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Real and other Mediaplayers

Ok, need to ventilate here.

I just had the distinctly unpleasent experience of having to download real one player to watch a few videos. What the hell does Real think that they can possibly gain by making their free player suck as much as software can possibly suck and still work?
I mean.. they want people to use it, dont they? Keep it simple for Gods sake.
Even WMP and QT are nice in comparison and thats an accomplishment.

Why is it that every single mediaplayer maker thinks that you want  30 megs of useless features? And ofcourse the formats are all closed so you need all those darn bloated players.

WinAmp is like 1 meg with video support and it doesnt piss people off why cant they just release codecs and get some widespread adoption?

Ah well, as soon as Im done watching these clips ill uninstall Real One... and scan for malware... and wash the registry... and take a shower..

Eric DeBois
Thursday, October 9, 2003

WinAmp DOES piss people off. :-( For example, it pisses me off.

It is very hard to understand how some basic functions are missing:

1. bookmarks, to be able to resume an MP3 where it left off

2. searching:

I have the melody called "Billy Joel - We Didn't Start The Fire.mp3". I don't remember the name of the the singer.

I just want to type "Fire" and see a list of song titles containing that word.

In WinAmp 2.x, you can accomplish this by pressing the J key.

In WinAmp 3.x, it's gone, replaced with a much worse function.

3. In one version of WinAmp 2.x, they added the capability of having play/stop/next/etc buttons in the tray. Then, they removed it.

It is very disappointing that they added lots of features one by one, and then removed them one by one!

Now, you have to search for them on the net as plugins.

The web site of WinAmp used to be almost always broken - search doesn't work, etc.

So, WinAmp annoys me a lot. :-(

Thursday, October 9, 2003

Well, winamp 3.x does suck I was thinking about the later 2.x releases which are still available for DL. 3.x is generally considred to be a piece of crap and Nullsoft wont continue developing it afaik.

Eric DeBois
Thursday, October 9, 2003

Some of the audio and video codecs are open, others are closed.  If Real's codec was open the Windows Media Player would play it and Real would lose that advertising revenue. 

If I recall correctly Quicktime offers the option of only downloading 8 megs or so of application data.  That's not too bad considering what its doing.

And regarding the winAmp problem, if you wait a few weeks iTunes for Windows should be out and you should have a nice solution.  The quick find feature in iTunes is probably one of the slickest features in the whole program.

Thursday, October 9, 2003

We're transitioning away from Real at our site.  Mostly because users deluged us w/ complaints. In addition to what you said, it's also fairly tedious to find the free player.

I'm surprised Real is still in business, given a comparable somewhat free alternative.  The only thing I can think of is Real's server security is much more feature-rich, so maybe porn sites like it.

Thursday, October 9, 2003

What are you moving to?

Frederic Faure
Thursday, October 9, 2003

Real has been putting out insanely bad software since about 99.  I don't know how they stay in business.  The thing that scares me is that I love's rhapsody.  Not perfect, but pretty damned great.  I suspect Real will waste no time making it suck as bad as Real Player. 

But Roxio has a new product with the Napster name.  Legal on line music is now getting interesting.

stream it to me...
Thursday, October 9, 2003

My mac and linux boxes play .rm files, so the codec has been reverse engineered. At one stage I looked for a Windows equivalent at some point, but didn't have much luck. I can't believe people put up with the real one player.

Rhys Keepence
Thursday, October 9, 2003

The setup file for the RealOne player is also 8 megs. Doesn't seem to me to work any worse than WMP or QT (now there's a lousy piece of software).

Don't know where this 30 megs thing comes from.

Dave Hallett
Friday, October 10, 2003

To play Real stuff I now use Jet audio. It doesn't seem to register itself all over the place (Actually I think by default it may do so, but it does have a dialog during install) and doesn't ask for an email address.

Recommended. (Thanks to however it was in who pointed me in their direction)

Peter Ibbotson
Friday, October 10, 2003

Hmm, I see that's a 17.6 MB d/l. Does it just do Real audio, or can it play the video formats too?

Dave Hallett
Friday, October 10, 2003

Winamp 2 continued to be developed after the release of Winamp 3 - the last release of 3 was in Dec '02, but a new version of 2 came out in Apr '03.

Adam in Poland
Friday, October 10, 2003

The Real Player is awful.  Things that annoy me:
-1" by 1" video screen, in order to make room for the 2" by 4" channel bar, the half-inch hotbar, the address bar, the other things I never wanted to see.  They can be disabled in the newer versions, but still annoying.

Upon opening RealPlayer 8 to view a movie, I was told I would need to "get a patch" to play this particular .RMM file.  OK, fine, I can get the newer codec.  Turns out the "patch" installs the Real One Player.  Guess which five extraneous components appear next to the tiny 1"x1" video screen?

Now let's go through Real One setup.  Associate with .MP3's?  NO THANKS, NOT EVER PLEASE.  Attempt to grab the .MP3 extension every time I start up?  NO, I don't want to use this program!  Sign up for our email 'alerts' in seven different ways?  Yeah, why not!  Send them to 

What is this new folder in my IE Favorites list?  I didn't ask for this.

Why did Real add like four icons to my desktop?  Is this necessary?

And the start menu, now it's added itself to the first menu, right next to Windows Update--what gives it the right to do this automatically?

Access to the internet?  No, uncheck all the 'helpful autoupdate features'.  I have no Internet access.  Immediately after clicking "Next", ZoneAlarm pops up with a "real is attempting to access the internet, allow it?" boxes.  IMMEDIATELY AFTER I JUST TOLD IT I HAVE NO INTERNET, AND TO PLEASE NOT CALL HOME, THANKS.  I know they're trying to make money off this freely-downloadable program, but sheesh. 

Don't even get me started on the process of disabling the tray icon (hint--you can't just click on the icon and click on 'disable' like every other Windows tray icon.  Even the virus scanners allow this feature)
Oh, and the format is inferior in quality to pretty much all the others.

QuickTime is worse in some respects.  The qttask.exe loads on startup, presumably so Steve Jobs can personally browse my cookies folder.  It doesn't matter.  What matters is that A)it's not necessary to load a tray icon so that I can play a .MOV file semi-annually, and B)the qttask.EXE process is not disable-able from any option within QuickTime.  I believe every time you load QuickTime, qttask.exe appears on your startup list again, whether you disabled it or not.

Windows Media Player is getting more intrusive with newer versions, but I won't go into too many details.  Whenever 'compact mode' is still larger than the original "MPLAYER2.EXE" Media Player window, you know something's wrong.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Last month I found the way to completly dump WMP,
RealPlayer, QuickTime and WinAmp:

Mediaplayer Classic (875 KB)

In combination with RealAlternative:
and QuickTime Alternative:

No more usability degrading eye-candy, no more
infuriating spyware and more icons all over my desktop.

Just one lightweight player for all media formats.

Friday, October 10, 2003

(re jetaudio) Sorry don't know about the video, I just use it to listen to re-broadcasts of radio stuff on I suspect it does but I've never checked.

Peter Ibbotson
Friday, October 10, 2003

Does Media Player Classic support wma9 ?- I've been looking for ages for something that plays my favourite online radio station which only broadcasts wma9 and Windows Media Player is the only thing I can find.

Knowledge Maker
Friday, October 10, 2003

Filistijn >>

Cheers man. Just what I need!

Eric DeBois
Friday, October 10, 2003

Yeah, me too. Thanks!!

Dave Hallett
Friday, October 10, 2003

Winamp may suck a *little*, but the point is that Real and Windows Media suck a lot MORE. I guess it depends on what you're looking for in a player, but I don't even like the UI of Real or Windows Media Player. The good technology of those players is buried in the UI hell that was designed into them.

Ian Frearson
Tuesday, May 11, 2004

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