NEWS: Real Networks Takes YouTube (and other Flash) videos offline

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/05/PID_011465/Podtech_REAL.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/3198/real-networks-announces-new-offline-player-for-youtube&totalTime=1436000&breadcrumb=4d330d45f6694dd4b361496dd93d061b]

Real Networks new Real Player now will take YouTube videos offline. Here’s an interview I did with Real’s Vice President, Jeff Chasen where he gave me a demo of the new player (coming soon, I’ll let you know where it’s up). I also gave him heck for Real’s past sins, including difficul-to-find player downloads, tons of additional software ties, and more.

The new player adds a little icon above videos on YouTube and other services like Blip.TV. It makes it easy to download Flash and other kinds of videos to the Real Player so you can keep them, watch them on planes or other places you’re offline, and more.

Here’s the official press release.

If you want just the facts, Rocky did an Editor’s Choice where he put up just the highlights of the interview and demo (takes less than five minutes to watch, where the full interview/demo takes about 24).

Why would Real do this?

It’s a lot better experience to watch a video in the Real Player than on a Web page (you can make it bigger, if it’s offline it won’t “stutter” anymore if you’re on low-bandwidth connections).

What about DRM? Yeah, they won’t allow you to download DRM’d stuff (he shows off in the video the experience that happens when you hit a video from, say, a movie company that doesn’t want you to download the Flash video).

You can also use this to burn videos to CDs or DVDs. Jeff thinks this is a “poor man’s” Apple TV since most people have DVDs hooked up to their TVs now.

UPDATE: CNET also wrote it up, and Andy Plesser has a different video about the new player.

125 thoughts on “NEWS: Real Networks Takes YouTube (and other Flash) videos offline

  1. “Your honor, YouTube broke our software by not letting our player download the video directly circumventing the TOS and using bandwidth with no source representation.”

    “Your honor, X script company made noleechflv.php and or apache .flv module and also caused our player to download 3 second goatse.cx video instead of the intended movie”

    If my comments here are seen as a joke by some, it’s worth it to expose what will most likely end up happening. Nobody cares when little web startups do it for free, but when a large media company starts to try to make millions off your bandwidth and access, that’s another story. I have social networking sites that host video and I am making a new Apache 2 module that will prevent this right now. .flv is normally handled by the generic file reader, but I am hooking it with this module. I will make it open source on sourceforge as well.

    I predict “Google Media Manager” in this coming year, that downloads youtube vids, and lets you watch them via your media center, be it PS3, AppleTV, ect, and lets you burn them to DVD and VCD.

  2. “Your honor, YouTube broke our software by not letting our player download the video directly circumventing the TOS and using bandwidth with no source representation.”

    “Your honor, X script company made noleechflv.php and or apache .flv module and also caused our player to download 3 second goatse.cx video instead of the intended movie”

    If my comments here are seen as a joke by some, it’s worth it to expose what will most likely end up happening. Nobody cares when little web startups do it for free, but when a large media company starts to try to make millions off your bandwidth and access, that’s another story. I have social networking sites that host video and I am making a new Apache 2 module that will prevent this right now. .flv is normally handled by the generic file reader, but I am hooking it with this module. I will make it open source on sourceforge as well.

    I predict “Google Media Manager” in this coming year, that downloads youtube vids, and lets you watch them via your media center, be it PS3, AppleTV, ect, and lets you burn them to DVD and VCD.

  3. I’m pointing out that they did not really think this through in any type of long term situation. I don’t care if they use our services or not. It’s not like Ben is the only person that can read my offer anyway. Anyone who needs services can contact me.

    “Chris, it’s not like YouTube/Google has clean hands wrt TOS violations.”

    That’s not the point. Real is doing this like YouTube and Google of all companies is simply going to let them make money off of their bandwidth as a leech addon, and they couldn’t be more wrong.

    Why doesn’t microsoft make software like that?
    Why do they go out of their way to clone myspace with MSN spaces and youtube with soapbox???

    Why not just leech?
    Because if you don’t own the server side, and you build a product based on the *hope* that they won’t lock the FLV http download with a crypt key hash, you’re going to get screwed.
    They don’t own the server side, and any little script company can release a FLV bandwidth protector in the same way they protected images from being leeched via replacement image if the referrer is wrong.

    Real is going to be sh*t out of luck if they try to cry to the courts in the same way they did with MS when web services break their software. No court in the world is going to give them 700+ Million for whining when it’s not Microsoft Windows on the other end of complaint.

    That’s a fact. I’m sorry, I don’t live in dreamland.

  4. I’m pointing out that they did not really think this through in any type of long term situation. I don’t care if they use our services or not. It’s not like Ben is the only person that can read my offer anyway. Anyone who needs services can contact me.

    “Chris, it’s not like YouTube/Google has clean hands wrt TOS violations.”

    That’s not the point. Real is doing this like YouTube and Google of all companies is simply going to let them make money off of their bandwidth as a leech addon, and they couldn’t be more wrong.

    Why doesn’t microsoft make software like that?
    Why do they go out of their way to clone myspace with MSN spaces and youtube with soapbox???

    Why not just leech?
    Because if you don’t own the server side, and you build a product based on the *hope* that they won’t lock the FLV http download with a crypt key hash, you’re going to get screwed.
    They don’t own the server side, and any little script company can release a FLV bandwidth protector in the same way they protected images from being leeched via replacement image if the referrer is wrong.

    Real is going to be sh*t out of luck if they try to cry to the courts in the same way they did with MS when web services break their software. No court in the world is going to give them 700+ Million for whining when it’s not Microsoft Windows on the other end of complaint.

    That’s a fact. I’m sorry, I don’t live in dreamland.

  5. Chris, it’s not like YouTube/Google has clean hands wrt TOS violations. They have very little qualm about people uploading unauthorized recordings of copyrighted works. They ostensibly don’t allow it, but are extremely slow to remove it when asked by the creators, and their filtering system is an intentional joke. YouTube survives on such pirated material; most user-made videos are garbage, amusing for about a day before people lose interest in them. YouTube’s “quality” videos are pirated works. Hell, Colbert and Stewart were what made YouTube big in the first place, before there was any deal made with Comedy Central to provide the clips legitimately.

    And please stop your two-faced posting. On the one hand you offer Real your “services” (what a laugh) and on the other hand you trash them? I’m not a fan of Real myself (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are indeed violating TOS of these video sites), but your posts to this thread are a joke. (A *running* joke, since you keep posting again and again.)

  6. Chris, it’s not like YouTube/Google has clean hands wrt TOS violations. They have very little qualm about people uploading unauthorized recordings of copyrighted works. They ostensibly don’t allow it, but are extremely slow to remove it when asked by the creators, and their filtering system is an intentional joke. YouTube survives on such pirated material; most user-made videos are garbage, amusing for about a day before people lose interest in them. YouTube’s “quality” videos are pirated works. Hell, Colbert and Stewart were what made YouTube big in the first place, before there was any deal made with Comedy Central to provide the clips legitimately.

    And please stop your two-faced posting. On the one hand you offer Real your “services” (what a laugh) and on the other hand you trash them? I’m not a fan of Real myself (and I wouldn’t be surprised if they are indeed violating TOS of these video sites), but your posts to this thread are a joke. (A *running* joke, since you keep posting again and again.)

  7. The other obvious factor is that Google is almost 1000% going to make a legitimate official youtube desktop service to destroy yours, then you’ll really have nothing.

    I hate to say it too. It hurts.

  8. The other obvious factor is that Google is almost 1000% going to make a legitimate official youtube desktop service to destroy yours, then you’ll really have nothing.

    I hate to say it too. It hurts.

  9. @Ben Rotholtz,

    Google doesn’t care if a few websites download their HTTP and turn it into an mpeg with ffmpeg and Linux, but they’re going to care when Real player starts leeching off of the service at high cost to them at high volume. At least apple is doing a real deal with them, probably to mitigate these factores.

    Even the article you link to points out the obvious:

    “Apple later added technology to the iPod to block Harmony.”

    YouTube will no doubt mask it’s FLV’s. Earlier I eluded to masking the bits in the flv stream over TCP, but something as simple as a key on the server sent to the player with a random hash sent back from the player to the youtube server to “unlock” the FLV download would sink your new player instantly.

    You talk about the service being generic, but isn’t YouTube the real aim of this? Plus if youtube starts conserving/constraining bandwidth to it’s actual customers, won’t the others follow suit?

    If websites like youtube start to see that there is no advantage to providing direct http flv video downloads to the flash player, they will ALL stop.

    Real software developers are NOT smarter than the rest of us.
    You’re going to end up ruining it for everybody else. Please start your own youtube or video sharing service and do it that way instead. It’s only fair.

  10. @Ben Rotholtz,

    Google doesn’t care if a few websites download their HTTP and turn it into an mpeg with ffmpeg and Linux, but they’re going to care when Real player starts leeching off of the service at high cost to them at high volume. At least apple is doing a real deal with them, probably to mitigate these factores.

    Even the article you link to points out the obvious:

    “Apple later added technology to the iPod to block Harmony.”

    YouTube will no doubt mask it’s FLV’s. Earlier I eluded to masking the bits in the flv stream over TCP, but something as simple as a key on the server sent to the player with a random hash sent back from the player to the youtube server to “unlock” the FLV download would sink your new player instantly.

    You talk about the service being generic, but isn’t YouTube the real aim of this? Plus if youtube starts conserving/constraining bandwidth to it’s actual customers, won’t the others follow suit?

    If websites like youtube start to see that there is no advantage to providing direct http flv video downloads to the flash player, they will ALL stop.

    Real software developers are NOT smarter than the rest of us.
    You’re going to end up ruining it for everybody else. Please start your own youtube or video sharing service and do it that way instead. It’s only fair.

  11. Google, while you’re at it bzip packet increments in the stream as well, so you can still play it streaming, but it downloads faster

    StreamStart — 0-100 bytes |—| bzipped/XOR’d 100-200 bytes |—| bzipped/XOR’d 200-300 bytes |—| bzipped/XOR’d 300-400 bytes |—| bzipped/XOR’d StreamEnd

    ect… to make sure it’s still streamed but with a faster download. I’m sure you could do a bzip algoth with actionscript. FLVs are usually pretty packed anyway, but you could squeeze that little more speed out of it for slower connections.

  12. Google, while you’re at it bzip packet increments in the stream as well, so you can still play it streaming, but it downloads faster

    StreamStart — 0-100 bytes |—| bzipped/XOR’d 100-200 bytes |—| bzipped/XOR’d 200-300 bytes |—| bzipped/XOR’d 300-400 bytes |—| bzipped/XOR’d StreamEnd

    ect… to make sure it’s still streamed but with a faster download. I’m sure you could do a bzip algoth with actionscript. FLVs are usually pretty packed anyway, but you could squeeze that little more speed out of it for slower connections.

  13. If anybody from YouTube.com or Google reads this thread, you can stop all the leecher websites and Real networks by sending the youtube.com flash player the FLV file bit stream as a XOR’d stream, then have the flash player decode the stream with bit key XOR before playing it with the Flash API. They key/pair can be authenticated before the stream starts and randomized.

    That will make sure people visit the website and don’t pirate the flv stream off of HTTP.
    Then if Real or a website cracks the XOR key/pair, it would be a violation of the DCMA.
    The reason YouTube would want to do this is to stop paying for bandwidth they get no return on. In essence the damages Real is causing to YouTube would be at the very least the price of the wasted bandwidth.

  14. If anybody from YouTube.com or Google reads this thread, you can stop all the leecher websites and Real networks by sending the youtube.com flash player the FLV file bit stream as a XOR’d stream, then have the flash player decode the stream with bit key XOR before playing it with the Flash API. They key/pair can be authenticated before the stream starts and randomized.

    That will make sure people visit the website and don’t pirate the flv stream off of HTTP.
    Then if Real or a website cracks the XOR key/pair, it would be a violation of the DCMA.
    The reason YouTube would want to do this is to stop paying for bandwidth they get no return on. In essence the damages Real is causing to YouTube would be at the very least the price of the wasted bandwidth.

  15. Real could claim that it’s application is merely a different GUI frontend for legitimate youtube member use. I think YouTube could come back and say it’s interfering with the service agreement for the members watching and using it.

    In short, Real should have started it’s own video sharing site instead of leeching. It’s not like they can’t afford it. I don’t think the youtube thing, even without legal problems will bring anybody back to use the player. Real needs a facelift.

  16. Real could claim that it’s application is merely a different GUI frontend for legitimate youtube member use. I think YouTube could come back and say it’s interfering with the service agreement for the members watching and using it.

    In short, Real should have started it’s own video sharing site instead of leeching. It’s not like they can’t afford it. I don’t think the youtube thing, even without legal problems will bring anybody back to use the player. Real needs a facelift.

  17. “I’m not a lawyer but we are confident that the downloading and recording capabilities that we’re providing with the new RealPlayer are legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Account and that we’re not violating anyone’s Terms of Service.”

    1. Firstly, obviously, you can already do this anywhere on the web, and have been able to for over a year now.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=download+youtube+videos

    2. Secondly, Of course those sites are not going to be legal targets because they are negligible in terms of damage compensation ability.

    3. Thirdly, When a user uploads content to youtube, they EXPLICITLY give youtube the redistribution copyrights. NOT Real Networks. If you were sampling the youtube videos for education or journalism, THAT would be fair use. What you are doing now is no different than pirating a TV show. The show’s producer gave the TV network the right to redistribute it, then pirates redistribute it outside of that contract on newsgroups.
    What Real is doing is exactly the same. The user gave explicit rights to youtube for redistribution, and Real is violating that contract, by redistributing verbatim the copyrighted video outside of the wishes of it’s author.

    Why don’t they pick on the 1000′s of other websites?
    http://www.out-law.com/page-6223
    Because Real can make YouTube.com shareholders a little richer than they already are and the others can not.
    Beware.

    Had you used our consulting services, this would have been pointed out to you. We offer them at very reasonable prices and you can always contact me about it.

  18. “I’m not a lawyer but we are confident that the downloading and recording capabilities that we’re providing with the new RealPlayer are legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Account and that we’re not violating anyone’s Terms of Service.”

    1. Firstly, obviously, you can already do this anywhere on the web, and have been able to for over a year now.
    http://www.google.com/search?q=download+youtube+videos

    2. Secondly, Of course those sites are not going to be legal targets because they are negligible in terms of damage compensation ability.

    3. Thirdly, When a user uploads content to youtube, they EXPLICITLY give youtube the redistribution copyrights. NOT Real Networks. If you were sampling the youtube videos for education or journalism, THAT would be fair use. What you are doing now is no different than pirating a TV show. The show’s producer gave the TV network the right to redistribute it, then pirates redistribute it outside of that contract on newsgroups.
    What Real is doing is exactly the same. The user gave explicit rights to youtube for redistribution, and Real is violating that contract, by redistributing verbatim the copyrighted video outside of the wishes of it’s author.

    Why don’t they pick on the 1000′s of other websites?
    http://www.out-law.com/page-6223
    Because Real can make YouTube.com shareholders a little richer than they already are and the others can not.
    Beware.

    Had you used our consulting services, this would have been pointed out to you. We offer them at very reasonable prices and you can always contact me about it.

  19. This is Ben Rotholtz, General Manager of Web Services and Syndication with Real.

    The download and record capability that we’re providing are not fundamentally different from what a VCR or Tivo provides and there’s superb precedent for what we’re doing.
    As noted elsewhere in this blog there are already tools to download and record by format or for a particular site. The new RealPlayer enables download and record for tens of thousands of sites and the four major formats. The new RealPlayer provides consumers a new way to then interact with that content – full-screen, personalization (ratings, comments, etc.), queuing by playlist, transcoding to a CD and DVD and later this year transcoding to portable devices such as the iPod.
    I’m not a lawyer but we are confident that the downloading and recording capabilities that we’re providing with the new RealPlayer are legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Account and that we’re not violating anyone’s Terms of Service.”

  20. This is Ben Rotholtz, General Manager of Web Services and Syndication with Real.

    The download and record capability that we’re providing are not fundamentally different from what a VCR or Tivo provides and there’s superb precedent for what we’re doing.
    As noted elsewhere in this blog there are already tools to download and record by format or for a particular site. The new RealPlayer enables download and record for tens of thousands of sites and the four major formats. The new RealPlayer provides consumers a new way to then interact with that content – full-screen, personalization (ratings, comments, etc.), queuing by playlist, transcoding to a CD and DVD and later this year transcoding to portable devices such as the iPod.
    I’m not a lawyer but we are confident that the downloading and recording capabilities that we’re providing with the new RealPlayer are legal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Account and that we’re not violating anyone’s Terms of Service.”

  21. The first thing I do when I get a PC that has real player on it is to remove it! They’re software is awful and their antics are even worse. I would never use any REAL software.

  22. The first thing I do when I get a PC that has real player on it is to remove it! They’re software is awful and their antics are even worse. I would never use any REAL software.

  23. Like many of you, I’ve tried Real Player in the past and hated it. And whether or not they made it less annoying is irrelevant as they’re not bringing anything enticing enough to the table to make it worth my time to try them again.

    @macbeach: Agreed it’s nice to have options. But there are tons of media players out there besides Real player. My favorite right now is Democracy Player, which also has built in capabilities to watch online content and is looking very promising. And with so many choices besides Real and Windows Media Player’s, I can’t see any reason to go back to a peice of software that has proven itself a pain at best in the past. I will say though that I have little experience with linux and have never tried Real on that platform.

  24. Like many of you, I’ve tried Real Player in the past and hated it. And whether or not they made it less annoying is irrelevant as they’re not bringing anything enticing enough to the table to make it worth my time to try them again.

    @macbeach: Agreed it’s nice to have options. But there are tons of media players out there besides Real player. My favorite right now is Democracy Player, which also has built in capabilities to watch online content and is looking very promising. And with so many choices besides Real and Windows Media Player’s, I can’t see any reason to go back to a peice of software that has proven itself a pain at best in the past. I will say though that I have little experience with linux and have never tried Real on that platform.

  25. @Ben Rotholtz
    http://www.beercosoftware.com/jobbank/bcseq.jpg
    http://www.beercosoftware.com/jobbank/bcseq2.jpg
    Real Networks and most other American companies can not get access to the job pools we can. You have to have a corporate status with the govt here in order to be able to use the system. This is not monster.com, we are plugged into a system where we have access to govt workers, graduates, private/public sector ect… on an internal level.
    Here in our area, the job market which is traditionally privately by companies in the US, is govt controlled.
    So we can literally out perform any American recruiter or temp agency with candidates they can never get access to with their resources. Quality premium human resources. I can get you the Robert Scoble of Montreal to start your own Real Channel 9, and I can do it at 30-40% off. I mean business, and I can set Real up with a team of very skilled people with only a month or 2 of setup time. I can even export them to work at your offices if you so choose for an extra fee. Thanks very much for reading through.

  26. @Ben Rotholtz
    http://www.beercosoftware.com/jobbank/bcseq.jpg
    http://www.beercosoftware.com/jobbank/bcseq2.jpg
    Real Networks and most other American companies can not get access to the job pools we can. You have to have a corporate status with the govt here in order to be able to use the system. This is not monster.com, we are plugged into a system where we have access to govt workers, graduates, private/public sector ect… on an internal level.
    Here in our area, the job market which is traditionally privately by companies in the US, is govt controlled.
    So we can literally out perform any American recruiter or temp agency with candidates they can never get access to with their resources. Quality premium human resources. I can get you the Robert Scoble of Montreal to start your own Real Channel 9, and I can do it at 30-40% off. I mean business, and I can set Real up with a team of very skilled people with only a month or 2 of setup time. I can even export them to work at your offices if you so choose for an extra fee. Thanks very much for reading through.

  27. @Ben Rotholtz,

    Just to clarify, when I offered positive brand recognition in the post above, I was not offering my personal services. What my company does is hire fresh off the market college diploma holding professionals that work for your company 9-5PM every business day as your remote worker with a dedicated toll free phone line.

    If you would like to take me up on my offer, I would offer nothing less than a university educated, qualified marketer from the greater Quebec or Montreal area to work on your marketing turnaround plan from our offices. They would work under an NDA and you can use them for whatever other tasks you wish. The cost of a professional marketer is slightly higher than our coding and FAQ reading services, but still well below what an employee with the same credentials would cost you in Seattle, San Francisco or other major metropolitan American areas.

  28. @Ben Rotholtz,

    Just to clarify, when I offered positive brand recognition in the post above, I was not offering my personal services. What my company does is hire fresh off the market college diploma holding professionals that work for your company 9-5PM every business day as your remote worker with a dedicated toll free phone line.

    If you would like to take me up on my offer, I would offer nothing less than a university educated, qualified marketer from the greater Quebec or Montreal area to work on your marketing turnaround plan from our offices. They would work under an NDA and you can use them for whatever other tasks you wish. The cost of a professional marketer is slightly higher than our coding and FAQ reading services, but still well below what an employee with the same credentials would cost you in Seattle, San Francisco or other major metropolitan American areas.

  29. @Ben Rotholtz – It’s an uphill battle you have on your hands. While Scobleizer’s audience is probably NOT representative of the population at large… We probably are, collectively, representative of the influencers (and to smaller degree the policy shapers).

    Said more succinctly… you might try the MORE direct/transparent approach and address the terms of service bit at places like YouTube and Stage6.

    If we even think you’re old habits are still wafting around… we’ll tell our friends who will tell their friends who will uninstall you from family computers across the tubes of the internet. I checked YouTube and Stage6 and you guys are certainly akimbo with their ToS unless you have a permission slip. Got em?

    So, hows about it? I’m calling you guys out. Ready to address the Terms of Service issue? I bet PodTech would shoot that video in… nah I won’t say ‘flash’… but… well, in a blinkx maybe. Seriously, THIS could tip perception. Consider it.

  30. @Ben Rotholtz – It’s an uphill battle you have on your hands. While Scobleizer’s audience is probably NOT representative of the population at large… We probably are, collectively, representative of the influencers (and to smaller degree the policy shapers).

    Said more succinctly… you might try the MORE direct/transparent approach and address the terms of service bit at places like YouTube and Stage6.

    If we even think you’re old habits are still wafting around… we’ll tell our friends who will tell their friends who will uninstall you from family computers across the tubes of the internet. I checked YouTube and Stage6 and you guys are certainly akimbo with their ToS unless you have a permission slip. Got em?

    So, hows about it? I’m calling you guys out. Ready to address the Terms of Service issue? I bet PodTech would shoot that video in… nah I won’t say ‘flash’… but… well, in a blinkx maybe. Seriously, THIS could tip perception. Consider it.

  31. If anybody from Real is reading through this, my company could help them turn their public image around for a relatively small fee. We could prepare a comprehensive plan to change people’s perception of the company and give them some auditing information that would help them implement meaningful changes that would eventually lead to a turn around on the brand.

    If anybody from Real is interested, they can use the link after “Comment by” in this post and use the contact form on our website. It’s not a publicly listed service that we offer, but we certainly do offer it.

  32. If anybody from Real is reading through this, my company could help them turn their public image around for a relatively small fee. We could prepare a comprehensive plan to change people’s perception of the company and give them some auditing information that would help them implement meaningful changes that would eventually lead to a turn around on the brand.

    If anybody from Real is interested, they can use the link after “Comment by” in this post and use the contact form on our website. It’s not a publicly listed service that we offer, but we certainly do offer it.

  33. I think Ben Rotholtz of Real has made a good explanation as to what Real did bad and how they now will support its user better.

    My last Real player installation a year ago, lasted for one hour before I had to use much time de-installing it. Never again was my verdict.

    So, intrigued by the possibility to finally have one player for all kinds of file formats, I opened the Real.com site an clicked the download now button. Okay,
    I need to register an e-mail address. But hey, am I ordering something here? Why do they want my credit card, isn’t this a free trial. Ben, goodbye! Again.

  34. I think Ben Rotholtz of Real has made a good explanation as to what Real did bad and how they now will support its user better.

    My last Real player installation a year ago, lasted for one hour before I had to use much time de-installing it. Never again was my verdict.

    So, intrigued by the possibility to finally have one player for all kinds of file formats, I opened the Real.com site an clicked the download now button. Okay,
    I need to register an e-mail address. But hey, am I ordering something here? Why do they want my credit card, isn’t this a free trial. Ben, goodbye! Again.

  35. The new RealPlayer does not “enforce file preferences.” It will play Real media files and at installation the user can uncheck the request to play file formats that are not currently associated with another player.

    The message center (advertising) is now off by default. Users must open preferences to turn on the message center. This player is designed to provide an unimpeded consumer experience.

    Why try it? The RealPlayer is a bit like Rhapsody. It takes using it for a few hours before its flexibility to download and record video from tens of thousands of sites becomes second nature.

    The new RealPlayer is free to download. If we haven’t met your expectations we do want to hear from you.

  36. The new RealPlayer does not “enforce file preferences.” It will play Real media files and at installation the user can uncheck the request to play file formats that are not currently associated with another player.

    The message center (advertising) is now off by default. Users must open preferences to turn on the message center. This player is designed to provide an unimpeded consumer experience.

    Why try it? The RealPlayer is a bit like Rhapsody. It takes using it for a few hours before its flexibility to download and record video from tens of thousands of sites becomes second nature.

    The new RealPlayer is free to download. If we haven’t met your expectations we do want to hear from you.

  37. Unless they’ve done something truly amazing (and “Offline flash” is NOT it), AND have given up their evil ways – there’s no way I’d be letting it touch any system of mine.

    Hint to Real: I’m still bitter about you installing swathes of very-difficult-to-remove advertising on my PC, and enforcing your own file preferences.

  38. Unless they’ve done something truly amazing (and “Offline flash” is NOT it), AND have given up their evil ways – there’s no way I’d be letting it touch any system of mine.

    Hint to Real: I’m still bitter about you installing swathes of very-difficult-to-remove advertising on my PC, and enforcing your own file preferences.

  39. Geee, 8 years of streaming error messages. Play them ole time 1999 hits, “General error. An error occurred”, “Sorry, the requested codec was not found. Please upgrade your system”, “An error occurred while reading data from the network”, each and every time, I gave them the benefit of the doubt and installed the next version, it never got any better. I think everyone is well burnt beyond belief. Crazy how the biggies, signed up for RBN, the network that can’t stream.

    Hyper commercialism, and even outright misleading customers and hijacking your system, are (gasp) liveable sins, if the product works, Real doesn’t, and for 8 years hasn’t. Great brand awareness, just universally disdained.

    Revolution of internet media? Hello? Until Flash, everything was codec and stream hell. That said, RMVB rocks, shame Real got dot.com and spyware religion.

Comments are closed.