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Byline: Kim Peterson
Jan. 7--RealNetworks has given its online media player a makeover, upgrading the software to cater to high-speed Internet users who want instant music clips, sports videos and news broadcasts.
The company is expected to launch the player today, along with a music store that sells downloads of 300,000 songs for 99 cents each, as the technology industry gears up for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
RealNetworks also is expected to announce it will begin using AAC compression technology, a format rapidly gaining momentum and a competitor to Microsoft's Windows Media format. Apple Computer and America Online have already embraced AAC.
RealNetworks' new player, RealPlayer 10, requires a software download and is free, but that doesn't mean it won't make money. The Seattle company hopes to turn it into one of the Internet's top destinations for entertainment, through which it can sell music downloads and subscriptions to its premium services.
The announcements reflect the company's …