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.
|Initial release||April 3, 1995|
|Stable release||Windows: 126.96.36.1996 (June 3, 2021 ) [±]
OS X: 188.8.131.520 (September 7, 2012) [±]
Windows Mobile: 1.1 (July 30, 2009) [±]Android: 1.2.151 (December 27, 2013 ) [±]
|Preview release||16.0 (TBA) [±]|
|Operating system||Windows, macOS, Linux, Solaris, Android, BeOS, 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|
The program is powered by an underlying open-source media engine called Helix.
The first version of RealPlayer was introduced on April 3, 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 on November 18, 2011. This version allowed 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.
In February 2016, RealNetworks released RealPlayer 18, which incorporated the features of the previous year's release of RealTimes, an app that makes multimedia montages from users' photographs and videos, backed up and accessible via cloud storage. The Real.com Blog states that "RealPlayer with RealTimes (aka "RealPlayer" for short) will still include the legacy features, such as Downloader, Converter, and Web Videos. It will also still include our RealTimes features, such as Photos and RealTimes Stories, our automatic video collage feature." Note that as of 2018, the publisher only provides RealTime for use on a Mac and no longer publishes a media player called RealPlayer for macOS.
Features of RealPlayer include a video download utility, a web browser, visualizations (graphical animations or "light shows" that appear on the screen when playing music), equalizer and video controls (including Crossfade and Gapless playback in RealPlayer Plus), recording audio, CD ripping, and a media converter which allows converting files to a variety of common audio and video formats.
- Photo and Video Sharing - users can post videos to Facebook and Twitter directly from the software, as well as share directly to friends and family via email or SMS messages.
Supported media formats
RealPlayer has used several data formats:
- RealMedia formats: RealAudio (*.ra, *.rm), RealVideo (*.rv, *.rm, *.rmvb), RealMedia HD (*.rmhd), 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://),%5B%5D 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
- 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 2008, 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.
The last stable release as of July 2010 included 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 Android version of RealPlayer is currently available as a free download from the Google Play Store. It supports Real Audio, Real Video, MP3, 3GP, AMR, and other media formats.
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. Realplayer for Palm OS does not support later Palm smartphones such as the treo 700p, 755p, or Centro, although the treo 600 and 650 are listed as supported devices.
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.
PC World magazine named RealPlayer (1999 Version) as number 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 number 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. In November 2011, RealNetworks' case against Edskes was dismissed and RealNetworks was ordered to pay him €48,000 in damages. The case, however, cost Edskes €66,000 in legal fees.
- Comparison of video player software
- "RealPlayer 1.1". Ewandoo. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
- Other versions of RealPlayer, RealNetworks (UK), retrieved December 27, 2012
- Volotta, Tom (June 11, 2012), 5 Linux Media Players: Which is the Best Fit?, RealNetworks, retrieved December 27, 2012
- RealPlayer 11 for Linux Release Notes, Helix Community, April 2, 2008, retrieved December 27, 2012
- RealPlayer, Freecode, April 19, 2008, retrieved December 27, 2012
- "Supported Formats by RealOne Player". RealNetworks. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Helix DNA Technology Binary Research Use License". Helix Community. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "msbatch.inf - Unattended and Customized Installation of Windows 98". Retrieved February 3, 2010.
- "How do I download and install RealPlayer?". bbc.co.uk. Archived from the original on June 26, 2010. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- RealNetworks, Inc. "We're Bringing Back RealPlayer for PC". RealPlayer.
- barnes, brooks. "The Streaming Era Has Finally Arrived". The new york times. Retrieved January 7, 2020.
- "AT&T A2B Music". ATT.com. 1997. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Adobe SVG". Adobe.com. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Audible Audio". Ellen.audible.com. Archived from the original on March 14, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2009. 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. April 23, 2001. Archived from the original on September 19, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "eBeam Presenter Download". E-beam.com. Archived from the original on April 9, 2008. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "Digital Bitcasting". Itcom.itd.umich.edu. January 21, 2004. Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "Even Technologies - PSI Decoder". Archived from the original on July 5, 2007. Retrieved August 17, 2010. .
- "LearnKey RealCBT". Uk.onlineexpert.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "RealPlayer supports Liquid Audio". Feed.proteinos.com. May 29, 1998. Archived from the original on February 14, 2005. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "Supported RealPlayer Formats". Service.real.com. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Camtasia for RealPlayer info". Techsmith.com. Archived from the original on December 8, 2007. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Xiph OGG for RealPlayer Download". Helixcommunity.org. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- Alvear, José (May 29, 2000). "RealNetworks' Time to Shine: Real Conference 2000".
- "RichFX Plugin Download". Archived from the original on March 11, 2007.
- "Mode2Real Info and download". Es.geocities.com. Archived from the original on October 27, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "Mimio broadCast Info". Mimio.com. Archived from the original on October 13, 2007. Retrieved July 17, 2010.
- "Mimio Plug-In Download". Softpedia.com. October 8, 2006. Archived from the original on June 22, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Be Here To Debut Its iVideo Plug-in At Real Conference 2000". OnlineMarketingToday.com. May 23, 2000. Archived from the original on April 16, 2005. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "iPix Plug-In Download". Softpedia.com. October 10, 2005. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "ScreenWatch Plug-In Download". Screenwatch.com. Archived from the original on August 28, 2003. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "RealNetworks Acquires Vivo". Findarticles.com. June 2, 2009. Archived from the original on October 30, 2004. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Jones, Christopher (January 4, 2009). "RealPlayer to support MJuice". Wired.com. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "RealPlayer Supported Formats (Blue Matter)". Home.real.com. Archived from the original on June 11, 2008. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Clark, Scott (December 11, 1998). "OZ.Com announces fluid3d for RealPlayer". Internetnews.com. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Smith, Tony (April 12, 1999). "RealNetworks backs IBM digital music system". Theregister.co.uk. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "VP5 plugin for RealPlayer 1.0 download". Softpedia.com. July 25, 2005. Archived from the original on April 29, 2010. Retrieved July 17, 2010. Google closes on On2 acquisition, February 2010.
- "RealPlayer to support VP5". On2. Archived from the original on June 6, 2002. Retrieved July 17, 2010. Google closes on On2 acquisition, February 2010.
- "VP4 for RealPlayer is available". On2. January 22, 2002. Archived from the original on February 6, 2002. Retrieved August 17, 2010. Google closes on On2 acquisition, February 2010.
- "VP3 for RealPlayer". Newsforge. Archived from the original on February 14, 2002. Google closes on On2 acquisition, February 2010.
- "ImagePower's JPEG2000 Technology Compatible with RealPlayer". Archived from the original on December 6, 2003.
- "Can Realplayer play 3gp files?". support.real.com. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "Sanyo 3D Surround". Archived from the original on March 12, 2007.
- "vTuner Internet Radio". vtuner.com.
- "The SticksterZ". mit.edu. Archived from the original on September 1, 2006.
- "RealPlayer Enterprise". Real Networks. Archived from the original on July 29, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- "Realplayer Enterprise Education Edition download". Real Networks. Archived from the original on May 28, 2010. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
- "RealPlayer and RealTimes Official Homepage". Real.com. December 22, 2018. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- "RealNetworks announces RealPlayer 10 for Mac OS X". Realnetworks.com. June 28, 2004. Archived from the original on June 22, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "Release notes from". Versiontracker. Archived from the original on February 6, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- "32-bit app compatibility with macOS High Sierra 10.13.4 and later". apple.com. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
- RealNetworks, Inc. "RealPlayer® - Android Apps on Google Play". android.com.
- "RealPlayer for palmOne Handhelds". Real.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2009. Retrieved July 16, 2009.
- Bass, Steve (March 25, 2008). "Don't Like RealPlayer? You've Got Options". Washington Post.
- Richard M. Smith (October 31, 1999). "The RealJukebox Monitoring System". computerbytesman.com. Archived from the original on February 3, 2007. Retrieved February 7, 2007.
- Amy Borrus (February 14, 2000). "The Privacy War of Richard Smith". businessweek.com. Retrieved February 5, 2007.
- Tynan, Dan (March 26, 2006). "The 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time". PC World. Retrieved September 5, 2012.
- "RealJukebox Update download page". Real Networks. November 28, 1999. Archived from the original on November 28, 1999. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
- Tynan, Dan (April 16, 2007). "The 20 Most Annoying Tech Products". PC World. Retrieved February 14, 2016.
- US-CERT (December 14, 2010). "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 184.108.40.2064, and Linux RealPlayer 220.127.116.114)". U.S. Department of Homeland Security, National Cyber Security Division.
- US-CERT (July 7, 2014). "Vulnerability Summary for CVE-2014-3113 (RealNetworks RealPlayer before 18.104.22.168)". 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.
- de Winter, Brenno (November 7, 2011). "RealNetworks gaat door met rechtszaak om hyperlink". WebWerld (Dutch language). Archived from the original on November 16, 2012. Retrieved December 9, 2011.
- Collin, Branko (November 6, 2011). "Internet thugs Realnetworks lose case against Hilbrand Edskes". 24Oranges. Retrieved December 9, 2011.