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02/01/2004: Technologica Technologica

Dewey, Cheetum, And Howe
or, Car Talk dumps Real Player
from Car Talk via Slashdot

Car Talk will now be available via the Windows Media Player, rather than RealMedia. That's right, we're unceremoniously dumping RealMedia.

Why? Because, for a long time, we've had tons of complaints about RealNetworks. And the one that ticks us off the most is the perceived trickery they use to sell their premium products. This is just our opinion, mind you, but it's shared by enough of our listeners, that we finally decided to take action.

Here's the problem. In order to hear our audio, you have to go to and download their "free" RealPlayer. But when you get to the web site, the free player is harder to find than Osama Bin Laden at night. And the site seems to do everything it possibly can to get you to "buy" a player instead. You have to work very hard to get the free player. And we think that stinks. And get this. It stinks so much that it even makes Microsoft look good by comparison. That's something, huh?

We've heard from many of our fans that have been duped, and who have accidentally shelled out their hard-earned dineros. And we won't even get into the ways that the RealPlayer tries to take over your computer once you install it. So, after surveying the alternatives, we're switching to Windows Media Player (which works on Macs, too).

Sunday the 1st of February, crazywriterinla noted:

real player can lick my left nut while polishing my right.

Monday the 2nd of February, awiggins noted:

How to get spyware-free RealPlayer through the BBC
An anonymous reader sez, "The BBC made a unique deal with Real Networks which disposes of their spyware tactics. Basically, if a user clicks on a link to download Real Player from a BBC website, the referrer script sends them to a page where they can download an expiry-free, spyware-free and nuicance-free version of the player. It's because the BBC have such a stringent public service remit, that it was offensive to charge people a license fee for BBC content, then make them pay all over again for the facility to view/listen to it." Link (Thanks, Anonymous Reader!)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 8:33:45 AM permanent link to this entry

Monday the 2nd of February, awiggins noted:

Don't get me wrong, RealPlayer sucks, but if you have to have it this copy is better. If the link has been taken down, let me know, I have a copy.

Monday the 2nd of February, rafuzo noted:

Click and Clack have a harder time finding glow plugs on a diesel engine. I went to and found the free player rather easily; by clicking on the link labeled "download the free real player". (See if *you* can find it!)

If you're going to hate realplayer, hate it for being an absolutely shitty streaming media platform that pimps tons of ads and is a resource hog. Don't hate it because you're too dumb to actually read a website and make an effort, instead of passively sitting on your ass and waiting for the internet to make your life easier.