back to article RealPlayer dinged by software watchdog group

A software watchdog group has branded the two most recent versions of the RealPlayer media program "badware" because they don't give users adequate control over software components that are activated during installation. RealNetworks, maker of the program, has pledged to fix the issue relating to its most recent version and …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    It's been 3 years

    since I stopped using this shyteware, just because of this annoying ODRealSched process of theirs that was getting reactivated once in a while despite I deleted it and removed any link to it.

    How come you can trust such a company.

    Good thing they are named and shamed.

    At last !!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Good grief

    Do people still install this?

    It's almost impossible to get a clean uninstall of this crud once you've got it.

  3. Robert Moore
    Paris Hilton

    Die RealPlayer die!!!

    I have come to accept that most media players (In windows) are resource hogs these days, but Real takes it to a whole new level.

    I used to work for a retailer, in their service center, and I would regularly get in computers that the complaint was "Choppy DVD playback" or words to that effect.

    In most cases a quick uninstall of RealPlayer would fix it right up.

    Only PH would be foolish enought to install RealPlayer.

  4. Ian Ferguson
    Thumb Down

    Awful stuff

    The only conceivable reason I can think of for installing RealPlayer is to get BBC News videos - the sooner Auntie realises embedded Flash video is far more accessible and efficient the better.

    RealPlayer is filed under 'Avoid at all costs' in the opinion of every techie I know. The only reason it still exists is because of uninformed users.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Unfortunately, some sources are still RM only :-(

    Irelands main TV and radio station, RTE has been available on the web since 1994 (!!). Unfortunately, it still only provides RealMedia streams. I've managed to limp by with RealAlternative on my current machine, but that means I can't fast forward or reverse back through RTE streams, functionality that the RealMedia player has offered since version 5 or 6 :-(

  6. sean
    Paris Hilton

    oh dear

    do people still use this crap?

    it's almost as naff as quicktime

    nice to see stopbadware has their finger on the pulse, shame it's a corpse!

    paris, cos she has as much clue as stopbadware does

  7. Kev K

    Real Player & Quicktime both suck

    QT lite and Real Alternative from do the job very nicely for me without the bloat or constant nagging.

  8. Gerry

    You Can't Stop Real Player Using Tracking Cookies

    Although I have unchecked "Enable Real Player Cookies" in the preferences dialogue box, and I always delete cookies when exiting Opera, Ad-Aware always finds that Real Player has installed a Tracking Cookie.

    it's about time that Real Player was told to stop breaching users' privacy in this way.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture

    they are still around?

    i thought real networks had gone the way of the dodo?

  10. Colin MacDougall
    Thumb Down

    RealPlayer is pants

    What irks me is that a good bit of the BBC's online radio content is still delivered as .RAM files.

    Installing this crapware requires a bit of care to go through each stage and untick all the extra guff that they try to install had you just chosen the regular install option.

  11. Anonymous Coward

    A half-hearted defence

    I won't attempt to deny the sins of RealPlayer because they are many.

    However, it's still preferable to Windows Media because the player is available for pretty much every major operating system and enables the same streams to play on my Reciva internet radio.

  12. Joe M

    All been said before...

    But I'll add my two cents worth.

    This software is excellent at honing your registry edit skills. You will need it for the uninstall, à la @Good grief.

    I am a bit annoyed because the codec showed great promise at first and I had put money down for it in the past. But when the player and associated parasiteware started to take over my PC, the knifes came out....

  13. Herbys

    Not only people do use it

    But in a few years it will be mandatory, if the EU keeps supporting their complains against Microsoft.

  14. garbo

    Any Alternative for BBC broadcasts?

    Running Linux, only Realplayer works for BBC radio & video. Although Mplayer is said to work it usually doesn´t and then only intermittently and choppily. Anyone any suggestions?

  15. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    Has nobody heard of

    Real Alternative?

  16. Tim Coughlin

    Back in the dim ages...

    Give credit where credit is due. Real Player was truly the first widely used method for tuning into streaming media. Its such a shame they crapped all over their decent beginnings and went for more profit over making good software.

  17. peter
    Paris Hilton

    Although I like to write titles, and

    to dogpile on Real Player, they were the first with an efficient compressor for video over the WAN. Nothing beat them for a long time.

  18. Quirkafleeg

    Re: Any Alternative for BBC broadcasts?

    The BBC don't seem to have caught onto the fact that Iceweasel = Firefox, so for me, the Windows Media option remains available. Many such streams work fine with xineplayer (using ffmpeg's codecs); those which don't are streamed over MS RTSP. (It's a bit odd that they do that – if you can get hold of the stream's URL, you can turn it into an mms:// one and get the same stream that way.)

  19. Badminstyles



    (it won't let me post a with only 99% below the title as it doesn't recognise it as a comment...)

  20. janimal
    Thumb Up

    Real Malware

    I spent a period of time trying to make a living offering IT support to home users. It could have worked if I had charged a reasonable rate, unfortunately I am too much of a hippy to ever be succesful running my own business.

    Anyway I about 30% of the my computer is sooo slow and keeps bugging me with pop-ups was a simple removal of Real software. Back then I used to carry a USB with a Real Player v8 install (which was no longer available) but once they changed to RealOne it did little good for a lot of content.

    Have you ever read the Real license?? I'm pretty sure satan was involved because

    it goes way beyond the usual accepted rights buggery and weasleness of the standard software license.

    Happily if you want to view RM files these days (thanks for the access BBC bastards . I complain to them regularly about Real software) you can use Real Alternative avalable here..

    Anybody got a wall, an AK47 and a revolution to hand?

    I choose thumbs up because that's what Real like to put up people's bottoms

  21. fred base
    Thumb Up

    Linux alternative


    Not only does mplayer work in Linux (and probably Windows), but kmplayer, kplayer and xine all do as well.

  22. perpetualmotionuk

    Will RN ever learn?!?

    That was back in 1999.

    Stop icon? Because that is what should come up (full screen) as soon as the Real Player installer is run.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    F.. that....

    'According to Luckin, Version 11 is one of the only media players to natively run a wide variety of proprietary formats'

    It's also bloatware, threw in on once and couldn't wait to get rid of it.

    VideoLANs' VLC player, free, light, small & plays just about every audio & video format around. You can also set it up as a streaming server if your that way inclined.

  24. Paul Buxton

    @Kev K

    I agree with your headline wholeheartedly. I haven't installed RealPlayer or Quicktime on any of my platforms for the past 5 years. Quicktime and RealPlayer have each been responsible for instability in Windows on several of my systems.

    This may be one of the reasons why people think Windows is crap. With these 2 apps loaded - it is, no doubt about it. Do yourselves a favour and don't use them.

  25. Steve Sutton
    Paris Hilton


    You mean there are still people out there who haven't learnt the first rule of Real Player: "Don't install it under *ANY* circumstances!".

    Most of us geeks learnt this ages ago, surely this information has filtered down to the hapless masses by now!

    Maybe we should convince Paris to publicise this in a charitable fashion.

    @ Les Matthew - apparently not, although, to be honest, I don't use that either, as any acceptance or support of the rm and related formats will only delay its death.

  26. John

    Get a Mac

    RealPlayer on OSX is fantastic. Free, lightweight and no messages, even after you exit the application (or while it's running!).

  27. John

    I used to work...

    For Real Networks. I lasted 2 months and couldn't take it any more and quit. It's a strange company. You are either a FTE zealot or navel lint if you work there. They may have been the pioneer back in the day, but lets not forget their tracking habits, and who knows what else they have gotten away with since then. I can't remember the last time I had to deal with a Real Player issue, but this latest development doesn't suprise me one bit. It's the mindset there, mostly driven by Rob Glaser - Psycho! They are so anti-microsoft there its to a fault.

  28. Steve Sutton


    Yeah, but unfortunately, that does involve buying a Mac.


  29. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    RealAlternative isn't

    a useable alternative - it just doesn't support some basic features of streamed RealMedia streams. If you hit the pause button, and then hit play 2 minutes later, you miss 2 minutes of the stream!!!! And you can't fast forward or rewind through a stream either.

    Maybe this is just a weakness with MP Classic, and using WMP with the directshow filters will work better, but the bottom line is that RealAlternative isn't an "out of the box" replacement for RealPlayer, unfortunately.

  30. Mike

    Piling on

    @John -- maybe it works for you, or maybe it works now, for a while, but I can assure you that RealPlayer Hell did indeed extend well into OS-X time.

    Side-note. A friend once had a job that involved porting RealPlayer to an embedded "internet radio". Looking into why it seemed such a resource hog it turned out that it threw a _blizzard_ of floating-point exceptions during operation.

    Apparently the average PC either is _so_ fast that it doesn't matter, or more likely just disables the exceptions and whatever cruft ends up in the FP regs instead is "good enough". Real Media was, of course, completely un-interested in bug-reports.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    re: get a mac

    If you like tie ins. lock downs, deliberate incompatibility unless you pay upgrade tax, and generally being ripped of. real will be the least of your problems.

  32. Scott Earle


    It's funny - I was thinking the same thing. I don't understand why the RealPlayer is so 'streamlined' on OSX when it's such a piece of bloated crapware on Windows. I have a feeling that it's because they think there aren't enough Mac users out there for it to be worth them writing another set of steaming shiteware to 'bundle' with the player.

    Anyone remember 'Comet Cursor' that used to be bundled with RealPlayer? The software that was practically impossible to remove? And would sometimes reinstall itself spontaneously? Those really *were* the Bad Old Days.

    The OSX version of RealPlayer is small, quick, and not a resource hog. Now that more people are using (or at least aware of) the Mac and OSX, how long before that changes?

  33. Anonymous Coward

    Re: DeFex

    "If you like tie ins. lock downs, deliberate incompatibility unless you pay upgrade tax, and generally being ripped of."

    You mean, like with Microsoft?

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