RealPlayer 11
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I have received a lot of emails regarding RealPlayer 11, but I refrained from writing about it until I actually had something that everyone could play around with. If you’ve been waiting to try out the cool new features that RealPlayer 11 has to offer, here is the direct download link (download mirror). I received the link in an email from an anonymous tipster, and this release hasn’t officially been mentioned on the RealPlayer site so the link may not be available for too long.

This wasn’t supposed to be available until the end of June, so look at it as an early present. I’m sure many of you will refuse to install it simply because of the bad name RealPlayer has given itself, but I’ll admit that the interface and the features it offers stack up quite nicely to the existing media players available to consumers.

The installation for RealPlayer was quite simple, and you won’t see anything out of the ordinary. Actually there is one thing that you’ll probably want to make sure you leave checked, and that’s the new video downloading feature:

RealPlayer 11

In about 15 seconds, RealPlayer 11 will be up and running. One of the first thing that I did was jump over to the options to see if the video downloader had any “advanced” configuration options, but there wasn’t anything too special:

RealPlayer 11
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Then I hopped on over to YouTube to see how well it would do at grabbing a video from there. I was actually surprised at how seamless the whole process was as I was instantly presented with a download link above the video:

RealPlayer 11

And then the download manager popped up so that I could track the download process:

RealPlayer 11

After the download had completed I was able to play the video in RealPlayer, and the good news is that RealPlayer doesn’t actually convert the file into a RealPlayer file format. It actually downloads the video and keeps it in the native format, whether that be Flash, QuickTime, Windows Media, or any other supported format. The video looked extremely crisp just as I expected that it would:

RealPlayer 11
Click to Enlarge

Still not convinced to give it a shot? I know, I really wasn’t too compelled except for giving the video downloading feature a run through. I did, however, find out that you can also use RealPlayer 11 to record streaming videos such as those found on news sites. Although you should know that the download will not go through if the streaming video is copy protected.

Aside from the video downloading/recording capabilities the entire interface is very nice. It kind of looks like a mashup between iTunes (because of the layout) and Windows Media Player (because of the glossy look). Not only does it look good, but it just doesn’t seem like the computer hog that I once knew RealPlayer to be, so it might be time for me to give it another shot.

RealPlayer Homepage
Direct download link (Download Mirror)