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Thread: Cannot play ra audio

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default Cannot play ra audio

    Is there any freeware that opens ra file?
    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Thanked 3,449 Times in 3,410 Posts
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    For playing, yes. Assuming a .ra file is Real Audio™, which is its proprietary extension, though I suppose other files might have that.

    If it is Real Audio™, use RealPlayer™:

    Though it's proprietary, copyrighted. and trademarked, the player is free.
    - John

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  3. The Following User Says Thank You to jscheuer1 For This Useful Post:

    amyy (11-26-2011)

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Illinois, USA
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    Yes, .ra is very specifically a real player format. And there are very few if any ways around that. Unlike almost all other audio/video formats, .ra/.ram is not generally compatible with anything else (unlike the way that .avi/.mov/.mp3/.wav can, in theory, play in basically everything, even though some of those are proprietary as well). However, it does work in at least some cases with VLC, which is a free and open source audio player program.
    Realplayer is free, but it does have ads and may try to install extra-ware on your computer with it. I like to avoid realplayer whenever I can.

    Another thing I've found is that realplayer and its formats are outdated-- a thing of the 90s, not something to be used now, and in fact ra/ram files on many sites don't actually work. This has to do with how some of them are just shells that refer to external media that somehow won't load. I'm not sure if that's a format issue or just due to the fact that any site using ra/ram is so old that they don't actually maintain their material.

    By the way, I don't know how ra works specifically, but if it's anything like mov/avi/etc, then it's not technically an audio format. It's a container that can hold multiple formats based on the codec. So you might find that some .ra files play in VLC (for example) and others don't; and in fact some might not even play in realplayer if you're missing the necessary codecs. That's probably not too relevant, but if you run into lots of problems that might be why.
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    amyy (11-26-2011)


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