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Real Problems

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the monetization dept.

Media 481

Universal Nerd writes "Could Real be its own downfall? According to 'Find the Download in a Haystack', it could be. The difficulty folks have in reaching the free version of RealPlayer is forcing Minnesota Public Radio to look towards Windows Media Player as an alternative. I prefer good old MP3 or OGG streaming like the feeds offered at WCPE but I'm sure no 'serious' company would consider it because they don't have their digital rights preserved." See the CarTalk story from yesterday.

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Well, sure, but (-1)

Can it run Linux (664464) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783846)

can it run Linux(TM)?

Re:Well, sure, but (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8784097)

Ok, I am lost here:

Is Real a bad or a good company? Or is it just plain gay (like, say, Apple)?

I can't figure this out for myself, sorry.

FP (5, Funny)

Wiz (6870) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783848)

Hey, I might get my first ever first po... BUFFERING.........

Re:FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783871)

Buff my cock, bitch.

You fail.

Re:FP (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783921)

I would, but your cock is already so nice and shiny from all the previous lunix geeks who polished it.

Re:FP (1, Informative)

no reason to be here (218628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783974)

Parent isn't offtopic. It was making a joke about real player.

Re:FP (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8784157)

Parent is gay. I mean Real gay.

Buffering.... (2)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784006)

You now, that always pisses me off when it does that. I wish NPR would allow us to just download a WAV file or something! Maybe there's some sort of copyright issues involved with just having a file for download.
I have a dial-up and I don't like tying up my phone line for an hour or so to listen to a program that's not offered in my area (Science Friday) or to listen to a show I missed.
Aside from the occasional show I listen to, Broadband still isn't worth it for me - just in case any of you were to suggest DSL or something.

Re:Buffering.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8784055)

Your on dial up and you want to download wav files????

Re:Buffering.... (1)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784140)

Yeah, I do. I usually kick off a large download at night. Faster connection speeds at night and it gets done before I wake up - usually.

Good... down with Real (4, Insightful)

strictnein (318940) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783851)

Good. I hate Real Player. It's always been the most annoying player out there. Downloading a copy is a bitch (although they've made it somewhat easier recently), that Real Message Center is annoying as hell.
The message here for Real should be really simple. Make your player as easy to get as possible. Require two clicks to download. Content is King. Annoying software is not. Give me a real reason to register. Look at how sites like slashdot and fileplanet work.

Re:Good... down with Real (2, Informative)

Nebulo (29412) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783881)

From a Mac perspective, the RealOne player is pretty darn good. It's small, attractive, and doesn't annoy with meaningless popups and advertising. I'm thrilled that CarTalk is switching back - their Windows Media files wouldn't even play last week.

Eric in Seattle

Re:Good... down with Real (2, Interesting)

Sporkinum (655143) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783922)

I would venture to say that a lot of Public Radio listeners are Mac users. Wouldn't going with Windows Media format cut off all of those users?

What generic format is cross platform friendly other than Real? Bear in mind that complete noobs have to be able to install it.

Re:Good... down with Real (1)

JoScherl (228091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783999)

I think there are simple mp3 players for every operating system available. More interesting to me is video streaming, which coding to use which canbe used with a goodplayeron every paltform?

Re:Good... down with Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8784078)

You make a gratuitous assumption that anyone anywhere for a millionth portion of a second really gave a fuck about Mac users.

Re:Good... down with Real (4, Insightful)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783913)

Real need to take a leaf out of Adobe's book. Look at the acrobat reader - it's free, easy, multi-platform and does what it is supposed to and nothing more

Re:Good... down with Real (3, Interesting)

tepples (727027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783943)

Adobe Reader development is subsidized by sales of Adobe Acrobat software. RealPlayer seems to be subsidized by advertising sales. What business model would you suggest?

Re:Good... down with Real (5, Insightful)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784012)

What software is used to make the stream?

Re:Good... down with Real (4, Insightful)

gcaseye6677 (694805) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784021)

How about subsidizing the free player with sales of the streaming server products? Oh wait, they already are, but they can't get enough people to buy their overpriced server offerings to make this work. As has been pointed out in previous Real Player discussions, the people at Real have no clue how to run a tech company and are dense as rocks when it comes to making good business decisions.

Re:Good... down with Real (1)

plugger (450839) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784033)

Streaming server licence fees.

Re:Good... down with Real (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8784039)

Content providers should always pay the nickel.

Content creation software should subsidize content distribution software.

Re:Good... down with Real (1)

ComaVN (325750) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784107)

Sell the server-side software?

Just a thought.

Re:Good... down with Real (4, Interesting)

MrChuck (14227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783973)

Yeah, I dumped Real when it turns out that my illusions of privacy were clearly illusions.

Windows? Nien, danke.

Open Format with Open Tools and I'll be there.

Stream it with multicast? Great, I'll be all over it.

Sell my information to anyone with a quarter? Thanks Real, but no.

Re:Good... down with Real (0, Flamebait)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784035)

Actually acrobat reader is a spyware too. It also phones homes to check if any updates are available.

So I uninstalled Acrobat reader and installed ghostview from ghostscript.

Re:Good... down with Real (1)

mj2k (726937) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783944)

Yeah, Real is pathetic in general - especially all the spy-ware/advertising crap they bundle with it. Admittedly they have a great compression algorithm - they should pattern themseleves after Adobe - Adobe provides a free reader and charges for the editor - real could do the same - if consumers like their media-player interface content creators will purchase the media-creation tools.

Re:Good... down with Real (4, Informative)

Liselle (684663) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783953)

They got the message on the download, anyway. I can get an .exe for the free version only two clicks from the front page.

1. Big, orange "Download RealPlayer" button
2. Little blue text link in the lower right

Voila!

Re:Good... down with Real (1)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784047)

Require two clicks to download

Man they must have some people reading slashdot at this moment, because I went to count up the number of clicks it actually takes, and it was exactly 2 clicks to get the download started.

BONUS! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783852)

for mentioning OGG

well ... (1, Interesting)

B3ryllium (571199) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783853)

Well, if Real is listening, they'll hopefully make a big prominent link to the free version on their front page.

I remember four years ago when I had to dig through the site to find it; what a pain in the butt.

Re:well ... (4, Funny)

JoScherl (228091) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783880)

I thinkitwas quite simple - just search the samllest link, somewhere at the bottom.

GNAA (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783855)

it feels good in the sphincter

first post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783859)

first post!

Real alternative (4, Informative)

Patik (584959) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783863)

They should just put up a link to Real Alternative [hccnet.nl] .

It plays Real files, and if you download the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack, everything else too (Quicktime, Divx, Ogg, etc.).

It also includes Media Player Classic, which is a very nice player that picks up where Windows Media Player 6 left off.

Re:Real alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783931)

Are you sure it's legal?

It was the best of advice, and the worst of advice (4, Insightful)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783932)

I second the recommendation of Real Alternative. Also, grab Quicktime Alternative and Media Player Classic. But codec packs? Hell NO! I learned much about codecs (and formatting and reinstalling) after I installed one of those godawful monstrosities. My advice is install a codec when you need it for the first time, and leave it at that. That K-Lite thing should be classified as a virus.

MOD PARENT DOWN - LINK CONTAINS GOATSE (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783985)

Hello mods, do you even bother to click on the links??!!!

For you mods who are idiots, trolls like to post replies that appear legit so that the unsuspecting user will click on a link that leads them to the deepest chasms in hell (or in this case, a man's anus).

Think about it... How can a piece of software play all the proprietary formats like Real, Quicktime, and DivX, while at the same time being free and legal?? Of course this post is a troll.

Realplayer Alternative (-1, Redundant)

Pingular (670773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783872)

Here [betanews.com] . Free, works in full screen, no spyware or adaware, no crap, lovely.

Mandrake's Red-Headed Step Child? (1)

SkiddyRowe (692144) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783879)

Is Real following suit with Mandrake?

Using the "YOU MUST BUY OUR PRODUCT"...(small print) The download for the free version is 10 links deep (/small print)

Re:Mandrake's Red-Headed Step Child? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783909)

Leave Mandrake out of this, you spurt-burping cocksocket.

OpenSource and Open Standards are the way to go (1)

KingOfBLASH (620432) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783884)

I think that the only real way for companies to go in this area is open source and open standards. Real makes its money through sales of its "professional" player, with features you can't get from the free player. But, if people are demanding free content without paying for a player, (how many people actually pay for it), they are going to look for free alternatives. Right now the only "free" alternative is Windows -- because the cost of developing the formats are built into the OS. However, if there were open standards then any player could jump in without any kind of patent infringement -- leading to a jump in Open Source projects (those of us who code for the fun because the money went to India a long time ago).

Re:OpenSource and Open Standards are the way to go (1)

dk.r*nger (460754) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784152)

Real makes its money through sales of its "professional" player, with features you can't get from the free player.

I believe Real makes money from a superior streaming audio server software-suite.. The player is just milking the cow.

But, if people are demanding free content without paying for a player, (how many people actually pay for it), they are going to look for free alternatives.

A lot of people pay for it. They use it, and they are too stuck in the Microsoft-mantra that software costs money that they feel the have to support poor Real that obviously can't make money from providing free software..

Rights preserved? (4, Insightful)

MrChuck (14227) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783894)

You can should it from the roof or send it out on cassette tapes and your "rights are preserved".

OGG/MP3 do not remove your rights. Lets me clear.

That people copy (and it's easy with Real and WMP - play it out through line out and record it in whatever you wish) mp3/ogg does not affect "their rights"

no brainer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783895)

real audio is simply the worst, god awful, horrible software ever made.

Well... What can you do. (1)

nycsubway (79012) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783896)

I used to like real player, because it was the only program that would play the real audio clips that were on the internet. That was about 5 years ago. Now real player is bloated and full of extras that have little to do with streaming audio. When Real Networks launched their game service, it seemed they were trying anything to stay functioning as an 'internet' business.

Marketing Company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783897)

It used to be a great technology company, and now it's a great marketing company

I agree with the second part, but the first part is untrue. Real used to be a terrible technology company, and recently have gotten better.

Anyone remember: Buffering.. buffering...

Re:Marketing Company (1)

jared_hanson (514797) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784070)

Real used to be a terrible technology company, and recently have gotten better.

Anyone remember: Buffering.. buffering...


Bandwidth used to be extremely limiting, but recently broadband access has become increasingly prevalent.

Anyone remember 28.8Kbps?

so... (-1)

Spytap (143526) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783898)

So "serious" companies prefer digital rights management over audio quality and general ease of use? Sounds somewhat backwards to me...

Could it be that the downfall to products.. (1)

Sexual Ass Gerbil (728400) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783903)

is due to the privacy infringement, obscuring downloads and contracts with practically unreadable small print, and strongarm anticompetitive licenses/EULAs/contracts imposed by corporations? Hell yes! In my opinion American companies are some of the worst offenders of freedom. We are starting to beginning of slavery again. The days of owing your soul to the plantation store are back. It's pretty sad.

Re:Could it be that the downfall to products.. (1)

Anarcho-Goth (701004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784095)

Well, If you don't like it, you don't have to install it or listen to it. I agree with you about the creeping fascism, I just don't think this is the best example. Issues of Corporate Personhood, Campaign Finance, and Government Contracts are much better examples of how our freedoms are being taken away from Citizens, and into the hands of Corporations. (Or should I say Big Corporations, since most small business are OK?)

On the other hand, I think that reverse-engineering the codecs for competing products (GPL or otherwise) should be perfectly legal. If you want to have the obiquitous protocal fine, but if other people can figure out how to play it, then they should be allowed to promote competing products.

Speaking of which, are there any good media players for Linux that play Real and WMA files/streams, but are not put out by Real or MS?

People have mentioned Real Alternative but it didn't look like they have a Linux player.

Is Real their own problem? (5, Insightful)

sxltrex (198448) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783906)

You besides having one of the most annoying install processes in the history of computers, hijacking functions the user had no intention of having Real handle, shoving registration down your throat with tons of opt-outs rather than opt-ins, having obtrusive background programs running even when you tell them not to...

I think not being able to find the download link was the best part about it.

ehh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783915)

Ehh, one of the things that Real fixed according to CarTalk story from yesterday WAS the problem with finding the free download.

It is now literally two clicks away from the front page - you click "Download RealPlayer" and then "Download Free Player" and it starts downloading.

How much easier can it be?

Re:ehh? (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784063)

They still have to play their lame little games. You click the big "Free Realplayer" graphic on the homepage, then the next screen has a bunch of large "download now (only 19.95" icons for the paid version of RealPlayer.

The "Download Free Player" is a little text link on the bottom right, and it wouldnt even be onscreen if your browsers resolution was 800x600 or lower. I know plenty of older folks who run their machines at 800x600 on a 17" monitor because it's easier to read.

Real are their own worst enemy, the adware, the installer, finding the free player.. I haven't used realplayer in years because of it, and just ignore .ra links in browsers.

Re:ehh? (1)

Alkaiser (114022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784084)

What I don't understand is:

You run a company. You know people need the link to d/l your software.

HOW HARD IS IT TO GRAB THE LINK [real.com] YOURSELF?

Seriously, my company had this problem a couple years back. They said, it's too hard to find the free browser. So I linked to the free broswer download page. It's was that freaking simple. Deep-linking is LEGAL, people.

I'm suprised they've been around this long. (-1)

They_Call_Me_Spanky (83478) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783923)

Really, multimedia on a pc (over the internet) is trivial nowadays. Either it be absolutely free and friendly, or it be the best thing since sliced bread.

Realplayer is neither... Its slow, bloaty, intrusive and not very usable considering having to wrestle with a dozen or so items that have nothing to do with the video/audio you're trying to ovbserve.

Real cannot support is current business model on Realplayer et. al. It was great back in the day when it was all new and choice was few. But with high-speed bandwidth, fast cpu's and cheap hardware.... there is no rookm for it.

I'm no Real Player fan... (3, Informative)

indros13 (531405) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783924)

...but it only takes two clicks from their homepage to get the free player download started. Click "download" and then the bold, text link "Download free player."

I believe that it has been more complicated in the past, but it's not particularly difficult (unlike searching Slashdot for a particular story).

The most pertinent point is the Real-NPR deal. If the clickthrough for public radio listeners is making a free download difficult, then NPR has a legitimate complaint. Their users want a convenient and inexpensive way to access content. If Real can't accomodate, then screw them.

Re:I'm no Real Player fan... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8784160)

You mean, people actually listen to NPR? Oh yeah - that's right - tree-hugging, knee-jerking, hand-wringing, bed-wetting liberals have to get their marching orders from SOMEWHERE, I suppose.

cocksmokers.

Sometimes it's near to impossible to find the DL (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8783927)

I've had increasing difficulty to locate the free version of Real Player over the years because the link seems to be hidden. In fact I had to argue the fact with a freind who wanted to view some real player content that there even was a free version. She spent almost a week going back to the Real Player site looking for the free player version that I knew was there before she came back to say Real Player just would not work with her computer.

Also it is getting difficult to locate the Real Player for Linux.

Sure the Real Player folks need to make money - but I just don't have so much to give these days. I also don't really need all the extras the paid version has.

Correct (3, Interesting)

broothal (186066) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783934)

Real is indeed its own worst enemy. The technology behind the product is great! But:

The hiding of the free player

The non-standard installer

The annoying "messages" that cannot be turned off
are all reasons why people don't use their product any more. If they woke up and smelled the coffee, they could easily win back market shares.

Re:Correct (1)

makapuf (412290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784120)

true ! As a tehnology standpoint, I find real player impressive. They can play almot whatever, use standard streaming technologies (gasp ! even supporting them).

But the marketing department ... oh dear, they should be forced to use what they provide. Take a good product, add bloat , add nagging functions. take a good, unknown product, make it a bad, loathed product. what a shame.

They are doomed... DOOMED!! (1)

emerrill (110518) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783935)

I have always had trouble with how difficult it is to find the free version on their site.

But they also have other problems. It many times feels unnatural to use their player to me. They need to work on making it feel more integrated, it just feels clobbed on to use it. I think they will be their own downfall for many reasons...

Time for something new? (0, Troll)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783954)

Real has simply grown past the point of obsolence. I see it happening with many products -- my virus scanner/firewall combination, for example, has the idea that it knows better than I do about what settings I should be making in its configuration, and has taken to advertising newer versions relentlessly.

I used to think that the larger companies like this pave the way for the smaller companies in the software industry -- driving innovation through their own stagnation, perhaps. Similarly, I used to think chopsticks originated in Asia, at least until someone made me aware of their creation as an enticing gimmick by immigrant restaurant owners in American mining communities in the 1800s and subsequent exportation to the Far East as a unique dining tool. Opened my eyes to the potential of reexamining the current to design the future; especially so after I factored in the sizable lumber export market that has become necessary to meet such demand.

The point is, it's simply impossible to spot where the next trend or emerging market will be, but the potential for wealth creation by expanding the marketplace is great. The end-user must decide who the winners will be by their choices, and there's still room for the small players to win by simply not bugging the living hell out of their customers.

Re:Time for something new? (2, Interesting)

cascino (454769) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784122)

Similarly, I used to think chopsticks originated in Asia, at least until someone made me aware of their creation as an enticing gimmick by immigrant restaurant owners in American mining communities in the 1800s and subsequent exportation to the Far East as a unique dining tool.
This is offtopic - but are you sure about that?
A quick google search yields many [about.com] sites [google.com] that report otherwise [asianartmall.com] ...

Did the editors all go out for mexican last night? (0, Troll)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783956)

Because they seem to have a severe case of story diarrhea today.

Get-Real Audio (1)

sport_160 (650020) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783963)

I can't stand RealAudio. Horrible product. But what is worse is that I live next door to their head office in Seattle. I have to drive by it everyday. There is, however, one small benefit. When I spy some particularly important looking suit's walking out of Real building I can give them a good bollocking as I drive past. Certainly makes me feel better for about 5 mins.

Incidentally... (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783967)

We've had the same discussion here at WBUR (Boston/Rhode Island public radio), and though we currently support Real Player, there is a debate on whether to drop it or not 'cause the damn download is so tough to... BUFFERING... find.

We do also have Quicktime and WindowsMedia. Available here [wbur.org] . And we're the ones that originate Car Talk [cartalk.org] , among others.

-T

Re:Incidentally... (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783997)

Bleh. Should be cartalk.com [cartalk.com] . Sorry.

-T

A Real Bitch (1)

JaxWeb (715417) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783976)

Real is a bit of a bitch to download and use, even if you ignore all the adverts. I hate how it used to just randomly pop up and tell me about something.

I've just done a search for free Real Audio players (Open Source kind of free), and found none. Does anyone know any? Wouldn't this be exactly the sort of thing where OSS can shine?

Slashdot tradition blasphemy! (0, Offtopic)

TimeTrav (460837) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783977)

I am seriously offended. The poster has broken our most sacred traditions by linking to the previous post instead of posting it all over again.

I am appalled. Whats next? Spell checking? What is this world coming to?

Re:Slashdot tradition blasphemy! (1)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784051)

Or worse - people actually reading the article before posting!

Audio streams are one thing... (3, Informative)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783981)

about video streaming, Real is about the best one can get. The quality is less than average, but it comes at ridiculously low amounts of bandwidth. A 1.5h show compressed to 100M, in quality that is still acceptable, full 15-min cartoons that fit in some 10M files, this is what I haven't seen elsewhere. I'd hate to see Real be gone.
In the other hand, Real could go open-source with all their client software and provide their existing infrastructure to host some web TV and radio stations, for a fee. This could encourage many people to accept RealMedia as a standard, seriously extending Real's market share, while not killing their profit.

Neither of them are real good (1)

focitrixilous P (690813) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783983)

I've used a wide variety of windows streaming things, Windows Media Player, Real, Quicktime, MPEG through winamp, and I have to say I hate Real the most out of all of them. The player is filled with ads, it tries to load at startup even when you tell it not to, and the quality isn't that good. WMP is alright, but I hate to tie a stream down to one OS. I'd recommend a nice stream through the old mp3 codec. Every OS can read it, you can choose your player, and everyone is happy, except the big companies, and no one cares about their profits.

And as MPR goes... (0, Redundant)

syphax (189065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783988)

... so goes the nation.

MP4 (via quicktime) (2, Interesting)

norwoodites (226775) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783990)

What about some standards, MPEG 4 is very standarized and should be used. Quicktime plays it, IIRC Real also plays it so people have choices of what player they can use.

Yuck. (1)

BFaucet (635036) | more than 10 years ago | (#8783994)

Real player is absolute crap IMHO. It's annoying to get, it blasts the user with ads and likes to annoy the user by sitting in the task bar, it's slow, bulky and has a horrible and intimidating interface. I liked Real Player's first interface (I'm assuming it was their first as I ran it on my 486.)
Despite this, I don't think Real is going anywhere for a while... channels like 'em too much.

I use Real Alternative [betanews.com] with media player classic now. So much better.

idiotic that mp3 is not used... (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784004)

Sorry but mp3 streams better and is widely accepted. hell windows 98 wil play a mp3 stream out of the box without extra software...

and somepne please explain to me the justification of "preserving digital rights" on a freely downloaded mp3??? that's like a sales flyer maker getting pissed that someone is taking the flyer he made for a special sale and bitching that someone made 100 copies of his sales flyer and gave them to other people... What? you dont want free redistribution and promotion??? that is plain silly..
shoutcast works great, and is damned cheap to host/ licensing fees....

How about shoutcast? (1)

Omega1045 (584264) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784014)

A local community college wanted to broadcast their basketball games on the internet so parents in other states could listen. I recommended Shoutcast, as it works well with WinAmp. Both are free. Shoutcast runs on Linux, making the solution free (as in beer) for a community college (or NPR?) and winamp was a small and easy download for parents, with a direct link to the download page right on the college website. They took an old desktop and turned it into their shoutcast server. Very easy setup, worked well for them. Anybody at NPR listening?

why post what you know is essentially a dupe? (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784030)

geezus. So I guess the intent is to stop the relentless hypocritical MS bashing, by starting the endless Real bashing? Is ANY of the posting in this thread going to be different than the one yesterday? "I hate real," "real sucks," "real makes you install blah blah," or whatever.

So, is the next article going to be about Sun, MS, or...? There have been a couple interesting tidbits today, but...yeesh! And no mention of the satellite going up on the 17th...not that "nerds" care about physics these days I guess. Just about bashing stuff. Ugg.

DRM shouldn't matter for Public Radio! (2, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784032)

I prefer good old MP3 or OGG streaming like the feeds offered at WCPE but I'm sure no 'serious' company would consider it because they don't have their digital rights preserved."

This argument is rubbish. Anything you can stream you can record (using Audacity or similar) and save; for that matter, anything broadcast over the airwaves you can record.

Ultimately any form of broadcast/webcast can be converted to mp3/ogg with very little work. NPR should do everyone a service (that's why they're around, to do a public service) and just give us the mp3's/oggs.

I don't see a problem. (4, Informative)

arkham6 (24514) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784046)

After hearing all the bad things about downloading real player, I decided just now to start the download process of the free version to see how bad the website actualy was.

I went to the website and glanced around for about 5 seconds, then clicked the link that said download. The next page was slightly confusing for about three seconds, before i saw the segment that said 'download free version'. Clicked that, then started my download.

No problem for me.

Re:I don't see a problem. (1)

Mr. Darl McBride (704524) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784142)

It's not so bad as it used to be. The free download page used to be one more page removed, and then you still had to wrestle with a double negative.

Their business model doesn't allow it (1)

eclectro (227083) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784053)

If they didn't have their "free software" generate sales leads for them, then nobody would buy it.

It's a kind of blackmail - "we are going to spam you until you buy from us" or "we are going to make it hard for you to download/use the free version - so you had better buy from us."

I'm not saying it's ok. Like everything else nowadays "it's just business".

Real's Collapse is Inevitable... (1)

Jack_Frost (28997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784054)

Real is a lot like a super-dense star: both will eventually suck so hard that they destroy everything around them immediately prior to collapsing into a blackhole from which no useful information can ever escape.

version 10 for OS X? (2, Interesting)

trillian42 (674714) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784065)

After reading some of the positive feedback on the newest Real free player in the last story about this (the Car Talk one), I decided to give it another shot. The last time I thought about installing Real's player (probably a year or two ago), the whole process was so obnoxious that I gave up long before finishing the installation.

However, to the best of my ability to figure it out, the new, less-obnoxious Real player must not have been ported to OS X yet. The free player I downloaded was still as obnoxious as ever, and I once again gave up before even letting it install itself enough for me to check the version number.

Where are the quicktime feeds? O:)

Re:version 10 for OS X? (1, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784138)

Quicktime hits me up for bucks every time I run it too. Fuck apple.

The only streaming media player that works, without popping up ads, without asking for a credit card number, without a time-delay nagscreen, is.... Windows Media Player.

And when it dominates streaming content, watch Real and Apple and Vivo - or whoever else exists - cry foul and sue MS about it.

Absolutely. (2, Insightful)

Rick and Roll (672077) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784067)

It has long been said on /. that Real is its own worst enemy. And it is actually quite simple. Real's uprise has been when they had a good and decent product, and their downfall has been when they got greedy with advertising, and just began adding various features to their products (such as unrelated, but integrated features including a non-streaming media player, and download tools).

Their product was good up to and including RealPlayer G2. But now it sucks. And their product sucking has nothing to do with Microsoft. It has to do with being managed by people who do not understand what the users want.

+1 Redundant (0, Redundant)

Milo Fungus (232863) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784068)

"Real Problems" - isn't that redundant?

Not just that... (4, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784069)

It's not just the fact that they hide the "free" download version. Additional problems include;

  • Staggering bloat. That client is a mess of custom controls and bugs. At the moment, any attempt to use the menus causes a hard lockup of XP. Not just the client, the entire desktop.

  • An unwelcome background process that insists on reinstalling itself (on windows.) Amateur and petty. It makes me sick.

  • It's supposedly spyware. I don't know if this is the case, but there are rumors.


The only reason I still suffer with RealPlayer in any form is MIT's OpenCourseware. The RealPlayer client has always been a PITA and Real has always been it's own worst enemy. They had more than half a decade of opportunity. Microsoft's Media Player has done nothing exceptional; just suck a lot less.

The whole streaming audio/video field's gone crazy (4, Insightful)

JessLeah (625838) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784080)

This is RIDICULOUS! In one corner, we have Microsoft. 'Nuff said. In another, we have Apple-- QuickTime players for Mac OS/Mac OS X and Windows, and "grey market" potentially-DMCA-illegal playing via MPlayer. In another corner, we have Real, who SUCK in every way possible.

And then, in the virtually ignored fourth corner, we have the stuff that isn't totally assraped by big (or not so big, in Real's case) corporations. MP3. Ogg. Freaking gzipped .AU for all I care. AND NO ONE USES ANY OF THIS STUFF.

No, we have two choices: (1) Run Windows and/or Mac OS X and download some spyware-riddled bloatware from Apple, Real (ugh) or Microsoft (DOUBLE ugh), or (2) run any other OS and use a probably-illegal tool like MPlayer. (Oh, MPlayer isn't illegal, you say? Who the hell are you kidding? At the first nastygram from any big patent-wielding corporation, MPlayer's going bye-bye. As far as I'm concerned, thanks to our pal the DMCA, it's just another DeCSS waiting to happen.)

This is FREAKING RIDICULOUS. Who benefits from any of this? It doesn't even seem as if MS and Apple benefit. Certainly, the "consumer" slash "end-user" slash "listener" doesn't.

This is fucking asinine. I am getting truly disgusted by all of this ridiculous pushing of proprietary standards. SCREW THIS. What will happen in 20 years when someone needs to open a .wma file, but .wma has been extinct for a dozen years, and the only program that will open it will be Foobleblatz(R) AudioMasher Pro(TM), a pro-level audio editing tool "with support for over 500 current and previous codecs and encoding formats", for the equivalent of $999.95 2004 dollars?

Audiovisual works are our cultural legacy. And we're blindly allowing corporations to seal up the standards used to encode these works to digital form. What the fuck is our problem? "Consumer groups" and publications like Consumer Reports should be screaming for open standards... but they don't even know or care what the problem is... Nor will they until around 2010 or so, when they try to play their old files and find that they can't...

Imagine if Gutenberg's printing press was available only on license from Gutenberg Ltd., and that everything it printed used a special ink completely invisible unless you wear the patented Gutenberg Glasses(R), available for a MERE sum of 10 shillings. Think that sounds ridiculous? We're doing the very same thing today. Eventually, "dead tree" media will die, and the media used to replace it will be completely corporate-controlled, proprietary, and ... god, it's going to be a nightmare. The nightmare is already beginning, in fact...

MOD PARENT UP! (1)

sethadam1 (530629) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784137)

AMEN!

Ogg?? (0)

stevemm81 (203868) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784083)

MP3 streaming seems like a good idea. If someone really feels the need to "pirate" Minnesota Public Radio, they'll find a way to do it. I don't think Ogg Vorbis, regardless of its merits, is used widely enough to make it a good choice for streaming media. Everyone who would listen to internet radio has an MP3 player. Only /.ers have Ogg..

Real Vs. Microsoft (1)

carlcmc (322350) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784087)

Who do you hate more?

I for one hate Real with a passion. I refuse to visit sites that have Real content. I'd rather deprive myself of watching it than sit through the pain of their terrible player.

If there was a larger following providing content you could view in winamp, that would be my ideal, but for the time being, I'll use WMP.

(Note: I realize I forgot to include the obligatory joke reference... I for one welcome our new video streaming overlords.)

Shoutcast (1)

blackmonday (607916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784101)

Shoutcast is the way to go here. I believe it's what KCRW in Santa Monica uses. Mac and Windows users have dozens of choices that support it, notably iTunes and Winamp. Linux users have XMMS. I don't see the big dilemma here. I thought Shoutcast was free?

Perhaps... (1)

GarfBond (565331) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784111)

It's true, that second download page shouldn't be there (it should be one click download, quick install, and that's it).

But, MPR has their own direct link to the RealPlayer download page (much like they gave cartalk.com earlier) http://www.real.com/freeplayer/?rppr=npr. It's partially their fault for not putting this out there better.

Nice job... (1)

no longer myself (741142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784118)

We've successfully managed to /. the good people over at WCPE. Stravinski was playing so nice and clearly then--

This was actually my first time getting an ogg stream (using VLC) and I must admit, it sounded VERY good... Until it just shut down..

Threads Always Run the Same Way (1)

great throwdini (118430) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784126)

Although I understand the BBC had strong reasons to twist Real's arm in negotiations, I don't understand why MPR cannot wrangle something along the lines of BBC's relation to Real [bbc.co.uk] ?

Oh, wait. MPR pretty much does ...

MPR Homepage [publicradio.org] > How To Listen [publicradio.org] > You can manually download the newest version here [real.com] .

Am I missing something?

(Real seems to provoke the same thread topics on /. regardless of story context, it seems. This post is no different.)

Is the wording legal? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784130)

In the bullet points on the right hand side of the page for the free player, after clicking the Download Player link on the main page, there are several bullet points. One of them reads: "- Best video and audio quality ever".

Now, IANAAL (I am not an advertising lawyer) but I AM in advertising, and that claim seems somewhat dubious, and I'd love to see how they back it up. I know its nitpicking, but I can spare the attention for a company I hate so much, so if anybody can shed some light it would be appreciated.

Shout louder, SHOUT LOUDER, **SHOUT LOUDER** (4, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784133)

A lot of companies seem to feel that if people aren't listening to their advertisements, they should make their advertisements louder... if people aren't paying attention to their advertisements, they should make them more intrusive... if people aren't buying the upgrade, they should nag them oftener.

When my son was three years old, he used to act the same way. If you didn't pay attention to him, he thought the answer was to yell. Or pester. Or throw a tantrum.

My three-year-old was wrong.

Could be Worse... (2, Funny)

acroyear (5882) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784135)

I went to try to download a Flash plug-in from Macromedia for Mozilla (back before the plug-in auto-install stuff was standardized in 1.4), and found that the download page was, logically enough, a Flash animation that I couldn't actually view in order to get the plugin.

I don't get it (1)

mcrbids (148650) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784147)

Real has sucked hard for years. I don't have it installed on my systems anymore, because it was just too loaded with negative crap to be useful. If a stream isn't available on QT or WiMP, I haven't bothered.

So why the sudden rash of Real Player articles? Is it because of some recent change, or is it just because some /. editor got their panties in a bunch?

Could it possibly be that Real actually *wants* marketshare, and has learned that pissing all over their user base is not the best way to do it?

They have *alot* of bad karma to overcome, at this point. I sincerely hope they do it!

Since before the dot-boom... (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 10 years ago | (#8784164)

My first projects involved webdesign and heavy SMIL and Real Server developement related work. That's about 5 years ago. Even back then their site was the crappiest I could think of. It was a real bad PITA to reach usable information for _anything_ related to the real player or SMIL developement and it allways has been near to impossible to get a fresh realplayer within any resonable and sane amount of time. Surfing on their site for longer than a minute would cause noticable brain-cell rott and after 90 seconds the latest I allways would get seriously angry over such a piece of crap in navigation and comprehensability.
In fact, I'm shure this is one of the reasons why Real isn't that popular anymore.
Their site is a prime example for web design that truly sucks snails though straws. I even wrote a rant about that something like 4 years ago where I mentioned Real as a prime example of a site being crappy even with 'professional' use of tabled layout and grafics.
If this company doesn't change it's site soon, I'm going to celebrate their death even though their web technologies (including SMIL) and their player aren't half bad. Contrary to what slashdotters usually say.
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