Broadband Internet connections and high-performance media players have allowed multimedia infotainment Web sites to improve services to surfers. Microsoft's new Media Player 7.0, RealNetwork's RealPlayer, Apple's Quicktime player and Yahoo's Yahoo Player are the most commonly used media players on Web sites. They are easy to install and integrate different audio and video applications. Users with supporting platforms like MP3, CD, DVD and AVI can just click on the type of media platform and the players will decide which application to run. Windows Media Player 7 (www. microsoft.com/ windows/ windowsmedia/ en/software/Playerv7. asp) provides the first fully integrated digital media experience; CD- quality audio; streaming and downloadable audio and video jukebox capabilities; and Internet radio. The player helps multimedia users to find, organise and play digital media with one- click access for activities including audio and video playback; CD playback and recording; Internet radio; and transfer of media files to portable devices and removable media. It also comes with an enhanced media library so that you can customise, manage and store both streaming and downloadable audio, video and radio in one place. Another strong feature is the improved Media Guide (WindowsMedia.com), an integral part of the player which makes it easy to find and play material. There are easy-to-use search features for thousands of videos, music downloads and artists' details. Special features offer a wide variety of materials from narrowband to broadband. Sources include Fox Sports, MSNBC, VH1, AMG and major recording artists. The new radio tuner allows you to search for radio stations by format, location, language, call sign, frequency and artist. You can also listen to thousands of Internet radio stations live in Windows Media. Pre-sets are provided to give users immediate access to Internet radio including Bloomberg, BBC Worldwide, CNN, Virgin and NPR. The use of the sound retrieval system and WOW audio en hancement technology improves the quality of audio playback by adding bass and a wider dynamic range. The result is superb sound from any direction. Completely customisable interface designs extend Windows Media Player 7 functions. An interface allows you to change the look and feel of your player to suit your mood. QuickTime 4.1.2 (apple.com/quicktime/ download) is the latest version of Apple's complete technology for handling video, sound, animation, graphics, text, music and even 360-degree virtual reality scenes. QuickTime, a gateway for a range of media including images, music, MIDI and MP3, lets you experience more than 200 kinds of digital media with your Mac or PC and offers unparalleled quality. In addition to the traditional controls such as for volume, pause and play, QuickTime Player gives you enhanced control for on-line movie playback. QuickTime Player has a time display, a slider that shows you the length of the file being played and a chapter marker. On the QuickTime site, you will find links to download the latest movie trailers in MOV format, a common support file type for most on-lines movies. The plug-ins will play MP3, flash, AVI and WAV files, text tracks and sprites. RealPlayer 8 ( www.real.com/player/ features/) lets you experience the broadest range of cool audio and video materials on the Web at the click of a button. New features make it easier to quickly find the application you want and deliver the highest quality multimedia experience through broadband connections. The new Real.com (www. real.com) Radio Tuner now of fers direct access to more than 2,500 Internet radio stations worldwide. Surfers can choose from featured stations, updated daily, or search for a particular station. With the find station feature, you can search for Internet radio stations by topics, name, location and more. It also allows you to create your own station lists and customise with colours and icons. Improved video quality and playback for both dial-up connections and broadband networks deliver near DVD-quality video at 1 Mbps, VHS-quality video at 500 Kbps, and half- screen VHS quality at 220 Kbps. Stunning 3D stereo effects come with the new iQfx 2.0 Basic from Qsound, making music come alive. This makes speakers sound bigger and better, and improves bass that adds punch to music. Similar to the other three players, Yahoo Player (player. broadcast.com) enables you to find and play the best music, videos and radio stations available on the Internet. Some of its improved features included latest music news, interviews, free music downloads, audio books and videos. A CD look-up service automatically finds and displays the title, artist and titles of the other songs on the current CD. The major difference from other players is that it allows you to customise it using the up to 18 types of skin features.