Chapter TWO (continued) MEDIA PLAYER TECHNOLOGIES — RealPlayer Trial

MEDIA PLAYER TECHNOLOGIES
For a more detailed analysis of RealPlayer media player for Internet Radio, please refer to my original post on that topic.  Below is a report of a trial with RealPlayer on some specific media types.
REALPLAYER TRIAL —
Seaford Surf Radio, offers 3 media player options on their web site interface , WINamp, (which they recommend), Windows Media Player, and RealPlayer.  I was also able to experiment with a free product from the VideoLAN Organization called the VLC player as an Internet Radio station media player, in addition to its extensive video capability.  The VLC player was not discussed in the original thesis, but because it is a free player and handles the Internet Radio broadcast fine, I plan to write about it as an addendum after I get some experience with it.
I started with Real Player from the SSR website, and the station runs by downloading a small file to the local PC (such as listen(1).ram ), and then the media player runs  that file to allow the stream to come through.
I am currently streaming Web Radio from Seaford Surf Radio as a RealPlayer download, to see if I can pass along some useful information from a trial of the media player on an Internet Radio station.  Once you click on the link below, you will see the option to listen to the webcast in real-time using WinAmp, Windows Media Player, and RealPlayer.  This trial runs RealPlayer.
http://www.seafordsurfradio.com/#
05/15/12–SeafordSurf Radio Test,10:49 am EST — Phase 1 Trial
RealPlayer runs  the downloaded file, or can be used to open the file when RP is not in the default mode, and a real-time stream is played through RealPlayer.
A variety of screen options appear during playback  (under the Now Playing tab), including a very cool audio analyzer  (personal favorite), nebula, cosmic belt, Annabelle the sheep (animated character), fire, and the album art, which is often blank or untitled (when being fed from Seaford Surf Radio in this trial).  There is a panel to the right hand side of RP that presents the playlist with artist and song titles, and it also is placed underneath the playback screen.
12:07 pm EST – switched to VLC Media Player after losing transmission through Real Player.  Plays the same downloaded file as RealPlayer.
1:00 pm — switched back to RealPlayer, continued playback with no problems for several hours
05/17/12- Seaford Surf Radio Test,12:15 am EST Phase 2 — Trial
apx 3: pm est — lost signal during apparent live broadcast for local musicians, Unsigned Bands.  Was able to restore through RealPlayer by re-opening downloaded file (listen (1).ram).  Playback continued with no problems, until the conclusion of an additional block of programming by DJ Weirdbeard.
5:31 pm EST — At the transition from the close of his show, RealPlayer lost the transmission and was unable to restore the listen (2).ram file that was downloaded.  I came to realize that this was due to the end of the programming day at 10:00 pm London Time, and not any failure of RealPlayer.
I am having some conflicts with the VLC media player, as it seems to want to control all the media, and put its stamp on the files and define as .vlc files when I try to download the RealPlayer file from SSR site to initiate the broadcast.   I may have to go ahead and uninstall VLC to see if Real Player performs better in its absence.
Although RealPlayer has the capability for metadata in the form of album art, and clip information, during the several hours I tracked SSR , the only data received was the track title and author of the track, the encoding (e.g.AAC) and file type (.mp3), but not much else.
Also, should there be a video download associated with the music track, it would be rendered by the RealPlayer.  SSR had a video feed going of the DJ (Weirdbeard) at the time, but it came through with dropped frames, was not continuous real-time stream.
In lieu of the Web Radio feed, I tried RealPlayer on some video clips I have uploaded to my YouTube channel, and it handled nicely different formats such as .mpg2, .mpg4, and .AVI.  The capability to download a video pops up with a roll-over so you can have a video resident on your computer if you desire this.
To check out these video clips visit YouTube and search channel : michaelpatrickmoran
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=ZBcF2UUE9Ts
Here, directly from the website is a recap of some of the salient features that  you will get with a download of the current free player:
“we want to tell you about all the great features, like universal playback. In simple terms, this means your media player will play all media file formats. Another way to put it is that it’s the only media player you need. It’s your video player, audio player, Mp3 player and Flash player. You can also convert your music videos to mp3, and more—all wrapped up in one sleek and easy-to-use design.
With the RealPlayer media player, you can play files created for both MAC and PC, as well as the following types of files: m4a, mp3, wma, ra, rv, rm, ram, rmvb, wav, flv, 3gp, 3gp2, mp4, m4v, wmv, iv4, avi, MPEG-4, and more.  The RealPlayer media player also lets you easily download music and videos. You can then burn music CDs or transfer your music and videos to your mobile devices.
Did we mention you can download videos with one-click? Honestly—the way it works with mobile devices is pretty cool too. You can transfer files from your smart phone to PC or vice versa. We don’t mean to brag here but—you can’t do that with most media players.
RealPlayer® lets you download videos and transfer them to and from your phone. You can also trim them down and share with friends.”
As it did when I originally reviewed it back in 2004, the player provides additional features to the user such as CD burning, CD ripping, and MP3 encoding (now moved to a BURN tab).  The features have been upgraded substantially with capabilities for video.

Download

Just hover your mouse over a video in your browser and a “Download this Video” button will appear. One click and you’re on your way.

Trim

Just click “Trim” and use the easy selector to edit your video down to your favorite moment.

Transfer

From your favorite video, simply click “Copy to” then choose your device – iPod, Blackberry, Xbox, whatever – from the list. It’s that easy.

Share

Click “Share” and upload your video to Facebook or YouTube, or share a link on Twitter, MySpace or via email.

 There also remains an upgraded version of the player offered for an additional charge of approximately $40.00 as a download, and a version designed for the Enterprise network, which has additional features that might be of interest to some users.  Neither upgrade is required or the use and enjoyment of Web Radio broadcasts on the RealPlayer.  More information available on the web site at the url below, and I have included a comparison chart from the web site.

Content from RealPlayer web site downloaded 03/27/2012, and 05/17/12 from:
http://www.real.com/realplayer
Seaford Surf Radio downloaded 03/28/12, 05/16/12, 05/17/12 available at:
http://www.seafordsurfradio.com/#
VideoLan information and VLC player available for free download  from:
http://wiki.videolan.org/Main_Page
Content Uploaded 05/31/12 to compare Media Players Described in Blog/Thesis

mike

Pending

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