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A media playing program that, if installed, immediately attempts to take over your PC.  It does report slightly distressing amounts of data to its home base.  There are pages on the net about "removing the spyware from RealPlayer".

However, it has one notable advantage over WindowsMediaPlayer? and Winamp: if the clip (MP3 or video or whatever) that's currently playing is sufficiently small, then RealPlayer reads it all into memory and then releases its lock on the file.  Thus allowing you to categorise clips by moving and/or renaming them in the filesystem while they're still playing.
It seems that WindowsMediaPlayer? will now do this too.  However, RealPlayer is the only one (I've found so far) which lets you drag-and-drop a shortcut to an MP3, or a directory full of shortcuts, into the playlist, and dereferences them successfully.  WindowsMediaPlayer? doesn't even seem to try.  Which is a pity, because RealPlayer won't shrink to a mini control bar to play MP3s unless you pay to upgrade to some Premium version.  Anyone know an MP3 player which will dereference Windows shortcuts and also shrink to a little bar for free? --AlexChurchill
Uh.. what's wrong with WinAmp? Or should I not ask? - MoonShadow
Nothing AFAIK... I know it has its fans, like Sonique and assorted other players.  Barely used it myself.  I'm attempting to impose some kind of appropriately modifiable structure on my mp3list: Currently I'm using directories of shortcuts, hence that requirement.  If WinAmp will handly them (it's not exactly the kind of feature people list on download pages), then I'll happily try that.  --AC
A quick test reveals that it appears to cope just fine. For that matter, I've had no particular problems using its playlist editor, either (given the list of players you've tried, you might not be used to the idea of a playlist editor that's actually usable and works; try it, it's well worth using.) - MoonShadow

The second notable advantage is the ability to stream BBC radio through it.

Later incarnations go by the name of "RealOne Player".  Available from http://www.real.com, probably.

You could also try Real Alternative, which is available from this site: http://www.softrom.ro/11098.asp and has none of the nasty problems associated with RealPlayer, RealOne etc.

CategoryComputing | CategoryCrimesAgainstHumanity; see also WindowsBox.

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Last edited November 23, 2003 8:41 am (viewing revision 13, which is the newest) (diff)