A Real Zune Challenge For iPod

Real Networks - known for its eponymous PC video player and Rhapsody music download service - has announced that, on the heels of Microsoft's Zune announcement - it is also planning to enter the PVR (personal video recorder) market. It's beginning to look crowded out there, with Creative Technologies already struggling to keep up.

The one advantage the Microsoft based players have is the ability to support Windows Media DRM - it'll be interesting to see what codecs Real decides to support. The recent hacking of the DRM on WM 10.1 might tip the balance in favour of one of the existing Real codecs, or more likely DivX or MPEG4. Then there will be three competing services (including Apple and Microsoft's) all using different technologies.

Just what the market needs...