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There are two seperate verisons of RealPlayer available; the free version, and the RealPlayer Plus version which costs $39.99. For the purposes of writing this article I downloaded the free version. It was one of the first ever media players that was capable of streaming media over the Internet. The player is powered by an underlying open source media system known as Helix. It can play nearly every format of media including: MP3, RealVideo, QuickTime, and MPEG-4. They allow you to follow them on Facebook, as well as Twitter, and have a Real Blog. There seems to be an edition for nearly every system including Linux, Windows, Mac OS X, Palm, and Symbian.

RealPlayer: What makes it different?

RealPlayer has a few advantages when it is compared with other media players.

  • You are able to download and edit videos.
  • It is compatible with iTunes.
  • Easy to use with different folders marked for pictures, music, videos, and ect..

For a free version, it is one of the best that I have downloaded and it offers quite a bit that isn't typically available with most free services.

RealPlayer vs. primary competitors (sites similar to RealPlayer)

The most comparable media player to RealPlayer would have to be iTunes (even though RealPlayer is now compatible with iTunes). iTunes has a larger fan base, and these days everyone seems to be carrying around an i-something; from the iPhone to the iPad. I, myself, have an iPod. Both of these media players are incredibly similar, but as I said, iTunes has a larger user pool. They both can play different formats of media (MP3, MPEG-4). A bonus that iTunes has that RealPlayer doesn't is the fact that iTunes is 100% free, no matter what operating system you are using, not including the purchase of songs, videos, games, or apps. If you want a higher quality media player from RealPlayer you have to pay out forty dollars. iTunes includes what you would have to pay for with RealPlayer such as: equalizer (you can even customize your own setting for the equalizer), and crossfading. iTunes, overall is ultimately the better value.

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RealPlayer: Detailed review

When you first download RealPlayer, it is pretty clear as to how to use it. There is a Help link at the bottom of the first welcome screen on the right side if you have any difficulty on the start-up process. Once you go to library, it will offer to import songs for you or you can select certain folders. I had an entire discography up and running in my library within just a matter of seconds. It is very easy to use, but it is extremely similar to iTunes in the way it is laid out and the method in which you import your media into the player (but then again aren't most media players similar these days?). This media player is extremely user-friendly, with lists that are clearly marked and do not leave you trying to guess what they could be used for. It is a much simpiler layout than that of iTunes or even Windows Media Player. If you choose to purchase the RealPlayer Plus version, you will have access to features such as:

  • The ablility to transfer videos to a DVD and play them back on a television.
  • Download speeds that are up to 3x as fast.
  • Video transfer speed up to 50% faster to your smartphone.
  • Better quality CD burns.
  • Advanced equalizer options.

RealPlayer is one of the media players that you do not hear about nearly as much as iTunes or Windows Media Player, but it is just as efficient. They also have a store which you can purchase media from with pricing ranging from $0.49 up to $0.99.

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Comments (3)

Excellent review.thanks

great review, thanks! I personally prefer Winamp for music and Media Player Classic for videos.

I have three: Windows Media Player, i Tunes and Real Player (Basic). The best are Real Player for all formats.but craks sometimes when you overload. The i Tunes  fails to show Videos ,but have nice prestation of audio.  I use Windows Media Player as default service for all the formats  and then use a converter to send whatever to IT or RP.   

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