The much-hated RealPlayer will get an upgrade that adds an easy way to download videos from the web, a slicker interface and a friendlier relationship with your computer. "The new RealPlayer gives consumers more control of Internet video than was ever possible before. By floating a download this video button next to video seen on thousands of Web sites, RealPlayer makes it one-click simple," said Rob Glaser, chairman and CEO of Real in a press release.
The feature works for video streams and for most video formats available online (Flash, Windows Media, QuickTime, and Real), including those hosted by video sharing sites like YouTube. The same YouTube whose terms clearly state that "you will not copy or distribute any part of the Website in any medium without YouTube's prior written authorization". The same YouTube that sent a Cease & Desist letter to TechCrunch for hosting a tool that downloads videos from YouTube.
In the meantime, Real Player is a part of Google Pack and Real has some distribution deals with Google. It will be interesting to see if Google/YouTube tolerates this. I know there are many sites that let you download FLV videos from YouTube and even extensions that integrate with those sites, but RealPlayer will definitely be more visible.
Although the application will be officially released at the end of the month, Cybernet News managed to find it at this address [13.3 MB, Windows].