RealPlayer is a closed source cross-platform media player by RealNetworks that plays a number of multimedia formats including MP3, MPEG-4, QuickTime, Windows Media, and multiple versions of proprietary RealAudio and RealVideo formats.
RealPlayer SP includes audio CD burning capabilities, DVR-style playback buffering, multimedia search, Internet radio, a jukebox-style file library, an embedded web browser (using Microsoft Internet Explorer), and the ability to convert and transfer media to a wide range of devices: Music players such as iPod and Zune, smartphones such as iPhone and BlackBerry, portable gaming devices such as Sony PSP, and console gaming systems such as Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii. Since version 11, RealPlayer SP has gained Flash Video support, DVD, SVCD, VCD burning (120-minute) and video recording (DRM is supported). The free version is not currently available for 64-bit versions of Windows.
RealPlayer, beyond its function as an audio/video player, also contains additional features such as:
- Media Browser based on Internet Explorer which allows web browsing while playing media.
- Playlist editor similar to other media players, supporting “drag and drop” and playlist randomize.
- Theater Mode (full screen mode) video playback. The paid version offers a skinnable Toolbar Mode which uses less desktop space.
- Visualizations – graphical animations or “light shows”. Five are included with RealPlayer set-up. Others are available from RealNetworks, including a 3D Visualization Plug-In Surreal.FX.
- Continuous Play (Loop multiple songs) and Shuffle Play (Play tracks randomly, however realplayer will select the random tracks in sequence e.g. Track 1, Track 5, Track 2, Track 6, Track 3 etc.).
- Stay on top while playing option.
- Favourites menu to save and recall media locations for files or streams.
- Equalizer and Video controls. Crossfade and Gapless playback are included in RealPlayer Plus.
- Media library allows organization of media through track tagging and editing. The Premium version adds Audio Converter to convert between RealMedia, MP3, AAC, Windows Media, and WAV formats, and others.
- Recording audio, (RealPlayer Plus only) which records audio via a sound card.
- LivePause pauses streaming video clips without having to stop the buffering.
- Version 10.5 included Harmony technology, making the Music Store compatible with iPod and Windows Media DRM-compatible players.
- Both the basic and the plus version can burn CDs. The current burning technology is powered by NPI; formerly it was powered by Adaptec (Roxio). The free version can burn audio and data CDs; the premium version burns MP3 CDs.
- CD ripping into AAC (in MP4) (32 kbit/s – 320 kbit/s) (default), Real Audio 10 (32 kbit/s – 320 kbit/s), MP3 (32 kbit/s – 320 kbit/s), Real Audio Lossless, WAV (1411 kbit/s), Windows Media Audio (Requires Windows Media Player 10 installed) (64 kbit/s – 192 kbit/s) formats.
- RealPlayer Music Store allows users to locate, preview, and purchase songs.
- SuperPass – paid access to premium recorded and live video broadcasts. In the U.S., content like CBS Big Brother 24/7 is provided for a fee of around USD$39.99. For Europe (except UK), this includes live broadcasts of BBC World Europe, Al Jazeera English, CNN International Europe, Euronews in seven languages, BBC News recent news clips, MTV UK music clips, and custom content from SportsNews TV, RealTV, Vidzone, and Comedy Time. Costs 17.50 € per month.
- Video Download – version 11 for Windows and OS X allow users to download Flash Video files from sites such as YouTube. MP4 files can be downloaded but require either the premium version or the free versions of other players such as Winamp or VLC media player to play them.
- Media Converter (RealPlayer SP) – allows converting to proper format and transferring video to iPod, cell phones, Xbox, PS3 and other devices
- Video Sharing (SP) – users can post videos to Facebook and Twitter directly from the software
RealPlayer Minimum System Requirements
- CPU: 1.4 GHz or faster
- RAM: 1 GB
- Hard disk: 200 MB available free space
- Windows XP with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista or Windows 7 (32- or 64-bit)
- Adobe Flash Player 9 or later
- QuickTime 7.5 or later recommended
- Video Download feature is compatible with these web browsers only:
– Google Chrome 2.0 or later
– Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.05 or later
– Mozilla Firefox 3.0 or later