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Real to Offer Open Source Windows Media for Linux

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the open-source-the-drm-too dept.

228

cpugeniusmv writes to tell us News.com is reporting that RealNetworks plans to release an open source method to allow Linux users to play Windows Media files. Currently Linux users are able to play the two main Windows Media formats (wmv and wma) but only if they install closed-source modules. The ability to launch this initiative comes from a recent licensing deal between RealNetworks and Microsoft and the antitrust settlement against Microsoft.

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Satan: (5, Funny)

Winckle (870180) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920562)

"Brrr, it's getting chilly!"

Re:Satan: (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920702)

I'm curious about how they intend to deal with the patent issues.

Re:Satan: (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920729)

I'm curious about how they intend to deal with the patent issues.

On a file format??? And I thought the patent on "method of swinging on a swing" was bad.

Presumably they feel that the anti-trust settlement gives them all the rights they need, including patent licensing if applicable.

Re:Satan: (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920785)

Why do you sound surprised about patents on a file format? Most file formats/codecs/protocols have patents on them. MP3 is another example.

Re:Satan: (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920768)

Perhaps by hosting it in a country where software is not patentable, and relying on Fair Use defence if it is used in a country where software is patentable?

Re:Satan: (2, Interesting)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920861)

I'm really curious at how they are going to do so and still remain compatible with the GPLv3draft2 as it currently reads.

It is obvious that they don't control the downstream propagation of MS's patten rights. Or do they?

Re:Satan: (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921204)

I think I missed something somewhere in the comments or the article - are Real planning on releasing this under the (evil) GPLv3 then? Or a less draconian licence?

Re:Satan: (1)

Ruff_ilb (769396) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921225)

They're just claiming "Open Source"

Last time I checked, that doesn't necessarily mean GLPv3draft2, and it doesn't seem like they've declared GPL in the article.

Re:Satan: (1)

morcego (260031) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921280)

I'm really curious at how they are going to do so and still remain compatible with the GPLv3draft2 as it currently reads.


Let me kindly refer you to the Open Source Initiative [opensource.org] website.

GPL (vWhatever) is not the only OpenSource license, or even the only free software ((c) FSF) license around.

Actually, I personaly doubt they will release it using GPL, in whatever incarnation of the license. They are more likely to get OSI approval for an open source license of their own, just like SUN and IBM did. And considering the stakes here, the approval (or not) should be handled by the OSI board as high priority.

Re:Satan: (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921057)

That's not offtopic, that's funny!

Too little, too late... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920564)

This comes right on the heels of having a fairly complete wmv9 decoder functioning in ffmpeg.

Bastards... I don't want their crap anyway

Re:Too little, too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921236)

Any link to the ffmpeg version you mention or to a news release?

I know they have been working on wmv9 support off and on for some time now, but I'm quite sure that they are still far from being there.

That's really... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920565)

(buffering... buffering)... gr....(buffering...buffering)..eat new (buffering)s.

...err (2, Interesting)

mrsev (664367) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920573)

Is this god news or not... It could be a trojan horse ...(in the Greeks bearing gifts sense...not script kiddie sense)

Re:...err (3, Funny)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920648)

It's open source. We'll just change what's inside the gifts from Greeks so it won't be dangerous.

Re:...err (1)

mopslik (688435) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920695)

It's open source. We'll just change what's inside the gifts from Greeks so it won't be dangerous.

Of course, that's only if you *notice* that it looks dangerous. Even Open Source can contain some subtle things that appear innocuous. See the classic "Reflections on Trusting Trust [acm.org] " -- great little read.

Re:...err (2, Insightful)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920776)

Unless we use Real's compiler I doubt that a Trusting Trust problem will happen. If there's a deliberate problem it would be obfuscatory.

Re:...err (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920943)

All you need to do, in that case, is write a C interpreter in assembler that can interpret enough of the C language to run the compiler interpretatively as it compiles the compiler. Then you know what the interpreted compiler is doing {because you wrote the interpreter code yourself} and that the compiler it's compiling really is clean {because you checked the compiler source}.

Of course, even then, you don't know for certain what a simple instruction like ADC AL S R6,R4,R2 might be doing. Sure it says it's an unconditional addition of R4 + R2 + C with the result going into R6 and the carry updated, but that's just what they want you to think .....

Re:...err (4, Funny)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920795)

It could be a trojan horse ...(in the Greeks bearing gifts sense...not script kiddie sense)
Just a note, the original Trojan horse was a gift bearing Greeks, not the other way around :)

Re:...err (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921216)

Just a note, the original Trojan horse was a gift bore by Greeks, hence the old saying, "Beware Greeks bearing gifts."

Maybe I don't see the point you're trying to make, or maybe you were trying to be funny and fell flat on your face and got kicked in the head a few times. Either way, you make about as much sense as Beowulf having sex with Robert Fulton at the first Battle of Antietam.

Re:...err (5, Funny)

Mr. Slippery (47854) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921232)

the original Trojan horse was a gift bearing Greeks, not the other way around :)

It was Greeks bearing a gift bearing Greeks. And if a few of those Greeks was carring presents, say birthday presents to give to somebody after the battle or something, then it would be Greeks bearing a gift bearing Greeks bearing gifts.

Re:...err (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920856)

>>It could be a trojan horse ...(in the Greeks bearing gifts sense...not script kiddie sense)

So in the scipt kiddie sense then?
Trojan Horses in the script kiddie sense got their name because of the greek story. Most people arlready knew that little trivia tidbit factoid thingy.

Re:...err (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920955)

I think he meant as a posion pill for open source, not a virus that would pwn j00r b0x0r

already there? (1, Insightful)

955301 (209856) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920579)

Can't mplayer already do this?

Re:already there? (2, Informative)

hamfactorial (857057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920607)

Yes, with the same caveat of requiring closed-source modules. In mplayer's case, codecs.

Re:already there? (4, Insightful)

freshman_a (136603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920635)

Yes, but I think the legality of the way mplayer does it is questionable since it uses Windows DLLs directly. It sounds like this is going to be completely separate code written by Real.

I do love mplayer though.

Re:already there? (1)

Crayon Kid (700279) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920939)

Yes, but I think the legality of the way mplayer does it is questionable since it uses Windows DLLs directly.
What's questionable about that? Isn't this what DLL's are meant for -- sharing functionality?

Re:already there? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921050)

I believe it was something about the legality or something. Y'know, copying unlicensed DLLs to another operating system and running them there. It's about copyright law or something.

Re:already there? (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920972)

I suppose, but the dlls mplayer uses are free for download (my linux distro downloads them, as well as flash and a few other free-but-closed bits of usefulness upon install).

There may be some kind of licensing agreement saying I can't use the files in such and such a way, but since the installer is bypassed, I don't have to read or agree to it.

Re:already there? (4, Insightful)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921003)

When Redhat or Suse ship their distro, they are not allowed to include the DLLs. The location you downloaded them from is not allowed to distribute the DLLs. You are not allowed to download the DLLs. It has not stopped me from doing it for xine, mplayer, etc., doing this is in violation of copyright. What Real is doing is providing a LEGAL way of acquiring these codecs.

Re:already there? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921192)

Not if you download them from Microsoft! That's perfectly legal.
Though, actually I just copy mine from my windows partition. Also legal, AFAIK.

Re:already there? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920689)

Actually, the latest ffmpeg can play WMV3, no windows dlls needed.

You will need to check out the latest ffmpeg svn and compile it tho.

Re:already there? (2, Informative)

Sharth (621005) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920690)

non-x86 users can't use mplayer for wmv.

and afaik, it can't handle wmv10 drm.

Re:already there? (2, Informative)

hamfactorial (857057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920740)

x86_64 users have the option of compiling a 32-bit version of mplayer to use the 32-bit codecs from MS. You are correct about wmv10. It's not a terribly convenient way to do things, since 32-bit plugins can't be used by 64-bit programs (read: mplayerplug-in in 64-bit firefox). It's a big mess really, but it's hard to wean people from the .wmv teat. I've always loved ffmpeg for encoding, and I've heard that within the last week VC-1 decoding has been improved in ffmpeg to allow WMV decoding natively. Exciting stuff!

Re:already there? (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920825)

> I've heard that within the last week VC-1 decoding has been improved in ffmpeg to allow WMV decoding natively

Yeah, anyone could think Real made this announcement now to steal their thunder and get some cheap publicity...

Re:already there? (2, Interesting)

hamfactorial (857057) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920902)

The possibility of a cheap publicity stunt notwithstanding, we're still blessed with an open source WMV decoder. It will improve the quality of A/V on Linux, and I can't help but think that's a good thing(TM). For those not knowing what the hell I'm talking about, check out this blog entry [multimedia.cx] about it.

Re:already there? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920862)

> and afaik, it can't handle wmv10 drm.

That's a plus point.

Re:already there? (1)

toad3k (882007) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920752)

One step closer to a 64 bit mplayer. Now we will just need a replacement for apple codecs and a 64 bit flash and I'll be set.

Re:already there? (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920995)

I don't know about the older mov stuff (I think there's mjpeg or something), but between libavcodec's x264, aac and mpeg4 options, modern qt can be played with very little effort.

alternative (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920596)

Among other things, does this mean that Real Alternative [codecguide.com] will soon be legitimate?

Re:alternative (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920796)

No, this has squat to do with Real Alternative :) But it's always nice to give it some linkage for karma.

Re:alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920924)

But it's always nice to give it some linkage for karma.

Yeah, because Anonymous Coward must have pretty piss poor karma considering the number of his posts that get modded down to -1...

It's about time... (1)

slapyslapslap (995769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920608)

this was available. I wonder how well they will keep up with the ever changing codecs?

You FAIL it!? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920609)

walk up to 5a play

BUFFERING... BUFFERING... BUFFERING... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920613)

You still suck Real. I don't give a damn if you support Linux. Your spyware past will never be forgotten.

Re:BUFFERING... BUFFERING... BUFFERING... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921278)

still pissed cuz you couldn't get your pron thru dialup??

False Summary (5, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920617)

Currently Linux users are able to play the two main Windows Media formats (wmv and wma) but only if they install closed-source modules...

Totally false. ffmpeg / mplayer / vlc etc. can all decode WMV files *natively* using the ffmpeg libavcoded libraries.

The problem is not decoding the files, that is trivial. The problem is dealing with the copy protection. Another open source library is not going to help this, because it will still never be allowed to decrypt the copy-protected files.

Re:False Summary (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920829)

Totally false. ffmpeg / mplayer / vlc etc. can all decode WMV files *natively* using the ffmpeg libavcoded libraries.

Well, mostly. ffmpeg can decode WMV 7/8/9 and WMA 7/8. There is no decoder for WMA Pro, WMA voice, or WMA lossless. WMV8 decoding has bugs and may drop certain keyframes.

Re:False Summary (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921053)

I've also had some issues with recent high-def content. Not sure what the codec was, but it was in .mov, so...

Re:False Summary (2, Interesting)

chris_7d0h (216090) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921243)

The mov extension is typically used by Apple Quicktime video files.
Thus your beef is with Apple and not Microsoft.

What I really lack is a way / program to move a video stream from one container format to another without transcoding the video stream. For example, the Ogg format hosts MPEG4 steams fairly well, so why can't I simply "lift" Microsoft MPEG4 or Apple MPEG4 videos from their respective proprietary containers to the open Ogg container?

Licencing issues... (1)

vhogemann (797994) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920629)

The article says that the code will be part of the Helix player, and that Suse will come with it. But it fails to mention if one can redistribute the codecs, or if other engines such as Xine or GStreamer will be able to use it.

Aside from that, is WMA such an issue? I mean, now we got flash video players that are platform agnostic...

Re:Licencing issues... (1)

slapyslapslap (995769) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920691)

That's a good point. Flash video players are really taking over. It's really the only thing I like flash for. :D

Re:Licencing issues... (2, Informative)

compm375 (847701) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920820)

Yeah, but can you play Flash 9 videos on Linux or even Flash 8? Does it work on x64, in an x64 browser?

Re:Licencing issues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920713)

I mean, now we got flash video players that are platform agnostic...

Except for the linux version sucking and being several versions out of date now. I still haven't got a solution for the audio being out of sync and interactive flash apps freezing for a half second or so whenever I do something that makes it play a noise (i guess in a futile attempt to sync audio back up again). Makes flash movies painful to watch and flash games difficult to play... when they're not written for flash 8 or 9, and then they're just impossible.

Re:Licencing issues... (1)

toad3k (882007) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920819)

Are you gentoo, I ask because I'm trying to find out if this is gentoo specific. It amazes me how common the problem is and yet how little it is talked about.

I have gotten through most of the delays by messing with alsa (specifically the .alsarc file and dmix).

sound with flash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921103)

at googvid and yousetoobs, where it's flash, I can not get the sound to function. I get the video OK, but no sound, and right clicking to the alleged control panel gives me a blob box with some non functional buttons that do who knows what. And once that is open it won't go away.. All my other a/v stuff does sound and vid fine under linux, but go over there to check out a vid-no dice. I googled around for a fix and it appears to be beyond esoteric into the sacrafice chickens realm. FWIW, FC5. Probably me, frequently is, but shoot, would be nice if worked, those sites are popular and have some good stuff sometimes.

Re:Licencing issues... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920845)

Correct me if I'm wrong but IIRC flash is just used as a container format (like .mov or .ogg) for existing codecs.

--
Captcha='incest', is there something cowboy Neil isn't telling us?

Re:Licencing issues... (3, Informative)

nmos (25822) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921235)

The last time I tried to download Flash for Windows the license was really obscene. Among other things it gave Adobe the right to audit my computers and also came with a list of devices and OSs that it was not to be used with including Windows MCE. These are just nuggets among something like 7-9 pages of legelese. A few pages in I just gave up and decided I didn't really need the latest Flash that bad.

That'll be great (4, Interesting)

also-rr (980579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920633)

For 20 minutes before Microsoft break the spec.

(You need 4 years of engineering graduate school to acquire this level of cynicism folks.)

I've been very impressed with Real's approach of late (ever since Helix, really, although they did some good things before then). They are showing a very cooperative attitude - enough to overcome any ill will I might have felt towards them - and I hope that they get a warm reception for this contribution that encourages them to embrace the open source/free software community further.

I do wonder though if any of this open source love is being pushed by the BBC? They are after all proabbly one of the biggest single drivers of Real installations and have demonstrated in the past their ability to push Real to change their stance.

I'm thinking particuarly of the fact that the BBC cancelled it's Ogg testing aboiut the same time that the whole Helix thing started - could Real opening up a bit in return for no migration to open source or free software codecs have been the price?

Re:That'll be great (4, Insightful)

ledow (319597) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920672)

Possibly. I just wish that they wouldn't do everything possible to make their primary piece of software (at least by downloads) so obnoxious.

1) Try to instruct a novice user to find and download the free version on their website. Not an easy task but doable.

2) Try to install it without it inserting stuff into Windows startup - I use Startup Control Panel but not everyone is so lucky.

3) Try to remove the messages/popups etc. from a standard installation - again, not for the novice.

I applaud any attempt at open-sourcing software but I would worry about the quality of the code if their primary app is in this much of a mess.

Re:That'll be great (3, Interesting)

also-rr (980579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920866)

1) Try to instruct a novice user to find and download the free version on their website. Not an easy task but doable.

This certainly used to be a massive problem (the easiest way was in fact to use the link provided by the BBC which went directly too it) but these days their download page [real.com] (the one you get to by clicking real player on the front page) outlines your options pretty clearly.

2) Try to install it without it inserting stuff into Windows startup - I use Startup Control Panel but not everyone is so lucky.

Not really a problem when installing on Linux, so I can't help you there. Windows users should be used to it by now from WMParasite anyway. Maybe someone who has installed a more recent version than you have can provide some insight.

3) Try to remove the messages/popups etc. from a standard installation - again, not for the novice.

Last time I ran Real Player on Windows that just involved changing the settings in the options tab. Now, i'll not overestimate the technical ability of most users, but unless things have changed it wasn't a lot harder than grasping the principle of how to turn your computer on.

Re:That'll be great (1)

theantix (466036) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921183)

"Last time I ran Real Player on Windows that just involved changing the settings in the options tab. Now, i'll not overestimate the technical ability of most users, but unless things have changed it wasn't a lot harder than grasping the principle of how to turn your computer on."

Things have indeed changed. With the current version the messaging/popups are extremely obnoxious to disable and I'm something of an expert user. While overall the process is less annoying than it has been in past years, that specific aspect is much worse.

Re:That'll be great (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921111)

You're aware that open-sourcing means the cruft will be removed within an hour of them releasing the software, right? Thus, no distro that doesn't have explicit licensing deals with Real to keep the cruft will have any popups.

Re:That'll be great (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920749)

Actually, I was thinking more that Micro$hit will use this to their advantage and file a lawsuit against Real under the DMCA. Once filed if they have a leg to stand on they will pull the same shit with them that Vivendi-Universal did against mp3.com. Once they get a huge win against Real, they will have no choice but to sell to Micro$hit at discount price as Real's stock will fall. The best they can hope for is being in debt to Micro$hit for under $10,000,000.

Re:That'll be great (1)

babbling (952366) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920759)

What are you talking about? Helix won't play media from the BBC.

Re:That'll be great (1)

also-rr (980579) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920810)

What are you talking about? Helix won't play media from the BBC.

It does with Real's plugin. While that isn't free *yet* I hope it is in the future. In the mean time I welcome a vendor who shows they have good intentions and are working on the details. It's definatly preferable to the many vendors who prefer to try and firebomb the project.

Re:That'll be great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920969)

In the mean time I use MPlayer, which plays the BBC streams just fine.

Re:That'll be great (3, Informative)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920760)

The WMV3/VC-1 specification is formal and out there and is going to be used on Bluray/HD-DVD. They aren't likely to break compatibility willy nilly, not in the video profiles people care about anyway.

Re:That'll be great (1)

TheOldSchooler (850678) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920851)

I dunno I'm just not sure I feel the sam-BUFFERING-BUFFERING-BUFFERING...

Re:That'll be great (1)

ajs318 (655362) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920865)

Last time I tried, the BBC stuff wouldn't work in the Open Source Helix player. I had to install the closed source RealPlayer. Fortunately, I was able to do this as a non-root user.

Also, one of the supposed "advantages" of WMA/WMV is that it supports Digital Restrictions Management. Something tells me the Open Source codec won't do that {DRM requires security-through-obscurity}. Of course, having an Open Source version might well make reverse-engineering the closed source version a bit easier .....

Real Alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920636)

"We have for the first time a real alternative to the Windows desktop. Linux and open source are there," Novell Chief Technology Officer Jeffrey Jaffe said at a news conference.


Is this some kind of pun [codecguide.com] from Novell considering this is an article about RealNetworks after all?

Good!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920649)

Now we can pull all of the adware out of it.

can only be a good thing (1)

gdamore (933478) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920653)

Having _open source_ versions of these codecs means that lots of other FOSS can make use of them, not just RealPlayer/HelixPlayer.

Its small victories like this that make the whole litigation against monopolists like Microsoft worthwhile. Sure the billions in payoffs are great, but what really, really helps advance the field is the opening up of proprietary formats and protocols.

It also means that those of us who want to run Linux on something other than a PeeCee are not left out in the cold, and makes possible native alternatives for other less popular operating systems -- Solaris, HPUX, NetBSD, etc.

Re:can only be a good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920903)

People should learn to encode their stuff in open formats. What do the closed formats offer that the open don't?

(BTW, I am just jilted, because this issue of formats pops up with every stupid file type over and over again.)

So, Real is trying to compete... (-1, Troll)

Concern (819622) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920661)

with a quite functional win32 emulated closed source system in mplayer, doubtlessly by giving us a shady, spyware-riddled bloated buggy closed source app... worse than their windows piece of crap. Unless Linux multimedia apps were somehow their secret core competence and this one will be better?

LOL

Re:So, Real is trying to compete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920720)

RTFA. It's open source. Buggy and bloated, maybe, but not closed.

Re:So, Real is trying to compete... (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920736)

Maybe you should atleast read the summary. It's open source. Your post makes little or no sense at all.

Re:So, Real is trying to compete... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920743)

They say *code* release, not merely a closed-source app. That's different. While it is certainly possible that Real will encumber their offering in the same way they did RealPlayer in the past, I, for one, am willing to *consider* the possibility they have reconsidered their past practices, and will do the right thing this time. I'll *skeptically* check it out, but I will be giving them a chance.

-1, reading comprehension issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920882)

Spyware? In an app that they've already said will be open source? Did you RTFA??

Re:-1, reading comprehension issues (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921266)

Normally I would agree with you. But I have a hard time trusting Real, and can't wonder how they will try to foist their adware even though the code is opensource.

Maybe I, like the parent post, have known Real for too long.

Re:So, Real is trying to compete... (1)

Neeex (768224) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921031)

Is this a deliberate troll? Either that or you've never used RealPlayer for Linux.

RealPlayer for Linux has no spyware, is not bloated (it has a standard and fairly minimal Gtk2 interface, whereas the Windows version uses a custom interface), and I've not encountered any bugs during my brief encounters with it.

Re:So, Real is trying to compete... (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921045)

the problem with a win32 emulated closed source system....

I need to own a copy of windows to legaly have it. If i don't then i don't have the legal right to use windows dlls or other stuff.

What does this mean to someone who doesn't think free means get it from emule? It means it is off limits without obtaining legal right to run it. With reals offering, i have that right(or it would apear so)

Fantastic - but what is bringing the change? (1)

poliopteragriseoapte (973295) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920715)

This is very good news! First, Intel supporting drivers for their on-board graphic chips. Then this.

What is the cause the latest? The fact that Google videos and YouTube are going to flash, rather than Realmedia format, in order to reach all audiences?

I am amazed that the tiny percentage of linux desktops is starting to matter. I would welcome any insight into why it is so.

Re:Fantastic - but what is bringing the change? (1)

Kimos (859729) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921074)

Because that tiny percentage is growing, and it is growing at an increasing rate...

ffmpeg already have this in the works! (2, Informative)

baadger (764884) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920732)

The guys behind the ffmpeg/libavcodec implementation which mplayer, xine and VLC and a whole bunch of a/v media apps in Linux already make use of, already have a working and pretty good WMV3 (WMV v9 Video) implementation in CVS. Infact it'll probably trickle into distro's before the end of the year.

Yeah so, move along... nothing to see here.

A good start (1)

Nonillion (266505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920779)

To me this is certainly encouraging news, I use Real Player on my Sun and x86 Linux boxen quite often. Now let's get them to take the next step and include a DVD player that will play ACSS/CSS disks.

What about the streaming protocol (2, Interesting)

jonwil (467024) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920792)

Does this (or any other open source stuff such as mplayer) cover whatever protocol is used by the microsoft server for streaming windows media cotent? (whatever it is)

Being able to play windows media streams is just as usefull as being able to play windows media files on a disk or web url or etc.

Re:What about the streaming protocol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920977)

Last time I used a windows media stream it seemed to be http over a different port, the mms:// protocol seemed to be there to make sure it opened in WMP instead of IE.

Re:What about the streaming protocol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15921046)

Does this (or any other open source stuff such as mplayer) cover whatever protocol is used by the microsoft server for streaming windows media cotent? (whatever it is)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_Media_Servi ces [wikipedia.org]

MPlayer, VLC, and several other players can handle it.

Re:What about the streaming protocol (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921087)

mplayer already handles both mms:// and rstp:// pretty damned well.

It also does ftp(s)://, http(s)://, smb://, and a number of other random network protocols.

Clapping (1)

tgpo (976851) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920844)

As soon as I buffer my sound clip of clapping I'll try and join in.

Dear RealPlayer, (5, Insightful)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920867)

Please open up your own format first before going and opening up other peoples' formats. Windows Media is already easy enough to play most anywhere. Streaming (or even non-streaming) RM is a pain to convert to another format - and most of the downloadable converters require you to have RealPlayer itself already installed (so it can use the DLLs). This is as much a "solution" as Captive NTFS, and it doesn't work on platforms other than x86/Windows.

(My underlying complaint is that you don't have a half-recent version for Windows Mobile. I've tried to convert these to WMV but it doesn't work well. Releasing a WM5 player - or even a J2ME player - would shut me up for now, but your real problem is you have the obscurest, proprietariest file format ever.)

Re:Dear RealPlayer, (1)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921114)

Actually, linux/mplayer with the windows codecs package (found on mplayer's site) does a pretty shining job of converting from RM/RA. Mind you, it's got the same PITA factor as converting from WMV or FLV (ambiguous framerate issues), but I don't mind; I've gotten kinda good at mathematically figuing this sort of thing out.

Re:Dear RealPlayer, (3, Insightful)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921253)

Mod parent up. I won't be shut up, by the way -- every single RealPlayer I've ever had the misfortune to play with has been nothing but pain. Windows version I'd heard described as "behaves like a virus" by my most MS-loving, proprietary-loving technology whores -- and this was before we had a word for "spyware". Difficult to uninstall, a pain to live with. Linux users had to deal with truly ancient versions, so while there were players and plugins which used the RealPlayer DLLs (.so's), and while RealPlayer itself was distributed under package management (so not much chance of spyware if I don't run it), it was compiled with a truly ancient version of gcc, and thus wouldn't work with any of those things. So I ended up having to run it anyway...

And while most players let you have a fairly big buffer, RealPlayer sounded staticy, like bad radio reception. I suspect it had some clever way for dropping quality, but I shouldn't have needed that with my connection -- and yet, it still spent half the time buffering.

CarTalk is a humorous radio show which answers automotive questions, half-seriously, you never know if they're giving you good advice or just messing with you. They switched from RealPlayer several years ago, because as amazing as it seemed (even to them!), RealPlayer managed to be significantly worse than Windows Media Player -- Microsoft did far, far better than them by being almost mediocre.

If Real wants to gain respect, then yes, they should open their own format. We don't need all the source code, just the codecs, thanks.

If Real wants to survive as a business, they should drop the farce and just start selling their spyware directly to botnet controllers and peddlers of animated cursors.

By the way, whoever suggested that Flash has replaced Real as the format that does copy protection... Flash may not be as open as we'd like for playing, but it's easy enough to rip the video out of it. Or at least, I've done that with audio -- pulled an ordinary mp3 file out of a Flash presentation. With Real, you have to use the Analog Hole, not that it's that bad -- the sound quality sucks so much that encoding it as a 56-bit mp3 wouldn't hurt.

Yay, Windoze features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15920890)

Hey Real, it's 2006. You've had more than a decade to fix your buffering problems. Maybe you should fix that instead of adding more bloat to your players. What'll you port next from Windows, that ad-spewing Message Center?

no thanks. (bombing on Real.) (3, Insightful)

deviceb (958415) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920900)

*skip unless u want to hear my negative opinions on Real.

I have no time to read an article about Real networks, but i will take the time to state how much i dislike it.
Real media has been one of the most annoying web technologies since it came out. For instance: trying to sneak in lame apps and silly toolbars during the install. Trying to hi-jack file permissions.. Winamp has always delivered better quality, free and less annoying content.
It is just about worthless as a media player when compared to VLC [videolan.org] or any number of other players.
The only thing Real had going was content protection,.. but now streaming with flash (youtube, pornotube, google.video, ect.) is cake so they do not even have that. I can see why they would be trying to give the app to anybody who will take it.

the last place i want to see it is in a linux distro.

hrm... what else.. it's ugly & stinks too! /end rant

MOD PARENT INSIGHTFUL (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 8 years ago | (#15920985)

Mod it insightful indeed.

AMD64 (1)

csplinter (734017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921097)

Hopefully this will mean I can play windows media files without having to log in to a 32 bit chroot now.

Real Fan (1)

calcutta001 (907416) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921252)

I dont understand 'Real Player is bad/evil/crap' rant. I have used it in it's prime time. And stopped after Windows media 7 or so. But moving to linux since 2002, I havent seen a legit media player on linux that installs in one step and plays audio and vedio without digging into configuration files etc. I ovten use real player on linux and pleased to say that it embeds into the firefox without a problem.

FOSS franatics may scoff. Dont flame me if you use Flash or Java. It might not be kosher according to FOSS puritans, but it is a linux based commercial product. And there needs to be more of it. As far as I am concerned Real has redeemed it's sins by providing me a linux distribution. I openly admit that I am a fan. I am a fan because real sees value in linux support. Where is quicktime, iTunes, photoshop? Apple wont touch linux and I wont start about MS. Linux needs _some_ commercially successful products to gain a wider acceptance.

If a software is crap people will not use it, but it doesnot mean that their existance is a bane.

grew up (1)

matgorb (562145) | more than 8 years ago | (#15921257)

I'm sick of those unconstructive comments from people who have no clue. I agree that Real had an approach to Windows computing that fitted perfectly with the trend, bloatware and spyware, but to anybody who actually do not use Windows, Real as been more good than bad. Their Mac and Linux players, which I use, have nothing to do with the Windows offering, they are nice clean and effective little application that do their job well and nothing else. The only thing missing really is a playlist. As for the buffering joke, I watch and listen BBC program, French national TV program and a lot of other music related streams and it always delivers a adequate experience, much better than any WMa/v or Quicktime. If people don't understand that offering a legal way to play content is what Linux need to get accepted, nothing can be done really. I know Open Source implementation are out there, but they are usually enough in the gray area (especilly in the US) that distro can't ship them. If SuSE, which is already my distro of choice, since it can play mp3 out of the box through a clever integration with the Helix software. can ship a distro that plays mp3, wma, Real and flash 9 out of the box, they have a killer. I mean Automatix and easyubuntu are nice, but you have to know about it, and chances are that most new users don't (as most people don't know you don't have to use IE, MSN messenger, etc.)
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