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   Video Technologies: Using the Real Player


Many of the Web pages and learning environments that are created at CCNMTL include the use of audio and video media. Quite a number of these clips and presentations use RealMedia to deliver the content to your computer. In order to view these clips, you will need to have the RealPlayer from RealNetworks on your computer. If you have never used RealPlayer on your computer or simply need to upgrade to the lastest version, we have created this page to help you get started.

Obtaining the latest version of RealPlayer

First time users

RealNetworks has a number of different players available for you to download. To view multimedia on your computer, it is only necessary for you to download the free RealPlayer Basic. It is also available for a variety of computer platforms. If you do not have RealPlayer installed, visit the RealNetworks download page.

real basic

Updating your RealPlayer

If you already have the RealPlayer on your computer but are not sure if it is the latest version, there is any easy way to both check and upgrade at the same time without downloading an entirely new version. Just follow the steps below.

  1. Be sure that you are connected to the Internet.
  2. With the RealPlayer open, go to the preferences section, which is located in the VIEW pull down menu.
  3. Select the Upgrade tab.
  4. You should see a button labeled Check for update now. Clicking this button will have your RealPlayer contact RealNetworks and will check to see that your system has the latest version of RealPlayer.
  5. If you have the latest version, it will tell you so. If you don't, it will give you the option to download the necessry updates.

Sample Media

Now that you have downloaded or upgraded RealPlayer on your computer, you should be ready to receive media. But before diving in, you should test your Real Player to see that it is working correctly. We have selected two samples for you to try, one audio only and one that is both audio and video. This will also insure that your RealPlayer is able to receive media from the Columbia media servers.


This is a demonstration of the quality of streaming audio served from Columbia University's RealMedia Server. Our featured selection is a sample from Trees - a track from Wired Planet's self-titled 2000 release.

Special thanks to Joseph L. Briggs, Jonathan Perl and Tutu Tutani of Wired Planet.  © 2000 Wired Planet Music (ASCAP)

[ Click here to listen to our audio sample. ]

Wired Planet


The Columbia RealMedia server also supports streaming video as well. Below is a sample from The Artistry of Pops: Louis Armstrong at 100 featuring Wynton Marsalis and Stanley Crouch. The presentation is moderated by Prof. Robert O'Meally, The Center for Jazz Studies.

[ Click here to view our video sample. ]

Getting Help

RealNetworks offers a comprehensive resource for all RealPlayer issues. Visit their Support and Services pages for information. Connectivity or access problems to the Columbia University media server only, should be reported to the Computer Help Line at 212 854-1919 or via email to Please be very specific with the problem you are encountering.

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