Helix (project): Wikis


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Helix DNA is a project to produce software that can play audio and video media in various formats, aid in producing such media, and serve them over a network. It is intended as a largely free and open source digital media framework that runs on numerous operating systems and processors (including mobile phones) and was started by RealNetworks which has contributed much of the code.[1][2] The Helix Community is an open collaborative effort to develop and extend the Helix DNA platform.[3]

Helix DNA Client is the multi-platform multi-format media playback engine. Helix Player is a media player that runs on Linux, Solaris, Symbian and FreeBSD and is built on top of Helix DNA Client. Helix DNA Producer is an application that can aid in the production of media files, and Helix DNA Server can stream media files over a network.



The code is released in binary and source code form under various licenses, notably the proprietary RealNetworks Community Source License and the free and open source software RealNetworks Public Source License. Additionally, the Helix DNA Client and the Helix Player are licensed under the popular GNU General Public License (GPL) free and open source license.

Use of the RDT, the default proprietary Real data transport, and of the RealVideo and RealAudio codecs requires binary components distributed under the Helix DNA Technology Binary Research Use License.

Helix DNA Client

Helix DNA Client
Original author(s) RealNetworks
Type Media playback engine
License GNU General Public License
Website https://helix-client.helixcommunity.org/

Helix DNA Client powers many digital media applications, including RealPlayer for MS Windows, Mac OS and Linux (since version 10), RealPlayer Mobile, and Helix Player. It is used on Nokia, Motorola, Samsung and Sony Ericsson mobile phones. According to https://helixcommunity.org, 350 million mobile phones with the Helix client have been shipped since 2004. It is also being used in embedded devices like the Internet Tablet OS from Nokia, which is found on the Nokia 770, N800 and N810 Internet Tablets. Cingular Video is also based on the framework. Other projects that use the Helix framework include RealNetwork's Rhapsody online music service, the Banshee and Amarok music players, and MediaReady 4000. Helix DNA also manifests itself as the RealPlayer on Mobile Internet Devices (MID) and on Netbooks.

Another project that is taking advantage of the Helix DNA Client is the One Laptop Per Child project. A group of developers from the Open Source Lab are currently working on a media player API for the project, and will continue on using other Helix technologies to create applications for content creation and content collaboration.[4][5]

Helix DNA client contains support for the following media formats:[6]

Helix DNA Server

Helix DNA Server
Original author(s) RealNetworks
Initial release January 22, 2003
Type Media streaming
License RealNetworks Public Source License, RealNetworks Community Source License
Website https://helix-server.helixcommunity.org/

The Helix DNA Server, first released on 22 January 2003,[7] supports streaming of following formats:

  • RealVideo, RealAudio (.rm, .ra, .rv)
  • MP3

It supports streaming to any device or application that supports the HTTP, RTSP/RTP, TCP, UDP unicast and UDP multicast streaming protocols.[8]

There is also a commercial version called Helix Server, which has more features and supports more media formats.[9]

Helix Player

Helix Player
Original author(s) RealNetworks
Stable release 11.0
Operating system Linux, Solaris, Symbian, FreeBSD
Type Media player
License GNU General Public License
Website https://player.helixcommunity.org/

It is based on the Helix DNA Client. It is available for Linux, Solaris, Symbian and FreeBSD. For MS Windows and Mac OS X users is intended the RealPlayer, which has similar capabilities.[10][11]

Helix DNA Producer

Helix DNA Producer
Original author(s) RealNetworks
Stable release 11
Operating system MS Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
Type Media encoder
License RealNetworks Community Source License
RealNetworks Public Source License
Website https://helix-producer.helixcommunity.org/

It is a media encoding engine for creating streaming broadcasts, on-demand streaming content, and downloadable audio video files. The Helix DNA Producer runs on MS Windows, Linux and Mac OS X.[12]

The Helix DNA Producer contains output support for the following data types:[12][13]

  • RealAudio 10, 8, G2
  • RealVideo 10, 9, 8, 7, G2
  • Ogg Vorbis

Developers who want MP3 encoding can license the code from RealNetworks for a fee.[12] There is also an add-on package for Helix DNA Producer SDK with AAC or aacPlus encoding support.[14]

Helix DNA Producer is also available in a commercial, closed-source version - RealProducer Plus for MS Windows and Linux.[15][16]

See also


  1. ^ ZDNet UK (05 Dec 2002) RealNetworks opens more Helix DNA, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  2. ^ ZDNet UK (06 Aug 2003) RealNetworks releases player code for Linux, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  3. ^ Helix Community About Helix Community, Retrieved on 2009-08-05
  4. ^ Milko Boic - RealNetworks (2007) Helix DNA Client, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  5. ^ One Laptop Per Child - Helix media activity, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  6. ^ Helix Community, Codecs & Formats, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  7. ^ Press release
  8. ^ Helix Community, The Helix DNA Server, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  9. ^ Helix Community, Helix v11 Server Technology & Product Feature Comparison Chart, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  10. ^ Helix Community, Helix Player, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  11. ^ Helix Player 11, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  12. ^ a b c Helix Community, Helix Producer Category FAQ, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  13. ^ Helix Community, Helix DNA Producer SDK Overview, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  14. ^ Helix Community, Helix DNA Producer SDK, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  15. ^ RealProducer - Product resources, Retrieved on 2009-08-02
  16. ^ RealProducer Plus Specifications, Retrieved on 2009-08-02

External links



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