RealPlayer is a media player that aims to provide maximum compatibility by allowing you to open a huge range of industry standard file formats, as well as some smaller and proprietary formats. This includes some formats that are actually specific to this software itself, meaning that only this application is able to read and save to them. These files are usually good when users want to make use of specific features in the tool that others may not support.
Some of the more common formats supported that the majority of people will be familiar with will be MP3 (for decent quality audio tracks, with good compression), MPEG-4 and Quicktime (both used for video technology, providing different methods of reducing excess file storage) as well as the Windows Media formats that aren't used as much these days. The proprietary formats included are RealAudio and RealVideo, which a lot of people don't know about but are used a lot in industry, but not for mainstream file distribution.
Required Operating System
Application TypeMedia Player
Feb 6th, 2012
Full internet access
"This media player meets all of the requirements that we can think you would need. It plays a huge range of files, all of which you'll probably encounter when you're ripping from CDs or DVDs. There really is no need to find another tool which won't likely provide the same benefits."
Rating: 4.3/5 by John S
"My computer struggles to run a lot of applications because of how old it is so I was worried that something like this would be even worse, but luckily it installed and functioned correctly without any issues! Thanks guys!"
Rating: 4.5/5 by Emma G
"Windows Media Player really couldn't manage what I needed it to do - it kept crashing, it really struggled in terms of playing types of files and thus was a complete waste of time. Luckily, Real Player was much better than this."
To start the installation process, you're going to need to download all of the necessary components and files that make up this piece of software. This may sound rather complicated to some but don't worry, we've done the hard work for you. There's a download link on our website which, when clicked, will download one simple file for you to use which will contain everything you need to use.
You have to be careful when downloading this type of file because sometimes they can be malicious, especially on untrusted websites. We make sure that everything we offer to you is safe to download and install though, so you'll never have any issues with anything that has come from us. Your antivirus software may detect it as some kind of security measure but we can tell you that you won't be harmed by using any program from our website and can safely ignore it without worries.
When you click on the download link, you'll be asked to select whether you want to run or save the installation file (depending on the internet browser you're currently using). We recommend saving it, that way if you need to go back to it a bit later you're able to do so straight away without having to download it again. Make sure that you can remember where you've actually saved it to, though.
To run this application, you're going to need to meet some basic requirements. These are relatively low though so even if you're on a very slow and old computer you shouldn't have any issues. You need at least 80MB of free disk space on your hard drive so that the tool can install, you also need to be running on the Windows operating system. 512MB of RAM would also be a good idea. If you meet all of these requirements, you can then proceed onto the installation process by using the file you've just downloaded from our website.
What you need to do is locate the file that you've saved to your hard drive and then choose to run it, usually by double clicking on it. You should then see a window displaying on your screen talking about the user agreement. This is something you can just go ahead and accept, so you can proceed with the installation.
When you've accepted this, you can carry on with the main process. You'll need to choose where to install Real Player to on your computer, usually a default will be entered for you and you can just keep it like this. You'll also find some extras included that you may want to install too, but this is completely up to you - and when you're ready, you can just press the install button. All you have to do then is wait for it to complete!
When the installer has told you that it has finished, you can then go ahead and load it up, everything should all be ready for you to use. You can choose to use the shortcut that will have been placed on your desktop if you want to, otherwise you should find it listed in your list of programs installed (located by pressing the Start button and clicking "All Programs"). Simply choose Real Player and it should start to open.
If you're a new user as you probably are, you'll be asked if you want to register yourself to the system. We recommend that you do this as you can gain tons of extras and new features because of it, plus you'll always be notified when a new version of the software has been released to the public, allowing you to update quicker. If you want to participate in this, go ahead and enter your information but if not, simply press Cancel.
Now that this has been done, you can go ahead and use the program how you want to. We recommend loading up a video file so that you can get a decent look at how it works, usually a few are included which helps to give a pretty good demonstration. You'll find that it supports a huge range of media, including music, video and even images if you want to use it for that purpose.
If you've ever been browsing the internet and have found a website offering a video that you'd quite like to watch again, then you may want to save it to your hard drive. A benefit of this is that you can then watch it without requiring internet access, but doing it yourself could appear to be quite tricky and complicated which is why a lot of people don't actually bother attempting.
One of the features that this player offers you is the ability to install an add-on or extension into your browser. All of the major ones are compatible such as Google Chrome and Firefox, and what it does is when a video is detected on a webpage it displays an option next to it saying "Download this Video". It won't work all of the time but in most cases it should have no problems.
When you've clicked on this button, you should see that the software attempts to do so and then asks you where you want it saved to. This is about as complicated as it gets, all you need to do then is wait for it to be completed so that you can watch it later.
Not all files come in the format you want them to, a lot of other devices only support certain file extensions which can leave you in trouble when you want to move them over. To give you an example of this, if you download a video from the internet which can often be an .avi file, you may have trouble playing it back on your iPod because it wants other files instead. Downloading them in another format is impossible, so what do you do exactly?
The player includes functionality to convert these files for you, saving you the hassle and meaning you don't need to install any other pieces of software to do the job for you. You simply select the original file and then choose the new format you want it to be in - you then just need to wait for the process to finish which doesn't usually take too long.
You'll also be glad to know that all of the industry standard extensions you'd expect are supported by this feature. You can even convert videos into MP3 files so you can just listen to the sound instead of the whole thing, great for portable music players.
Most people these days use DVD players in their lounges so that they can watch any DVDs they purchase. However, when more and more media these days is becoming download-only, how can you get this content onto discs so that you can still watch it there instead of your computer? There's a process called burning you can use which you usually need an external tool for, but you'll find a really helpful extra included in this package.
What you're going to need to do this is some blank DVDs (which you can buy from any leading computer store, they don't need to be of specific brand) as well as hardware that supports burning (most drives do these days, you shouldn't have a problem). You also need Real Player installed, of course.
You're able to burn any of the formats that are usually supported by the application. You can either find the files through Windows Explorer or just search through your library if you want to, either way should give you the ability to burn them so that you never have trouble with download-only data again.
One of the most important things that you expect from a media player is great quality playback. You don't want to sit back and have to wait for it to buffer all the time, you want your music and videos to load and play smoothly so that you can just enjoy the content. There are many different settings included to alter how the playback is done, which enables you to get the experience that you're looking for.
PerfectPlay is an innovation created by the team to lower the time it takes to buffer video when it is being streamed over the web. The clip is temporarily cached on your computer so that you can keep going back to it without it needing to re-buffer, cutting down valuable time and making the video look seamless and crisp. You have the option to enable/disable this based on your own preferences, we recommend it.
TurboPlay is something else that can be useful. When enabled, for certain types of content the loading time will decrease significantly without the loss of quality. There's not much else we need to say about this other than it should be enabled by you.
This isn't quite as exciting as the other features we've talked about but it is necessary and important never the less. As you may know, the media player contains a lot of internet-based functions, so your internet connection is going to be very important when using it. You may need to customize the settings to make it work properly depending on what type of network you're running on which is where this comes in.
One of the things you can select is the type of connection you're on. It isn't required but it's a good way of helping the tool understand what you need. It means that when streaming, the quality can be reduced if you're on a low connection to help it cope without having to re-buffer constantly. You can also choose to use a proxy if you want to do so.
You can also set some privacy settings if you want to keep your personal information more safe. For example, the software has a program which can send usage data to the servers, allowing developers to sort through it and make improvements to any problems. This would be a good thing to enable.
There are tons of features which have been included in this piece of software, a few of which we've talked about in detail. However, an even better thing is that there is so much more you can add at the click of a button. With most applications you have to wait and rely on the developers to build everything for you which can take time, plus there's no guarantee that they'll actually add what you want them to. With plugins, this all changes.
A plugin is basically an extra tool which can be imported into the main application to add extra functionality. Anyone with programming experience can develop one as long as the main program will allow it. There's a very powerful framework behind this media player which gives developers everything they need to build freely and easily.
To give you a few examples of what is capable from these plugins, subtitles can be added to videos automatically. This is one of the most popular ones you can find, we'll try to provide more of them on our website for you.