RealNetworks, the Seattle based software company behind the popular Real Player music application, has acquired mobile start-up Varia Mobile, indicating that the software maker may be planning to develop cloud-based desktop and mobile offerings.
Varia Mobile, the company behind the Rhapsody MP3 player, has developed software that allows ‘immediate, publishing, integration and deployment of Web 2.0 desktop features directly into a mobile device.’
The software can be used to wirelessly sync media content with a media service or storefront so that the users won’t have to sync their mobile devices with their PCs.
However, RealNetworks has failed to mention the financial details of the takeover or the specifics on the ‘secret’ project on which RealNetworks and Varia Mobile engineers will be working on.
The acquisition will see Varia Mobile CEO John McQueen joining RealNetworks as vice president of business development and OEM and will be reporting directly to Hank Skorny, the senior vice president at RealNetworks. Apart from him, 8 other employees from Varia are joining RealNetworks.
Fueling speculations on the purpose behind the acquisition of Varia Mobile, a TechFlash reader found a job posting made by RealNetworks that indicated that the company “is building a product and service that will provide the casual user the ability to backup their most prized content and access that content on their computer, mobile device or living room device.”
Maybe RealNetworks should start by making Rhapsody available to listeners outside the US. It is a shame that such a great service is US-bound for the time being while Spotify is already shaping up as a credible alternative on a global scale.