So long, Rob. It's been Real swell
January 13, 2010 1:23 PM   Subscribe

You remember Real, right? They made that media player you tried (and sometimes failed) to uninstall. They took on Microsoft and won a few years back, and Real remains propped up on that pile of cash. Last year, Real took on the motion-picture industry, and failed. A few days ago, a follow-on suit was slapped around the ears by judge Marilyn Patel, the same Patel that sent Napster packing. Yesterday, Real's COO resigned. Today, Real founder Rob Glaser stepped down as CEO.
posted by Cool Papa Bell (85 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
...buffering...
posted by Justinian at 1:26 PM on January 13, 2010 [107 favorites]


It's hard for me to say they will be missed, especially in this era where we have VLC. The FOSS movement makes it hard to justify having spyware riddled software that's hard to uninstall.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:28 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Wow, score one for the Invisible Hand!
posted by entropicamericana at 1:29 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


obsolesence wins.

goodbye to another crappy format that never worked even when it worked.
posted by ninjew at 1:30 PM on January 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


Well there's one file format that won't be missed. Flipbooks had better graphics quality.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:30 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whatever.
posted by e.e. coli at 1:32 PM on January 13, 2010


Wait? What? I didn't realize they were still around. Eh, no matter. Good riddance!
posted by MuChao at 1:33 PM on January 13, 2010


The last victim of the first .com crash. Finally.
posted by sciurus at 1:35 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


They were pioneers in their domain, but it's hard to build a company around a feature instead of a product.
posted by GuyZero at 1:35 PM on January 13, 2010


I was the expert witness for Lucasfilm in front of judge Marilyn Patel, and damn that woman is smart.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:35 PM on January 13, 2010 [9 favorites]


Huh. My husband and I both worked at Real at different times - I was there pre-IPO and early post-IPO, and he was there a few years later. I have no idea what went down, but I'm shocked - stunned - by Rob's stepping down as CEO. For me, RealNetworks *was* Rob Glaser. Say what you want about the product, but I wish him well.
posted by Lulu's Pink Converse at 1:35 PM on January 13, 2010


Rhapsody is still doing well, no?

I still have a bunch of video files in Real Media format or whatever, and every time I play them in VLC I sort of get these weird flashbacks to RealPlayer. It's almost physically repulsive.
posted by muddgirl at 1:38 PM on January 13, 2010


Eons ago, I think in 1997, I was on 14.4 dialup in a small town. I found a website where I could listen to a live RealAudio stream of a radio station elsewhere in the province. (They were broadcasting a hockey game!) The fact that I was listening to it live and not after-the-fact (after a lengthy download) totally blew me away. If live audio delivery over the World Wide Web was possible, anything was.

On another note, from the article:
[...] it also offered an interesting recommendation to consumers that want to be able to store digital copies of DVDs on their computers. The court’s suggestion, in short: Just buy another copy from iTunes or Amazon.
Uh, yeah. I'll get right on that.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 1:38 PM on January 13, 2010 [13 favorites]


I imagine Mr. Glaser would be welcome at Adobe's PDF division. Seems to have the requisite desire to update the app on every use, take several minutes to launch, and then use every bit of available memory.
posted by Babblesort at 1:41 PM on January 13, 2010 [34 favorites]


Gotta love those business models predicated on crappy software, hijack-happy installation apps and litigation cash. So long, Real. Nobody will miss you in the least.

Maybe we can put something more interesting and useful in your godawful ugly building downtown. Like a flea market. Or a landfill.
posted by Aquaman at 1:41 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


The first iterations of RealPlayer were quite impressive. During the boom years they screwed themselves over with a ridiculous amount of bloat and ads and everything else, but I do understand their error. In those days, it really wasn't known what users would tolerate, and they were doing what they could to keep giving away software without running out of cash.

Unfortunately for them, they didn't figure out where the line was until their reputation was in the dirt. That error on their part has been an unmitigated good for the rest of us, though. Now it's very obvious what people will and won't tolerate. We still see bad software, sure, but everyone at least knows to aim higher than Real. Some of that backlash may have even prompted the wonder of text ads.

So yeah, while I was happy to see them arrive, I'm also not too sad to see them implode.
posted by wierdo at 1:42 PM on January 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


I was just thinking about these guys yesterday during Marketplace and wondering how long they were going to stick around. I guess I got my answer.
posted by infinitewindow at 1:43 PM on January 13, 2010


well, say what you want, but at least real brought some innovations to market that we're still using today: multiple bitrate streams on a server with a client that autonegotiates between them; a single solution for live video/audio; a multimedia server that sits alongside apache.

sure, real lost out when bandwidth became easier to come by, and i'm happy to not have to deal with ra and ram files anymore, but they did have their place in history.
posted by mrballistic at 1:44 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I found it mildly disappointing that she isn't Indian. She will always be Marilyn Hall Patel to me. It's like Seinfeld's Donna Chang(-stein) all over again.
posted by anniecat at 1:48 PM on January 13, 2010


Good! Fuck 'em!
posted by notsnot at 1:50 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Lurkers Support Me in Email: "Eons ago, I think in 1997, I was on 14.4 dialup in a small town. I found a website where I could listen to a live RealAudio stream of a radio station elsewhere in the province. (They were broadcasting a hockey game!) The fact that I was listening to it live and not after-the-fact (after a lengthy download) totally blew me away. If live audio delivery over the World Wide Web was possible, anything was.."

Heh I had a similar oh-shit moment with Realaudio around 1995, when I listened to a baseball game from my very distant hometown. Another similar one was a year earlier when I downloaded my first high-quality jpg (which happened to be a badly photoshopped Christina Applegate), and another a year later when I managed to get a sub-postage stamp size 5fps video stream to work.

These days I get pissed when a 1080p video buffers for more than a second or two.
posted by aerotive at 1:55 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yes, Real lost, and yes, the operating officers have stepped down (and already have interim replacements), but what's the basis to conclude that Real is going to fold up and die now?
posted by bearwife at 2:00 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


They actually had a great technical edge early on, which was a very efficient codec that resulted in (90's) web-watchable video. For a long time, well after they became pariahs of the desktop, you could still get better results in streaming video by compressing to Real than anything else. It's just that nobody would watch it, or more specifically, would install the next-to-malware app that would allow you to watch it. And they stopped developing anything else but the codec: the server, the client, the encoding tools, it all got frozen in time. By the time I started working with VOD, which was '03, it was already a living fossil.
It's like some cautionary tale for geeks. "The Little Boy Who Popularized Internet Video With His Killer App But Fucked Up Every Single Thing Otherwise"
posted by $0up at 2:01 PM on January 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


Can you imagine working for Real? It must be like being the last penny farthing salesman.
posted by Damienmce at 2:02 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


They were pioneers in their domain, but it's hard to build a company around a feature instead of a product.

My Data Structures and Algorithms prof spoke glowingly of how Real solved a lot of technical problems in the player with early and really innovative use of C++ templates, at a time when templates were a relatively new feature of dubious value. In the late 90s they were apparently held up as geniuses in the C++ community and deserve a lot of kudos (or blame, depending upon your perspective) for making generic programming successful.
posted by fatbird at 2:03 PM on January 13, 2010


You mean I don't have to download and install spyware in order to watch some video from eBaum's World anymore?
posted by Chuffy at 2:03 PM on January 13, 2010


I hope Rhapsody isn't hurt by this. Real Player was widely loathed (although I was on linux the whole time, and it always worked fine for me), but Rhapsody is great.
posted by rusty at 2:05 PM on January 13, 2010


Real solved a lot of technical problems in the player with early and really innovative use of C++ templates

Having struggled with templates I'm going to paraphrase a well-known quote: Some people, when faced with a C++ problem think, "I know! I'll use templates!" Now they have two problems.
posted by GuyZero at 2:08 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Real was the player I used when I tuned into Pseudo, that bizarre online tv thing from the late 90's to early 2000's. I still kind of miss Infinity Factory sometimes.

As a college freshman with high speed internet for the first time in my life, it felt a little like the Snowcrash freak media circus future I had been promised.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 2:09 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


"It's like some cautionary tale for geeks. "The Little Boy Who Popularized Internet Video With His Killer App But Fucked Up Every Single Thing Otherwise""

That is so true. I was very angry with Real for their earlier shenanigans, but wound up using the RealPlayer more recently for audio and video. It's a good, solid software, that got fouled up by the idiots in marketing. The same thing happened with Compaq. Best damn hardware, hands down, ever. But the machines were almost unusable because of the crap that the marketing people foisted off on the customer.

It's a shame, I saw Real as a tale of redemption. But too little, too late, I guess.
posted by Xoebe at 2:12 PM on January 13, 2010


It's a shame that there's still no legal way to back up your own movies. Real wasn't doing anything different than the rest of the DVD ripping crowd, except they wrapped the end product in DRM that tied it to your machine. Everyone else selling/giving away DVD-ripping software puts it in a format that's very convenient for swapping with your peers. Real's big mistake was in trying to go legit.

Way to go, movie industry, you never miss a chance to drive your paying customers to piracy.
posted by mullingitover at 2:12 PM on January 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


During the Late 90's i worked at a company that did video streaming services. we supported both Real and windows media formats. the video quality on both was pretty crappy unles you had a really shit-hot connection(this was in the days before widespread DSL/cable modems). i remember really loving Real, because the server actually scaled well. and ran on an operating system that wasn't a giant pain in the ass to administrate 1000's of machines (solaris). windows media on the other hand, was poky, ran on windows only and scaled poorly.
posted by Dr. Twist at 2:15 PM on January 13, 2010


Yes, Real lost, and yes, the operating officers have stepped down (and already have interim replacements), but what's the basis to conclude that Real is going to fold up and die now?

Yeah, I don't really (wordplay!) understand why everyone is assuming Real is now over.

Though I wouldn't be surprised if it renamed itself Rhapsody ...
posted by mrgrimm at 2:16 PM on January 13, 2010


Maybe Real can finally get out of that horrible building they're in. Beige walls, tiny gray cubicles, windowless offices, and hanging fluorescent tube lights. It's one of the most depressing work environments I've ever been in and I'm sure it affects their bottom line, but I heard that Glaser loved it.

I also hope Rhapsody survives unscathed from whatever transition Real is about to go through.
posted by Revvy at 2:17 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Shit just got Real.
posted by panboi at 2:22 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


A friend (former friend?) of mine is (was?) a VP over there. And I used to do a ton of work for PBS, which was a Real shop, so got plenty of practice with ram files and the like.

But Real hasn't been relevant for years. If the choice is between Real and not watching, I choose not watching, because I just can't stand the player and associated install shenanigans.
posted by maxwelton at 2:26 PM on January 13, 2010


Shit just got Real.
Other way round, I think.
posted by AndrewStephens at 2:29 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


I work one block away from Real's office building on the Seattle waterfront. I don't have much more to say, except that I once saw this seven-foot tall cell phone mascot hanging around the front, doing a little cell phone dance while passersby pressed the costume's realistic buttons, probably to promote some kind of synergistic product involving Real and cell phones.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:32 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


aerotive wrote: Heh I had a similar oh-shit moment with Realaudio around 1995, when I listened to a baseball game from my very distant hometown. Another similar one was a year earlier when I downloaded my first high-quality jpg (which happened to be a badly photoshopped Christina Applegate), and another a year later when I managed to get a sub-postage stamp size 5fps video stream to work.

It was pretty neat listening to classic rock radio stations in Dallas and Orlando over 14.4 dialup. It was a long time before that sort of thing became widespread. Exciting times.

There was somebody doing streaming video (as opposed to server-pushed jpeg frames) before Real was. I remember they had a few clips and ancient music videos, and that was about it.
posted by wierdo at 2:34 PM on January 13, 2010


Real's software was often a pain, and the first time I remember listening to the Goo Goo Dolls on a souped up Quadra 800 circa 1996 through their software, it sounded like someone had wrapped a small AM radio in a sock and a plastic bag and put it in a bathtub. And the DJ was having trouble with the tape on the other end, of course. But holy hell, streaming music ovar the intarwebs!!!1!!1. And then listening to WFUV in 1999... I don't know. I've gotta have at least the nostalgia that I have for Geocities. Plus, Rhapsody is genuinely cool.

If they'd played their cards right, it's entirely possible that Real (or more likely, Real plus someone like Creative or Diamond) could have been in the position Apple is right now with regards to media. Particularly considering where both those parties were in 2001/2002, I think it's an interesting comparison.
posted by weston at 2:36 PM on January 13, 2010


This thread wouldn't be complete without this image.
posted by mrbill at 2:37 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Probably to promote some kind of synergistic product involving Real and cell phones.

If I recall, my previous phone, a Nokia, supported streaming media via Real. Which seems like a reasonable enough direction for the company - if you can't win on computers anymore, get some deal together with mobile manufacturers. Not that I ever used the Real player on my Nokia, I just noticed the icon was there...
posted by Jimbob at 2:38 PM on January 13, 2010


My local NPR radio station still streams its live broadcast via Real. It's the only reason I keep the player around.

I'd love to see Real go belly-up just to push that station into the 21st century. Unfortunately, knowing the people running the place, instead of a proper mp3 stream, they'd probably opt for some DRMed WMA stream via an on-page pop-up player. They're just that way over there.
posted by Thorzdad at 2:44 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


We used to use Real for our media needs on our website, and we had to contract out to another company to host the files on those stupid Real servers. Bleeagh. Pain in the ass.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 2:45 PM on January 13, 2010


Real ShameTM
posted by blue_beetle at 2:46 PM on January 13, 2010


The thing that I remember Real for was when I was installing one of their players, and at one step, they had what looked like an opt-in screen for email or channels or something, with blank checkboxes... but if you scrolled down the list, all the checkboxes below the "fold" (in other words, the ones that you had to scroll down to see) were checked by default; it was really opt-out. And, you just have to know, some buttmunch at Real thought that he was a real clever Dick for having thought of that little thing, without, you know, wondering what impact that might possibly have on long-term customer loyalty. Nice to see how that worked out for them.
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:47 PM on January 13, 2010 [14 favorites]


I love RealPlayer! It's how I listen to all sorts of streaming music on the web on my slow connection!

Wait, this is 1997, right?
posted by krinklyfig at 2:53 PM on January 13, 2010


My local NPR radio station still streams its live broadcast via Real. It's the only reason I keep the player around.

VLC and MPlayer play Real streams just fine.
posted by Jimbob at 2:54 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Flash, however, is still around and still evil.
posted by jfuller at 2:59 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine working for Real? It must be like being the last penny farthing salesman.

Weirdly enough, I just interviewed for a project there and didn't get it. I can't go into details, but if they pull it off, it will be truly awesome.

No one was more shocked than me...
posted by lumpenprole at 3:05 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


... were checked by default; it was really opt-out. ...

With god as my witness I hope we can still find the person responsible for that one.
posted by bhance at 3:32 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I know people who work there. Can't say I have any particular insight into this from that, but i don't think they are in danger of immediately going under. IIRC they are pretty well funded right now.
posted by Artw at 3:36 PM on January 13, 2010


I have a friend who went to junior high school with Rob Glaser and who remembers him as a pudgy kid who got bullied a lot. Seems to fit Real Networks too, in a way.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:39 PM on January 13, 2010


I think Glaser leaving actually raised their stock.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on January 13, 2010


Dear Real,

Please die in a fire and eat a bowl of dicks on your way out the door.

Thanks,
The Internet
posted by jewzilla at 3:53 PM on January 13, 2010


Real has pretty much got to be example #1 of Fantastic Technology Ruined By Marketing and Sales
posted by empath at 4:13 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Here's the thing about Real. They never did it right. Yeah, it's easy to get misty-eyed and say "well they didn't quite know that shoving adware at their customers would be unpopular". Or "yeah, but how could they have predicted open protocols would be more popular than a proprietary, patent-encumbered opaque stack"?

But back then, in the 90s, we already knew the way Real was doing things was wrong. They did do a good job at a specific point in getting some real-time codecs out early. Good on them. But it was always wrapped up in consumer-hostile software and hacker-unfriendly protocols. They deserved to fail.
posted by Nelson at 4:25 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


twoleftfeet: I have a friend who went to junior high school with Rob Glaser and who remembers him as a pudgy kid who got bullied a lot. Seems to fit Real Networks too, in a way.
I was friends with a waitress a couple of years ago, who apparently was an escort back in the late 90's. When my friend who works at Real happened to mention he'd met Rob Glaser in the halls at work, she said, "Oh, you mean 'sweaty bob'?"

Not that he doesn't have the last laugh: even now, he's got enough cash to live in the lap of luxury for the rest of his life.
posted by hincandenza at 4:26 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Real player was the 5UX0R of video clip players.
I hated that thing and would always navigate away from any page that tried to install it.
Hey! This goes right along with the Domino's Pizza thread :p
posted by Drasher at 4:36 PM on January 13, 2010


The technology may have been great, but the marketing and bloat around it ruined it.

If Bit Torrent were set up that way (IE tons of ads, spyware, DRM and weirdo licensing schemes), we'd all be harping on how awful it is, even though it's probably the most robust peer-to-peer distribution system available.

That said, we're just kicking Real while they're down. It's pointless. Instead, let's attack Jay Leno, as he's winning and stealing Conan O'Brien's rightful place. If a Mefi minute of hate can't save The Tonight Show, nothing can.
posted by mccarty.tim at 4:38 PM on January 13, 2010


As long as we're randomly reminiscing, I used to work in that building ages before Real Networks moved in. It was my first job out of college in the mid 1990s, and I worked as scut monkey for an unaccredited off-beat continuing education "school."

Not the greatest job, but it was an awesome location, even though our offices faced east (away from the waterfront view). I've often wondered if the little atrium cafeteria is still in business. They used to make a wicked grilled cheese sandwich with tomato slice.
posted by ErikaB at 4:39 PM on January 13, 2010


I work in an organization that has tens of thousands of hours of Real video online, with more produced every week. I've railed against it many times but the workflow is so easy, and the server software is so rock-solid (months and months of populated uptime, on a shitty old W2K machine) that I don't think we are ever going to change.

It's ironic - when they went to Real in the first place it was because they supported Linux*, where the other solutions didn't. Now, who has Real installed?

* I don't know the accuracy of this statement, it's just what I was told.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:33 PM on January 13, 2010


What no one's mentioned yet is that they were originally called Progressive Networks and had an overtly political motivation. Always made me a bit sympathetic.
posted by alexei at 5:36 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


I hate the RealPlayer as much as the next person, but I've also known a lot of really cool people that worked there. At one point, a significant fraction of the nerdy Seattle music scene (is that redundant?) seemed to work there full or part time.

If BMG could buy Napster for $80M and the Heathkit name is still around, I doubt this is the last we have heard of the Real brand. I hope it is the last we've heard of their player.
posted by b1tr0t at 5:37 PM on January 13, 2010


I got my venerable Rio S30 antediluvian MP3 player back in the days before podcasts and it just sucked so much that every damn site that provided news or talk radio, even the ones that let you download files instead of doing streaming, just insisted on only doing Real formats rather than MP3.
posted by XMLicious at 5:43 PM on January 13, 2010


Real does continue to offer a RealPlayer for Linux. Not sure who'd bother to install it when he or she probably already has at least one of mplayer, gstreamer, totem, or vlc, all of which can handle RTSP.
posted by Zed at 5:45 PM on January 13, 2010


I'm interested in what people think that, in the best of all worlds, what Real (and Glaser) should have done over the past 10 years; what roads should have been taken to have made Real a serious and successful player at this point. [note - I'm not defending Real or their horrible, bloated malware]
posted by Auden at 6:15 PM on January 13, 2010


it just sucked so much that every damn site that provided news or talk radio, even the ones that let you download files instead of doing streaming, just insisted on only doing Real formats rather than MP3.

Aaaah, I recall many boring hours spent with TotalRecorder converting Subgenius Hour of Slack episodes from Real to MP3...
posted by Jimbob at 6:16 PM on January 13, 2010


I'm interested in what people think that, in the best of all worlds, what Real (and Glaser) should have done over the past 10 years

Focusing on a core business, for starters. Real has divisions for music, games, consumer Web sites (e.g. Film.com), pure media server tech (e.g. Helix), music hardware partnerships, online ad serving, DRM solutions, mobile products ... it's absolutely nuts the sheer number of businesses they're in, in the number of countries they're in, for a company of their size and revenue levels.

That said, they are a product of the dot-com boom and bust, where being in one business may have spelled disaster. They needed dollars, whereever they could get them, and you do have to give 'em a tip of the cap for simply staying alive and relatively successful after all of that.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:03 PM on January 13, 2010


Their buffoonish posturing on their RealDVD software really threw the dirt upon the RealNetworks coffin. See also: their silly antics in 2004, with the astroturfing and mock-petitioning of Apple to remove the lock-out from their products. God, that was cheesy and self-serving.
posted by porn in the woods at 7:08 PM on January 13, 2010


rusty: "...but Rhapsody is great."

Wikipedia: "This article is written like an advertisement."

Apparently Marketing and Sales is still going strong.
posted by sneebler at 7:09 PM on January 13, 2010


What no one's mentioned yet is that they were originally called Progressive Networks and had an overtly political motivation.

The nonprofit recording studio/arts organization I volunteered for in the early/mid-90s had a deal with Progressive to beta-test their streaming server (in exchange for getting to use it free to run their audio-centric web site). I spent a lot of time setting up and working with Irix builds of their encoder and streaming server in 1996 and 1997. They'll always be ProgNet to me.
posted by hades at 9:14 PM on January 13, 2010


After having worked in various IT departments over the past decade, I still hate RealPlayer with a passion. I just cannot uninstall it fast enough.
posted by hellslinger at 11:05 PM on January 13, 2010


After having worked in various IT departments over the past decade, I still hate RealPlayer with a passion. I just cannot uninstall it fast enough.
posted by hincandenza at 11:12 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


One of the big things that people don't realize about Real, WMP, QT, and even Java is just how long they take to get up and running on the client. Startup times measured between 15 to 30 seconds were not at all rare, just from loading the object into the browser.

Contrast with Flash, which can get a video moving in under a few seconds. Latency matters!
posted by effugas at 12:11 AM on January 14, 2010


O RL
posted by Elmore at 3:13 AM on January 14, 2010


also, Real Networks provided Maria Cantwell with a springboard to narrowly defeat Slade Gorton as US Senator from Washington.
posted by nangua at 4:32 AM on January 14, 2010


In 2002 I wrote a hellishly complicated Linux script that would start up RealPlayer at the right time, rip the audio, and burn it to a CD. I used it to record NPR programs and listen to them on a cheap CD player on the bus. I should have come up with a name for it...hmm, the iPod had just come out (though I couldn't afford it) and I was recording broadcasts...maybe I should have called it a Pod-cast?
posted by miyabo at 5:52 AM on January 14, 2010


The only thing I like about Real Player is that it is very easy to download videos off of YouTube or other vid sites. Of course, it throws them into an flv file which only plays on RP but I can live with that.
posted by Ber at 9:31 AM on January 14, 2010


sneebler: Ha! I am not employed by Real in any capacity, nor am I made of astroturf. I just happen to dig Rhapsody. At the risk of mentioning another product, the main reason I like it is because it works with Sonos, and the two of them together form The Lord's Own Jukebox. If you listened to most of your music on a portable player, Rhapsody is not a particularly useful service.
posted by rusty at 12:19 PM on January 14, 2010


RNWK stock is up 20 percent in today's trading.

/facepalm
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:25 PM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the past several years I only thought of real Networks when I wondered why I couldn't get "Prairie Home Companion" on my iPod. So I would go to the site, see al the Real Media files (feh!), write them an email decrying their poor choice, and forget about them again for a while.
posted by wenestvedt at 1:15 PM on January 14, 2010


So I would go to the site, see al the Real Media files (feh!), write them an email decrying their poor choice, and forget about them again for a while.

Last time I checked, A Prairie Home Companion has switched from Real to some even more unrippable Flash Streaming Server setup, which makes me even sadder.
posted by Jimbob at 2:22 PM on January 14, 2010


Hate Real Player. Hate all proprietary apps that install lots of services that run all the time(I'm looking at you, iTunes) and bundle crapware(hellooo Java).

After having worked in various IT departments over the past decade, I still hate RealPlayer with a passion. I just cannot uninstall it fast enough.
posted by theora55 at 4:11 PM on January 14, 2010


Ber: The only thing I like about Real Player is that it is very easy to download videos off of YouTube or other vid sites. Of course, it throws them into an flv file which only plays on RP but I can live with that.

...Or just get one of these greasemonkey scripts that'll allow you to download any YouTube video as an MP4 that's playable anywhere.
posted by mullingitover at 3:00 PM on January 15, 2010


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