Seattle Based Real Networks (Nasdaq: RNWK) is the industry leader in internet streaming audio and video technologies. Their competitors inlude primarily Apple Computer's Quicktime and Microsoft's Windows Media formats.

Their core technologies Real Video and Real Audio form the basis of many content distribution systems for the internet. Unlike many other solutions, their streaming technologies use UDP, and require special streaming server. They are moving more and more into media delivery, and joining the dying "portal" craze. Their main consumer end software product, is RealPlayer, the front-end to the aforementioned technologies.

Real Audio and Real Video download a .ram file to your computer, which gives directions on how to retrieve the audio stream. RealPlayer then connects and retrieves the .rm (Real media/video) or .ra (Real audio) file.