RealPlayer : Java Glossary

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RealPlayer RealPlayer
An add-into your browser that lets you hear RealAudio *.ra, streaming video and many other sound and moving picture formats such as AU and MP3. You can download the basic RealPlayer free. See RealAudio. RealPlayer sometimes goes a bit nuts and hogs all the CPU (Central Processing Unit) time, even when it is not playing anything. If your computer runs unusually slowly, try killing it. A server would run special streaming software to serve up real audio format files so that they can start playing even before they are fully loaded, or to play continuous streams such as radio broadcasts.

When you listen to a pre-recorded broadcast, you have your own private stream from the server. This means 100 listeners requires a server 100 times a powerful as for one listener. There is no sharing of the stream, even with the person sitting at the desk next to you listening to the same clip. For live streams, there is the possibility of multicast which uses the bandwidth more efficiently by sending the same stream to everyone. You can’t rewind, pause or fast forward on a live stream.

RealPlayer has gotten buggier and more irritating over the years with more and more ads, spyware and doodads. One possible alternative is Real Alternative. When it times out, it aborts, even when it has 10 minutes content in the receive buffer yet to be played. Arrgh!

On the other paw, Real Audio uses only about a twentieth the CPU power of Windows media player and 1/3 of the memory.

If RealPlayer fails to play a file, try Winamp, Windows Media Player or QuickTime.


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