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Chapter 3: Working with Configuration Files

This chapter explains how to create RealPlayer configuration files using RealSystem Administrator. The configuration file for any given deployment determines the preferences used by RealPlayer 8 Intranet clients. After you create the configuration file, you can create an installer that references the configuration file. This enables you to deploy RealPlayer clients that use the configuration file settings as the client preferences.

Note
The configuration files discussed in this chapter refer to files that contain preference settings for RealPlayers. They are different from the configuration file used in the initial configuration of RealPlayer Intranet Administrator (ria.cfg).

Creating, Editing, and Deleting Configuration Files

Configuration files determine the settings selected in the Preferences window of RealPlayer. In standard RealPlayers, users select these settings themselves. In an enterprise deployment using RealPlayer Intranet Administrator, the settings are determined by the configuration file that RealPlayer reads when it starts.

Using the Web pages in RealSystem Administrator, you create configuration files that determine the settings used by RealPlayers deployed in your enterprise. You can create different configurations for different groups of users based on your company's requirements. RealPlayer Intranet Administrator also makes it possible for you to remotely update configuration files after deployment.

You can also enable remote retrieval of configuration files so that deployed RealPlayers periodically check the configuration file for changes. To enable remote retrieval of preference, you must select the Use Remote Preferences check box. RealPlayers will attempt to retrieve updates from the configuration file only if the Use Remote Preferences check box is selected.

Creating a Configuration File

The instructions in this section explain how to create a configuration file. The creation of the configuration file is the first step in the deployment of RealPlayers throughout a user group.

To create a configuration file:

  1. Start RealSystem Administrator. (See "Accessing RealSystem Administrator".)

  2. In RealSystem Administrator, click Configure>Intranet Players>Preferences. The following Web page appears.

  3. Click Add New to create a new configuration file.

  4. Enter a configuration name in the dialog box that appears, and then click OK.

    The name you entered automatically appears in the Configuration Name and Configuration File boxes, and all of the configuration options display their default settings.

  5. Change either or both of the names in the Configuration Name and Configuration File boxes, if necessary.

    The URL from which to retrieve preferences box displays the default location where the configuration file will be stored.

  6. Select one of the following ways for RealPlayer to retrieve preference updates:

  7. Select the Use Remote Preferences check box to enable users to retrieve the preferences after the original deployment.

    Note
    If you do not select the Use Remote Preferences check box, RealPlayers do not check the configuration file for updates. They will use the settings you selected in the configuration file that were included the installer, but they will not poll the file for updates. In this case, you can distribute preferences updates only by creating a new installer and redeploying RealPlayers.

  8. Make the necessary modifications to the default options.

    The following settings are always saved to the configuration file:

    For all other options, you must click the corresponding Lock check box to save the setting to the configuration file. If you do not lock these options, they are not saved in the configuration file and RealPlayer 8 Intranet clients will use the standard preferences default values.

  9. To save all options to the configuration file and prevent users from modifying them, click the Lock All button. To enable users to set their own preferences, click the Unlock All Button.

    Warning
    To prevent users from modifying preferences, select the Use Remote Preferences check box. If you do not do this, the locked settings are saved to the configuration file but users can modify these settings.

  10. Click Apply to save the preferences you chose, and then click Close in the Configuration Changes Results window.

  11. Under Configuration Options, click Test URL to ensure that the file is available.

    -or-

  12. Click Reset at the bottom of the page to clear the page and start over.

    Note
    To ensure that you are accessing and verifying the current file and location, clear your browser cache settings and test the URL only after you have applied the changes.

Editing an Existing Configuration File

After you have created a configuration file, you can modify the options, if necessary. If you have not yet built an installer and deployed, the modified options will be reflected in the deployment. After the initial deployment, if you selected the Use Remote Preferences option, the RealPlayers will read the new configuration file the next time they start up and at each polling interval (as set with the Number of seconds to wait before retrieving prefs option). If you did not select this option, you must regenerate a new installer and work with the users to reinstall RealPlayers.

To edit an existing configuration file:

  1. Start RealSystem Administrator. (See "Accessing RealSystem Administrator".)

  2. In RealSystem Administrator, click Configure>Intranet Players>Preferences.

  3. In the Configurations box in the upper-left portion of the page, click the configuration you want to modify. The right side of the page now displays the selected configuration and its settings.

  4. Make whatever changes you want to the configuration options.

  5. Click Apply to save the changes to the file, or click Reset to discard the changes you made.

    If you selected the Use Remote Preferences check box, the next time users in this group start RealPlayer, the client will read from the new configuration file and use the new options. If you did not select this check box, you must regenerate the installer and redeploy RealPlayers. For more information, see Chapter 4, "Creating Installers".

Deleting a Configuration File

You can delete an obsolete configuration file. Before you do this, however, you should confirm that any RealPlayers that previously referenced the file are now referencing a different file.

To direct RealPlayers to a new configuration file:

  1. Start RealSystem Administrator. (See "Accessing RealSystem Administrator".)

  2. Create a new configuration file. (See "Creating a Configuration File".)

  3. In the Configurations box, select the configuration file you want to delete, and then change the URL from which to retrieve preferences setting under Configuration Options to point to the new configuration file. (See the preceding section, "Editing an Existing Configuration File".)

  4. Wait a sufficient amount of time (based on the polling interval) for RealPlayer to update the preferences setting and retrieve the location of the new preferences file.

To delete a configuration file:

  1. In RealSystem Administrator, click Configure>Intranet Players>Preferences.

  2. In the Configurations box in the upper-left portion of the page, click the configuration file you want to delete, and then click Remove.

Understanding the Configuration Options

The options you select when you create the configuration file dictate the preferences available in deployed RealPlayers that use this file. The Preferences page lists all of the available preferences. Each RealPlayer that references this configuration file on startup will use the settings you specify on this page.

If you select the Lock check box beside the option, the option is saved to the configuration file. If you also select Use Remote Preferences, users cannot modify these settings. If not, RealPlayers use the initial locked settings, but users can change them after installation. If you do not select the Lock check box, the option is not saved to the configuration file, RealPlayers use the standard default value for this setting, and users can modify it after installation.

The following section discusses each option on the -+Preferences page.

Configuration Name

This is the common name for the configuration. By default, this name matches the name you enter after you complete the Add New dialog box. If you change this name, the corresponding entry in the Configuration list on the left side of the screen also changes.

Configuration File

This is the file name of the configuration file. RealSystem Administrator saves the preferences to a file with this name when you click Apply. By default, this name matches the name you enter after you complete the Add New dialog box with an .icf (intranet configuration file) extension. You can change this name, if you want.

Lock All

The Lock All button saves all of the selected options to the configuration file and can prevent users from changing any of the preferences set in the configuration file. To prevent users from modifying settings, you must select the Use Remote Preferences option.

Unlock All

The Unlock All button saves none of the options to the configuration and enables users to specify all of the available preferences.

URL from which to retrieve preferences

Enter the URL for the location on the Web server where you will store the configuration file. For this value to be used, you must select the Use Remote Preferences option.

Note
Remember that if you enter a location other than the default location, you must physically move the file to that location.

Test URL

Use this button to verify that the configuration file is available at the location you entered in URL from which to retrieve preferences.

Note
To test the most recent version of the file, clear your browser cache settings, and then use the Test URL button after you have applied all of your changes.

Use Remote Preferences

Select this option to enable deployed RealPlayers to poll the configuration file for updates to the settings. When this option is selected, RealPlayers check the file in the location entered in URL from which to retrieve preferences, using the polling interval you set in the option described in the following paragraph.

Number of seconds to wait before retrieving prefs (range 10 to 2592000)

Enter the interval, in seconds, at which you want RealPlayer to check for preference updates. RealPlayer polls the configuration file at startup and then at the interval set here, looking for any changes to the preference settings.

What is the minimum bandwidth at which you want your RealPlayer to receive?

The minimum bandwidth sets the lower limit at which RealPlayer receives digital media transmissions.

What is the maximum bandwidth at which you want your RealPlayer to receive?

The maximum bandwidth sets the upper limit at which RealPlayer receives digital media transmissions. RealPlayer uses this limit when it increases the bandwidth it uses for SureStream.

Enable StartCenter

Select this option if you want RealPlayer to start automatically when your users start Windows. With this option selected, RealPlayer remains active in the system tray so that it responds more quickly when users want to play a clip. The StartCenter icon also facilitates quick access to RealPlayer functions and content. The system tray is opposite the Windows Start button in the same area as Time and Date.

Note
Users must restart RealPlayer and StartCenter (if previously enabled) for any subsequent changes to this setting to take effect.

Use PNA Proxy

Click to select this option if you want RealPlayer to use a Progressive Networks Audio (PNA) proxy server to connect to the server.

PNA Proxy Host

Enter the appropriate host name or IP address of the server you want RealPlayer to communicate with using a PNA proxy server.

PNA Proxy Port (range 1 to 65535)

Enter the port number you want RealPlayer to use to communicate with the PNA proxy server.

Use RTSP Proxy

Click Yes to select this option if you want RealPlayer to use the RealTime Streaming Protocol (RTSP) proxy server to connect to the server. Note that you can select more than one type of proxy server to connect RealPlayers to servers.

RTSP Proxy Host

Enter the appropriate host name or IP address of the proxy server you want RealPlayer to use to communicate with the server through RTSP.

RTSP Proxy Port (range 1 to 65535)

Enter the port number you want RealPlayer to use to communicate with the RTSP proxy server.

Use HTTP Proxy Host

Click Yes to select this option if you want RealPlayer to use the HTTP proxy server to connect to the server. Note that you can select more than one proxy server for RealPlayers to use to connect to the server.

HTTP Proxy Host

Enter the appropriate host name or IP address of the HTTP proxy server.

HTTP Proxy Port (range 1 to 65535)

Enter the port number you want RealPlayer to use to communicate with the HTTP proxy server.

Proxy Host Exceptions

You can exclude certain local hosts (names or IP addresses) with which you do not need to communicate through the proxy server. Enter these hosts in this field. Use a comma as a delimiter.

RTSP/PNA Configuration

Select one of the following options in the drop-down list in the Options box:

Attempt to use multicast to view RTSP content

Click Yes to configure RealPlayer to attempt to receive RTSP content through multicasting. RealPlayer attempts to use multicasting for live content.

Attempt to use UDP to view RTSP content

Click Yes to configure RealPlayer to use UDP for static content and live content not available through multicasting.

Attempt to use TCP to view RTSP content

Click Yes to configure RealPlayer to use TCP for RTSP content.

Attempt to use multicast to view PNA content

Click Yes to configure RealPlayer to use multicasting to view PNA content.

Attempt to use UDP to view PNA content

Click Yes to configure RealPlayer to use UDP for static content and live content not available through multicasting.

Attempt to use TCP to view PNA content

Click Yes to configure RealPlayer to use TCP for PNA content.

Abandon multicast playback after not receiving content for how many milliseconds? (range: 100 to 300000)

Enter the amount of time, in milliseconds, that you want RealPlayer to attempt to use multicasting before switching to UDP.

Warning
You must have selected one of the options to use multicasting and UDP for this option to work.

Abandon UDP playback after not receiving content for how many milliseconds? (range: 100 to 300000)

Enter the amount of time, in milliseconds, that RealPlayer should attempt to use UDP to receive content before switching to TCP.

Warning
You must have selected options to use UDP and TCP to receive content for this option to work.

Specify UDP ports on which to receive content

Some networks have limited port settings available for Internet applications. Selecting this option enables you to specify which ports are available for RealPlayer applications.

Click Yes if you want to specify the UDP ports that RealPlayer clients will use to receive data.

Ports to use to receive UDP content

If you selected Yes for the preceding option, enter the ports on which you want RealPlayers to receive data. Use whole numbers separated by commas. You must specify at least two ports.

Buffer entire clip up to available memory when in buffered play?

Click Yes if you want RealPlayer to buffer an entire clip before playing it or to buffer as much of the clip as available memory permits. This option is recommended for higher quality playback over slower connections.

Specify time to buffer for buffered play if not buffering entire clip (range: 0 to 1000)

If you choose not to buffer the entire clip, specify the amount of time, in seconds, that you want RealPlayer to buffer data before playing a clip. Increase this amount to improve playback quality over slower connections.

Choose the default language for receiving content

By default, RealPlayer displays text components in the language of the version you installed. If you prefer another language to be displayed or played by content that provides more than one language, select the language in the drop-down list in the Options box.

Should users have access to the preferences dialog to modify other settings?

Click Yes to enable users to modify other preferences that are not specified in the configuration file. If you select this option, users can modify unspecified preferences using the Preferences dialog box, and they can view "locked" preferences. If you do not select this option, the Preferences dialog box is unavailable on RealPlayers that use this configuration file.

Enter a title for the RealPlayer

Enter the title that you want to display on the RealPlayer title bar.

Note
Users must restart RealPlayer and StartCenter (if previously enabled) for any subsequent changes to this setting to take effect.

Should users complete the Eregistration process?

Click Yes to enable users to complete the electronic registration process with RealNetworks.

Note
Users must restart RealPlayer and StartCenter (if previously enabled) for any subsequent changes to this setting to take effect.

Should users have access to online Help?

Click Yes to enable users access to online Help. This information is helpful for product support and troubleshooting information.

Note
Users must restart RealPlayer and StartCenter (if previously enabled) for any subsequent changes to this setting to take effect.

Unavailable Options in RealPlayer 8 Intranet

RealPlayer 8 Intranet does not offer some standard options available in other versions of RealPlayer. The options listed in the following table are not available in RealPlayer 8 Intranet.

Unavailable Options in RealPlayer 8 Intranet Clients
Option Description
Channels RealPlayer's ability to automatically update channels and multimedia links to content is disabled.
Real.com News and Entertainment Flashes Delivery of Real.com news and entertainment clips is disabled.
RealPlayer AutoUpdate The ability of RealPlayer to contact RealNetworks for updated plug-ins is disabled. This function is centralized; any updates are delivered by RealPlayer Intranet Administrator.
Real.com Media Bar The search engine, access to Real.com Guide, and the ability to find radio and television stations are disabled.
Equalizer The ability to customize audio attributes is disabled.
Radio menu The Radio menu and its associated options are disabled.
Channel menu The Channel menu and its associated options are disabled.
Video controls The ability to adjust brightness, contrast, color levels, and other video attributes is disabled.

Configuration File Format

Intranet configuration files are assigned an .icf extension by default. The files conform to a very specific format.

RealNetworks recommends making changes to configuration files solely through RealPlayer Intranet Administrator.


Copyright © 2000 RealNetworks
For information on RealNetworks' technical support, click here.
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This file last updated on 04/23/01 at 11:46:57.
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