Real Networks

Used to be ProgressiveNetworks?. Creators of RealAudio? and RealVideo?. Look like they're determined to be the NextBigThing or at least a BandwidthHog?.

Well, they aren't good enough to be the NextBigThing. They may be a bandwidth hog though. The big problem is that aren't as good as either QuickTime or Microsoft's solution. The only reason to use RealNetworks products is for linux and BeOs compatibility.

Interesting. All the tests that I've seen show that they perform better than Microsofts WindowsMediaPlayer and QuickTime Streaming. The big problem has been in the authoring and experience presented by the content providers. I've seen plenty of sites that offer WindowsMediaPlayer clips at 300K and RealVideo? at 128K. Generally people see the quality of the 128 and decide that RealVideo? at broadband is bad. RealVideo8 at 300k is much better than WMP at 300k.

RealPlayer ships on Windows, MacOs, Solaris, SCO, BeOS, Linux x86, Linux Alpha, Linux SPARC, LinuxPPC, Irix and AIX. It's also localized into 10 different languages.


RealPlayer is WindowsMediaPlayer. The "authors" of Real worked for Microsoft and stole the code and algorithms to create RealPlayer. Real will always be inferior to WMP because Microsoft a) retains the minds behind the technology, b) will crush Real like a bad ex-girlfriend. RealNetworks/ProgressiveNetworks? is, incidentally, based in Redmond but "across the river" from Microsoft. Gee, I wonder why.

bzzt. try again. Although Rob Glaser is a former Microsoft VP, Most of the engineers are not from Microsoft. Seattle is across the river as you put it, but is nothing like Redmond.

Real, much like Netscape, must die. I hate them considerably. They explicitly told me to reverse engineer their file formats instead of just giving me the specs. Sure, I did it, but it cost me a month of my life (part time). Microsoft just emailed me the "proprietary" specification for ASF v. 1.0. Like it matters to them. It's no wonder why there was less than a dozen Real "partners" at the time and thousands of WMP/ASF partners.

Sounds like whatever your project was conflicted with the license agreement. Otherwise, you could have downloaded the SDK like everyone else.

The SDK program was at the time extremely difficult to join.

Real also is so badly written that they can only open one Real channel per machine. However, the only accurate, version-independent way of determining the play length of an media clip is to "play" the clip for 0 seconds and terminate immediately. You see, they return the run length in a callback. Well, that's just great unless you're simultaneously using the Real channel to play audio during production. So, if you need to just find the durations of files so you can schedule them, you have to shutdown the production broadcast. Don't worry, Real will do this for you automatically. How kind of them to help you shoot yourself in the foot.

I think you are mistaken. I can run multiple streams through a smil presentation, and I know of more than a dozen content providers that do. What exactly are you trying to do anyway?

I'm not talking about RealServer? (which crashes for broadcast.com once an hour) but about the actual player. We were using the RealPlayer to dump audio out onto broadcast television in order to unify the television and web presense of companies.

When asked to fix this stupid limitation, the panel of PhDs? at the Real conference that ran RealPlayer's research department just shrugged. Couldn't figure it out. Like it's a hard problem.

Conferences are full of marketing people. Call an engineer.

To be honest, I wasn't there and I was the engineer. We sent the VP. (sigh)

Real must die. And they will because Microsoft's ASF v. 2.0 (which is deeply related to MPEG-4) is the new industry standard. Real is going to support it, they have to. And if they suck, screw them. -- AnonymousDonor/Coward ''

Odd.. MPEG-4 hasn't been finalized yet, and Microsoft has been labeling their formats with MS-MPEG4. Sounds a lot like pushiing their own brand of HTML which we know has been oh soooooo good for the internet.

Well MPEG-4 when I last saw it was based on ASF, but now (as I said below) it appears to be based on QuickTime. I give up. It appears I got my wish anyway, though. RealPlayer seems to be trailing QuickTime and WindowsMediaPlayer.


Personally I dislike RealPlayer because of the way it installs itself and generally messes everything up. Particularly forcing you into making it accept various file formats as its own, rather than letting other apps handle them. They appear to have fixed this in version 8 however which is nice. I also don't like the way it installs stuff everywhere on your machine. Much of which is only used once, and thus a waste of space. More power to QuickTime I say! Although I do find interesting the recent agreement between the two companies, Real Servers can now Stream QuickTime content.... -- MatthewTheobalds


I retract my statements about MPEG-4 and ASFv2. It will be based on QuickTime instead.

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