If you are having a problem with Real Player buffering way too much and ruining your enjoyment of the clip, I would first make sure that you are using the most current version of Real Player. To be sure, you might want to download a new copy from here:

And Apple Macintosh users might want to download the new OS X Player that was just released:

Please read this first from Real to see if this is your problem:

http://service.real.com/realplayer/support.html?section=RPvidprobs

In playing these clips, you need to remember that the larger ones take more time to download and therefore can aggravate this buffering problem. The thing that I have found to help the most is to click the download of the .ram file, and when the window opens, wait a moment and pause the player. Depending on your connection and the other people that might be slowing down the service, you might need to leave this paused for 5 or 10 minutes or more so it has a chance to download enough of the clip so that it won’t start that buffering again while playing. Remember that these are large files, and as such, need more time to completely download....or at least get to a point where it will not interfere with the rest of the clip as you are viewing it.

You also might want to be sure that you have downloaded all of the additional plug-ins that are available for Real Player.

In addition, I would suggest setting your preferences to this.

I have played around with some settings and I find that these seem to work well:

In Content: Deselect Enable Caching

In Connection:
Select Connection Speed (Dual ISDN 9128 Kpps)
Max Bandwidth (Dual ISDN 9128 Kpps)

Check Enable TurboPlay

In Playback:
All setting at 600 or higher with Video Overlay Optimization checked

In Internet:
Check to Allow RealMedia content to link automatically to Web Pages during playback

In Media Types click and select ALL file types


I am adding a portion of the Real Networks Help Section that you might find interesting.

I would suggest going through the actual online help and reading it through anyway for future reference.


Bandwidth
(Default is set during installation) Streaming Internet content is often available in multiple bandwidths. RealPlayer will automatically selects the best bandwidth to use when delivering the content, based on the following settings:

Connection Speed

This setting is initially determined by the answers you provide during installation. Adjust this setting for best performance.

For example, if you have a 56.6K modem but your connection is routinely only 30Kbps, you should probably set this to 28.8Kbps. If this is set too high, you will experience poor playback and extended buffering times as RealPlayer attempts to play clips at bit-rates greater than your connection actually delivers.

Maximum Bandwidth

This setting defines the upper limit for streams to which RealPlayer should automatically upshift. This should be set at or just below your best possible connection speed.

TurboPlay  

Enable TurboPlay. (Default is On for broadband connections) TurboPlay attempts to begin playback as soon as RealPlayer is able, rather than waiting until the minimum buffering setting is met. TurboPlay works best over faster connections such as broadband (cable or DSL service). Click Enable TurboPlay to enable or disable this feature.

Note: Correct Bandwidth settings are critical for this feature to operate smoothly.


Cache Settings

To speed up playback of frequently used content, you can allow RealPlayer to cache it, much like a Web browser temporarily saves images and content. Not all content is able to be cached. The author of the presentation must allow this ability.

Enable caching

(Default is On) Instructs RealPlayer to cache media files.

Clip cache size

(Default is 4MB) Move the slider to adjust the size. The size is limited to a maximum of 20MB.

Empty Clip Cache

Clears the content from the Clip Cache but does not delete the cache file. The size you set above will still be reserved on your hard drive. To delete the file entirely, you must disable caching.

Note: The Clip Cache is also emptied whenever you reboot your machine.


Buffered Play

(Default is 30 sec.) Defines how much of a clip RealPlayer should attempt to buffer before beginning playback. Enter the number of seconds of playback to buffer.

Note: Buffered Play is always enabled. This option only sets the size of the buffer. If TurboPlay is enabled, this setting is ignored.

Network Time-Out

Connection (Default is 20 sec.) Server (Default is 90 sec.) These settings determine how long RealPlayer will either attempt to establish a particular transport protocol (connection), or how long it will try to connect to a server. If either time is exceeded, your Player will tell you it cannot connect or that it has lost its connection to your ISP. If you frequently receive time-out warnings, you may try increasing these times.

Video Card Compatibility

Use video overlay optimizations (Default is On) When optimized video is selected, RealPlayer attempts to use your video hardware's advanced capabilities. Older video cards or video drivers may not function properly with this feature. If your video is acting erratically, one suggestion is to uncheck this preference.

Note: You will have to restart the Player after changing this selection before the change can take effect.

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