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July 15, 2008 / douglasac

Douglas Rants About Media Players

I play media all the time. I play music, videos, etc. Normal stuff. But what really bugs me is that not one media player can do everything I want it to do. I hate it when media players are used as an advertising medium. Junk mail, TV, radio, and (to a more annoying extent) the internet are more suited to this, not my media player, thank you very much.

Okay, so here’s what I use:

  • Day to day media stuff (ie. Playing music and videos on the go, ripping music, etc.): Windows Media Player 11 for Windows XP\Windows Media Player 11 for Vista
    It’s there and it works. It can open my MP3 and WMA files, it can open WMVs and MPEGs. And that’s all I need it to do. The ability to change it’s colour is a bonus. I like minimode, but I have a keyboard with buttons which I customized to control it.
  • Videos and things that won’t play in WMP: VLC Media Player
    How many of you love IrfanView and it’s magical open-almost-all-image-file thing? I do, too. VLC does this for video and audio files. It plays most files well: it doesn’t, however, work well with RealMedia Video (audio only), which brings us to…
  • RealMedia Videos: Real Alternative
    If you have RealPlayer, uninstall it. It’s rubbish and insists upon bombarding you with ads. Tsk, tsk. I like Real Alternative because it lets me view the RealMedia files I occasionally download in Media Player Classic (included), which is a small media player similar to older versions of Windows media player (like the one included in Windows 98)

However, there’s a problem with Real Alternative: it doesn’t always work with live streams and the like. So, if you really need RealPlayer, there is a special version. Now, don’t tell too many people about this, because word will get out and then people will download it and then Real will go “Let’s be evil and do a normal version here!”

So, download it here.

Note: I’m not sure if it’s still like that. It could be different. Anyhoo, try it. If not, keep it. Message centre can be disabled.

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