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iTunes software to overtake RealPlayer

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 20 Mar 2006 19:48 User comments (11)

iTunes software to overtake RealPlayer Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes software is on a path to overtake RealPlayer and become the second most used media player in the world behind Microsoft's Windows Media Player software. These details come from Nielsen/NetRatings. Currently, iTunes has around 18.5 million users, which is still a good 10 million behind Real Player's figure. However, in the past three years RealPlayer usage grew just slightly, whereas iTunes usage increased three-fold in 2005 alone.
By the middle of 2006, iTunes will have about 30 million users, which is still nothing in comparison to the 80 million using WMP. While iTunes is still used by less people than RealPlayer, apparently users spend more time using iTunes than they do RealPlayer. The average iTunes user uses it for 111 minutes compared to just 46 minutes for RealPlayer and even Windows Media Player.

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11 user comments

120.3.2006 20:56

i am hoping not. itunes has to be the works media player i have ever had to deal with. as if quicktime werent bad enough.....

220.3.2006 22:24

Somehow I don't think these numbers are very accurate... 42 million odd iPods sold, and they're probably all (mostly) using iTunes to load music onto them... And where is WinAmp? I wouldn't touch RealPlayer with a fifty foot pole, and even then, only if I was terminally ill.

321.3.2006 3:47

I know that the RealOne network is about as popular as herpes, but even so, I have been a SuperPass subscriber since 2003. They have dropped their price to $70/year and the main reason I continue to keep RealOne is that you get 10 free song downloads every month. In 7 months the subscription pays for itself if you take advantage of the music downloads. The main reason I purchase from RealOne is the quality of their downloads is better than that of anyone else I have found. Their downloads are encoded in AAC format at 192k bits/sec. I believe that itunes still encodes at 128k bits/sec. Lastly, I know RealOne has the nefarious reputation of attacking users with spyware. I use Adaware, Spybot, Yahoo Anti-Spy and Spyblaster. Yes, RealOne will be flagged by all of these, however, I have never been solicited by a RealNetworks affiliate due to this. I believe that they are just trying to keep up with what options a user is entitled to as they have many more services available than they once did. For me, the bottom line is the music and I get the highest quality music from RealOne. Also, I often have trouble finding the music that I'm looking for on itunes.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Mar 2006 @ 4:07

421.3.2006 4:29

One thing I would like to point out is that I actually use the RealPlayer itself probably 10% or less of the time that I listen to music. The player itself sounds decent enough, but it is a little too bare bones to my liking. It lacks the plug-ins to give you the diverse options to make the music sound the way that you want it to at any given time. I'm kind of unusual, I guess, in that I never listen to a song the same way twice. I like to use various plug-ins (compressor, Direct-X, etc.) so I mostly use WinAmp, QMP Player, Foobar2000, J. River Media Center, and Jet Audio. The RealPlayer is a good option, though, if you are not in the mood to make a lot of adjustments and you just simply want to play some tunes.

522.3.2006 8:23

whew...i thought this meant that iTunes was going to actually take over RealPlayer...not overtake. I was about to go nuts. I like my realplayer and would hate to have seen it merge with apple. "POR QUE!!!" would have been my response...(sorry, ill stop watching spanish soap operas now) I don't see how this really qualifies for news unless you have stock. It means nothing to me, just a factoid I might throw out at some point today to sound informed :) other than that...I really don't care, but it shows how much power Apple is snowballing...

622.3.2006 10:13

Like freshguy said... Real Player is a good bare bones player. I perosnally use it for all my player needs. Plays CDs flawlessly, streams sound great, (love the favorites option for that), and it has played just about everything I've thrown at it (Wav, mp3, AVI, mpg, rm, DVDs... (minus OGG, but thats a totally different beast) As for apple taking 2nd place... I can see that... there a lot of people who use itunes... specifically for the ipods alone, some people use it for the pod casts and built in streams lister.

725.3.2006 11:02

VLC player all the way baby

825.3.2006 12:28

its time ye read this,the q is much better then itunes or mp3.. i heard that stuff,and the q you got for your money is a ripoff. and i use a tube amp,that b-4 must of ye being born.. The joys of vinyl still lives on despite the music download boom quote and i agree 100% with info its a shame ye can not hear the good stuff with your mp-3 and itunes I remember buying records when they were vinyl. I loved nothing better than to set it up and listen to it on a good stereo and plow through the artwork. There was something magical in that sense of it belonged to you. I would take off the wrapping, carefully slide it out of the wrapper, lay it on the turntable, clean it, and then carefully adjust the controls while it started playing and then lay back with that artwork and just enjoy the magic. That's no longer part of the listening experience. The magic is gone. So is the artwork. With the mp3, the ambience isn't there and I can't hear the stick hit the cymbol before it rings. Nor can I hear the guitar pick hit the string the moment before the string rings. Whats worse, the price for this junk has gone up and I can't legally put it on the reel to reel to enjoy as a long playing tape that doesn't need to be fooled with for a long time. Mp3's don't do it for that sort of equipment. You always hear what is missing and notice it missing. That's not quality. Nor is it worth a dollar for that sort of subpar product, even if the artists were as good as they were then (and their not for the most part). I see nothing desirable in the music today. Not from the subject range, not from the artists, not from the quality. Worse, the majority of the music I see today that I might be interested in, I already have. I don't need to buy Greatest Hits because I have the originals. Those originals are not hampered with any sort of anticopy. If I want a cassette, ok, if I want a cd, that's ok too. No hassles and no issues in how I want to use them. Someone in the cartels have forgotten that how the buyer wants to use the music is everything. Without that, there isn't much need in buying a rental limited edition that isn't worth the money to begin with. But lets really make it good and give out free rootkits and spyware that you can't cancel or refuse. Yeap, sounds like a real bargain to me. At this rate, I'll pass on the next 20 years of what is called music by the cartels as I see nothing worth spending the money on.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Mar 2006 @ 12:45

925.3.2006 15:05

The magic is gone. So is the artwork. With the mp3, the ambience isn't there and I can't hear the stick hit the cymbol before it rings. Nor can I hear the guitar pick hit the string the moment before the string rings.
You're right, ireland. It's not nearly as easy to capture the magic using today's digital technology, but it is still possible. How so? Well I'm so glad you asked (please, just humor an audio asylum escapee until the authorities arrive to take me back home). (: 1> Take downloaded song from i-tunes (AAC encrypted) and convert it into WAV format. 2> (Optional) Convert from WAV file to FLAC lossless format (to save HD space) encoded at 24 bit PCM. 3> Play FLAC file using Foobar2000 player using Resampler DSP to output signal at 24 bit/96kHz sample rate. (Using the Dynamic Compressor DSP usually helps as well.) 4> Using optical output from PC send this signal into Monarchy Audio DIP 48/96 Upsampler. 5> Send DIP output into Channel Islands Audio VDA-2 DAC. 6> Send DAC output into Channel Islands Audio VHP-1 Headphone Amplifier. 7> Finally, plug Sennheiser HD650 headphones with Stefan Audio Art Equinox replacement cable into CIA Headphone Amp and the magic is alive again. You can hear the cymbal hits, as well the guitar pick strums, as well as Ronnie Van Zant sort of mumbling the lyrics of a Skynyrd song to himself during the guitar solo. You can hear a carpenter ant "break wind" as he walks across the studio floor. You may also opt for this very sweet analog set-up which is more than just a little out of my league:
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Mar 2006 @ 15:19

1025.3.2006 15:50

freshguy i do not care what ye do to a mp3 or iTunes file,it like a low resolution photograph trying to enlarge it,it will look like crap, you can not replace whats missing in a mp3 or iTunes no matter how hard you try,using any conversion software in the will sound good but will never sound like the original master.. i can take a vinyl and record it to tape and it will be of the same quality and will play like the original,with very little loss..and the reverse is also true.. note no drm to deal with..or copy protection. i am running out of steam... see ye tomorrow.. p/s for those that do not know what a VACUUM TUBE looks like..that i use in my VACUUM TUBE power amp. here is one

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 25 Mar 2006 @ 15:54

1126.3.2006 13:41

ireland, I don't disagree with you about the superior sound quality of Phono LPs. Actually, as far as equipment goes, I am currently in the arduous process of trying to find the right preamp and power amp for my system. It's a very difficult process. As you know there is a raging debate in the audio world regarding tubes versus solid-state amplifiers. Tubes - Pros: 1> More "warm full-bodied" sound, particularly in midrange frequencies. 2> Better response of the harmonic frequencies. This is a major advantage when the signal is overdriven, so instead of the classic clipped waveform you see with solid-state amps, the tube waveform remains truer to its normal sinusoidal wave shape. This means that you don't get that nasty harsh dissonant sound when the signal is over-amplified. 3> Said to have better imaging of soundstage. Tubes - Cons: 1> Said to add "colorization" to amplified signal as opposed to just transparently amplifying input signal. 2> Tubes can be expensive, depending on type, and sometimes hard to find. Tube amplifiers require more maintenance than solid-state amps. 3> At times can be more difficult to match with to drive output load. (Speakers) Solid-State - Pros: 1> Provides clean transparent amplification of input signal with no added "colorization". 2> Generally less maintenance required overall as compared to tube amps. 3> Usually has no problem driving even the most difficult load. (Current-hungry speakers) Solid-State - Cons: 1> Unforgiving harsh dissonant sound when input signal is over-amplified. 2> Said to generally provide less imaging of soundstage than comparable tube amp. At least, ireland, it appears that you are quite happy with your tube amp. I may just wind up with one myself. I am definitely considering that option more so for the power amp. I will probably have to go with solid-state for the preamp, but who knows? Right now, I wish that I did.

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