FeaturesThese days, it's an app that attempts to be all things to all people - play DVDs, organize music, catalog photos, convert video, interact with social networking sites, browse internet multimedia....there's no end to what RealPlayer offers to its users. Even so, it's not an out-and-out success...
UsabilityFor a start, installation of RealPlayer is annoying - it takes a while, requires lots of "nexts" and tries to install and enable several features that users don't really need. Finally, when it starts, you're offered a chance to upgrade to paid versions of RealPlayer before you have to register yourself with Real Networks. If all this messing around doesn't appeal, check out a slimline app like UMPlayer.
When you're up and running, RealPlayer features a wide interface where you will notice ads and videos recommended by Real Networks. This looks cluttered and messy, and it's hard to know what the app actually offers. In reality, RealPlayer is ideal for playing and sharing video with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter and it works easily with BlackBerry, iPod, iPhone and other game systems. The new video converter allows you to copy online video to your iPod, Xbox, PS3 and other devices. Unfortunately, you can't rip DVDs with RealPlayer, although this is available as a feature if you upgrade to RealPlayer Plus.
Most recently, RealPlayer has been updated with far better mobile and social networking integration. You can now copy your favorite videos to an iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry and dozens of other popular devices automatically. Downloading internet videos is faster, and for those of you with something to hide, RealPlayer offers a new Private folder. Social media has also been bumped up, with direct access to Facebook videos and usefully, a built-in feature to transfer videos to your mobile devices.
QualityThat said, RealPlayer isn't bad at all. It's comparable to Windows Media Player 12 as they both have some impressive ways of organizing your music. For me, the best feature is the CD burner which is something I've used from the early days of RealPlayer. The sheer quality of some of the media only available in Real formats makes RealPlayer an essential item in the toolkit of any fan of internet video and audio.
ConclusionThere's no shortage of media players theses days, and RealPlayer is by no means a bad option. It offers lots of features, good options and is a high-quality player that will do justice to your media. The only problem is that despite its modern features, it feels like a bit of a dinosaur. It's heavy and slow, looks chunky and takes an age to respond to clicks, and for many people - especially those who have experience of lighter options - it's just not the most comfortable player.
RealPlayer is a media player that, although powerful, has suffered from serious feature-creep over the years.
- Updates for compatibility with Firefox.
- Updates for compatibility with Google Chrome.
- Fixed an issue with viewing certain websites in the RealPlayer browser.