updated 01:00 pm EST, Thu January 6, 2011
Cloud library accessible from Mac, PC, iPhone, web
RealNetworks is using CES 2011 to preview a new cloud-centric media library, Unifi. The service tracks all a user's media, from local devices, social media and into the cloud. It catalogs and organizes the content into a single library, supporting search limiters such as media types, devices or tags. The library will track mobile devices, networked data and will eventually track media on Internet TVs and game consoles.
Unifi supports cataloging photos, music, and video on local devices and online networks and represents them in its own cloud service. Media can be stored in the Unifi cloud or it can hold just the most used media and refer back to the rest. Regardless of how much a user stores in the actual library, all the user's media is represented for viewing. The new service promises to work across barriers like where it was purchased, allowing an Android phone to play back media from an iTunes playlist. It also instantly uploads images from iPhones and Android phones.
Any of a user's network-enabled devices, like an iPhone or Mac, can view and play the library's media. Additionally, each device can contribute to the library and control the library on another device. Any web browser also offers access to content.
Unifi will begin its public beta in the first quarter with its commercial launch expected in the first half of 2011. When it launches there will be free and paid monthly versions.