a subset of ASN.1. SNMP operates in the application layer of the Internet protocol suite. All SNMP messages are transported via User Datagram Protocol.
The SNMP agent receives requests on UDP port 161. The manager may send requests from any available source port to port 161 in the agent; the agent response is sent back to the source port on the manager. The manager receives notifications on port 162; the agent may generate notifications from any available port. When used with Transport Layer Security or Datagram Transport Layer Security, requests are received on port 10161 and notifications are sent to port 10162. SNMPv1 specifies five core protocol data units. Two other PDUs, GetBulkRequest and InformRequest were added in SNMPv2 and the Report PDU was added in SNMPv3. All SNMP PDUs are constructed as follows: The seven SNMP PDU types as identified by the PDU-type field are as follows: GetRequest A manager-to-agent request to retrieve the value of a variable or list of variables. Desired variables are specified in variable bindings. Retrieval of the specified variable values is to be done as an atomic operation by the agent. A Response with current values is returned.
SetRequest A manager-to-agent request to change the value of a variable or list of variables. Variable bindings are specified in the body of the request. Changes to all specified variables are to be made as an atomic operation by the agent. A Response with new values for the variables is returned. GetNextRequest A manager-to-agent request to discover available variables and their values. Returns a Response with variable binding for the lexicographically next variable in the MIB; the entire MIB of an agent can be walked by iterative application of GetNextRequest starting at OID 0. Rows of a table can be read by specifying column OIDs in the variable bindings of the request. GetBulkRequest A manager-to-agent request for multiple iterations of GetNextRequest. An optimized version of GetNextRequest. Returns a Response with multiple variable bindings walked from the variable binding or bindings in the request. PDU specific non-repeaters and max-repetitions fields are used to control response behavior.
GetBulkRequest was introduced in SNMPv2. Response Returns variable bindings and acknowledgement from agent to manager for GetRequest, SetRequest, GetNextRequest, GetBulkRequest and InformRequest. Error reporting is provided by error-index fields. Although it was used as a response to both gets and sets, this P
Network Time Protocol
The Network Time Protocol is a networking protocol for clock synchronization between computer systems over packet-switched, variable-latency data networks. In operation since before 1985, NTP is one of the oldest Internet protocols in current use. NTP was designed by David L. Mills of the University of Delaware. NTP is intended to synchronize all participating computers to within a few milliseconds of Coordinated Universal Time, it uses the intersection algorithm, a modified version of Marzullo's algorithm, to select accurate time servers and is designed to mitigate the effects of variable network latency. NTP can maintain time to within tens of milliseconds over the public Internet, can achieve better than one millisecond accuracy in local area networks under ideal conditions. Asymmetric routes and network congestion can cause errors of 100 ms or more; the protocol is described in terms of a client-server model, but can as be used in peer-to-peer relationships where both peers consider the other to be a potential time source.
Implementations send and receive timestamps using the User Datagram Protocol on port number 123. They can use broadcasting or multicasting, where clients passively listen to time updates after an initial round-trip calibrating exchange. NTP supplies a warning of any impending leap second adjustment, but no information about local time zones or daylight saving time is transmitted; the current protocol is version 4, a proposed standard as documented in RFC 5905. It is backward compatible with version 3, specified in RFC 1305. In 1979, network time synchronization technology was used in what was the first public demonstration of Internet services running over a trans-Atlantic satellite network, at the National Computer Conference in New York; the technology was described in the 1981 Internet Engineering Note 173 and a public protocol was developed from it, documented in RFC 778. The technology was first deployed in a local area network as part of the Hello routing protocol and implemented in the Fuzzball router, an experimental operating system used in network prototyping, where it ran for many years.
Other related network tools were available both and now. They include the Daytime and Time protocols for recording the time of events, as well as the ICMP Timestamp and IP Timestamp option. More complete synchronization systems, although lacking NTP's data analysis and clock disciplining algorithms, include the Unix daemon timed, which uses an election algorithm to appoint a server for all the clients. In 1985, NTP version 0 was implemented in both Fuzzball and Unix, the NTP packet header and round-trip delay and offset calculations, which have persisted into NTPv4, were documented in RFC 958. Despite the slow computers and networks available at the time, accuracy of better than 100 milliseconds was obtained on Atlantic spanning links, with accuracy of tens of milliseconds on Ethernet networks. In 1988, a much more complete specification of the NTPv1 protocol, with associated algorithms, was published in RFC 1059, it drew on the experimental results and clock filter algorithm documented in RFC 956 and was the first version to describe the client-server and peer-to-peer modes.
In 1991, the NTPv1 architecture and algorithms were brought to the attention of a wider engineering community with the publication of an article by David L. Mills in the IEEE Transactions on Communications. In 1989, RFC 1119 was published defining NTPv2 by means of a state machine, with pseudocode to describe its operation, it introduced a management protocol and cryptographic authentication scheme which have both survived into NTPv4. The design of NTPv2 was criticized for lacking formal correctness principles by the DTSS community, their alternative design included Marzullo's algorithm, a modified version of, promptly added to NTP. The bulk of the algorithms from this era have largely survived into NTPv4. In 1992, RFC 1305 defined NTPv3; the RFC included an analysis of all sources of error, from the reference clock down to the final client, which enabled the calculation of a metric that helps choose the best server where several candidates appear to disagree. Broadcast mode was introduced. In subsequent years, as new features were added and algorithm improvements were made, it became apparent that a new protocol version was required.
In 2010, RFC 5905 was published containing a proposed specification for NTPv4. The protocol has moved on since and as of 2014, an updated RFC has yet to be published. Following the retirement of Mills from the University of Delaware, the reference implementation is maintained as an open source project led by Harlan Stenn. NTP uses a semi-layered system of time sources; each level of this hierarchy is termed a stratum and is assigned a number starting with zero for the reference clock at the top. A server synchronized to a stratum n server runs at stratum n + 1; the number represents the distance from the reference clock and is used to prevent cyclical dependencies in the hierarchy. Stratum is not always an indication of reliability. A brief description of strata 0, 1, 2 and 3 is provided below. Stratum 0 These are high-precision timekeeping devices such as atomic clocks, GPS or other radio clocks, they generate a accurate pulse per second signal that triggers an interrupt and timestamp on a connected computer.
Stratum 0 devices are known as reference clocks. Stratum 1 These are computers whose system time is synchronized to w
VHS is a standard for consumer-level analog video recording on tape cassettes. Developed by Victor Company of Japan in the early 1970s, it was released in Japan on September 9, 1976 and in the United States on August 23, 1977. From the 1950s, magnetic tape video recording became a major contributor to the television industry, via the first commercialized video tape recorders. At that time, the devices were used only in expensive professional environments such as television studios and medical imaging. In the 1970s, videotape entered home use, creating the home video industry and changing the economics of the television and movie businesses; the television industry viewed videocassette recorders as having the power to disrupt their business, while television users viewed the VCR as the means to take control of their hobby. In the 1970s and early 1980s, there was a format war in the home video industry. Two of the standards, VHS and Betamax, received the most media exposure. VHS won the war, dominating 60 percent of the North American market by 1980 and emerging as the dominant home video format throughout the tape media period.
Optical disc formats began to offer better quality than analog consumer video tape such as VHS and S-VHS. The earliest of these formats, LaserDisc, was not adopted. However, after the introduction of the DVD format in 1997, VHS's market share began to decline. By 2008, DVD had replaced VHS as the preferred low-end method of distribution; the last known company in the world to manufacture VHS equipment, Funai of Japan, ceased production in July 2016. After several attempts by other companies, the first commercially successful VTR, the Ampex VRX-1000, was introduced in 1956 by Ampex Corporation. At a price of US$50,000 in 1956, US$300 for a 90-minute reel of tape, it was intended only for the professional market. Kenjiro Takayanagi, a television broadcasting pioneer working for JVC as its vice president, saw the need for his company to produce VTRs for the Japan market, at a more affordable price. In 1959, JVC developed a two-head video tape recorder, by 1960 a color version for professional broadcasting.
In 1964, JVC released the DV220. In 1969, JVC collaborated with Sony Corporation and Matsushita Electric in building a video recording standard for the Japanese consumer; the effort produced the U-matic format in 1971, the first format to become a unified standard. U-matic was successful in business and some broadcast applications, but due to cost and limited recording time few of the machines were sold for home use. Soon after and Matsushita broke away from the collaboration effort, in order to work on video recording formats of their own. Sony started working on Betamax, while Matsushita started working on VX. JVC released the CR-6060 in 1975, based on the U-matic format. Sony and Matsushita produced U-matic systems of their own. In 1971, JVC engineers Yuma Shiraishi and Shizuo Takano put together a team to develop a consumer-based VTR. By the end of 1971 they created an internal diagram titled "VHS Development Matrix", which established twelve objectives for JVC's new VTR; these included: The system must be compatible with any ordinary television set.
Picture quality must be similar to a normal air broadcast. The tape must have at least a two-hour recording capacity. Tapes must be interchangeable between machines; the overall system should be versatile, meaning it can be scaled and expanded, such as connecting a video camera, or dub between two recorders. Recorders should be affordable, easy to have low maintenance costs. Recorders must be capable of being produced in high volume, their parts must be interchangeable, they must be easy to service. In early 1972, the commercial video recording industry in Japan took a financial hit. JVC restructured its video division, shelving the VHS project. However, despite the lack of funding and Shiraishi continued to work on the project in secret. By 1973 the two engineers had produced a functional prototype. In 1974, the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry, desiring to avoid consumer confusion, attempted to force the Japanese video industry to standardize on just one home video recording format.
Sony had a functional prototype of the Betamax format, was close to releasing a finished product. With this prototype, Sony persuaded the MITI to adopt Betamax as the standard, allow it to license the technology to other companies. JVC believed that an open standard, with the format shared among competitors without licensing the technology, was better for the consumer. To prevent the MITI from adopting Betamax, JVC worked to convince other companies, in particular Matsushita, to accept VHS, thereby work against Sony and the MITI. Matsushita agreed out of concern that Sony might become the leader in the field if its proprietary Betamax format was the only one allowed to be manufactured. Matsushita regarded Betamax's one-hour recording time limit as a disadvantage. Matsushita's backing of JVC persuaded Hitachi and Sharp to back the VHS standard as well. Sony's release of its Betamax unit to the Japanese market in 1975 placed further pressure on the MITI to side with the company. However, the collaboration of
Hypertext Transfer Protocol
The Hypertext Transfer Protocol is an application protocol for distributed, hypermedia information systems. HTTP is the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web, where hypertext documents include hyperlinks to other resources that the user can access, for example by a mouse click or by tapping the screen in a web browser. HTTP was developed to facilitate the World Wide Web. Development of HTTP was initiated by Tim Berners-Lee at CERN in 1989. Development of HTTP standards was coordinated by the Internet Engineering Task Force and the World Wide Web Consortium, culminating in the publication of a series of Requests for Comments; the first definition of HTTP/1.1, the version of HTTP in common use, occurred in RFC 2068 in 1997, although this was made obsolete by RFC 2616 in 1999 and again by the RFC 7230 family of RFCs in 2014. A version, the successor HTTP/2, was standardized in 2015, is now supported by major web servers and browsers over Transport Layer Security using Application-Layer Protocol Negotiation extension where TLS 1.2 or newer is required.
HTTP functions as a request–response protocol in the client–server computing model. A web browser, for example, may be the client and an application running on a computer hosting a website may be the server; the client submits an HTTP request message to the server. The server, which provides resources such as HTML files and other content, or performs other functions on behalf of the client, returns a response message to the client; the response contains completion status information about the request and may contain requested content in its message body. A web browser is an example of a user agent. Other types of user agent include the indexing software used by search providers, voice browsers, mobile apps, other software that accesses, consumes, or displays web content. HTTP is designed to permit intermediate network elements to improve or enable communications between clients and servers. High-traffic websites benefit from web cache servers that deliver content on behalf of upstream servers to improve response time.
Web browsers cache accessed web resources and reuse them, when possible, to reduce network traffic. HTTP proxy servers at private network boundaries can facilitate communication for clients without a globally routable address, by relaying messages with external servers. HTTP is an application layer protocol designed within the framework of the Internet protocol suite, its definition presumes an underlying and reliable transport layer protocol, Transmission Control Protocol is used. However, HTTP can be adapted to use unreliable protocols such as the User Datagram Protocol, for example in HTTPU and Simple Service Discovery Protocol. HTTP resources are identified and located on the network by Uniform Resource Locators, using the Uniform Resource Identifiers schemes http and https. URIs and hyperlinks in HTML documents form interlinked hypertext documents. HTTP/1.1 is a revision of the original HTTP. In HTTP/1.0 a separate connection to the same server is made for every resource request. HTTP/1.1 can reuse a connection multiple times to download images, stylesheets, etc after the page has been delivered.
HTTP/1.1 communications therefore experience less latency as the establishment of TCP connections presents considerable overhead. The term hypertext was coined by Ted Nelson in 1965 in the Xanadu Project, in turn inspired by Vannevar Bush's 1930s vision of the microfilm-based information retrieval and management "memex" system described in his 1945 essay "As We May Think". Tim Berners-Lee and his team at CERN are credited with inventing the original HTTP, along with HTML and the associated technology for a web server and a text-based web browser. Berners-Lee first proposed the "WorldWideWeb" project in 1989—now known as the World Wide Web; the first version of the protocol had only one method, namely GET, which would request a page from a server. The response from the server was always an HTML page; the first documented version of HTTP was HTTP V0.9. Dave Raggett led the HTTP Working Group in 1995 and wanted to expand the protocol with extended operations, extended negotiation, richer meta-information, tied with a security protocol which became more efficient by adding additional methods and header fields.
RFC 1945 introduced and recognized HTTP V1.0 in 1996. The HTTP WG planned to publish new standards in December 1995 and the support for pre-standard HTTP/1.1 based on the developing RFC 2068 was adopted by the major browser developers in early 1996. By March that year, pre-standard HTTP/1.1 was supported in Arena, Netscape 2.0, Netscape Navigator Gold 2.01, Mosaic 2.7, Lynx 2.5, in Internet Explorer 2.0. End-user adoption of the new browsers was rapid. In March 1996, one web hosting company reported that over 40% of browsers in use on the Internet were HTTP 1.1 compliant. That same web hosting company reported that by June 1996, 65% of all browsers accessing their servers were HTTP/1.1 compliant. The HTTP/1.1 standard as defined in RFC 2068 was released in January 1997. Improvements and updates to the HTTP/1.1 standard were released under RFC 2616 in June 1999. In 2007, the HTTPbis Working Group was formed, in part, to revise and clarify the HTTP/1.1 specification. In June 2014, the WG released an updated six-part specification obsoleting RFC 2616: RFC 7230, HTTP/1.1: Message Syntax and Routing RFC 7231, HTTP/1.1: Semantics and Content RFC 7232, HTTP/1.1: Conditional Requests RFC 7233, HTTP/1.1: Range Requests RFC 7234, HTTP/1.1: Caching RFC 7235, HTTP/1
RealNetworks, Inc. is a provider of Internet streaming media delivery software and services based in Seattle, United States. The company provides subscription-based online entertainment services and mobile entertainment and messaging services. RealNetworks was founded in 1994 by an ex-Microsoft executive, Rob Glaser and a management team including Phil Barrett, Andy Sharpless, Stephen Buerkle; the original goal of the company was to provide a distribution channel for politically progressive content. It evolved into a technology venture to leverage the Internet as an alternative distribution medium for audio broadcasts. Progressive Networks became RealNetworks in September 1997. RealNetworks are pioneers in the streaming media markets and broadcast one of the earlier audio events over the Internet — a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners — on September 5, 1995, they announced streaming video technology in 1997. According to some accounts, by 2000, more than 85% of streaming content on the Internet was in the Real format.
Despite this success, problems arose because Real's primary business model depended upon the sale of streaming media server software, Microsoft and Apple were giving those products away. As servers from Microsoft and Apple became more capable, Real's server sales eroded. On January 20, 2000, RealNetworks, Inc. filed an injunction against Streambox, Inc. regarding the aforementioned company's product designed to convert Real Audio formatted files to other formats. On December 4, 2001, the company was to launch the first coordinated effort to sell and deliver music from major record labels over the Internet, part of a broader initiative by the company to develop subscription Internet services aimed at Web users with fast Internet connections. In 2002, a strategic alliance was formed between RealNetworks and Sony Corporation to expand collaboration. In October, 2005, Microsoft agreed to pay RealNetworks $460 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit. In August 2003, RealNetworks acquired Listen.com's Rhapsody music service, renamed it RealRhapsody.
It offered streaming music downloads for a monthly fee. In January 2004, RealNetworks announced the RealPlayer Music Store, featuring digital rights management restricted music in the AAC file format. After some initial tries to push their own DRM scheme onto all device manufacturers with the Creative Zen Xtra and the Sansa e200r as the only existing compliant devices, they sparked controversy by introducing a technology called Harmony that allowed their music to play on iPods as well as Microsoft Windows Media Audio DRM-equipped devices using a "wrapper" that would convert Helix DRM into the two other target DRM schemes; the domain real.com attracted at least 67 million visitors annually by 2008, according to a Compete.com study. On April 6, 2010, Rhapsody was spun off from RealNetworks. In July 2013, RealNetworks acquired Slingo for $15.6 million. The company introduced a mobile phone app called Listen in April 2014 that plays custom ringtones to those calling the user's phone. RealNetworks has its headquarters in Seattle, Washington in the Home Plate Center building in SoDo across from Safeco Field, sharing the building with King5 and Logic 20/20 Consulting.
In 2000, one of the initial products, the download manager RealDownload, was used for pushing small software, such as games, to subscribers' computers. On top of the subscription for RealDownload and using its RealVideo streaming technology, a service called GoldPass, including unlimited access for video snippets from ABC and movie previews, was offered to registered users for a monthly $10 fee. More content was added through deals with CBS for the reality show Big NBA basketball. After the dot-com bubble, RealNetworks cut most of the resources; some of the content was lost, some were limited to local markets, e.g. Ministry of Sound was available only to UK subscribers. With the increase in broadband usage, RealNetworks started offering live broadcasts of CNN International, BBC World, Al-Jazeera etc. separately for prices between $6 and $12, or bundled in the SuperPass for about $35 a month depending on the market. Between 2003 and 2006, SuperPass included, for European subscribers, unlimited access to UEFA Champions League full-length game recordings.
On September 30, 2008, RealNetworks launched a new product called RealDVD. The software allows any user to save a copy of a DVD movie they own; the company was found to have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and RealNetworks' contract with the DVD Copy Control Association, as the software allowed anyone to save a movie they do not own.. The product's distribution was barred by a court injunction. Real Alternative is a discontinued software bundle that allows users to play RealMedia files without installing RealPlayer; the last version, 2.02, was released on February 19, 2010. It included Media Player Classic. Beginning in 2010, RealNetworks sued Hilbrand Edskes, a 26-year-old Dutch webmaster for having inserted hyperlinks to Real Alternative on his site www.codecpack.nl. RealNetworks alleges. Meanwhile, Download.com and FileHippo continue to host the software product, unchallenged. In November 2011 RealNetworks' case against Edskes was dismissed and RealNetworks was ordered to pay him €48,000 in damages.
Details of the case and judgement have been published. RealNetworks in September 2013 launched RealPlayer Cloud, a service that adds the ability to share videos recorded on smartphones and tablets. RealPlayer Cloud ties into the existing RealPlayer, however it has a Web app and apps for Android, iOS and Roku; the service has 2GB of free c