RealOne Video for Series 60 Sucks So Far


I almost forgot to give my review of the RealOne player for my Nokia!! While we're on the topic of video via mobile phones, I stumbled across a site that had a link to Real's mobile media app that you can download for free.

I immediately flew to the website, downloaded the HUGE 1 meg .sis install file and erased just about every app I had on the phone just to get it installed. I know you haven't heard the word "huge" and "one meg" used together in a while, welcome to mobile phones (for now). The 7650 has an insulting 4 megs of RAM, so you have to juggle files quite a bit if you want to play with new apps. It's nice that Bluetooth makes this really quick and easy.

So Real's player is a bit hefty, but I didn't care if I had that app and nothing else if I could listen to NPR via streaming audio on demand whereever I was - even on the 7650's dismal mono audio output.

But it didn't work. NOTHING worked. They have instructions for a WAP based Media Guide which is very Europe oriented (which makes sense as there's no Symbian phones in the U.S. yet) and completely useless. I played with this this for an hour and couldn't get one sound or video clip to play. First, the player doesn't seem to want to play anything except rtsp:// URLs, so that means you usually have to go download a .ram file manually and extract the link to the rtsp:// URL. But nothing I entered worked - unrecognized files and connection timeouts (even at over 2 minutes). Then I entered the WAP site and saw your basic dreary WML site - basically a logo with a menu of links below. I chose the English menu (as I don't speak German or French) and was given a bunch of BBC and Virgin Entertainment links to media files. The links work just like in a normal Web Browser - you choose a media link and it pops up the RealOne app to play the file. But it would never play anything. Finally I just uploaded a .ra file that I had created and tried to play that locally and it was considered an invalid file type. So after an hour or so of dicking around with the thing, I gave up and re-installed all my other apps.

Now, here's the thing, when the Nokia 3650 launches it's going to have Real as one of the standard apps on the phone. The 3650 is going to come with 3.4 megs of standard RAM and an 8 or 16 meg MMC card which pops into the back like a SIM chip. So it'll have enough fire power to handle a little one meg app like this. It'll also have the ability to browse both normal websites (via Opera which will be included WITH the phone but not installed by default) or by the integrated XHTML WAP browser. One would think as the international launch of this phone is only a month or two away at most that the Real Stuff would be FILLED to the brim - with options to buy more media just like Real does now with it's PC media player. Right? Doesn't this make sense? MAYBE they've given up on the WML site and are creating a nifty new XHTML site that will kick-ass and have loads of neat media to listen to. That would be cool...

I don't know, as always, time will tell. I wish I knew why the app wouldn't work. I'm assuming it's network latency and that my GPRS for whatever reason isn't fast enough for the app to function. I can send 40k pic files without problems, but streaming media? Who knows... maybe I'm doing something wrong. Anyways, Real had it's chance. I'll play with it again on the 3650.


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