Update: The accounts are long gone.
Real Networks announced their new RealPlayer last week at the D Conference in San Diego. There was great coverage from a number of blogs and major news sites: see Beet.TV, Robert Scoble and the Wall Street Journal for more.
The new player effectively lets users bookmark and download video clips that they find on the web. Those clips can then be viewed offline and ripped to CD or DVD.
The beta version, to be released later this month, will work with Firefox or IE, but only on Windows machines. A Mac version will be available later this year. Future versions of the player will also support devices, so users can download video directly to their iPods or other gadgets.
The player will not be available for download at RealPlayer.com until later this month. However, the company has given us a beta account, which we are now testing. And they’ve given us twenty more accounts to give out to readers. If you want one, email us at email@example.com. The first twenty will get credentials and the URL to download the player.
Real wants me to emphasize that the product is still very alpha and there may be hiccups. That’s understandable, given that this is pre-release software.