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August 2, 2006

Real Player Bundles Firefox And Google Software

Forbes reports that RealNetworks, the creators of the (un)popular media player RealPlayer, have signed a two-year agreement with Mozilla to bundle Firefox with its software (RealPlayer, Rhapsody and RealArcade). They've also signed a contract with Google to distribute Google Toolbar and Google Desktop.

Google continues to focus on making distribution deals (see Dell agreement, Adobe deal) as a way of increasing its desktop presence. Google and RealNetworks have a long history: RealPlayer is bundled with Google Toolbar from 2004 and Google Pack includes RealPlayer as an optional download.

RealPlayer has a bad reputation, as it used to bundle spyware software and it has a bloated UI. It was ranked number two on the PC World's Top 25 Worst Tech Products of All Time:

"A frustrating inability to play media files--due in part to constantly changing file formats--was only part of Real's problem. RealPlayer also had a disturbing way of making itself a little too much at home on your PC--installing itself as the default media player, taking liberties with your Windows Registry, popping up annoying "messages" that were really just advertisements, and so on."

Many people have chosen to use Real Alternative to be able to play Real media files. Others install RealPlayer, but play the files with another compatible player.

But for Google, this is just another distribution deal.


  1. Another alternative is to get the "Real" thing from Real Networks, but in a different flavor. Real Player Enterprise ( ) isn't bundled with anything and it's far less annoying than the "consumer" version. I like it much better.

  2. yeah, its just business i guess.

    But i don't know why Google hasn't done a deal with Apple.

    Afterall iTunes and QuickTimes are superior and more popular products, yet Google doesn't distribute QuickTime with the Google Pack.

    Cmon' Steve, pick up the phone and talk to Sergey!

  3. Great tip, Scott.

    Real Player for Enterprise is a lighter version of Real Player that doesn't have ads, integration with their music store and unnecessary options. It's a great option.

  4. QuickTime player is even more annoying than RealPlayer (on Windows of course). I must say I don't understand this Bundling at all. Come on, Firefox is really big installation why do I need to download it when I want only RealPlayer... One more reason to NOT use this crap :-) QuickTime Alternative and Real Alternative with Media Player Classic are the best solution I think.

  5. 2009 January. Realplayer also have an Education Edition which is the same as the Enterprise Edition. I won't post the URL for download as it is likely to either disappear, but it should be easy to find particularly is you have a friend in a university. Or google.

  6. Unfortunently Real Alternative is not compatible with Windows 7, which is what I have. When I tried to download Real Alternative,I got an error message saying the file was corrupt. And when find a download it would only install Real Alternative lite which did not work either. There are other ways to download and convert videos,Downloadhelper and Orbit but those don't work well. Real Player is the only one that does work. And with the latest version you do not even have to go on to a web browser to download the video. You can just browse the web in Real Player itself in the built in browser and download the video from there. Andrea.


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