RealJukebox is an audio playback, management and CD ripping application created
by RealNetworks in the late 90's.
Also, it is a complete piece of garbage.
The interface is garish - as you would expect from any software created by
RealNetworks (from now on, RN). Way too many buttons, too much information
on screen, unnecessary textures, and oh, what's that? An advertisement? So
There is also a handful of skins to make the interface a little less horrid,
but they do not achieve great success in that endeavour either.
Now, the encoder... RN had just purchased Xing Tech,
so they had a pretty decent MP3 encoder in their hands. Unfortunately, they
decided to cripple it to drive sales of the paid version, RealJukebox Plus
(US$ 29.99). Therefore, the MP3 encoder only works at 56, 64 and 96kbps.
Other bitrates require Plus.
But do not despair, lad! You can rip "CD quality" files with RealJukebox,
you only need to accept RN's useless RealAudio format for that. You can
actually go all the way to 352kbps then, but good luck playing these files
anywhere besides RealJukebox itself.
Anyway, there is more to be said about the application. It is incredibly
intrusive: it installs Real Player - without asking first - and plasters
your desktop, start menu and even the IE favorites with offers for AOL and
similar crap. It tries to steal your file associations and installs TWO
resident programs in your system tray that exist only to keep the file
associations stolen and send you notifications (I can only imagine how
awesome these were) and steal system resources and make your life miserable.
Last, it would not be RN if they were not genuflexing to corporate interests.
RealJukebox offers (nah, insists) to "protect" (that is, encrypt) the songs it
rips from CDs so that you can not share them with your friends. When you try
to disable this great feature, an ominous sounding message pops up asking if
you are really sure you want to be seen as a criminal.
Please do not install RealJukebox or any software from RealNetworks.
Download: rjukebox20.exe - 9.152kB