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Y Only Real Networks (Corporate Streaming Format) ?

by Y Sunday, Aug. 20, 2000 at 4:12 AM

Real Video by Santa Claus 9:35pm Fri Aug 18 '00 Its too bad all of these videos are in Real Audio(tm)'s format. Otherwise mabie I could watch them.

Real Video

by Santa Claus 9:35pm Fri Aug 18 '00

Its too bad all of these videos are in Real Audio(tm)'s format. Otherwise mabie I could watch them.

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I wondered about that myself

by Hugh Stegman Sunday, Aug. 20, 2000 at 5:05 AM

Real Audio used to be Progressive Networks, and friendly to anti-global causes, but it morphed, like Wolfman, into this corporate dorkoid dumbshit media public anesthesization Thing which has offers for swimsuit videos and a really suspect privacy record. I suppose there's MS/Windows Media Player instead but that comes from the guy who has more money than all Central America plus Belize.


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Technological Appropriation

by Spider Jerusalem Sunday, Aug. 20, 2000 at 9:11 AM

Good point. Very good point, and I think it deserves a thought-out reply, so bear with me (i tend to get lengthy).

The best thing about using RealAudio is that anyone can use it to encode with a minimum of technical knowledge, and it has a real gentle learning curve. Anyone can get the player (and i believe the majority of Internet users have it, even if they also have other media players). Both the encoder and the player are *free*.

Breaking out of a binary system, i think the "real people" (hah) are "less bad" then many corporations, and simultaneously could "be better." The quotes indicate the subjective and broad usage of "bad" and "good" 'cause we all know how complicated it can get. I'm confident that the reason it can all be gotten free is a grey-area mix of self-interest (marketing, increase userbase) and ideology of spreading content-creation ability to anyone and everyone. Neither invalidates the other, both are true to some extent.

For a moment disengage from That Company and look at what's there:

I can go and, even with a dial-up, download everything i need to make (basic) digital streaming audio and video content, giving not one red cent to any corporate entity whatsoever. I think this is worth doing on its own merits whenever you can: assimilate the tools of the assimilators without having to "buy into" the structure.

I saw SO many people doing this for the first time at the Philly IMC, it truly warmed my soul. People who had never messed about with digital media were getting raw, real footage, images, sounds, scenes, and in a matter of hours they had it and their stories on a site getting a million hits a day. Then they/we went out to get more. YEAH!

So that's the basis. What I believe you're concerned about is, whose tools am i using? Who are these guys? What am i giving them by using their stuff? I love these questions. Everyone should ask these questions. Rock on! When pondering uploading my own video, here's what i came up with:

Using their free stuff gives them nothing cash-wise, obviously. As for the visibilty of real networks, helping them market, essentially requiring people to use their product (to view the content)? YOU are why i think it'll be OK. You saw the banners, the ads, the branding, but you didn't automaically trust RealNetworks as a Good Thing. It in fact made you *question* them. Excuse me whilst i get up and do the dance of joy :). I think it's important to let personal choice and responsibility have their freedom; not to think you can "protect" people from mind control and advertising. It's hard. But if we want to address the intelligence and insight of our higher function, we should do so completely, not fearing (too much) that they'll go out and spend lots of cash on RN and their advertisers. Maybe they will, but only people themselves deciding not to has any real value, IMHO. Otherwise we, like the corporate media, attempt to "protect" people from what we believe to be bad thoughts or dangerous influences.

Finally, the company itself:

Some of its weaknesses are its strengths. I'm SO glad you wrote this, i've been thinking about those guys a lot lately... on the one hand, i can make a video that anyone using even the slowest internet connection anywhere in America can see and hear. I can make halfway-decent high-bandwidth content that is pretty clear if shot well and doesn't muddle important images. For free.

On the other hand, they charge amazing amounts of money for the high-end creation tools. The free version is rather neutered for the technically-minded; to really get good results, you need (at least) the 0 encoder, and to see things well, the player. There are professional content creation suites you can buy on their site for several THOUSAND dollars.

So hmm, how do i feel about that? It's complicated, and i'm still not entirely sure. If i was a well-off computer/media/network guy, and i can afford this stuff, why shouldn't i support the people whose hard work created it? I LIKE that idea. It's part of what i believe would be a sane economic system, that's hard to disentangle from this oppressive unbridled capitalist system we have now, but it's based on: produce something of value to me, i will give you something for it (preferably something i have produced that is of value to you)...

Ultimately, what makes it acceptible to me is this: i've been using their stuff since they came out with it, in the early days of the web explosion. I saw the web born on the internet (!). They stated from the beginning that they would *always* provide some version of an encoder and a player, fully-functional if not cutting-edge, for free, forever. They have kept this promise. Not many companies can claim this. As long as the free version is available, and useful, their many notches above LOTS of other tech companies going mad on the internet/IPO feeding frenzy. Good for them, frankly.

And: as long as i don't sit back, satisfied, and leave it go at that. There's room for improvement, i don't agree with everything they do, but then it's my/our job to tell them so and start a dialogue, right? And continuously re-evaluate them, not simply label them "good" or "bad" and let it go.

Finally: for those who, still and all, don't want to use any realnetworks products, it's important to me to include them too and respect that. We just upload stuff, the page recognizes it and presents it to you. RN is easy to get and use, is available for PC and Macs (linux version would be nice), so that's what people have been sending. It's server-space and bandwidth friendly; i'm not forcing John Q. Public to sit thru a 10-meg download before he gets to see anything.

So with those points in mind, what else would you like to see content in? What do you use most often? Once i've firewire'd my video and edited it, etc, its just a matter of "save as," so really we can encode to several formats.

Anyone else who read this book - thank you :) and chime in! We need to know this stuff - if everyone's gonna be a content provider, we need to know what sort of content is useful to you. Post here and i'll check back occassionally. Mention this on the Philly site too (, i'll check around myself for free media types. I WANT everyone to be able to access this stuff.

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not ANYONE can use real-audio

by Santa Claus Sunday, Aug. 20, 2000 at 12:27 PM

I use Linux as my operating system. As far as I know, Real Audio produces executables only for Windoze and Crapintosh. I can play mpeg's and avi's. I'm not sure about this, but I assume that thier video format is as proprietary as it gets. I'm not really knowledgable on just how far they've got thier tongues up bill gates butt, but I assumes its far enough to exclude Linux from party forever. I think thier motto is, "Yum, Yum, Bill Gates Bung".

As a former Microsoft perma-temp slave, I've done time in some of the smallest cubes available. My job at Microsoft was the only job I ever had that gave me a pay raise followed by a pay cut that was bigger than the raise. At microsoft I was told that they would be happy to have me as a temporary employee for as long as I wanted. Rather than pay me well, at microsoft, managers gave us slaves in the cubes fruit to ward off illness. It was the only place that I've ever worked where I had to sign an agreement not to ever sue them for any reason. Two months after I started working thier it was announced that a judge ripped that up. The use contractors like Keane, who've been in trouble for violating laws on indentured servitude. Fuck that bitch.

Why give you money to Bill Gates? He literally has as much money as the bottom 50% of this country. When you combine that with his minions net worth and the net worth of some other top mega-billionares, you'd see that there's a dozen or so people on one side of the scale and 260 MILLION PEOPLE on the other side. Fuck that shit.

I've been so happy since I switched to Linux, no crashes, no bullshit, No MS-VIRUS, No outlook bullshit, No NSA bullshit. So much nicer. Using windows for an hour is like watching commercial television for 12 hours.

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RealPlayer for Linux

by ska-doop Sunday, Aug. 20, 2000 at 4:06 PM

Just thought I'd point out that there *is* a RealPlayer for Linux - it's an older version, but it works fine with all this imc stuff - I could see myself recieving police violence quite clearly :). Anyhoo, I've noticed alot of Linux users (yay linux!) complaining about not being able to enjoy the awesome coverage on this website, so I thought I'd give them a tip. Go to and select your distro. Then call those phone numbers and get our comrades out of jail!

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RealPlayer for Linux

by ska-doop Sunday, Aug. 20, 2000 at 4:08 PM

Just thought I'd point out that there *is* a RealPlayer for Linux - it's an older version, but it works fine with all this imc stuff - I could see myself recieving police violence quite clearly :). Anyhoo, I've noticed alot of Linux users (yay linux!) complaining about not being able to enjoy the awesome coverage on this website, so I thought I'd give them a tip. Go to and select your distro. Then call those phone numbers and get our comrades out of jail!

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I feel dumb and happy all at once!

by Silly Rabbit Sunday, Aug. 20, 2000 at 4:34 PM

Now I feel really dumb. I've checked out thier page a dozens of and only seen executables for Windoze and crapintosh.

What can I say? I feel dumb and happy all at once!

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Can't download the movie files.

by Charles Lucas Monday, Aug. 21, 2000 at 12:39 AM Seattle

The thing that I don't like about the video setup is that I can't download the movie file to my computer, or otherwise save it, unless I have the full, paid-for version of RealAudio. If the aim here is to get as many people as possible to watch these videos (and keep mirrors of them so that if the IMC gets shut down for some reason all the video isn't lost), then I should be able to download the video files to my computer, archive them, and show them to my friends when the come over, without having to re-download them every time. People should be distributing these movies on FreeNet, Gnutella derivatives and the like. There should also be higher-resolution files available for people with fast connections.


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