The worst thing about RealPlayer 15 is that it is boring. It is well thought-out and easy-to-use, it looks sleek and it runs smoothly, but it is unbelievably boring.
Its biggest problem is a gaping lack of new features to be found by everyone who checks out the latest major player release. In fact, the only major new feature we have seen in RealPlayer 15 is the so-called Private mode, which, in effect, is no big deal either. All it does is create a new hidden folder where your downloaded videos will be saved so that they won't be displayed in your library unless in the Private mode.
What I sincerely don't get is why the elementary privacy settings are presented as something incredibly awesome and innovative. As soon as some software gets an access to the Web, the absence of any explicitly presented privacy options would mean encroaching on my privacy, so they're practically essential for any program with Web features. In that respect, the Private mode was long awaited at least by me and did not really come as a surprise.
What did come as a surprise (and a quite pleasant one) was the new Facebook bundling feature. Now you can connect RealPlayer to your Facebook account and accumulate the Facebook videos shared by your friends in one place. A bit of a fly in the ointment was that my Facebook friends are not that active sharers. However, if your social acquaintances can provide you with a better video feed, the Facebook Videos feature will certainly make your day.
Other new features are neither numerous nor interesting. They are, in fact, little more than a bunch of security and compatibility improvements that are very rarely exciting to read about.
On the whole, the new 15 version is RealPlayer's further step towards more Web and more social as the Facebook videos were introduced. The Private mode is in reality not a new thrilling feature but rather a real must that for some unclear reason was not featured in previous RealPlayer releases. In all other respects, version 15 comes across more like a minor update with unspectacular visual changes and security improvements.
- Nice Web-based features
- Easy-to-use and sleek user interface
- A very wide feature range
- The Private mode does its job nice
- Facebook videos are nice
- IE as the basic underlying browser
- Lack of new features
- The player is boring to use