Real Player Warning

Stopbadware.org–organized Harvard ’s Berkman Center and the Oxford Institute of Oxford University–warns about the privacy failings Real Player 10.5 and Real Player 11.0. The former does not alert the user that its message center feature will display pop-up ads if the program is not registered, while the latter secretly installs the Rhapsody Player Engine and leaves it in place if the user uninstalls Real Player 11.0. For years I’ve avoided Real Player products as much as possible because, in my experience, they are intrusive and persistent. I gave the company another shot by using Rhapsody for a while but it was a constant headache. I had to uninstall it a few times and in each case it was like cleaning up after a terrible roommate who leaves dirty plates in the living room, smelly socks on the kitchen table, and wet towels on the bathroom floor. I canceled the account after a few rounds of this. Brian Krebs reports the story and proposes some alternatives to Real Player.

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  • JESSE R

    Agreed, RealPlayer is the worst! For a great open source media player try VLC by VideoLAN. It accepts a lot of different video formats and has a pretty simple interface. Windows Media Player is also pretty decent and doesn’t clog your system with junk like RealPlayer.