Chapter TWO (continued) MEDIA PLAYER TECHNOLOGIES — RealPlayer

MEDIA PLAYER TECHNOLOGIES
(republished 05/22/12 due to editing SNAFU)
RealPlayer
RealNetworks has been an innovator in the media player space since approximately 1995, and has recently introduced its ninth generation media player as part of the Helix digital media suite of products, called the RealPlayer.  Originally branded the RealOne Player back in 2004, it now simply called the RealPlayer.  Back in 2004 I described the player as having “an interactive multimedia platform that now provides a three-pane viewing window that allows the viewer to access the streaming media, as well as HTTP delivered contextual and browser information.  In essence, you can view or listen to the audio/video content, while having text information to augment it, and have links to additional related URL’s in the third pane.”
“The size and priority of these panes are controllable by the user, so they can really customize the media player to meet their unique requirements and needs for different types of media.  The basic player continues to deliver the features that users have become accustomed to such as starting and stopping the stream, viewing artist and album information for Web delivered music, or functioning as the Radio Tuner for Web Radio (Webcasts).”
Having just downloaded the latest RealPlayer version, I see that the description does not remains entirely accurate, as I don’t really see a three-pane viewing window , now you see one main screen with multiple tabs to access information.  However, all the functionality remains with of course the upgrades needed over the years to stay relevant with the additional requirements of Facebook , youtube and others.
As I am currently streaming  Web Radio from Seaford Surf Radio as a RealPlayer download, a variety of screen options appear during playback (under the Now Playing tab), including a very cool audio analyzer visualization, as well as the more typical randomly generated visualizations, plus one for album art.  Also, should there be a video download associated with the music track, it would be rendered  by the RealPlayer.
Here, directly from the website is a description of what you will get with a download of the current free player:
“RealPlayer is back and better than ever with all new and expanded features. We’re so excited about this new free version of the classic media player that we’re tempted to go into its technical aspects, but we won’t bore you with egghead terms like “codec,” or its ability to “format” or “convert avi”.
Instead, 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 bothMACand 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.”
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.  As reported on the real .com website, this review is a good snapshot of video capability:
“Realplayer allows you to play, manage, share and move videos across a wide range of devices. This is the ultimate application to accelerate you video workflow.” – DV Culture
RealNetworks also uses the RealOne player as a gateway to offer more advanced services through a subscription model that attracts users seeking more services, control, or content than the basic player can deliver.   The subscription model is now brandedSuperPass.  As noted on the web site:
“In addition, RealNetworks offers one-stop premium content, including music, video, and games, through SuperPass. This monthly membership package features premium content, Rhapsody MP3 music credits, a new social game each month, and more.”
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 theEnterprisenetwork, 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, but I have included a comparison chart from the web site..
I agree with this final comment from the web site, that there has been substantial improvement in the player since 2004.  As I have now downloaded the new version myself, I will go ahead and trial it as a playback device specifically for Internet Radio, and update my findings future postings.
RealPlayer…an interesting and feature-packed media player. If you’ve not tried it recently then take a look – you’ve missed out on a lot.” –Techworld

RealPlayer Comparison Table

FEATURES

REALPLAYER

REALPLAYER PLUS15

Play all formats (universal media player)

X X

 

 

Media library

X X

 

 

Convert videos to MP3

X X

 

 

One-click video download

X X

 

 

Private mode

X X

 

 

Video trimming

X X

 

 

CD Burning

X X

 

 

Professional CD Burning

 

X

 

 

DVD burning

 

X

 

 

Hi-def video burning

 

X

 

 

Accelerated video download

 

X

 

 

Accelerated mobile transfer

 

X

 

Toolbar mode

 

 X

Content from RealPlayer web site downloaded03/27/2012from:
http://www.real.com/realplayer
Seaford Surf Radio downloaded03/28/12, available at:
http://www.seafordsurfradio.com/#

mike

Pending

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