It does pain me to say it, but Real Player isn’t that bad, for audio anyway. It’s video is poor, just compare the News on the BBC in real, V’s the News in Windows Media player. And anyway it’s not the quality that makes Real good, its the features.
Even though I use computers lots and lots, I like most people never explore all the features of a piece of software before I use it everyday. The other day however I started to poke around the innards of real player and learned a few cool things about listening to live internet audio, Real player lets you pause live streams, and it carries on getting the stream so you can skip forward when you return, or ‘rewind’ live audio. That makes it a bit like Sky+ for audio.
Now the real problem I have with Real Player, is the install, it’s horrid. Part of my job history (I’ve stepped back from this bit in recent years) is installing and configuring applications to be rolled out on thousands of PCs, and I can tell you from experience, Real Player is a nightmare. You see fundamentally I object to programs that install anything other than the bit I use, and especial that install things that popup when I’m not using them, and run everytime I start my PC, but the beeb use real, so I persevere, and now it turns out is does something cool, so it is good, but I still don’t like it.
i also detest the way, the Real website trys to trick you at every turn into paying for the basic real player, it’s not marketing, it’s ripping people off, if you want to download the player go via the Beeb website.