RealNetworks is announcing a deal that could bring the company’s RealPlayer software to a number of Linux powered netbooks. The company is partnering with Ubuntu to bundle a Linux version of RealPlayer mobile with Ubuntu Netbook Remix.

RealNetworks is also working with three companies that offer an “instant on” environment for netbooks that lets you run a handful of applications a few seconds after hitting the power button on your PC without waiting for the computer to boot Windows or another full desktop operating system. Phoenix Technologies (the makers of HyperSpace), DeviceVM (the folks behind SplashTop), and Xandros (which has its own Presto quick boot environment) have all agreed to use RealPlayer Mobile.

So what are the advantages of RealPlayer Mobile? Well, the software does include codecs for handling most popular media files. But so does the open source VLC media player. It will also be able ot handle HD video playback on netbooks with hardware acceleration. But RealNetworks’ Rishi Mathew tells ComputerWorld the big advantage is name recognition. When most computer users pick up Linux for the first time, they’re struck by the fact that it doesn’t run the programs they’re familiar with, even if it does have other programs that serve the same purpose. Mathew seems to think that by slapping familiar apps like RealPlayer on Linux devices people will find the operating system more comfortable.

What do you think, would you be more likely to use a Linux netbook with RealPlayer? Or would you prefer an open source solution like VLC or mPlayer?

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14 replies on “RealPlayer coming to Ubuntu Netbook Remix, instant-on netbook distros”

  1. I really hate RealPlayer… and would remove it right away from Ubuntu.

  2. real player is real pain. I would never install it unless there is no other software out there that can do the job. Brand recognition? Hah, this is why i would never use it. what a joke!

  3. I remember having a subscription (might have even been a lifetime subscription) to RealPlayer back in the days when 56K modems were cutting-edge.
    They’re still alive? Wow.

    I’ll stick with VNC, thankyouverymuch.

    1. Ok, I’ll stick with VLC for playing media, and VLC for remote access. Too many TLA’s (Three Letter Acronyms).

  4. Real is STILL around?

    I’m sure even Windows users are asking themselves the above question.

    1. Yes, we are wondering the same thing. This company *deserves* to go out of business.

      I remember being forced to install RealPlayer because many sites used their proprietary streaming media format. I regretted that decision forever after. Their software was the most bloated, annoying, intrusive program I have ever used. And I will never trust them again. It was so bad, that people went out of their way to make alternative, illegal players, just so they didn’t have to keep that piece of crap software on their system. It was THAT BAD.

      This does not bode well for Linux adoption…

  5. This isn’t exactly new, realplayer had a linux client back in the day. I believe I had it installed on redhat 5. Unfortunately, the linux version was super janky. There was a time when you had to use realplayer to view *.rm files. Thankfully, those days are behind us.

    On the other hand, if a company wants to port software to Linux, I don’t want to discourage them. With ubuntu, linux now has stability, ease of use, and attractive desktop effects. If we had a little more mainstream software ported to linux, it would be perfect.

  6. Realplayer in an instant-on situation might be fine, but it will be immediately uninstalled from the full OS. Real was OK a long time ago, but it is bloatware now.

    1. I was going to say the same thing, RealPlayer acts like malware or spyware. I don’t care if they say they have cleaned up their act, most people I know won’t touch RealPlayer with a 10′ pole.

      1. Agreed.
        And I would add the same malware label to Apple as well.
        My wife received an Ipod and I installed the Itunes once because unlike the other MP3 players we have, you couldnt just drag/drop the music and she has never used it again.

        But in the background of her windows machine she still has 4 Apple processes running.

        Ever machine we have whether WIndows or Linux runs VLC because it made us format agnostic and I dont have to install Quicktime to view .mov files.

        As for Realplayer…??? The ‘are they still around’ sentiment seems to be shared. We all used it back in the 56k days. I remember DLing whole concerts (tons of bands allow live taping) and storing them on … 100mb Zip disks and in the age of the first videos converting them into postage stamp size video (with low bandwidht it was a battle been keeping it small in file size but not so small as not to see it).
        Youtube rendered it obselete for video and I cant think of one site where I need realplayer.

        The faster we allow this bloated piece of malware garbage to die, the better.

        Bad Bubuntu. WTF where you thinking?

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