Today RealNetworks announced the launch of a new application for the BlackBerry line of smartphones. RealPlayer Plus SP will allow BlackBerry owners to convert and store web videos on their mobile phones. Now you can upload your favorite Youtube videos to your smartphone and watch them wherever you go, even if there's no Internet there. Finally BlackBerry owners will be able to spread Youtube memes to the far corners of the globe without needing an Internet connection.
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Of course, there are uses for an app like this that go beyond just mindless entertainment, but that's pretty much the main reason RealNetworks built this app. Their stated goal with this new app is to help “customers get even more value out of their favorite entertainment”. BlackBerries have had a reputation for being 'business' smartphones for too long. RIM needs to emphasize that their mobiles pack just as much entertainment potential as the iPhone or the Pre. Apps like this are a good place for them to start.
The RealPlayer Plus SP beta is available for free on the BlackBerry Bold, Curve, 8800, and Storm series of smartphones right now. Users who choose to upgrade to the full version for $39.99 will get DVD playback and burning as well as h.264 video conversion.