StopBadware.org: RealPlayer 10.5, 11 is badware

StopBadware.org: RealPlayer 10.5, 11 is badware

Summary: StopBadware.org has nailed RealPlayer in its latest report on badware and ranks it along side such software gems as the Jessica Simpson Screensaver, Fake-Mailer, Drive Cleaner 2006 and WinAntiVirus 2006.

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TOPICS: Software
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StopBadware.org has nailed RealPlayer in its latest report on badware and ranks it along side such software gems as the Jessica Simpson Screensaver, Fake-Mailer, Drive Cleaner 2006 and WinAntiVirus 2006.

real.pngIn fact, RealPlayer along with Kazaa are the only two well known Web applications on StopBadware.org's hitlist.

StopBadware.org, largely funded by Google, says the following about RealPlayer:

We find that RealPlayer 10.5 is badware because it fails to accurately and completely disclose the fact that it installs advertising software on the user's computer. We additionally find that RealPlayer 11 is badware because it does not disclose the fact that it installs Rhapsody Player Engine software, and fails to remove this software when RealPlayer is uninstalled.

We currently recommend that users do not install the versions of RealPlayer software that we tested, unless the user is comfortable with the software behaviors we identify or until the application is updated to be consistent with the recommendations contained in this report.

RealPlayer 11 is currently promoted by RealNetworks at www.real.com.

RealPlayer 10.5 is distributed through channels such as Mozilla Firefox's 'Missing Plug-in' feature and the BBC Radio website.

StopBadware.org's take isn't that much of a leap for me since I've had my run-ins with RealPlayer before. To RealNetworks' credit the company fixed most of my gripes in the latest version of RealPlayer.

The group recommends that RealNetworks disclose the nature of the message center's advertising behavior in RealPlayer 10.5. It should outline these things during installation. On RealPlayer 11, RealNetworks should also provide clear text noting the Rhapsody Player Engine will be installed--and add the option to uninstall it.

Ryan Naraine reports that RealNetworks will fix these issues in future versions. It better. Being in the Stopbadware.org club can't be a good thing for business.

Topic: Software

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  • Realplayer

    I don't believe that RealPlayer is badware or malware or any such thing. I have used just about every anti-virus and every anti-spyware software. None of them every mentioned anything about RealPlayer being harmful. I use it mostly everyday too, I use version 11, it has a lot of nice feature to it as well. I think there are a lot worse things that they shoould concentrate on like the fact that spywarebot (a rogue anti-spyware product) gets to be in the sponsered results in a google search.
    johndavid_77@...
  • RE: StopBadware.org: RealPlayer 10.5, 11 is badware

    This is news?? RealPlayer has been badware for years now.

    Just because your favorite antivirus or antispyware program doesn't report RealPlayer doesn't mean that it is benign. Anything that doesn't uninstall cleanly is badware, and there is absolutely NO excuse for that. The vendor knows what they are doing to your system, so they can bloody-well back all of it out when you uninstall. It's worse that RealPlayer doesn't tell you what 3rd-party stuff it is installing, because there's no recourse if it pukes on your system.

    If you want to play RealMedia, use RealAlternative. RealNetworks doesn't get any space on my system until they clean up their act.
    hafizullah@...
    • amen

      Amen. I quit using Realplayer probably 10 years ago cause it was the same as in the article. Slezy, underhanded and downright sneaky operations. I'm not a bit surpised it's still doing as it does. Plus also the RM videos was so compressed, as to be nearly unviewable, and back then, hardly anyone supported them, so viewing them was a royal pain.

      I hate to say it but Apple's quick time and Itunes is starting to do the same thing. Why do I need to DL a monsterious 50+ download just to put files on my Ipod, when WinAmp does exactly the same thing, and doesn't need a super computer to run? I'm running Winamp on a 900 mhz 386 meg laptop now, while on a 1g XP 2ghz machine, it's sluggish.

      I'll just stick with QuickTime alternative, and Real alternative myself, and use a more universal video player like VCL, and WinAmp.

      - Kc
      kcredden2
  • RE: StopBadware.org: RealPlayer 10.5, 11 is badware

    RealPlayer has been a problem for years - I have no doubt they're continuing with their sleazy ways, nothing's been done to stop them other than talk on tech sites. Continuing support from the likes of Sandisk, TiVo, Palm, Novell, Verizon, Red Hat, etc. etc. etc. just gives them consumer credibility that they don't deserve.
    ecm
  • I thought RealPLayer was dead...

    With the advent of flash video, real player and sites that use it seem to have disappeared. Real Player's support to Mac OSX is utterly non-existent and a reason to have RP installed on a PC is non-existent also.

    As far as the badware, it's not if the software is bad, just that it does "bad" things. Being unable to install something is bad.
    Eriamjh
    • real player

      I listen to several radio stations and some ONLY use Real Player (e.g.KCSCFM) as their online streaming medium, therefore it is used on a daily basis. There is one streaming station that uses multiple formats, and that would be the way to go. (WHAV.net) My only problem is that it will not connect to my local station at times, so I have to go somewhere else. It is much more flexible than WMP for streaming radio. I rearely use WMP for anything.
      dhays
      • Agreed.

        Besides, RealPlayer has a native linux binary. And the linux version doesn't include any adware either.
        JDThompson
        • Real vs. Flash

          Yes, there is a native realplayer Linux binary, and the constant Flash updates mean most flash videos just hang up my (Firefox) browser on FreeBSD (using linux binary compatibility mode).

          As a result I prefer realplayer streams.
          mithraigor@...
  • RE: StopBadware.org: RealPlayer 10.5, 11 is badware

    Who uses RealPlayer anyway? Didn't everyone already know this 5 years ago?
    tcapo@...
    • It hasn't been on my system for years

      It was such a resource hog in the background when it wasn't even being used. Then I realized I never used it anyway. There's better alternatives. So I just ditched it and never had a need for it since.
      Spats30
      • Where's the EU and the US govt when u need them?

        They should have levied fines on Realnetworks for this junk!

        nothing but ads and crapware....talk about something that takes over your system!
        otaddy
        • real player

          I have no problems with RP, see my earlier post. I have no ads when listening to a radio station. You guys are full of it! Th egovernemnt has nothing to do with free enterprise--you are free to use or not to use. It does no damage to a computer, therefore has no basis for action. Sinc it is voluntary, the stupid EU suits would not apply here.
          dhays
          • Does no damage other than to...

            1. Want to run in the background every time you start your computer weather you are using it or not (at least Windows Media Player stays out of the way unless I open it)
            2. Want to update it self to the latest version over the internet (along with half the other software on your system)
            3. Not properly uninstall when you want it to.
            4. Deposit other software you didnt ask for without telling you
            5. Advertising
            6. etc, etc, etc.

            So other than that, it does no damage.
            cornpie
          • Yep, it does all of this yet MS is taken to court

            Real was always the biggest offender when it came to taking over your system. They have improved somewhat but I still would never install anything from them.

            This is why they turn to govt to punish their competition. They are always ready to sue MS, so perhaps they should get a taste of their own medicine.
            otaddy
          • The problems seems to be on windows and not on linux. (nt)

            nt
            hkommedal
          • I can turn it off

            I uses Sysinternals AutoRuns and un-tick it from my start up list. Wha-la...
            hasta la Vista, bah-bie
          • unless that company is MS, then its not voluntary

            Thanks, I have been saying this for years. Using Windows, Linux, RealPlayer is all voluntary so there is no need for govt action.

            So why then do the rules only apply to MS?

            My previous post was written to get people to think about how govt acts; it should not be construed as an endorsement of govt regulation.
            otaddy
        • Not a government problem

          This is how we fix these problems: shine the light on them. And for those companies that are too slow to respond, we have http://companyfeedback.blogspot.com/ so that both sides can learn something.
          markyannone
          • I agree. I just wanted to get people to think

            about when govt action is necessary.

            If you want govt to go after MS, then why not Real, as their software takes over your system and installs things without your permission.
            otaddy
    • I still use it

      If I want to listen to the sound bites shuffle over at amazon.com, I need it. Real Alternative doesn't play in the shuffle mode and I'm not going to click on each and every soundbite in order to listen to it. Screw that.

      If I ever need to uninstall it, I'll use jv16 PowerTools which detects not only the player but also the Rhapsody engine and removes every trace, including the registry entries.
      hasta la Vista, bah-bie