Realplayer for Android gets new look in Beta 2

The ubiquitous RealPlayer for Android (beta 2) is now available in android market! Never mind the ‘beta’ label, it’s very much usable. The user interface has also been revised: it blends more with the general Android look and feel, for those who saw the previous (version 0.9) beta .

Realplayer does a good job of bringing your media into one place –  almost too good, in fact. It goes as far as selecting the album art from my music collection and displaying it in the ‘Photos’ section. I guess this is an effect of being able to playback the contents of an entire folder like a playlist – which the app does pretty well.  If you switch to another app while playing music, there’s a notification icon with which you can restore the player – that’s a plus. Note, though, that there’s no exit button – you have to pause/stop the currently playing media before the app can close. You can delete files from the list view with a long press, but that’s the only thing you can do there – apart from playing the file.

The music playback is great, and so is the video. But unlike the PC and Mac versions, the android Realplayer’s video support is still limited to the general subset specified in the SDK: MP4 and 3GP videos using H.264 and H.263 video encoding and MP3 or AAC audio.  I’m hoping – yes, I like to dream – that Real Media will add support for more video formats, so that my favourite mobile media player can play ‘every thing thrown at it’, like this one here.

Here’s the bad news: its only available for 2.1 or higher. Scan the QR code above with your phone, or search the Android market for realplayer.

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