Sour notes

On the downside, RealPlayer 11.0 appears to store video files in a (.ivr) format making them unplayable on other media players like Windows MediaPlayer and WinAMP. Real says only in "some situations" it renames the video with a different (.ivr) extension. In my test downloading dozens of videos all files were saved using this extension.

We wouldn't care about the format, but because it seems to be so closely tied to the RealPlayer We're limited to only burning and playing back videos with RealPlayer. Paying customers of RealPlayer 11.0 Plus can take the additional step and transcode files into a different video file format and theoretically edit and burn videos using any video editing software package. We assume this to be true, but didn't test the Plus version of the software.

We do understand RealNetworks' insistence on using what we consider an unwieldy format in the free version of RealPlayer 11.0. It creates a need to upgrade to the paid-for version of RealPlayer 11.0.

Sites such as KeepVid.com, Vixy.net and Zamzar.com help you convert Flash videos to a format of your choice for free. Windows applications such as KeepV.com, VDownloader, YouTube Grabber, and Orbit Downloader are also free. Vidtaker and Ook? Video Ook! are two free Firefox extension that can download videos from most streaming sites.

RealPlayer 11.0 beta: Specs

  • (FOR REAL PLAYER 10): 500MHz Intel Pentium III processor
  • 128MB of RAM
  • broadband connection
  • 65,000-colour video display card
  • CD writer
  • 700MB available disk space
  • DVD player
  • Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
  • Internet Explorer 6.0
  • Windows Media Player 9.0 or later
  • Quicktime 6.4 or later
  • (FOR REAL PLAYER 10): 500MHz Intel Pentium III processor
  • 128MB of RAM
  • broadband connection
  • 65,000-colour video display card
  • CD writer
  • 700MB available disk space
  • DVD player
  • Windows 98SE/Me/2000/XP
  • Internet Explorer 6.0
  • Windows Media Player 9.0 or later
  • Quicktime 6.4 or later

SHOULD I BUY REALPLAYER 11.0 BETA?

It's hard to ignore the video explosion taking place on the Internet. We're glad RealNetworks is responding with RealPlayer 11.0 - a tool for taming, tagging, and bagging videos. We look forward to a more polished beta.