Real Networks launches subscription service.
December 5, 2001 4:19 PM   Subscribe

Real Networks launches subscription service. Yes, everyone's favorite purveyor of bloatware is launching RealOne, a subscription service. Think anyone will nibble?
posted by solistrato (28 comments total)
wait... buffering....................
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 4:45 PM on December 5, 2001

I made a vow last month to never ever install another Real product on any of my computers, even if it meant missing out on some good porn.
posted by machaus at 4:51 PM on December 5, 2001

Nope. See Machaus above.
posted by daver at 4:55 PM on December 5, 2001

Have to agree. I can't count the times I've earnestly *tried* to use RealPlayer but quit in frustration trying to turn off all the ad-channels/spyware/registry settings.

Shame on them: Progressive Networks originally started out with a good product, and probably good intents. Looking now at how cluttered their product has become I have to wonder... geez, guys, could you not have restrained your Marketing & Sales staff a bit?

I won't be surprised if this is the beginning of the end for Real. Guess we'll take our Windows Media and like it. (At least it's relatively nag-free, but for how long?)
posted by skyboy at 5:02 PM on December 5, 2001

Quicktime kicks ass.
posted by ParisParamus at 5:08 PM on December 5, 2001

Is Windows Media Player any good for XP (versus the pre-XP version)? I'm installing it in a few weeks.
posted by jmd82 at 5:10 PM on December 5, 2001

I have an excellent response to the above, but you will need to download the new 26Mb version of Metafilter in order to read it.
posted by dhartung at 5:13 PM on December 5, 2001

"Would you like to make Real Networks your home page?"

"Are you sure?"

"Are you double-dog sure?"

"Okay, how about now? Would you like to make us your home page now? How about now?"

"Please please please please please?"

"Sorry, in the time it took you to decide, your RealPlayer version has become obsolete. Click here to download RealPlayer."
posted by scottandrew at 5:20 PM on December 5, 2001

What amazes me is the RealOne Music, in which you get 100 streams and 100 downloads. Wow... or maybe I could just download Kazaa, check out music, and go buy a CD, which is something I can rip (until they try to prevent it after which consumers will sue the music industry into the ground) into my computer and load onto my MP3 player. Now imagine that.
posted by benjh at 5:28 PM on December 5, 2001

And it figures that I'd forget to mention it was a music subscription service. Where is my mind, indeed...
posted by solistrato at 5:29 PM on December 5, 2001

Yeah, Paris, QuickTime does kickass — did you know it was QuickTime's 10th anniversary? says we might be about to witness the comeback of Apple's media format.
posted by barkingmoose at 5:50 PM on December 5, 2001

i would say quicktime kicks ass, but for the life of me, i haven't been able to fix the gamma on my relatively new version. 'cause of that, i primarily stick with media player for windows. i would bash on real like the rest of you, but gaiman's Snow Glass Apples and just overall, SciFi's Seeing Ear Theatre makes using realplayer worth it.
posted by lotsofno at 6:03 PM on December 5, 2001

yep benjh, pretty much. Except maybe the suing part. But I continue to laugh at how the music industries are trying to develop the online market on their terms. They just don't get it. People don't want to subscribe to music in their own homes, in the car maybe, but not at home.
posted by jeremias at 6:09 PM on December 5, 2001

Frankly I'm surprised Real Networks hasn't gone chapter 11 yet. Yahoo Broadcast recently laid off more employees, with yet more lay-offs to come. Real Networks can't be far behind in that arena.

I guess this is the real reason why the bottom has dropped out of tech companies. A lot of money was invested in the Internet the past five years, and everybody thought eventually people would start paying for what they had been getting for free. Create a demand by offering the supply for free, get them hooked, and then hike the prices. However what they didn't realize was most people went to the Internet because they didn't have to pay extra for everything.

What the dotcoms tried to do with the Internet would be like if instead of creating the cable networks a few decades ago, they had made ABC, NBC and CBS pay. There'd be no such thing as a boob tube today if they'd done that.
posted by ZachsMind at 7:15 PM on December 5, 2001

posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 7:41 PM on December 5, 2001

oh yeah... if you have the time, i kind of like the whole buffering concept used on this piece.
posted by lotsofno at 7:54 PM on December 5, 2001

realplayer is bad for the mac, but windows media player is waaaay worse.
posted by panopticon at 10:10 PM on December 5, 2001

Hate hate hate hate. I think Osama Bin Laden created Real Networks to incite chaos and frustration amongst the web-users of the world. Real Networks is surely chaired by Satan.
posted by Hankins at 10:28 PM on December 5, 2001

I don't think I've ever installed a more invasive piece of software than Real Player. And now I find that Real Jukebox won't play an audio CD, and I get a nagging message telling me to upgrade to RealOne. I don't think so....
posted by salmacis at 12:59 AM on December 6, 2001

Tiscali is about to launch a subscription music download service in the UK and guess what they're using? Clue: it starts with Windows and ends with Media.
posted by Summer at 3:12 AM on December 6, 2001

Can anybody suggest a good piece of software on Windows that will play audio CDs and MP3s and rip CDs as you listen? I would prefer to use neither Real Jukebox or Windows Media.
posted by salmacis at 3:49 AM on December 6, 2001

It's all so weird too. I mean, RealPlayer is the only streaming media to run native on Linux. As you could guess, it has no megalomaniacal tentacles there. It's seeming somebody should hop on the "realzilla" domain name soon.

Real should cut its losses (take a huge gamble/what have they to lose?) and take its knowhow to a big Linux distro, team-up and see if they can't make Linux a viable multimedia/desktop alternative.

Quick caveat: Strolling down Alaskan Way last summer (other side of the train tracks from Real's headquarters on Seattle's waterfront) I spotted in the window of a large office, thirty or so small posters of Tux the Penguin in full view for the microsoftian public. Somebody's thinking Linux there. For whatever that's worth--my "quick caveat" that is.
posted by crasspastor at 4:00 AM on December 6, 2001

Is there any other streaming video format which works better than Real and can be viewed properly on PC/windows mac and linux? Filesize is also important.

I ask because I have a great big website with lots (500Mb) of video encoded in real format. I want it to be possible to view it on as many platforms as possible, but I don't want to alienate everybody from the site either (page design apart) by using a crap format. All advice appreciated.
posted by walrus at 7:43 AM on December 6, 2001

I'm really curious to see a breakdown of what RealPlayer versions you all have on your desktops. Do ANY of your have RealPlayer 8 or, even better, RealOne?

RealOne doesn't have spyware, doesn't litter your desktop or kidnap your computer settings. You can turn off notifications (nagware) completely or customize which ones you want. Furthermore, it's now a combined player. If you take into account the size of the last versions of RealPlayer and RealJukebox, the download is a lot smaller and the program actually FASTER.

Also, just so you know, with the default setup, "buffering" has very little to do with the player and everything do with the connection speed, the bitrate of the media you chose to view and the server load.

It just seems to me like a lot of the things I read here are things some of you are holding on to from three versions ago or older...
posted by fooljay at 7:00 PM on December 6, 2001

Can anyone recommend a good all round movie player (avi, mpeg) other than windows media player?
posted by Iax at 11:32 PM on December 8, 2001

fooljay: when I start Real 8 I get a pop-under, as well as an extra window with an ad for real at times. Win media has their startup page, but Real still stinks. Not to mention inferior video quality/playback.
posted by owillis at 12:29 AM on December 9, 2001

You may want to upgrade to RealOne from RealPlayer 8, Oliver. It's light-years better and I don't get any popups.

As far as the video quality make sure you're comparing apples to apples. Real's video quality is excellent, but not when disadvataged by unbalanced media selection.
posted by fooljay at 2:17 AM on December 10, 2001

As far as the video quality make sure you're comparing apples to apples

Oh, I am. I spent over a year comparing them day in and out (work related). Windows Media wins hands down. Personally, for video I think if it's not live - streaming sucks. The time it takes to download a Quicktime file is much more worth it quality-wise. Nothing beats non-streaming Quicktime, of course everything beats streaming Quicktime...
posted by owillis at 6:01 AM on December 10, 2001

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