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RealPlayer 8 Plus
Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

  1. How do I configure Preferences in RealPlayer 8 Plus?

    To configure your Preferences in RealPlayer 8, click the View menu and choose Preferences.

  2. How do I prevent RealPlayer 8 Plus from loading when Windows starts?

    When you installed RealPlayer 8, the installer placed a shortcut in the Windows system tray to provide easy access to the RealPlayer and allow automatic updating of the Channel headlines. To disable StartCenter and remove it from the System Tray, do the following:

    1. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
    2. Click the General tab.
    3. Click the Settings button in the StartCenter section.
    4. Click to clear the Enable StartCenter check box in the StartCenter Settings dialog box.
    5. Click OK in the StartCenter Settings dialog box.
    6. Click OK in the Preferences dialog box to save your changes.

  3. What types of media does RealPlayer 8 Plus play?

    When first setup, RealPlayer can play the following file types:

    File Extension File Type
    RM, RA, RAM RealAudio/RealVideo streamed content
    RT RealText streamed text formats
    RP RealPix streamed PNG, GIF and JPG images
    PNG, GIF, JPG Stand alone PNG, JPG and GIF images (and animated GIFs)
    MP3 MPEG Layer 3 (audio format)
    SWF RealSystem G2 with Flash (Flash version 3 & 4)
    SMIL, SMI SMIL files
    WAV, AIFF** "Legacy" sound files; older but prevalent file types. (Not fully supported.)
    MPG, MPEG Standard MPEG Layer 1 video and Layer 2 audio formats
    AVI** Audio/Video Interleave-Microsoft video format
    ASF** NetShow files (newer NetShow files may not play correctly)
    MID, MIDI, RMI "MIDI" sound files

    ** When you play this file type with RealPlayer, you may receive an error such as "Unable to render" or "xxxx decompressor not found" or "Missing codec xxxx". These errors occur because the file was created with a codec that is not installed on your computer. You need to download and install the necessary codec to play these files.

    In order to make video feasible on the computer, video compression algorithms are used to remove redundant audio and video data. The codec (COmpressor / DECompressor) is the algorithm that does the compression and decompression. Operating Systems come with standard codecs (example, Apple QuickTime or Microsoft Video for Windows) installed. If a file is created with a non-standard codec, the matching codec must be installed on the computer before the file can be played. The codec may be installed as a RealPlayer plug- in, or it may be installed directly to the operating system.

    If you click on a file that RealPlayer cannot currently play, it will attempt to AutoUpdate and install a plug-in to match. If a plug-in exists, RealPlayer can download and install it so you will be able to play the file.

    To determine which plug-ins are installed in your copy of RealPlayer 8:

    1. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
    2. Click the Upgrade tab.
    3. Click the Settings button in the RealPlayer Plug-ins section to see a list of the media format plug-ins that are currently installed.
    4. Click OK when you are done.

    New plug-ins are downloaded and installed by clicking the Help menu and choosing Check for Update.

  4. Is it possible to decrease the amount of system resources used by RealPlayer 8 Plus?

    RealPlayer 8 can be system intensive depending on your connection to the Internet and the type of file you are playing. Video files and high bandwidth files use more resources than low bandwidth audio files. If you are experiencing high resource usage, lower the system usage setting:

    1. Start RealPlayer 8.
    2. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
    3. Click the Performance tab.
    4. Move the Playback performance slider to the left.
    5. Click OK to save your changes.

    Try playing files with the slider at various CPU usage settings.

  5. How do I clear entries from the location bar history in RealPlayer 8 Plus?

    There is now a Clear Location Bar button in Preferences.

    To clear the entries:

    1. Start RealPlayer 8.
    2. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
    3. Click the General tab.
    4. Click Clear Location Bar.
    5. Click OK to save your changes.

  6. How do I disable the flashing StartCenter icon and prevent the update dialog box from appearing when I use RealPlayer 8 Plus for Windows?

    The goal of the AutoUpdate Notification technology in RealPlayer 8 is to provide you with quick, easy access to the latest RealNetworks software. RealPlayer achieves this by automatically checking for software updates approximately every 10 days. When there is a new RealNetworks product available, the StartCenter system tray icon (located next to the clock on the Windows taskbar) blinks. Clicking the StartCenter icon or starting RealPlayer while the StartCenter icon is blinking will display a dialog box with further information on the new product.

    There are three ways to change the AutoUpdate Notification in RealPlayer 8:

    1. Dismiss the current AutoUpdate Notification:
      1. Start RealPlayer 8.
      2. Click the top button in the dialog box (usually titled "Learn More").

    2. Disable the AutoUpdate Notification capability for 30 days:
      1. Start RealPlayer 8.
      2. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
      3. Click the Upgrade tab.
      4. Click the Turn off notification for 30 days button.
      5. Click OK to save your changes.

    3. Permanently disable background AutoUpdate Notification checks:
      1. Start RealPlayer 8.
      2. Click the View menu and choose Preferences.
      3. Click the General tab.
      4. Click the Settings button in the StartCenter section.
      5. In the StartCenter Settings dialog box, click to clear the Enable StartCenter check box.
      6. Click OK in the StartCenter dialog box.
      7. Click OK in the Preferences dialog box to save your changes.

    Note: Option B will disable all background AutoUpdate Notifications; RealPlayer 8 will only display an AutoUpdate Notification when RealPlayer is running.

    If you have further questions regarding AutoUpdate Notification or if these steps do not correct your problem, please contact RealNetworks technical support.