RealNetworks Releases RealTimes Stories SDK For Cloud-Based Media

RealNetworks today announced the RealTimes Stories SDK, a toolset that will help developers and network operators extend multimedia services to their own customers. RealNetworks has partnered with Synchronoss Technologies to help distribute RealTimes Stories globally. 

Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless rolled out an update to its Verizon Cloud App for Android devices with a new feature called Smart Albums. Smart Albums can pick through the thousands of photos and videos users store online and automatically create albums based on time, data, location, and event details. Moreover, the Smart Albums can be customized with filters, video and music selections, and then shared by Verizon customers around the web. RealNetworks' RealTimes Stories is the engine that makes Verizon's Smart Albums tool run.

The RealTimes Stories SDK, available today, includes the API necessary for developers to access photos and videos stored in their own cloud products and create photo/video montages. The idea is to help consumsers solve an age-old problem: too many photos, not enough time. RealNetworks says RealTimes Stories is able to pick the "best moments" from consumers' photos/videos to instantly create engaging narratives. 

The SDK includes a number of core functions. For example, it is able to analyze photos and videos on devices and automatically know to select images of the highest quality, and video samples that are interesting. (RealNetworks didn't explain how.) The SDK is able to group photos and videos into albums based on Exif data to populate animated slideshows. The SDK handles the behind-the-scenes communications with the developer's app and the RealTimes app for story creation. It powers seamless syncing, immediate playback, and is secure thanks to device-specific video transcoding. Because the RealTimes Stories SDK does all this on the backend, developers and carriers are free to design a unique top-level experience for their own customers. RealNetworks manages all the heavy lifting. 

In order to help spread RealTimes Stories around the globe, RealNetworks is using Synchronoss' Personal Cloud service. Personal Cloud is a carrier-branded service that lets consumers back-up and store their content online. It can be offered as a white label service, which means consumers see their carrier's branding, and not the branding of Synchronoss or RealNetworks, but Personal Cloud is also available directly to consumers. Synchronoss touts its product as a way to reduce consumer fear of lost data. It also smoothes the device upgrade process for carriers, which are able to help their customers easily move content from one device to another. 

"The availability of the RealTimes Stories SDK marks a major milestone for RealNetworks by enabling ... application developers to integrate our technology into their own platforms," said Max Pellegrini, President, Products and Marketing, RealNetworks. "We chose Synchronoss for their global footprint, ability to scale, and relationships with multiple carriers around the world. Our arrangement with Synchronoss will enable us to address carriers globally with a very compelling joint proposition."

The RealTimes Stories SDK is available in beta form to registered developers. Developers can also take a look at the RealCloud SDK. RealNetworks' developer portal has more information.  


Eric Zeman I am a journalist who covers the mobile telecommunications industry. I freelance for ProgrammableWeb and other online properties.