How-To Geek

Ditch the RealPlayer Bloat with Real Alternative

It doesn’t happen a whole lot these days, but sometimes you might run across a website that requires you to have Real Player to play media content on a page. Today we take a look at Real Alternative, which lets you check out the media content without installing the obnoxious bloat.

The Problem – Real Player

The problem is RealPlayer which can be a lot of extra bloat to deal with just to watch the occasional RM file or online content. While it may not be as adware ridden as it was a few years ago, it’s far more than you need just to watch play some online content.


Of course it still likes to leave advertisement popups on your desktop, which is completely unacceptable from any program.


Real Alternative

Real Alternative is completely ad free and allows you to play RealMedia files (.ra .rm .rmvb .ram .rpm .rv .rp .rt .rnx .smi .smil) without having to install the bloated RealPlayer. It installs the right plugins to support RM content that is embedded in Web pages. It also comes bundled with Media Player Classic which you can use on your desktop for playing RM files.


After installing, you can go through and set it up according to your preferences.


If you find a site that requires RealPlayer to watch embedded content right click and select Real Player.


It opens up with Media Player Classic to watch the video.


This is definitely a lot better solution than dealing with the huge bloated annoyance of RealPlayer.

Download Real Alternative

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 10/30/09

Comments (10)

  1. Gary in Toronto

    The newest RealPlayer, RealPlayer SP, is not bloated at all and runs very fast on my six-year-old XP laptop.

  2. tony neria

    When I work on my friends and family’s computers, one of the first things I do is remove realPlayer and any games associated with I made the mistake many years ago of signing up for one free month of their “arcade games”. In doing so, I gave them my credit card information which was required. A month later, I had forgotten all about the games but I started receiving monthly bills of $9.99 from some mysterious company. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice it until months later. All attempts to get my money back and even to close my account failed. When I called their toll free number, I was sent to India to speak to some very nice people who just couldn’t correlate my account with my password and user ID. Eventually I had to close out my VISA and get a new card number. I felt like I was dealing with a really shady company and I will never deal with them again.

  3. Osama

    Thank u for the great review

  4. Bill D

    I DL file from the link and it states file is corrupt. B

  5. sam

    realplayer is spyware crap and a crap format, why would you want to run it ever?

  6. Mysticgeek

    @Bill D:

    Thank you for pointing that out. I changed the link location and it should work for you now.

  7. Radrick

    From my experience, using realPlayer v.11, it is easier on system resources than many other media players.

    I used Task Manager to check memory usage playing the same mp3 file and this is what I found:
    Real Player avg. 9MB
    Windows media Player v.11 15MB
    Quicktime Player 28MB
    GOM player 35MB
    Windows media Player Classic 20MB
    Winamp 65MB

    Is this the wrong way to measure system resources?

    As far as RealPlayer putting stuff on the desktop, there are check boxes during the installation that allows you to reject these extra stuff. You can also stop it from opening with that web page. I have mine opening with my media library.

    I must admit that for years I also shied away from RealPlayer, but about 6 months ago I found out that it maybe more efficient than other popular players.

  8. 1fastbullet

    It’s been a long time since I fooled with Real. In fact, I forgot it existed. With all the alternatives available, I can’t imagine anyone needing to have that huge bunch of crap on their machine.

  9. ElSid

    Huge bunch of CRAP?! The new REal is more efficient and uses less bandwith than Quicktime of Media Player. To each their own . Just don’t bad mouth something when you don’t know. Why can’t I uninstall the CRAP that is media player from XP machine. Come to think of it, I would like to uninstall the CRAP that is Internet Explorer too. Problem is, the software that I use for work has not been ported to other OSes. We are getting there. When the software vendors finally realize … I will move on.

    Check it out for yourself. See Radricks post above

  10. Dave

    quicktime I think is probably the worst program I have ever used. I use that realplayer sp and it is a lot better then it use to be. I cant stand quick time that is the worst video player I have seen. And I dont see that windows media player is much better..I dont have any popups from realplayer I dont have the message center pop up and it works just fine for me and doesnt interfere with anything else either

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