Potentially very big, very good news for QuickTime:

“America Online Inc. Tuesday made its AOL 9.0 client available to beta testers,” reports eWeek.

“Several long-rumored changes such as a switch from Microsoft Internet Explorer to AOL Time Warner’s own Netscape browser are not included in the current beta release. However, one notable change was the inclusion of Apple Computer’s QuickTime media player in lieu of RealNetworks’ RealOne player, which had been the technology powering AOL’s media player.”

America Online did not respond to requests for comment.

[UPDATE: eWeek has updated thier original article with the following, “However, one notable change was the inclusion of Apple Computer’s QuickTime media player in addition to RealNetworks’ RealPlayer software. QuickTime’s AAC audio codec is being used to power AOL Radio, while AOL’s video offerings continue to be encoded in RealNetworks format.”]

Full article here.