playing "*.ram" audio files

What the heck is a .ram file, and what kind of player software do I need to play it? And where do I get one?

You need Real Audio which I hate with a passion and refuse to install because it is crappy spyware.

You need RealPlayer ( )

You need RealPlayer from RealAudio. I think it’s crap, but that’s me.

Contrary to what others have posted, you do not nead the RealPlayer from There are other media players available that will play RealAudio streams. Some people prefer to use these third-party programs so that they don’t have to deal with the annoying nagware that is RealPlayer/RealOne.

Psyconaut got any examples/suggestions? I’m not too keen on installing Real either.

I have a program called UnRealOne that plays all Real Media files. It’s basically just an old version of Windows Media Player that is able to access the Real Media codecs. Unfortunately, I’ve been unable to find this program on the web (I got it from Usenet), and I haven’t found another program that does the same thing. If anyone wants UnRealOne, I’d be happy to email it to them.

If anyone else has any examples of other programs that do the same thing, I’d love to hear about them.

Oh, and the program is 4.8MB. Make sure your inbox is big enough for it (webmail inboxes tend not to allow files this big). Also the program is designed for Windows XP/2000. In the readme.txt, the author says he is unsure if it will work for Win9x. For those interested, my email address is in my profile.

Would it kill you to name names? Or do we have to beg? :wink:

I didn’t name names because I suspected most people reading this thread are using Microsoft Windows, which I don’t use. To play RealAudio streams, I use MPlayer, which is a media player for Linux and various other flavours of Unix. I have heard that third-party RealAudio players exist for Windows as well, but I’m not personally familiar with any of them.

Oh, forgot to mention that there is also a plugin for the popular XMMS media player which will do RealAudio. Again, not much use to you unless you’re running Linux, but I know at least some Dopers do. Sorry I couldn’t be of more help to users of other operating systems.

Well, we had to ask, Psyconaut. :slight_smile: Thanks anyway.

If anyone has a Windows compatable solution, I’d sure like to know. NPR has several Firesign Theater pieces I’d sure like to hear, but can’t because they’re in this .ram format. At least the first three were playable by WMP, so I got a taste anyway.

This is a rather messy situatation, but I have spent some time to sort it out, and I don’t mind sharing some of my experiences.

It is in fact not quite that easy. It is true that mplayer can play real media - but not on its own. - In fact I use mplayer myself, to listen to (sipro encoded) .rm files.
The catch is that you need the (closed source Real[sup]TM[/sup]) codecs installed to decode them. (They can be downloaded from the mplayer website, but I believe that they in theory are copyrighted by Real). And despite the realplayer being such a buggy piece of nagware, the codecs are actually pretty good. Especially for low bitrate audio, such as radio talk shows.

A further inconvenience is that the .ram files that you often see, are frequently just URLs to a streaming version of a .rm file. If the .ram file is less than 1 kb long, open it and have a look. It’s bound to be more-or-less text-only and contain something like


(Or maybe with pnm instead of rtsp)
One thing you could do in that case is to see if you can download the file using ftp, (A long shot, but it sometimes works.) and then decode it locally.

(If anyone knows of a software (preferably for linux) to download an rtsp stream - please let me know!)
In the end it looks like I cannot help you with your particular problem, but I hope I have given you some insight to how it works. (or should work.)

What port is typically used for rtsp? I don’t imagine that simply typing


is going to get you access to the file.

A few months ago I found the answer to this question on a USENET group. I don’t recall which one or the thread subject, but maybe some Google Groups searching would yield some answers.

Which is why I said that it was a long shot… I know that I have used wget to download some .rm files using http instead of rtsp. But you’re correct in that in the general case it’s not that easy.


Ah, there do indeed seem to be quite a few programs for this on windows. Something called Streambox is often mentioned.

What surprises me is that there’s no rtsp-wget lookalike for linux!