Bits from Bill

Technology thoughts leaking from the brain of "Bill Pytlovany"

Friday, February 01, 2008

RealPlayer with Rhapsody is BADWARE

The folks at have been busy looking at all kinds of software and this week designated the RealPlayer as “Badware”.

“We find that RealPlayer 10.5 is badware because it fails to accurately and completely disclose the fact that it installs advertising software on the user's computer. We additionally find that RealPlayer 11 is badware because it does not disclose the fact that it installs Rhapsody Player Engine software, and fails to remove this software when RealPlayer is uninstalled. “

“We currently recommend that users do not install the versions of RealPlayer software that we tested, unless the user is comfortable with the software behaviors we identify or until the application is updated to be consistent with the recommendations contained in this report. “

I’m not a big fan of RealPlayer even though I was hoping they’d provide some competition for Microsoft’s Media Player. Unfortunately, RealNetworks have always promoted some annoying habits. One of the reasons I created the “Disable” feature in WinPatrol was programs like RealPlayer that keep coming back as an autostart programs. All you have to do is view a video or listen to music in RealPlayer and they think it means you want RealPlayer to run every time you reboot. They’re not unique. Apple does the same thing with Quicktime.

I was surprised by this announcement. I'm told typically only gives companies 24 hour notice before an announcement so perhaps we'll see new versions from RealNetworks soon.

Labels: , , ,

Share on Facebook


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi there Bill,

I read your article about BadWare and RealPlayer (with Rhapsody) with great interest. But unfortunately too late for me!

I thought I would share with you my recent experience with RealPlayer, which I believe will justify & support your warning and critisizm of this software/organisation.

Several years ago I downloaded the FREE RealPlayer and over-time judiciously performed all of their updates (many), which about a year ago included "agreeing" to download the FREE Rhapsody Player. Despite suffering by Real automatically without notice, taking over various of my settings and locking me in to Real format for my music downloads and copies (which I subsequently regretted). I have perservered with doing my best to have my media (other than Real) choices, do what I want.

Around 3 months ago I suddenly started to get fortnightly debits appearing on my Credit Card statement from RealPlayer/Networks, for Video downloads that I had neither agreed to nor for that matter downloaded at all.

Along the way I tried evrything I know to access my (very skinny - but definitly with no Credit Card details)) Real Account and to find a means to contact Real to find out what was going on and to have the charges cancelled. But all to no avail, I kept going round and round in circles and getting nowhere.

Early in the piece I had contacted my bank and had them cancel the debits, but as quickly as each entry was reversed the next fortnightly debit appeared. Now four months later and about 6 or so debits later, I have had to cancel my Credit Card to stop the debits getting through and am currently still waiting on the result of my "dispute" resolution to get my monies paid back..........

I have NEVER knowingly given Real my Credit Card information, but have managed to track down a purchase made 3 or 4 years ago where I brought software from another supplier, where the "Real" logo appeared at the top of their online reciept. Otherwise I have no idea how they managed to access my Credit Card details.

As I said, I am currently awaiting the outcomes, but strongly support your comments and cautions (WARNING) expressed in your "Bits from Bill". I will be checking-in more often from now forward.

WinPatrol & BillP forever.........

8:38 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hello Bill, I am currently a subscriber to "WinPatrol 2007" & am very happy with it. I was looking at an additional program which a friend suggested I get. It is "TUT The Ultimate Troubleshooter". Since I know about WinPatrol & how good it is, should I get TUT? I find nothing but good reviews on it, but I am always skeptical. If you recommend it (or not recommend) to run along with WinPatrol, your input would be most appreciated. Thank you. Al Belanger (

2:36 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Al,

Thank you for your support. Unfortunately I've never heard of TUT or tried it. From what I can tell online it doesn't like like any kind of scam. Wish I could be more help.


2:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would like to add to what Anonymous said about being charged by Realplayer. I was asked to give over my credit card details to download the latest version of Realplayer but was told I would not be charged. A few weeks later, the company started charging my credit card $4.95 (which is about $6 Australian), and a few weeks later an even larger monthly fee from Unlimited Movies, even though I have never availed them of thier services or given over credit card details. Be careful with Realplayer!!

11:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've had the same problem - I think I bought real player some years back - but cannot find how to stop the months charge of around AUD $6 turning up. HAve now just cancelled my Credit Card.

7:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home