RealPlayer on Ubuntu 8.10 & 9.04 (Intrepid & Jaunty) 64-bit Machines (AMD64)

I recently needed to install RealPlayer and the RealPlayer mozilla firefox plugin so that I could listen to Adam & Joe’s show on BBC 6 Music.

I had previously been using the mplayer mozilla plugin, and although playback worked, it was quite choppy (it didn’t seem to buffer too well), and I could not pause/resume or seek.

My first thought was to look in the Medibuntu repositories, and sure enough, there was a realplayer package – unfortunately it seems that this did not include the mozilla plugin.

My next try was to look at the RealPlayer for linux website, but it only has a download for the 32-bit version. I did notice that there was a link to helix player for other platforms. Helix player is an open source media player on which RealPlayer is based. I tried helix player, but this can not play back proprietary codecs (and therefore not the real stream from the BBC website), however it did include a mozilla plugin!

I tried a combination of both – I installed RealPlayer from the Medibuntu repositories, and installed the mozilla plugin from the helix tarball to my home directory. And it works!

Instructions follow:

  1. Enable the Medibuntu repositories.
  2. Install the RealPlayer and libstdc++5 packages:
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install realplayer libstdc++5
  3. Load RealPlayer (Applications > Sound & Video > RealPlayer), and in Tools > Preferences, select the hardware tab, and set the audio driver to OSS. Press OK, and close RealPlayer.
  4. Download and unpack (into a temporary location) the Helix Player for AMD64 – I grabbed the linux-2.6-glibc23-amd64 tar.
  5. Copy the contents of the “mozilla” folder to ~/.mozilla/plugins (in your home directory – you may need to create the plugins folder).

Update: Looks as if I may have jumped the gun a bit – looking at the files installed by the medibuntu realplayer package, it does indeed look as if it comes with the mozilla plugin. I do not know why it wasn’t working for me (maybe it places it in the wrong location?) – but I am running fine with the above solution (even if it is a bit messy).