RealPlayer 16 on Windows
|Initial release||April 1995|
Windows: 220.127.116.11 (May 14, 2016[±]) [±]
|Preview release||16.0 (TBA) [±]|
|Development status||Linux and Solaris versions discontinued after version 11|
|Operating system||Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris, Android, Symbian and Palm OS|
|Platform||IA-32, x86-64, ARM and MIPS|
|Available in||English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional), German, French, Korean, Italian, Japanese and Portuguese|
RealPlayer, formerly RealAudio Player, RealOne Player and RealPlayer G2, is a cross-platform media player app, developed by RealNetworks. The media player is compatible with numerous container file formats of the multimedia realm, including MP3, MP4, QuickTime File Format, Windows Media format, and the proprietary RealAudio and RealVideo formats. RealPlayer is also available for other operating systems; Linux, Unix, Palm OS, Windows Mobile and Symbian versions have been released.
- 1 History
- 2 Current Status
- 3 Features
- 4 Supported platforms for RealPlayer
- 5 Related products
- 6 Reviews and critiques
- 7 Real Alternative
- 8 See also
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The first version of RealPlayer was introduced in April 1995 as "RealAudio Player" and was one of the first media players capable of streaming media over the Internet. Then, version 4.01 of RealPlayer was included as a selectable Internet tool in Windows 98's installation package. Subsequent versions of the software were titled "RealPlayer G2" (version 6) and "RealOne Player" (version 9), while free "Basic" versions as well as paid "Plus" versions, the latter with additional features, have also been offered. For the Windows OS, the RealPlayer version 9 subsumed the features of the separate program, RealJukebox.
RealPlayer 11 was released for Microsoft Windows in November 2007 and for Mac OS X in May 2008. RealPlayer 15 was released November 18, 2011. This version allows users to transfer video, music and photos between their computers and mobile devices, share links of videos and photos on sites such as Facebook and MySpace, and download videos from popular sites such as YouTube and Metacafe.
RealPlayer was initially accessed by many users as a plugin to watch streaming video or listen to streaming audio (for example, most of the BBC's websites formerly employed the plugin); but in the early 21st century, Adobe Flash and subsequently HTML5 video became preferred options for this purpose.
As of May 2015, the Real website states that RealPlayer has been replaced by RealTimes, a product that makes multimedia montages from users' photographs and videos, backed up and accessible via cloud storage. The Real FAQ states that "RealTimes is the newest version of the RealPlayer product. All of your favorite features from RealPlayer and RealPlayer Cloud are still here, plus some exciting new ones!" 
Features of RealPlayer include a web browser, "visualizations" (graphical animations or "light shows", equalizer and video controls (including Crossfade and Gapless playback in RealPlayer Plus), recording audio, LivePause which pauses streaming video clips, CD ripping, and a media converter which allows converting to proper format and transferring video to iPod, cell phones, Xbox, PS3 and other devices
Supported media formats
RealPlayer has used several data formats:
- RealMedia formats: RealAudio (*.ra, *.rm), RealVideo (*.rv, *.rm, *.rmvb), RealPix (*.rp), RealText (*.rt), RealMedia Shortcut (*.ram, *.rmm)
- Streaming: RealTime Streaming Protocol (rtsp://), Progressive Networks Streaming Protocols (pna://, pnm://), Microsoft Windows Media Streaming Protocol (mms://), Real Scalable Multicast (*.sdp), Synchronized Multimedia Integration Language (*.smil, *.smi)
- Audio: MP3 (*.mp3, *.mp2, *.mp2, *.m3u), CD Audio (*.cda), WAV (*.wav), AAC/aacPlus v1 (*.aac, *.m4a, *.m4b, *.mp4, *.acp, *.m4p), Apple Lossless, AIFF (*.aif, *.aiff), AU Audio Files (*.au), Panasonic AAC (*.acp)
- Video: DVD (*.vob), Video CD (*.dat), MPEG Video (*.mpg, *.mpeg, *.m2v, *.mpe etc.), AVI (*.avi, *.divx), MJPEG video playback from .avi files, Windows Media (*.wma, *.wmv etc.) (requires Windows Media Player 9/10), QuickTime (*.mov, *.qt) (QuickTime Player must be installed), Adobe Systems Flash (*.swf) (Flash or Shockwave Player must be installed), Flash Video (*.flv).
- Playlists (*.rpl, *.xpl, *.pls, *.m3u)
- Graphics: Bitmap (*.bmp), GIF Images (*.gif), JPEG Images (*.jpeg, *.jpg), PNG (*.png)
Formats supported by optional plug-ins
RealPlayer has a wide variety of plug-ins. Some of the plug-ins are listed at the RealPlayer accessories page, but not all.
- Audio Enhancement
- There are four audio "enhancers" available for the latest version of RealPlayer. DFX, iQfx, Volume Logic, and Sanyo 3D Surround. Lake PLS, created by Lake Technologies, works only with RealJukebox, and has limited use. There are some registry tweaks which allow Lake PLS to work with RealPlayer 10. Lake PLS is still available on the RealPlayer website.
- RealPlayer Skin Creators
- RealPlayer has had two skin creator plug-ins: SkinsEditor for RealJukebox -- an easy to use skins creator made by DeYoung software. The second application, RealJukebox Skins Converter, converts Winamp skins into RealPlayer skins.
- Playback Plug-Ins
- Please see section Formats supported by optional plug-ins.
- Radio Tuners
- vTuner Plus is a radio tuner specially created for RealPlayer.
- The available visualizations from the RealNetworks site are: FrequencywurX, FyrewurX, FlamewurX, XFactor, Spectrl View, FluxWave, Puddle, Paint Drops, Polka dots, StickSterZ 1.0, Circle, On the road, Real Logo, and Hubble Bubble. There are some more visualization plug-ins like Surreal.FX by RealNetworks, G-Force and WhiteCap by SoundSpectrum and SticksterZ 1.1 by Eric Metois.
- Firefox Browser Download (Firefox Add-on)
- RealPlayer has a browser download add-on for Firefox (currently v1.0) which allows users to download video from a video player window (pop-up menu above top-right side of video player).
- an audioscrobbler plugin that connects RealPlayer with the Last.FM social music network.
Supported platforms for RealPlayer
RealPlayer SP includes audio CD burning capabilities, DVR-style playback buffering, multimedia search, Internet radio, a jukebox-style file library, an embedded web browser (using Microsoft Internet Explorer), and the ability to convert and transfer media to a wide range of devices. This includes music players such as iPod and Zune, smartphones such as iPhone and BlackBerry, portable gaming devices such as Sony PSP, and console gaming systems such as Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Since version 11, RealPlayer SP has gained Flash Video support, DVD, SVCD, VCD burning (120-minute) and video recording (DRM is supported).
As of 2011[update] RealPlayer Enterprise is a licensed product for enterprise applications which can be customized and remotely administered by RealPlayer Enterprise Manager. The free Realplayer Enterprise Education Edition has been removed. Both versions of Realplayer Enterprise are lightweight, ad-free versions of RealPlayer, missing most consumer features and most plug-in support. The RealSched.exe update reminder can be disabled in two steps, and it is not reinstalled upon running the player.
RealPlayer for macOS is distributed for free. The latest current stable release as of July 2010[update] is version RealPlayer SP 1.0. It includes Real's Helix playback engine for RealAudio and RealVideo, a 10-band equalizer and video adjustment controls, and a full-screen, resizable "theater mode" for video playback, as well as many features found in its Windows counterpart.
- QuickTime playback support (including full-screen viewing which Apple only introduced to its own basic QuickTime Player in 2007)
- An integrated Web browser based on Apple's WebKit framework, resulting in RealPlayer and Safari sharing cookies.
- Support for Bonjour to share Internet favorites.
- Cocoa user interface.
RealPlayer for Linux/Unix was developed separately from the Windows and Mac versions. The client is based on the open-source Helix Player which can be found at the Helix Community Website. It supports Windows Media 7/8, RealAudio/Video, MP3 and Ogg Vorbis. The interface depends on the current GTK+ theme.
The Symbian version of RealPlayer allows mobile phones to play Real Audio, Real Video, MP3, 3GP, AMR and other media formats. It is provided as freeware. In newer Symbian devices it can also be used to stream both audio and video content in the form of MP3 (music) and 3GP (videos).
RealPlayer 1.6.1 (US) or RealPlayer 1.6.0 (worldwide) is available for free for PalmOne-made Palm OS 5 devices, such as the Palm Tungsten or Zire series. It is also compatible with RealPlayer Music Store tracks. However, they will neither install nor run on non-PalmOne-made devices like Sony's Clie line of PDAs. They also do not support modern Palm smartphones such as the treo 700p, 755p, or Centro, although the treo 600 and 650 are listed as supported devices. Their Web page regarding Palm OS support (shown above) gives no indication if support for those devices will ever be provided.
RealJukebox was a computer program released by RealNetworks that allowed users to organise their digital music. It was first released in May 1999. By late 2001 the functions of the program had been integrated into the Real's core media player program, RealPlayer.
Reviews and critiques
PC World magazine named RealPlayer (1999 Version) as #2 in its 2006 list "The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time", writing that RealPlayer "had a disturbing way of making itself a little too much at home on your PC--installing itself as the default media player, taking liberties with your Windows Registry, popping up annoying 'messages' that were really just advertisements, and so on." In 2007, it placed RealPlayer, versions 1996-2004, at #5 in its list The 20 Most Annoying Tech Products.
Real Alternative is a codec which allows RealMedia files to be played without the installation of the RealPlayer software. In 2010, RealNetworks sued Hilbrand Edskes, a 26-year-old Dutch webmaster, for unlawfully providing a hyperlink to the Real Alternative codec on his website, alleging that Real Alternative is a reverse engineered codec and therefore illegal. Software repositories such as Download.com continues to host the software product, unchallenged.
- "RealPlayer 1.1". Ewandoo. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
- Other versions of RealPlayer, RealNetworks (UK), retrieved 2012-12-27
- Volotta, Tom, 5 Linux Media Players: Which is the Best Fit?, RealNetworks, retrieved 2012-12-27
- Other versions of RealPlayer (see Linux i686), RealNetworks (UK), retrieved 2012-12-27
- RealPlayer 11 for Linux Release Notes, Helix Community, 2008-04-02, retrieved 2012-12-27
- RealPlayer, Freecode, 2008-04-19, retrieved 2012-12-27
- "Supported Formats by RealOne Player". RealNetworks. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "RealPlayer - Multiple Editions". RealNetworks. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Helix DNA Technology Binary Research Use License". Helix Community. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "msbatch.inf - Unattended and Customized Installation of Windows 98". Retrieved 2010-02-03.
- "How do I download and install RealPlayer?". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-06-14.
- Realnetworks, Inc. "RealPlayer Cloud Is Now RealTimes - See What's New". RealTimes.
- RealNetworks, Inc. "Frequently Asked Questions - RealTimes with RealPlayer". real.com.
- "AT&T A2B Music". ATT.com. 1997. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Adobe SVG". Adobe.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Audible Audio". Ellen.audible.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved 2009-07-16. Audible software list does not include RealPlayer plugin.
- "DiamondBack Vision Partners With Media 100 To Explore MPEG-4 Internet Streaming Solution For Cleaner(TM)". Bizwiz.com. 2001-04-23. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "eBeam Presenter Download". E-beam.com. Retrieved 2010-08-17.[dead link]
- "Digital Bitcasting". Itcom.itd.umich.edu. 2004-01-21. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "Even Technologies - PSI Decoder". Archived from the original on 2007-07-05. Retrieved 2010-08-17.[dead link].
- "LearnKey RealCBT". Uk.onlineexpert.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "RealPlayer supports Liquid Audio". Feed.proteinos.com. 1998-05-29. Archived from the original on 2005-02-14. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "Supported RealPlayer Formats". Service.real.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.[not in citation given]
- "Camtasia for RealPlayer info". Techsmith.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Xiph OGG for RealPlayer Download". Helixcommunity.org. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- Alvear, José (2000-05-29). "RealNetworks' Time to Shine: Real Conference 2000".
- "RichFX Plugin Download". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11.
- "Mode2Real Info and download". Es.geocities.com. Archived from the original on 2009-10-27. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "Mimio broadCast Info". Mimio.com. Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2010-07-17.
- "Mimio Plug-In Download". Softpedia.com. 2006-10-08. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Be Here To Debut Its iVideo Plug-in At Real Conference 2000". OnlineMarketingToday.com. 2000-05-23. Archived from the original on 2005-04-16. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "iPix Plug-In Download". Softpedia.com. 2005-10-10. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "ScreenWatch Plug-In Download". Screenwatch.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "RealNetworks Acquires Vivo". Findarticles.com. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Jones, Christopher (2009-01-04). "RealPlayer to support MJuice". Wired.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "RealPlayer Supported Formats (Blue Matter)". Home.real.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Clark, Scott (1998-12-11). "OZ.Com announces fluid3d for RealPlayer". Internetnews.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Smith, Tony (1999-04-12). "RealNetworks backs IBM digital music system". Theregister.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "VP5 plugin for RealPlayer 1.0 download". Softpedia.com. 2005-07-25. Retrieved 2010-07-17. Google closes on On2 acquisition, February 2010.
- "RealPlayer to support VP5". On2. Archived from the original on 2002-06-06. Retrieved 2010-07-17. Google closes on On2 acquisition, February 2010.
- "VP4 for RealPlayer is available". On2. 2002-01-22. Archived from the original on 2002-02-06. Retrieved 2010-08-17. Google closes on On2 acquisition, February 2010.
- "VP3 for RealPlayer". Newsforge. Archived from the original on 2002-02-14. Google closes on On2 acquisition, February 2010.
- "ImagePower's JPEG2000 Technology Compatible with RealPlayer". Archived from the original on 2003-12-06.
- "Can Realplayer play 3gp files?". support.real.com. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "Sanyo 3D Surround". Archived from the original on 2007-03-12.
- "vTuner Internet Radio". vtuner.com.
- "The SticksterZ". mit.edu.
- "RealPlayer Enterprise". Real Networks. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- "Realplayer Enterprise Education Edition download". Real Networks. Retrieved 2011-03-16.
- "RealNetworks announces RealPlayer 10 for Mac OS X". Realnetworks.com. 2004-06-28. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- "Release notes from". Versiontracker. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- RealNetworks, Inc. "RealPlayer® - Android Apps on Google Play". android.com.
- "RealPlayer for palmOne Handhelds". Real.com. Retrieved 2009-07-16.
- Bass, Steve (2008-03-25). "Don't Like RealPlayer? You've Got Options". Washington Post.
- Richard M. Smith (1999-10-31). "The RealJukebox Monitoring System". computerbytesman.com. Retrieved 2007-02-07.
- Amy Borrus (2000-02-14). "The Privacy War of Richard Smith". businessweek.com. Retrieved 2007-02-05.
- Tynan, Dan (2006-03-26). "The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time". PC World. Retrieved 2012-09-05.
- "RealJukebox Update download page". Real Networks. 1999-11-28. Archived from the original on 1999-11-28. Retrieved 2010-08-17.
- Tynan, Dan (2007-04-16). "The 20 Most Annoying Tech Products". PC World. Retrieved 2016-02-14.
- US-CERT (2010-12-14). "Vulnerability Summary for CVE-2010-0121 (RealNetworks RealPlayer 11.0 through 11.1, RealPlayer SP 1.0 through 1.1.5, Mac RealPlayer 11.0 through 18.104.22.1684, and Linux RealPlayer 22.214.171.1244)". U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Division.
- US-CERT (2014-07-07). "Vulnerability Summary for CVE-2014-3113 (RealNetworks RealPlayer before 126.96.36.199)". U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Division.
- De Winter, Brenno (August 25, 2011). "RealNetworks crushes Dutch webmaster for hyperlink". PC Advisor. IDG. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- "Real Alternative". Download.com. CBS Interactive. October 9, 2009. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- Masnick, Mike (August 26, 2011). "RealNetworks Destroying Dutch Webmaster's Life Because He Linked To A Reverse Engineered Alternative". TechDirt. Retrieved August 29, 2011.
- de Winter, Brenno (November 7, 2011). "RealNetworks gaat door met rechtszaak om hyperlink". WebWerld (Dutch language). Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- Collin, Branko (November 6, 2011). "Internet thugs Realnetworks lose case against Hilbrand Edskes". 24Oranges. Retrieved December 9, 2011.