NEWS: Real Networks Takes YouTube (and other Flash) videos offline

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Real Networks new Real Player now will take YouTube videos offline. Here’s an interview I did with Real’s Vice President, Jeff Chasen where he gave me a demo of the new player (coming soon, I’ll let you know where it’s up). I also gave him heck for Real’s past sins, including difficul-to-find player downloads, tons of additional software ties, and more.

The new player adds a little icon above videos on YouTube and other services like Blip.TV. It makes it easy to download Flash and other kinds of videos to the Real Player so you can keep them, watch them on planes or other places you’re offline, and more.

Here’s the official press release.

If you want just the facts, Rocky did an Editor’s Choice where he put up just the highlights of the interview and demo (takes less than five minutes to watch, where the full interview/demo takes about 24).

Why would Real do this?

It’s a lot better experience to watch a video in the Real Player than on a Web page (you can make it bigger, if it’s offline it won’t “stutter” anymore if you’re on low-bandwidth connections).

What about DRM? Yeah, they won’t allow you to download DRM’d stuff (he shows off in the video the experience that happens when you hit a video from, say, a movie company that doesn’t want you to download the Flash video).

You can also use this to burn videos to CDs or DVDs. Jeff thinks this is a “poor man’s” Apple TV since most people have DVDs hooked up to their TVs now.

UPDATE: CNET also wrote it up, and Andy Plesser has a different video about the new player.