RealNetworks Inc. has entered the news delivery business with RealTime, a free desktop toolbar, news reader and screen saver that brings up-to-the-minute personalized information and images to the desktop. The service launched in beta on Monday.
The application integrates with users' Web browsers to allow single-click subscription to stocks, weather, personalized life-style information, news feeds and blogs, with information pushed back to the desktop. The screen saver rotates through favorite headlines along with accompanying photos or images. One click brings up the articles, for example, on a baseball pitcher, stock updates, information about the war in Iraq, a new salad recipe, or the latest handheld device. RealNetworks has teamed up with the Associated Press, Reuters, Interactive Data, SmartMoney, Feedster and The Weather Channel Interactive to ensure RealTime users get the most current information available.
RealTime also provides editorial recommendations based on the data streaming to the desktop, and allows users to personalize the product either from the RealTime Web site or as the consumer surfs the Web. When a user visits a favorite Web site, such as ESPN.com or Parenting.com, that person instantly sees whether that site has a feed. With a click of the mouse, the feed is added and the user can resume their work or playtime on the computer.