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RealPlayer Gets Bitten in Ass

Couple of interesting links that I came across today. It's no secret that the folks at Real make it a pain in the ass to download their free player. Site owners are getting upset with it. The rumors are lately that Real is also putting spyware/adware-type of crap in their latest browser. So a couple of major sites have come out to speak against this.

One, according to Boing Boing, BBC made a deal with Real to distribute a spyware-free version of the player via their site. According to the BB post:

The BBC made a unique deal with Real Networks which disposes of their spyware tactics. Basically, if a user clicks on a link to download Real Player from a BBC website, the referrer script sends them to a page where they can download an expiry-free, spyware-free and nuisance-free version of the player. It's because the BBC have such a stringent public service remit, that it was offensive to charge people a license fee for BBC content, then make them pay all over again for the facility to view/listen to it.
Another major audio provider, CarTalk.com, has decided to ditch Real's player as well. And they say it the best:
Here's the problem. In order to hear our audio, you have to go to Real.com and download their "free" RealPlayer. But when you get to the web site, the free player is harder to find than Osama Bin Laden at night. And the site seems to do everything it possibly can to get you to "buy" a player instead. You have to work very hard to get the free player. And we think that stinks. And get this. It stinks so much that it even makes Microsoft look good by comparison. That's something, huh?
I'm getting sick of RealPlayer issues, too. We use it on our work site (it was the chosen format long before I got here). I'm in the process of refilming all the videos so a) they can be better quality (as I don't have the originals) and b) so I can encode them in Windows Media format, now that the player is available for Macs. 90% of the site's traffic is Windows-based, so I'm not too worried about compatibility compared to the RealPlayer problems.

But I think I'm going to follow Neil's advice and download Media Player Classic along with Real Alternative and just bulldoze the Real software on my system.

Posted by Jake on 02/01/04 @ 05:22 PM
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