Jun 09 AT 10:47 AM Anthony Domanico 32 Comments

RealPlayer releases public beta of upcoming multimedia player app

The folks over at Real, inc. have announced a beta version of their upcoming RealPlayer multimedia application for Android. With this release, RealPlayer hopes to become the app Android users turn to for enjoying and sharing their music, videos, and pictures. We have spent some time with the beta application, and what follows is our initial impressions of this potentially game-changing app.

User Interface

Now, I must admit that I am a big fan of the look and feel of the stock Android music player.  With that in mind, I am fairly unimpressed by the overall look and feel of the RealPlayer music player. When companies choose to release something that feels different from the feel of stock Android, I want it to be visually stunning or at least pleasant to look at. Unfortunately, the most current beta release of RealPlayer is neither stunning nor easy on the eye. Hopefully this will be improved in future releases.

Media Playback

Yes, UIs play some part in whether or not we enjoy our applications, but it is not everything. If you develop a multimedia player that looks gorgeous, but doesn’t do the job well, most users are simply not going to use the app.

So how well does RealPlayer handle this playback? Fortunately, RealPlayer seems to get music and video playback right, and it does it all from within one application.

The photo slideshow viewer, however, is potentially the most useful feature of all. This feature allows users to play pictures from their gallery in a slideshow, with settings (transition times, transition animation, etc.) completely determined by user input. I was showing a slideshow to some friends this afternoon and was very impressed with how easy it was to set up and show off my favorite pictures. A very useful and impressive addition, and actually somewhat unexpected for a company known for music and video players.

Overall, I think RealPlayer is good enough to give it a shot. Go and test it out and provide some feedback so Real, inc. can make this a contender to replace the stock media player. The RealPlayer beta application can be found for free on the Android market, conveniently linked in the QR code above. More information can be found on the Real Android website.

Source: Real

Anthony loves all things technology, from hardware to apps and games. You can connect with him via Google+ or Twitter by clicking one of the fancy doo-dads above.

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  • http://Website Snafu

    Sorry but I’ll pass. RealPlayer’s history of annoying the hell out of me with inserting startup garbage is something I want nowhere near my N1.

  • http://Website jotarun

    a RealPlayer that cannot play Realmedia. How ironic!

    • http://realnetworksblog.com Lacy Kemp

      Actually, we’d like to be able to add lots of codecs, but RVMB isn’t currently supported by Android. If they allow us to add in codecs then we will add that. Until then we can only play the codecs that already work on Android.

      • http://Website jotarun

        Hi Lacy, I know the difficulty of supporting rm. You have to build the whole playing function from scratch. However, there have already been some players able to play rm/rmvb!
        If Real hopes to gain your customers faith back, the player really should show some advantages and uniqueness.

  • http://Website eClipse

    Wow – talk about showing up after the party is over.

    Who still uses or even has Realplayer loaded on their machines? I literally had to check the other
    day to see if they still were in business.

    Their annoying practices made them an annoyance in the corporate market and Flash passed them by like they had a flat at Indy.

    No thanks.

  • http://Website timb

    RealPlayer, haha. If there’s one company I hate, it’s these guys. Back when I was forced to install their player, they’d use your email for all kinds of spam and then force you to go through a billion forms on their website just to disable their freaking advertisements. You had to go through a bunch of different pages just to be able to get the free player too; they’d try to push the commercial version of the player so hard. Everything they did was carefully planned to annoy the user.

    They’re the bane of user experience annoyances. I’m thankful they’re nowhere to be seen anymore. Now, a RealPlayer on my phone? Thanks, but no thanks.

  • http://Website JayLay

    well…anyway….all these spam stories and other hate stuff beside please…

    which formats does realplayer admit???

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      The info page suggests its supports all Android media codecs.

  • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

    RealPlayer? What year is this?

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      I haven’t seen Realplayer be popular since…. 1996.

      +1 if you get the reference.

  • http://Website Haggie

    Can I use Flooz to upgrade to the Real Pro version?

  • Lane

    1. Doesn’t even support Real’s own media formats.
    2. Stretches every video with no option to disable.
    3. No syncing capabilities (cloud or USB).
    4. Does a lot of things, but is good at none of them.

    RealPlayer should just give up already. I would have been intrigued if they offered new low-bandwidth codecs, but this is just worse than worthless.

    I busted on it pretty hard on last week’s Android App Show too.

  • http://realnetworksblog.com Lacy Kemp

    Hi all-
    Lacy from Real here. I see comments like these every day. We know our players of past weren’t exactly user friendly and we’ve apologized for that and are trying to bring a viable product to consumers. We’ve also completely deconstructed the player and rebuilt it based primarily on user input and feedback. The new version of RealPlayer (RealPlayer SP) is completely different than anything we’ve ever done, as is the Android app. We have a lot of ideas of how we can make this app great for Android users but we are hoping to receive input from the beta testers out there. We’d love it if you’d at least try out the app and give us your thoughts. If you like it, great. If not, we’d love to know why and what kinds of features you’d like to see in an application like this.


    • http://Website XTOCb

      No, Thank you! A while back, I had to install RealPlayer SP, it still has this annoying Messaging Center, and constantly it tries to hijack settings on which player i want to play my media. As far as I can tell, NOTHING has been changed!

    • http://Website hector

      giveing it a try and so far so good but would like to see a screen stay on option to keep the screen on to view whats playing, other then that good work

    • http://Website joeski

      Sorry lacy. When it comes to android real player is like the touchwiz overlay. You can live with it but you want to jump off a building everytime you see your phone. Take your realplayer to apple I’m sure they would love to reject you as well. Have a nice day. =) n1-ftw

      • http://Website Riley

        Dude, what the hell. No need to be an asshole, she’s making a genuine effort to be helpful.

    • http://Website Mealso

      The stock player on my Hero would not play wmv, audio only.
      So I downloaded the realplayer and like the interface and options.
      It does play WMV aside from the video freeze once in a while but it’s Beta so I don’t expect perfection, but I do like what I see so far.

  • Dave K

    “Now, I must admit that I am a big fan of the look and feel of the stock Android music player.”

    Wow, did you really just say that?

    One of the things people seem to agree about most is that the stock Android music player is close to as awful as it can get. Your comment makes me question your sanity. :P Ok, maybe not your sanity, but it certainly does make me question your opinions.

    The Android music player should be scrapped and redone from scratch.

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      I may be crazy, but I actually do like the stock music player. C’est la vie.

  • http://www.toysdiva.com PixelSlave

    Well, first thing first. The Real Video codec is probably one of the most used video format besides .x264. Yes, yes, you hear me right. What many people don’t know is, there are tons of RMVB encoded video in Asia. A large portion of them are Chinese subtitled foreign TV/movies from Japan, Korea, US, etc. There are also a lot of English subtitled Chinese TV/movies. Don’t ask me why they continue to encode in RMVB, but it’s still being used actively. Many of them are even encoded in HD (from I’ve heard, RMVB in HD doesn’t tax old machine as much as newer codec.)

    Now, this post actually excites me for about 10 sec, because I am a big fan of Eng-sub Japanese TV shows/animes, but a Real Player that doesn’t play RM files? I will pass.

  • krazytrixxxsta

    im happy and satisfy with the android stock music player on my phone

  • http://Website hector

    am giveing it a try but never did use the desktop realplayer the android stock player is sad so been useing meridian player wish works way better then the stock player but have to say the realplayer app seems to have some good to it plays all my music and movies just like the way i want it i can even view my pics and play music at the same time useing the app,

  • http://Website Aaron

    Realplayer was once rated as the 2nd worst software of all time by PCWorld. My own personal experience with realplayer was annoying and irritating.

    I will never download any RealPlayer app again as long as I live. I hope that their Android app continues to suck, and that it gets the cold shoulder from the Android community. I don’t want to see their worthless software ruining such a great mobile OS.

    That company should have been out of business long ago.

    • http://Website Riley

      You’re right, I hope they never make a quality application. I hope they never contribute anything positive to the Android community, and I REALLY hope they don’t give us a good, viable media player, something that Android doesn’t have a lot of.

      Oh, wait. Actually, I do hope they do all of those things.
      If not, oh well, then they will fade away like you said. But don’t come right out and bash them just because of what they’ve done in the past, you’re only making things worse.

  • http://Website GuardianAli

    Wow…you guys are all idiots. U are putting down an app without even trying it once…almost 90% of the comments are putting it down without even trying it. I actually downloaded it..and you know what..its not bad. It isnt resource intensive..hasnt ninja started up in the background once. Its not perfect but decent.

    Only downside i can see is the same as most audio players..there is NO option to limit the program to look only in a certain folder for music. It checks the WHOLE sd card..so things like ring tones and voicemails in youmail etc show up too.

    • http://Website msgnyc

      If your ringtones, alarms ect.. from your sd card show in your media players you need to put them into a folder labeled “media’.
      When the media players scan the SD card, they are set not to scan the ‘media” folder
      Seperate your audio files into folders within the “media” folder for the os to pick them up.
      ui sound profiles wont pick up files from the media folder however.

      /cheers =)

  • http://Website skyline

    GuardianAli, I think you are the idiots here. You find it not bad while others find it not good. It does not imply they did try it. In fact, there are a number of comments mention it does not even play real media. Why do you think they said that? They try it.

    So did I, and I agree, it is really ironic that RealPlayer does not play Real media.

    • http://Website GuardianAli

      If you actually read what I wrote i didnt say every person..I said the majority of people didnt even try. And if you bothered to look up and read, I am correct on that account. The few people that did try it some said it wasnt great but a few said it was decent/ok but nothing spectacular which is what i feel as well.
      My point was dont trash something based on name. At least try it. If you dont like it, there is this wonderful thing called “uninstall”.

      As for it not playing realmedia…its not realplayers fault. The default Android SDK doest not support that codec. It is very hard to get a non-supported codec to work without built in support. And if you do its very sluggish and buggy. Not to mention the inclusion of the codec as a seperate file would make the size of the program large as well.
      Real knows it lost the codec battle so it is trying to reinvent itself as a services company with the player and the rhapsody stream service.

  • weamdog

    my only suggestion is to change the name if you want to get anywhere. i’d do without before i would ever let realplayer or that other player install on any of my machines. it only takes one person with a bad experience to cancel out hundreds of good and at this point you are probably fighting a losing battle by keeping the same name.

    • weamdog

      actually not any other player, there is one in particular that i was thinking about.

  • http://Website saurb

    Dosent play rm audio format