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Mozilla Partners with Real Networks 386

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the need-a-realware-checker dept.
engineer_uhg writes to tell us that Mozilla has just entered into a multi-year agreement with Real Networks to have Firefox distributed with downloads of RealPlayer, Rhapsody, and RealArcade. The Mozilla team cited Real's estimated 2 million downloads per day as a great tool for distribution. However, many Firefox supporters question the move, complaining of questionable practices by Real.
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Mozilla Partners with Real Networks

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  • by Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:37PM (#15835634)
    While I certainly wish Mozilla the best of luck in ramping up the distribution of their products, I wish they'd picked a better net citizen to accomplish that goal.
    • by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:40PM (#15835652) Homepage
      Yeah, well as long as we don't get infected with real's products when we download firefox, what's the problem?
      • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:18PM (#15836500)

        As the saying goes, "when you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas." In other words, Real's shitty reputation will tarnish Firefox by association.

        Now, we know Real has changed (what with Helix player and all), but since the general public is usually a few years behind us techies, their opinion of Real (due to the former spyware etc.) is most likely still at rock bottom.

        • by Netochka (874088) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:59PM (#15836703)
          But did the general public even know that Real was shitty to begin with? Based on Real's popularity I'd say they never even caught on to that trend, and it was mainly geeks who didn't like Real.
          • by Moraelin (679338) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @08:42AM (#15839126) Journal
            Exactly what kind of popularity are we talking about? It's a format that rose to prominence just on the back of some deals with porn sites, and which in the last years has steadily been dumped by everyone _including_ those porn sites. Other than a couple of minor older sites, have you even _seen_ a .rm file on the net lately? Almost everything these days is WMV, DivX and QT.

            So, really, what popularity? I'll call a format or player popular when it's the format you run into on every other site. When youtube, google, and even a neighbour's vacation videos are .rm files. Not when it's a fringe heading steadily towards extinction.

            Or, oh, you mean the "2 million downloads a day" boast? Note that they don't say 2 million _RealPlayer_ downloads a day. They most likely include everything else downloaded from their servers, including music from their subscription service, short video clips that noone wants and everyone makes their player download automatically at startup, patches, updates, programs like Firefox, etc. I'd be thoroughly surprised if even 1/10 of those were actually RealPlayer downloads.
        • by k8to (9046) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:58PM (#15836963) Homepage
          Real remains poor. Helix is open source, but it is half a program. Software even capable of handling the enclosure formats (not the codecs) of openly specified formats is not included in the free software component of the player. In reality, Helix Player is an open toolkit one could use to build a player, but the total functional player is a proprietary program.

          This sort of half-truth, a supposedly open player that does not work, is the kind of shady thing I would expect, and still do expect from Real.
        • "Techie" is a broad term. Just because I'm an EE and work as a programmer, it doesn't mean that I continuously track the changes in each revision of every single shitty program on the planet.

          And RealPlayer in particular is one thing I don't give a fuck about anymore anyway. It's not only that it's annoyed me too much with their shitty spyware back then, it's that I don't really have an incentive to bother with it anymore anyway. Did it change its ways? I dunno. Do I give enough of a fuck to check out? Nope.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Mozilla is in the business of getting their software used by as many people as possible, they're not in the business of saying what other companies or organisations should or shouldn't do.


      If they want to win the browser wars (to use an old term) then securing 2 million installs is a good step.

      Well done Moz. :)

      • by eln (21727) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:56PM (#15835773) Homepage
        They may get more people downloading their browsers, but Firefox's core market has always been geeks. Associating themselves with a company that is almost universally reviled by geeks is a huge slap in the face to Firefox's core group of supporters.

        This move really underscores the rift in the Open Source community as to what the goal of Open Source really is. Should we be spreading a philosophy, or just trying to get as many people using our favorite software as possible? If we're trying to spread the Open Source ideal, then partnering with a company known for distributing spyware and generally embodying all of the worst aspects of closed source software is a bad idea. If all we're trying to do is get everyone to use the same software that we do, why do we even care if that software is open source to begin with?

        This move indicates a lack of sensitivity to the Open Source philosophy, and seems to complete Mozilla's move from a community-driven project to a market share obsessed company.
        • by EvanED (569694) <evaned@gmaiDEGASl.com minus painter> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:13PM (#15835889)
          Part of it is a confusion over terms. For instance, I always had the impression the "Open Source" philosophy as the practical side, which would advocate this deal, and the "Free Software" side as the idealistic side, which wouldn't partner with anyone who didn't support free software themselves.

          So in that sense, this move IS at least reasonably in line with open source mentalities.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:35PM (#15836023)
          There's two main points to address here.


          While Mozilla's public was only geeks (or directly people connected to geeks) once upon a time, it is now reasonably main-stream. If you want lots of people to use Open Source or GLP software you need regular people to use it too. Microsoft - no matter how much one hates them - became the most sucessful software company ever by catering to a mass market, and SGI died because their user-base shrank.


          Philosophy follows market capture. In order to impose your will on someone you've got to get yourself in to a position of power of them first. It's the same whether you're in politics, business or accademia, get people to support you and THEN you're able to change things (or at least try with a greater chance of sucess).

        • by Kid Zero (4866) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:00PM (#15836162) Homepage Journal
          Should we be spreading a philosophy, or just trying to get as many people using our favorite software as possible?

          Spread software. People are resistant to others telling them how to believe.

        • by c_fel (927677) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:04PM (#15836184) Homepage
          To be honest, I'm happy about this move. Not all sites work yet with Firefox, my bank included. But when I called last time to complain, they said more and more people are using Firefox and they are studying seriously to make their site compatible.

          If I follow my logical vision of that, then if people continue to install it (and that by any mean, I don't care), the internet should be eventually more free.

          I can't complain. Anyway it doesn't force anyone to install Firefox if he doesn't want, nor RealPlayer.

          I say good move.
        • by jesterzog (189797) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:06PM (#15836196) Homepage Journal

          This move really underscores the rift in the Open Source community as to what the goal of Open Source really is. Should we be spreading a philosophy, or just trying to get as many people using our favorite software as possible?

          I don't know about you, but I don't subscribe to either of these.

          I consider myself part of the Open Source community because I both use Open Source, and from time to time I've also written and released my own Open Source. I don't particularly care about spreading the philosophy (although I'm happy to explain it to people), and I don't feel the need to make people use it (although I'm happy to help them if they want to, within reason).

          Personally I like and use Open Source software because in the ways that I like using software, I find it to be of superior quality and better suited to my needs for a variety of reasons. Running campaigns and trying to convert people to new philosophies has nothing to do with it.

          Individual people or organisations within the open source community might have goals, but I don't think it's a serious problem if different groups disagree. I'm also not sure if it's meaningful to claim that people should be aiming for a goal just because they're involved in open source. If anything, perhaps one issue that could be addressed is how to better identify different interest groups without trying to bundle them all into the "Open Source Software Community" basket.

        • I mostly agree with you, but in this case we ought to be giving Real a second chance, because they seem to be genuinely changing for the better (see: Helix player). In fact, this is actually more evidence of it!

          Now, if Mozilla was partnering with someone who was still fucking up (e.g. Microsoft), it'd be different.

        • by JourneyExpertApe (906162) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:11PM (#15836754)
          They may get more people downloading their browsers, but Firefox's core market has always been geeks.

          What? I stopped using Firefox as soon as I saw it mentioned in the major media. Then I started using K-Meleon, until I found out that uber-geeks use Lynx. Or so I thought. Real geeks stopped using the Internet altogether in the early '90s when it started to get so commercial. Now I just sit in my (parents') basement and play Tennis for Two [wikipedia.org] my oscilloscope all day. I'm so l33t.
      • by kimvette (919543) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:14PM (#15836487) Homepage Journal
        Actually, everybody wins.

        Real helps to keep Microsoft playing somewhat fair by continuing to exist.
        Users who need Real Player will get Firefox in the bargain.
        Firefox, although not the perfect browser, is a far cry from the pig that is MSIE. They make more than a token attempt to support CSS and PNG
        As more users discover Firefox, they will use it rather than MSIE (even the white elephant known as MSIE7)

        This means that web developers can use CSS2 more, rendering table layouts a thing of the past (oops, no pun intended!), and PNG can be used for ANY element in a page, not being restricted to only elements that a DirectX filter can access. THe word will spread that Firefox is better than MSIE (and folks, discovering there is software from vendors other than Microsoft, might venture out and discover Opera while they are at it). Other browsers' share will rise, MSIE's will fall.

        Microsoft will then be forced to FINALLY bring their browser into compliants and knock off their embrace-extend-extinguish methodology. Eventually it really won't matter whether you're using Firefox, MSIE, konqueror, safari, opera, or {other} to view a web page - every browser will come close to being standards-compliant.

        is this an idealistic view? Certainly, but it is not infeasible.
    • Remember that Real now sponsors the open source Helix project. And they appear to be getting less evil all the time (possibly void of any real evil now actually).

      It is not like you'll be encouraged to download RealPlayer with FireFox downloads anytime soon. This is really just Real striking back at MS, and helping out FireFox. Who cares if some of us don't like them, it doesn't hurt us any.
    • by squiggleslash (241428) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:14PM (#15836241) Homepage Journal

      I'm fine with it. Of the "big three" (Windows Media, Quicktime, and Real), Real is closest to actually having an open, Free Software, system (Helix.) It's not perfect, they're still insisting on "binary blobs" for supporting some codecs, but it's far closer to what's wanted than the other two.

      On top of that, Real's the only one of the three that officially supports GNU/Linux. Windows Media and Quicktime survive under GNU/Linux because of reverse engineering efforts and DLL-wrapping, not thanks to support from the multimedia system's inventor.

      Real has a poor reputation only because their Windows client was once a hotbed of malware and kludges. It isn't today, hasn't been for years, and it's hardly the only benchmark you can judge them by.

      Something tells me that if this was Apple, there'd be none of the bitching and moaning about how Apple's "not a good net citizen". Real is certainly a better citizen today than Apple.

      • by Mitchell Mebane (594797) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:22PM (#15836519) Homepage Journal
        The latest QuickTime formats are H.264/MPEG-4 AVC for video and AAC for audio. Open source decoders exist for both. In fact, last year, ffmpeg was bragging that they could play QuickTime 7 videos on Windows before QuickTime could.
      • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @10:26PM (#15837084) Journal
        Of the "big three" (Windows Media, Quicktime, and Real), Real is closest to actually having an open, Free Software, system (Helix.) It's not perfect, they're still insisting on "binary blobs" for supporting some codecs, but it's far closer to what's wanted than the other two.

        Quicktime used MPEG-4 video for years. Now it uses h.264 and AAC audio in an MP4 container, which can be played-back by many different programs, including many fully open source. They use standard RTSP for streaming, and even provide the Darwin Streaming Server as free and open source for anyone to use.

        Windows Media has submitted their latest video codec as as SMPTE standard (VC-1) which is now being used by HD-DVD and Blue-ray players.

        Real has a propritary format, propritary audio codecs, propritary video codecs, require their propritary software for encoding, propritary software for decoding, propritary software that supports their propritary streaming protocols, and sued Streambox out-of-business for creating an application that could read (and save) propritary RealNetwork streams.

        How does this make Real anything but (by-far) the worst of the worst? Sure, they have the Helix player, which in open source, but only under a rather restrictive license ensuring that it can't be used by anyone else for anything. The Helix player only supports already open video/audio codecs and containers, which have been supported by many other more open players for years, unless you agree to their ridiculously restrictive license to get the Real codecs.

        On top of that, Real's the only one of the three that officially supports GNU/Linux. Windows Media and Quicktime survive under GNU/Linux because of reverse engineering efforts and DLL-wrapping, not thanks to support from the multimedia system's inventor.

        Real was the first, of the three to play on Linux, yes. However, Quicktime (now) uses standard codecs and formats that ANY player can use. Windows Media has a SMPTE standardized video codec which any player can impliment (and native implimentations for VLC/ffmpeg are available), etc. With real, you still, to this day, have no choice but to load the binary codecs (as MPlayer/Xine do).

        Real has a poor reputation only because their Windows client was once a hotbed of malware and kludges. It isn't today, hasn't been for years,

        Completely untrue. Real pulled back just a little bit. Their software still installs lots of other crap and system services, makes it difficult to disable sending information back to their servers, etc. It's just nominally less horrible than it used-to be. It's still very, very bad software, which I go out of my way to be rid of.

        Real is certainly a better citizen today than Apple.

        Utterly wrong. Apple is the BEST of the big 3 by FAR, and has been for several years.
         
        • by uhmmmm (512629) <uhmmmm&gmail,com> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @12:35AM (#15837593) Homepage
          Quicktime used MPEG-4 video for years. Now it uses h.264 and AAC audio in an MP4 container
          No, it didn't use MPEG-4 video, it used Sorenson Video 1 and 3 (SVQ1/3) for the longest time. SVQ1 was completely non-standard, and SVQ3 was apparently based on an early draft version of H.264, but still wasn't quite the same. Both of these were proprietary. And the only reason Quicktime uses a standard conatiner format now is that MP4 was based on the Quicktime MOV format.

          That said, I still think Apple is the best of the three.

          Windows Media has a SMPTE standardized video codec
          Ah, yes, VC-1. It's supposed to be identical to WMV3 (aka WMV9), but isn't quite. Maybe the current WMV3 encoder produces valid VC-1 streams, but there are plenty of older WMV3 files out there which don't follow Microsoft's own spec. And the FFMpeg implementation (and hence the implementation in MPlayer, Xine, VLC, etc) isn't complete yet. It's improving at a rapid pace, but it's not there yet.
  • So Long as... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mozleron (944945) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:37PM (#15835635)
    We don't have to get RealPlayer or any of Reals other crap crammed down our collective throats with our FireFox downloads, i don't care what they do.
  • Real (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:38PM (#15835638)
    I keep tryi.... *buffering*.... ng to read.... *buffering*.... the story...
  • Maybe (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MrSquirrel (976630)
    The reason RealPlayer has 2 million downloads per day? Because people download it, install it, use it for what they need... then get it hell off their machine! RealPlayer is worse than a virus! Mozilla, why?! That's like partnering with cocaine dealers because they distribute to 2 million people a day. Ughhh! I feel DIRTY!
    • Then the user could snort coke off the disc after clicking "no thanks" 50 times in order to install Mozilla. :)
    • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Insightful)

      by luder (923306) * <slashdot.lbras@net> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:37PM (#15836033)
      I use RealPlayer as Windows Media Player replacement since around 2 years ago and what I can tell is that your description of RP seems to be about a totally different software. Worse than a virus?! What about some facts that support what you are saying?

      RealNetworks did a lot of shit in the past, true, but that doesn't mean they will always keep doing it. That's the same as saying that someone who was convicted by a crime will always behave as a criminal.

      It really bothers me that most people who bash Real latest software do so without even trying the thing.
      • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Informative)

        by robogun (466062) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:44PM (#15836071)
        Are you sure you're not using Real Alternative? I can't fathom your comment because RealPlayer is the most ad-ridden, cluttered useless interface I've ever seen in my life. The first time I ran it I almost couldn't figure which window had the video. And needless to say it was the last time.

        OTOH Real Alternative is a WMP embed (there's also a QT one) which uses WMP 6.1 and no ads.
        • Re:Maybe (Score:4, Insightful)

          by ben there... (946946) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:13PM (#15836229) Journal
          The first time I ran it I almost couldn't figure which window had the video. And needless to say it was the last time.

          That's the problem right there. RealPlayer is not so much like the old RealOne Player or any of their other failures. They created a bad name for themselves by being overly intrusive. But they don't deserve that rep so much now.

          They also were the first format to optimize for low bandwidth, which created a big problem as far as how their format in general appeared when most RealMedia videos were crappy quality.

          That said, I'd prefer everyone used H.264 MPEG-4 for streaming video. It's good quality per bit at all bitrates, it works in several players, and it's easy to hint for streaming and drop into Darwin Streaming Server.
        • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Informative)

          by luder (923306) * <slashdot.lbras@net> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @08:14PM (#15836486)

          No, I'm not using Real Alternative, it's the real thing.

          This is how it looks when I open a music file [lbras.net]. See? Pretty simple, opens really fast, doesn't get in the way, good eye-candy, no ads.

          This is how it looks in full-mode [lbras.net], with media library open. It is bit slow to open in my computer (PIII 1GHz), but that is also because of the large amount of music files in the DB. Anyway, I only use it when I specifically want to and that's not often. Again, I can't say much against it.

          When I open a video [lbras.net], it looks the same way as when I open a music file, except it also shows... the video. All in the same window and the same I said before.

          Actually, for those concerned with privacy, Real Player gives easy access to privacy control options. Just check the options screen [lbras.net].

          There is also something called message center. I'm not sure what it is, because I turned it off right after install, but I guess those ads and pop-ups you talk about come through here. However, it is kids play to deactivate it. Just click on the option to do so [lbras.net].

          I understand all the rage against Real, I shared it too when using the old players, but today it is way better. Not perfect, but much better. Ok, it might not come optimized for privacy, but with little effort you can do it. Really little effort, considering that, as it plays most media formats, you only have to configure one player. This is specially good with quicktime formats, because it also gives the benefit of full-screen video.
      • Re:Maybe (Score:5, Informative)

        by Ilgaz (86384) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:56PM (#15836133) Homepage
        This is Slashdot, hating Real Player and accuse them of spying is a fashion. :)

        You shouldn't bother replying. This is easy karma. Whatever they accomplish like staying alive against MS empire, it won't change. Someone will post "Real is a virus/spyware" crap and get +5 insightful.

        Yea, it is spyware etc etc. I just feel sorry for Real Networks trying to do many favours to OSS community such as Helix Player along with its source, winning the portable multimedia market so Microsoft Media Division won't start another monopoly, giving them hell in EU courts resulting removal of windows media player installed by default to windows and so on.

        OK, they will accuse me (!) for working at Real or getting paid to post comments again... I didn't see who submitted it but I really hope it is not a Helix coder or someone involved with Real Networks. You really need dozens of more "spyware" accusations from this user profile?!

        You think someone will come up and ask if Gecko rendering engine will be bundled to Real Player instead of MSHTML linking? Or will Real Networks help Mozilla folks with their amazing portable/device experience and help ship a really working portable Gecko?

        Real Networks, if you want to see an appreciating community, check OS X downnload feedback, we are all happy with what you offer for years and not abandoning us like some "non spyware" monopolists did.

        • Re:Maybe (Score:3, Insightful)

          by pjrc (134994)
          Sometimes a company does things so slimey, so utterly demonstrating a complete lack of ethics, that I say to myself in disgust "Well, I'm never trusting them again". Maybe not the first time, but certainly after repeated transgressions, they "never deserve my trust again".

          Guess what? It's not "never" yet. Maybe in another 5 years? Maybe.

          Real made bad choices. Their brand equity suffered, and they're still suffering. I personally believe they deserve it. Afterall, what negative consquence is there for
  • "Questionable" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by LuminaireX (949185) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:40PM (#15835655)
    However, many Firefox supporters question the move complaining of questionable practices by Real

    That understates the reaction quite a bit. Real is one of the worst things to hit the Internet since AOL, IMHO

    • Other than Windows itself, I agree.
    • Re:"Questionable" (Score:3, Informative)

      by et764 (837202)
      Your comparison to AOL highlights something I was thinking. I remember the last time I installed AOL Instant Messenger, they also kindly installed the AOL Web Browser, which I certainly didn't want. How is having RealPlayer include Firefox any different? If I want RealPlayer I'll download RealPlayer, and if I want Firefox, I'll download Firefox. If I weren't a Firefox user I wouldn't be happy about my media player installing a superfluous web browser. It doesn't matter that you can choose not to instal
  • by SoCalChris (573049) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:40PM (#15835656) Journal
    Bundled downloads suck, especially for people with slow internet connections.

    Just give me what I requested, don't add a bunch of crap to the download that I don't need or want. Does Mozilla want Firefox to become "That crappy browser that came with the music player"?
    • Often times I've seen bundled downloads basically say "Oh, you wanted that component too? Since we don't think that many people are going to use it, we have to download it from our site now". Also, Google Pack [google.com].
    • I'd say any way they can get an extra user on Firefox, even underhandedly, is a plus.

      It'd be really great if during the Real player install there's a checkbox tucked away that says "Make Firefox your default Web Browser". The common folk rarely check what those boxes are for, and just assume the default values are best.
      • I'd say any way they can get an extra user on Firefox, even underhandedly, is a plus.

        MS used "underhanded tactics" to get "an extra user" on Windows, and are universally reviled for it. Real uses underhanded tactics. AOL the same.

        Why do you wsh the same for Firefox?
    • Or, more accurately,

      "Slow internet connections suck... Especially for people getting bundled downloads."
    • by munpfazy (694689) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:59PM (#15836156)
      Bundled downloads suck, especially for people with slow internet connections.


      Yup. Bundling software on physical media is harmless and occasionally useful, assuming you give users plenty of opportunity to install only what they choose.

      But bundling unrelated software in a download is infuriating.

      Not only has Mozilla sullied its own reputation by associating itself with shitty software, it's actually made the shitty software even worse in the process.
      What's worse than realplayer? Easy: reaplayer + an 8 MB download of software the user either already has or doesn't want.

      The only question is, what's in it for Real? Hard to see what they get out of the deal.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:40PM (#15835658)
    ...a partnership with the government of Nigeria.

    Opera will tout itself as a new standard as the preferred Acid 2 compliant browser of 419 scammers.
  • Bad idea. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:41PM (#15835659)
    Its a really bad idea to tarnish the name of Firefox with an association with the malware known as realplayer. Big thumbs down.
    • Agreed. And if Mozilla wants to cozy up with bloated POS software then Why don't they go the whole hog and bundle it with vista?
  • by pla (258480) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:42PM (#15835666) Journal
    Mozilla has just entered into a multi-year agreement with Real Networks

    Look, if you plan to sell your soul, at least sell it to the devil himself, not just any ol' schmuck in goat leggings.

    Like Billy G - Now he might have given you fame, power, glory, girls (hey, look at Melinda!). But no - Instead, you gave your soul to a guy named Phil who smokes too much and ends every sentence with "Trust me!".


    In five years, when you all look back and wonder how you went from posing a serious threat to MSIE, to posing a sort-of-maybe threat to Opera - Remember this day.
  • This should make uninstalling Firefox/Mozilla a real Joy! I'd rather a nasty case of dysentery than have a "Real" product installed on my system (dysentery is much easier to get rid of...)
  • IMNSHO Real Player is a plague to be avoided like syphilis. Ok, so if Mozilla will be distributed with Real software that is one thing, but I don't want to download Mozilla just to find out that Real software is in the installation package.
  • Oh please. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by falsified (638041)
    It's not bad because of Real. It's bad because if I'm downloading a program, then THAT'S what I want, not that extra shit. This bundling has always annoyed me - try getting Quicktime without having to download a 25-meg copy of iTunes (which, if you don't use the store, is a pain in the ass to use).
  • by kinglink (195330) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:48PM (#15835712)
    At least you still CAN get firefox alone.

    I can't download Itunes, unless I download Quicktime media player. I swear the only reason macs are better for video is because Apple has yet to create a GOOD version of Quicktime media player for the PC. Luckily MPC can use quicktime file formats, though I'm sure apple is mad about that one. But the fact I have to get their less than wonderful software on my system, infecting it, just so I can go use Itunes (which I enjoy), and listen to music (perhaps paying for more music)

    I just hope firefox stays solo and corporately neutral, because it's the one thing that keeps Firefox high up in my book.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:48PM (#15835715)
    ...that Firefox is being bundled with Real's stuff, not the other way around.

    Idiots.
  • I wonder what consequences will it have:

    - when I download Firefox I will be faced with a webpage that urges me to get RealPlayer (but I still can opt-out from that)?

    - when I download Firefox I will be forced to grab 20MB setup.exe only to choose to not install RealPlayer and only install Firefox which is about 5MB?

    I am curious because in fact I hate RealPlayer and consider that is RealCrap. But on I don't mean Mozilla getting some money and pumping it into developement of its open source products.

    So in fact
    • Oh! Now I get it. Now I actually read the article which says that Real will distribute Firefox along with its downloads, not the other way (Mozlilla will distribute Real). Way to go.
  • I was about to post a rant about how stupid this move is, until I saw that it was RealNetworks distributing FireFox, not the other way around.

    As long as Mozilla doesn't distribute RealPlayer (or related products) with FireFox I have no problems.

    Never again will that spawn be on my PC.
  • by mikefe (98074) <mfedyk AT mikefedyk DOT com> on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @05:51PM (#15835739) Homepage
    Real player is bundled by a lot of OEM manufacturers. If this extends to that also, it will be a tremendous boon to Firefox!
  • So much built in advertising for so little gain vs the alternatives. But so long as they're bundling Firefox with Real downloads, and not the other way around, I suppose there's no problem with that, unless Mozilla is paying them.
  • Mozilla got so much money. But do they invest in development? I fear they don't. Just look at Sunbird [mozilla.org], Lightening or whatever the calendar is called these days. Or NVU's son KompoZer [sourceforge.net]?

    Mozilla has the ressources to cross-finance development of other tools, to bootstrap open source. But it seems they don't want to.

    I mean we have a successful tool called Firefox every company likes to play with, including a fanatic user community. We have a a wonderful mail client which lacks a calendar tool.

    But what about othe
  • Firefox [mozilla.com]
    Real Alternative [free-codecs.com]
    All of the functionality of this debacle without the spyware.
  • by Temujin_12 (832986) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:02PM (#15835816)
    It says:
    RealNetworks said Wednesday that it has agreed to a multiyear agreement to offer Mozilla's Firefox Web browser with downloads of its RealPlayer, Rhapsody and RealArcade software programs.
    RealNetworks will be packaging Firefox with their software NOT the other way around. If anything, Firefox zealots should be happy about this as it means that Firefox will now be introduced to a larger number of people who otherwise may not have downloaded and installed Firefox on their own.

    I REPEAT, THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT MOZILLA NOW PACKAGES REAL SOFTWARE WITH ITS PRODUCTS. IT IS THE OPPOSITE, REAL WILL NOW PACKAGE FIREFOX WITH THEIR PRODUCTS.

    Can we call off the Calvary now?
  • by beavis88 (25983)
    Big mistake IMHO. Real appears to suck just as badly today as they did when I swore I'd never use their player again, what, 7-8 years ago? But I guess money talks. I sure don't have much to throw Mozilla's way, so...
  • by IANAAC (692242) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:03PM (#15835827)
    Stephen Colbert would be pointing to the groupthink mentality about now :-)

    Knee-jerk now, read the article later.

  • If memory serves, this technique worked really well for Netscape.
  • There is No Excuse for Real to still be around. There is no excuse for anyone to associate with Real.
  • The beloved Google also distributes real in its Google pack [google.com]. There seems to be some google-mozilla-real alliance, which is a shame that Real is in that equation, cause it really is quite crap. Money talks I guess. And its the only "decent" (I use that term very loosely) commercial media player that isn't owned by Microsoft or Apple.
  • by Danathar (267989) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:35PM (#15836019) Journal
    Most of the people I know who hate real have not used it since version 8.

    Yes..there was a time when Real was an EVIL company. BUT..they have done many things since then (ever heard of helix player..you CAN download it for free you know). They've done quite a lot in the open source world as well.

    Come on, it's legit to dump on a company for a bad product. But it's been YEARS since the worst of their products that had stuff bundled you didnt want was distributed.

    Personally, I don't use real, but their stuff hasn't been horribly bad since the days when they were trying to trick you into installing stuff (which now they don't do).

    Hating real has become de-facto religion for some.
    • by plasmacutter (901737) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:59PM (#15836158)
      no, it has not been years.

      They still prevent open source players for their codec, their player has more ads than ever and now even has a frickin store in it, the free version is beyond a hassle to get and still demands a root pass in mac (which is beyond insane for a media player.. mplayer and vlc dont require it and have more features!).

      Then there's the fact that real is a purveyor of drm and prevents oss players from interacting with its format so they can force you to download their crappy player.

      Granted theyre not gator or anything, but their business practices still suck bad enough for them to be reviled. As far as over-proprietary formats go, theyre right there in the camp with microsoft's windows media, and make flash look like ogg-vorbis.
    • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @09:55PM (#15836950) Journal
      Yes..there was a time when Real was an EVIL company. BUT..they have done many things since then

      They got only marginally less evil. They started the Helix Player, thinking they could cash-in on open source developers to do some of their work for them, but they never open-sourced their own codecs, nor has the "free" RealPlayer gotten any less obtrusive. It still installs itself everywhere, makes it very difficult to opt-out of sending usage information to their servers, etc.

      Real has been trying to change their image by advertising how much better they've gotten, but unfortunately, they haven't really gotten any better. They've just been less of an annoyance, since fewer and fewer people feel the need to install the RealPlayer now that Quicktime and WMP have become (slightly) better alternatives.

    • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Thursday August 03, 2006 @05:50AM (#15838347) Journal
      When was the last time I used real?

      I use it every day. So do my parents. Pretty much everyone I know in the UK uses it.

      Why? Because the BBC uses it on their website.

      We get all the previous 7 days radio, live sport commentry, countless TV programs, the excellent news service... all through Real Player.

      I don't think bundling FF with Real is a good idea but it's going to mean that FF is installed on many, many PCs.
  • Gasp! That big?! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by saikou (211301) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @06:57PM (#15836135) Homepage
    I wonder since when Real Player got so bloated that whole FireFox can be neatly tucked into distribution without users noticing it :)
  • I don't like it (Score:4, Insightful)

    by vga_init (589198) on Wednesday August 02, 2006 @07:32PM (#15836304) Journal

    I think the first thing that comes to mind is what people will start to think about Firefox. Sure, its userbase might be strengthened, but we are living in an age of browser spamming.

    What do I mean by "browser spamming"? For example, let's say you install a popular piece of software like AOL. I have a laptop running Windows XP, and I also do not have any commercial antivirus of my own, so I installed AOL because my dad has an accoutn with them and from that I am able to get free McAfee service. AOL came bundled with "AOL browser." It's merely an IE frontend with a shinier interface and tabs. Also, try installing Realplayer for Windows--you can hardly load the damn thing without their little media browser coming up, loading all sorts of Real sponsored web pages. Is it possible for me to go anywhere or do anything without escaping some kind of little browser getting in my business?

    Soon people will download Realplayer, an ad-supported shareware package, and they'll have Firefox. They'll begin to regard Firefox as the same sort of strings-attached freeware junk that Real is. Don't get me wrong--I think Realplayer is actually a very nice media player, but my beef against it is all the peripheral crap that comes with it and the intentionally-limited features.

    It's important that people understand what Firefox truly is--Free software with a capital "F". They also need to understand that it comes from the Mozilla Foundation, not Real Networks. :-/

  • by I'm Don Giovanni (598558) on Thursday August 03, 2006 @03:02AM (#15837959)
    I don't care about Real's "bad reputation", I just don't like having to make sure to uncheck the "Install this super app!" checkboxes whenever downloading software. If I had occasion to download Real Player, I don't want to have to make sure to uncheck the "Download Firefox" checkbox. And the same goes for all other bundled software. It's bad enough that Google Toolbar comes bundled with everything alread (as an opt-out checkbox); I don't like Google Toolbar, have no need for it, and don't like having it shoved down my throat. I wouldn't like Firefox shoved down my throat either.

    (btw, I use Opera, FF, and IE7 interchangably, just whatever I feel like using at the time; I don't care about the browser war stuff.)

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