RealPlayer Alternative

It seems like the streaming-media market is made up of evils and lesser-evils (Ogg and MP3 excepted, for the most part). And, when presented with a choice, I’ve never been sure whether it'd be more ethical to choose Windows Media or RealPlayer (since public support tends to legitimize a format).

Recently, I’ve been going with RealPlayer over Windows Media since at least it’s available as a cross-platform application. All the same, RealVirus (as some like to call it) is still one of the most user-hostile applications I’ve ever seen.

JetAudio may be the answer, or at least a small help. As described in the LangaList newsletter (subscribe), their JetAudio player can handle most of RealPlayer’s core codecs:

It plays .RA, .RAM, and .RMI files (which isn’t all RealAudio content, but it meets my simple needs.) It appears to be free of spy-, ad- or nag-ware, and (outside of some initial twiddling with the file associations) it appears to work perfectly. I tested the software on Real’s test site.


For a bit more info, see the discussion in “alt.comp.freeware” with the subject line “Real Audio Codecs”. It began on 4/15/2003. This link might get you there.

If it works as described, I’ll be able to listen to Marketplace and Fresh Air without guilt (woo!).

Update: Real also provides archived versions of its software — RealPlayer 8, anyone?

16 thoughts on “RealPlayer Alternative

  1. I like to support openware & freeware aps, but mostly I appreciate it when programs don’t open a half dozen popups, prompt me to update them all the time, and try to hijack my computer with spybots & adware if I put my guard down.

    That’s why I hate realplayer (and how I found this page on google by trying to find an alternative to it).

  2. Damn, I hate the new realplayer download, it uses its own spank download manager, which prevents other download managers, and seems to be consistently running in the background, its gonna be good to find an altervative, for those rare times I need to watch a realplayer file

  3. Unfortunately we are all stuck with real player if we want to stream a video coming from a site such as they have some how made the smil stream check the player id to make sure that realplayer is indeed excepting the handshake….

    any comments or workarounds to release those handcuffs would be greatly appreciated ….

  4. workarounds? I’m having enough difficulty finding a replacement (other than the tara plugin for winamp) on an MS system… I can’t believe how locked down realnetworks have this… it’s so amazingly scummy….

  5. “streambox vcr” is still working on some stuff out there. and i think it converts the downloaded file into wm compat file. goodluck

  6. Great page!
    I am trying to get ‘Jet Audio’ to play “Real Player” files, but it’s complicated, to me. Maybe with all the information on this site I’ll figure it out.
    Thanks for the good information! Keep it up,
    Dale W. ..In TN.

  7. Hey Dale:

    The newest version of JetAudio will not play Real Player files. Only the older versions play them! I think the reason being, evidently Real Player must have filed a lawsuit against JetAudio claiming a Patent infringement, or something similar, causing Jet Audio to eliminate the Real Player Plugins in its later versions! I am not positive that this is what’s happened, but I suspect it!

    Robert in Texas.

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