Review & Alternatives
"A all-in-one digital media player."
Not long ago, the RealPlayer was the most popular media player online, as it was among the few players that enabled you to burn a video onto a DVD or CD directly from a webpage. Whilst the old versions of this player were increasingly annoying, since they contained some third party add-ons, nobody really liked the RealPlayer very much. However, the SP versions focused on offering some genuinely useful features that so far seem to go hand in hand with the modern digital media generation.
The free version of the new SP model is amazing considering that users can download non-protected copies of their favorite videos and convert them to a wide variety of formats, which can later be played on game consoles and other digital devices. On the other hand, the full version, that is also paid, enables you to create H.264 videos and offers a lot more editing options in addition to the same features you get with the free version.
The installation process of RealPlayer is fairly easy. Once you have downloaded the application kit, you will have to go through the installation process, and unlike its older versions, you now have the option of installing other add-ons as well. However, it is important to note that before you install it, it is advisable to check whether you meet the minimum system requirements or not. This version of the RealPlayer has a rather high requirement regarding the hardware, as you need a 1.4GHz or faster processor, at least 1GB of RAM and about 500MB of free disk space.
The interface is stylishly colored in tones of grey and green and has a simple navigation menu that allows you to pause, rewind or fast forward through the media files that you are playing online or offline. The device is designed to recognize videos that are protected by copyrights, as a “download this video” link will appear somewhere in the vicinity of the RealPlayer when browsing online.
When you open a file with the RealPlayer you will immediately notice in the upper part of the screen four menus that indicate the following: name of the file you are currently playing, easy access to library resources, burn options and an online guide. While you are playing a single video you will only observe a play bar. However, if you were to add more to the playlist you can easily browse through them. What is great about this software utility is that it has a general backward and forward menu in the upper left corner that allows you to browse and skip through your videos.
Basically, RealPlayer is a universal player that is compatible with all major media formats, including the ones specific to CDs and DVDs, Flash, QuickTime, Windows Media and MPEG. As it is compatible with QuickTime file formats, you should expect it to perform well with iTunes files as well. Thanks to the PerfectPlay & LivePause innovation, you can edit and cut media files to create your customized instant replays. In addition, it incorporates a cross-fade feature and, since it supports multiple audio formats, with RealPlayer you can now add reverb effects to any file you choose, so you can create professional audio mixes.
Another great element you will love in RealPlayer is that you will be able to burn your instant replays in a high quality format onto a CD or DVD by using only their space. On the other hand, if you do not want to burn them onto a DVD and you want to keep them on a digital device, you can rest assured that the conversion process is just as easy.
The main setback of this software utility is that it usually takes longer to finish the installation and sometimes, it is really slow with streaming videos. In addition, some customers are unhappy with the fact that it includes too many commercials.
A viable alternative to RealPlayer is the MPEG Streamclip, a software utility that has the advantage of converting most files and the disadvantage of having a limited editing feature.
RealPlayer is an elegant and easy to use media player that incorporates all the common media player features with a file burner perfectly. The existing fans and new customers will certainly be pleased with the new options.
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