For a long time, I’ve been wanting to post about how much I despise Real Player (or RealOne) and its intolerable proprietary format. Seriously, how many times have you heard someone ask, “how do I convert RealAudio to MP3”? Should I mention the application’s annoyances?
“Real Player assumes you want shortcuts to it on the desktop, in the Quick Launch bar next to the start-menu, in the top of the start-menu, another desktop shortcut to “free offers” from real.com, a third desktop shortcut to “Free Aol & unlimited internet”, and last but not least, a special option in the windows search-menu called “Audio/video search.” —Jogin.com
Interface aside, I realize various Arabic music sites rely on the Real Media format for audio streaming but what I don’t understand is why they choose to do so when there are so many common codecs such as MP3, OGG, WMA, or even QuickTime (see the entire list) that offer better quality and flexibility at similar bitrates and bandwidth. I’m assuming piracy is not a concern because those websites typically have, “download file” links.
If you’re happy converting your files, keep in mind that you’re ending up with either worse audio or bigger files than the original! It would be much easier if the providers would stop dealing with RealAudio altogether and move on to a more convenient file format so we don’t have to deal with prehistoric bloated software.
Mazika.com offers WMA
Mazajy.com offers MP3
Registration required on both websites.