Question: What is RealAudio?
RealAudio is a proprietary audio format developed by RealNetworks. It is especially designed to conform to low bandwidths, and it can be used as a streaming audio format, i.e. played at the same time as it's downloaded. Many radio stations use RealAudio to stream their programming over the internet in real time. The first version of RealAudio was released in 1995. As of 2005, the current version is RealAudio 10.
RealAudio files normally have a file extension of .ra, .rm or .ram.
The main player for RealAudio content is RealNetworks' RealPlayer. With RealPlayer, it is not possible to save an audio stream to a file. The free programs MPlayer and StreamBox VCR can be used for this purpose, as can HiDownload. Another free program to play RealAudio files is Real Alternative.
Last updated: June 4, 2005
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