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Author Topic: Official players - What is the big deal?  (Read 4861 times)
Josh
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« on: March 15, 2009, 04:04:33 PM »

I have a question for everyone. Ever since getting my wife her laptop for school, I have come to the realization that most of these OFFICIAL media players for various formats are very wildly over-attacked for their abilities. For example, quicktime and real player. My biggest gripe with real player was from back in the day when it used to startup several programs and alert me with these advertisements. Given the recent trend, they have seriously cleaned up their act. I have no problems with them at all now. The same goes for quicktime. I installed it and after disabling the apple software update service, I had no problems with it. The players are really well thought out and function great. They have seemless integration with various web browsers and serve their purpose. Now, I do not use any of them as a default player for my various media files, I use KMPlayer for that, but I do rely on their players for browser-based playback. Heck, real and apple have both included ways for me to save various media files without having to resort to rippers such as streambox.

Now, that said, I have tried the alternatives such as "Real alternative" and QTLite. Both are OK, but both have caused me to have to reinstall them because some component became unregistered in my system or just wasn't playing right after a browser update or other software update. The default official players, however, have never failed since my recent experiment over the last few months. This leads me to the question, are these players as horrid as they once were to most? Or is it the old "They started out evil and will remain so" reputation that most larger corporations get?

Comments? Questions? Concerns?
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app103
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2009, 04:23:53 PM »

I think people would love to have their favorite media player to be capable of playing all formats, and when it can't and the need to install something else arises, no matter what it is or how good it is, since they really don't want that, they will hate that additional software they have to install, rather than directing their focus on the real problem, and that is that their player of choice is falling short by not supporting these additional formats.

Yes, I know that's an enormous run-on sentence. embarassed
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Deozaan
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2009, 04:28:13 PM »

I just hate Real because back when I did anything with it, it really sucked. I haven't given it a second chance because I don't think it deserves one.

I hate Quicktime because, back when I did anything with it, it really sucked. I have given it second and third and fourth, etc., chances and every time it still sucks because it bundles extra crap with it or whatever. It sucks.

I tried Real, it sucked. I tried Quicktime, it sucked. I'm perfectly happy with the alternatives I use so why should I give a crappy product another try?
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Josh
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2009, 04:31:38 PM »

I am not saying make any of these your DEFAULT player, I am saying why go through all of the other hoops just to get another player to play them? I rarely find a video, unless it's on a video developer (I.E., the old AlienSong video) where they use quicktime for the size of file it produces relative to the quality achieved. As I said, when the alternatives worked for browser-based media, they did ok but often times resulted in various problems.
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Lashiec
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2009, 04:33:08 PM »

QuickTime still isn't a competing player IMO, due to its long load time, and some glaring omissions (by heaven's sake, it's the 21st century, and STILL does not have a playlist). But it's a well-behaved citizen, unlike previous versions, and asks you during the installation phase if you want the various integration thingies it'll bring with it, unlike iTunes.

It also works nicely with 3rd party players (MPC-HC in my case), so I rarely have to use it, save for the rare video that mess with its native resolution.

RealPlayer, in the other hand, it's a player I'm not touching with even a 10-foot pole, not to mention I don't have any need for it, as I don't recall encountering Real streams or files in a while.
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app103
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« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2009, 05:01:44 PM »

Personally, I don't want Quicktime, Real Player, or their alternatives. And I don't want DRM forcing me to use WMP, either. Like I said, my player of choice is falling short by not being able to handle everything I could possibly come across.

But it's better than the old days when there were even more formats requiring even more players. (anybody remember Liquid Audio, pioneers in DRM?)

I think that was one of the things that contributed to making AOL so hated as an application, because back then, it installed all of this crap in order to make it's built in media player capable of handling everything.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2009, 05:06:00 PM »

I am not saying make any of these your DEFAULT player, I am saying why go through all of the other hoops just to get another player to play them?

I don't know what you're talking about. I downloaded the K-Lite codec pack and VLC and I haven't had to go through any hoops to play any video I'd like to see.

To me, installing Quicktime and getting rid of iTunes and other crappy bundled software/services is going through hoops to get a video to play. RealPlayer may or may not be a good media player these days. I don't know because I haven't touched it for probably close to ten years. I haven't needed RealPlayer in all that time.

I even have an mp4 video file I got as a bonus for buying Coldplay's X&Y album on iTunes and it plays nicely in VLC. I have no desire and apparently no need for RealPlayer or Quicktime.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2009, 05:46:56 PM »

Software that installs additional programs and adware without customer consent is not worth a second chance (Real Player). QuickTime was, and is a bloated, slow piece of junk. It has gained a userbase purely through the same avenues that gave IE a market share: bundling.

I'm perfectly happy with VLC + Real Alternative + QuickTime Alternative. Together, they play any format you care to throw at them.

Futhermore, I'm not into supporting unnecessary proprietary formats. With any luck, those players will eventually become so obsolete that no one will encode to their formats anymore.

Ehtyar.
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f0dder
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« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2009, 07:26:46 PM »

Formats should be available through official codecs, that didn't require a shitload of other garbage. A codec really doesn't need to be more than a megabyte in size, and even that is stretching it.

Preferably formats should be DRM-free, but that's a completely other debate.

As for players... fine, make an "official player" if you want, but make it optional and use standard codecs like everybody else ought to.
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lanux128
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« Reply #9 on: March 15, 2009, 08:25:05 PM »

i don't think i even install the alternates anymore. i use KMPlayer which has internal decoders for almost everything. so i just point my browser to just one site.. smiley
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f0dder
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« Reply #10 on: March 15, 2009, 08:31:42 PM »

I don't install the alternatives either - if http://mpc-hc.sourceforge.net/ can't play it, I ignore it.
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lanux128
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« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2009, 09:00:22 PM »

good to hear that "Media Player Classic" has life after Gabest. thumbs up
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J-Mac
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2009, 12:35:23 AM »

I have a question for everyone. Ever since getting my wife her laptop for school, I have come to the realization that most of these OFFICIAL media players for various formats are very wildly over-attacked for their abilities. For example, quicktime and real player. My biggest gripe with real player was from back in the day when it used to startup several programs and alert me with these advertisements. Given the recent trend, they have seriously cleaned up their act. I have no problems with them at all now. The same goes for quicktime. I installed it and after disabling the apple software update service, I had no problems with it. The players are really well thought out and function great. They have seemless integration with various web browsers and serve their purpose. Now, I do not use any of them as a default player for my various media files, I use KMPlayer for that, but I do rely on their players for browser-based playback. Heck, real and apple have both included ways for me to save various media files without having to resort to rippers such as streambox.

Now, that said, I have tried the alternatives such as "Real alternative" and QTLite. Both are OK, but both have caused me to have to reinstall them because some component became unregistered in my system or just wasn't playing right after a browser update or other software update. The default official players, however, have never failed since my recent experiment over the last few months. This leads me to the question, are these players as horrid as they once were to most? Or is it the old "They started out evil and will remain so" reputation that most larger corporations get?

Comments? Questions? Concerns?

A brief report on RealPlayer at StopBadware.com. RealPlayer is still installing adware and silently installs the Rhapsody Player Engine software and does not remove it when you uninstall RealPlayer. The adware is in the form of their "Message Center" popup junk which they describe on their Terms & Conditions page as a software update process. Ha!

And anyone around as long as me surely remembers - and not fondly - the original RealAudio Player, Real Jukebox, and RealPlayer G2. PC Mag a couple years ago listed RealPlayer 1.0 (1999 version) as the #2 item on its Worst Products of All-Time report, and all RealPlayer versions from 1996 - 2004 collectively as the #5 item on that same report.

I remember that once you installed the original version you could NOT remove the damn thing - it was a monster! You could try to manually clean out the registry, like I did, and eventually reinstall the OS because of it. It was one of the worst programs I have ever installed.

Jim
« Last Edit: March 16, 2009, 12:37:08 AM by J-Mac » Logged

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darklight_tr
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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2009, 01:19:18 PM »

I use The KMPlayer, which is a great free media player for Windows.  It can play almost anything!
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MrCrispy
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2009, 08:28:14 PM »

Shark codec pack (shark007.net) + KmPlayer is all you need for every possible type of media.

There are other solutions (MPC-hc, VLC, Gomplayer, good old WMP), as well as manually installing codecs (ffdshow + QT and Real alternative is all you need in 99% of the cases), but none are as easy to use and no player approaches the beautiful UI and extreme customizability of Kmplayer!
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