Months of waiting are over - Real Networks have finally released a beta of their RealOne player for MacOS X. This is a free download that will expire once the final version is released. According to the Real Web site:
NEW TurboPlay™ practically eliminates buffering over high- speed connections so your clips start faster and play smoother.
RealVideo 9 - Dramatically improved compression delivers unparalleled quality at every bandwidth - from narrowband to HDTV! Includes 5-channel RealAudio Surround!
Users at VersionTracker are somewhat more down-to-earth in their reviews, which are mixed:
"Ok, I must give props to Real on this one. First of all, theyire not using any sort of BS VISE "I still think im in os9" installer crap. Itis just the one application file, with everything contained inside. Iim honestly surprised, since MS doesnt even do this. Secondly, the damn thing WORKS! and it works WELL, in my preliminary testing anyways. i just tried out about 5 different test streams, tried full screen, it all worked beautifully. This on an ibook 700. I didnt get it to play IN the browser, it instead open up the player sseperately. But wahtever, Iim shocked honestly." - cock??
"Installed, tried CNN content, keeps spawning tiny untitled windows that are blank. After installation there was no startup routine, no iwelcomei stuff, nothing. Just sits there and does very little. If this is REAL networks most advanced player ever - I hate to see what their Wintel users endure." - bwickens
"Real sucks - we all know this. But the fact is, a *lot* of sites use RealAudio, so itis very nice to FINALLY get a version for OS X. It seems to work fairly well, though. One complaint - in the "Open Location" option, thereis no way to paste in a URL, so you have to type the whole thing in. Kind of ridiculous, no?"?- jcb9
Problem: Like Roxio and Microsoftis recent offerings, the end-user license agreement contains yet another digital rights management clause, saying:
7 ...DRMs may be able to revoke your ability to use applicable content.? [Real Networks] is not responsible for the operation of the DRM in any way, including revocation of your content. RN is not responsible for any communications to or from any third party DRM provider, or for the collection or use of information by third party DRMs.? You consent to the communications enabled and/or performed by the DRM.
The EULA also says that Real will sometimes download software to your computer without notification, even though you may have asked to be notified in the Playeris preferences.