Here’s something that didn’t surprise me in the least: Stopbadware.org has added the immensely popular RealPlayer to its hit list of misbehaving apps.
The group’s problem is that RealNetworks doesn’t sufficiently disclose that its media player is bundled with adware programs.
Here’s the details from the Stopbadware.org blog:
“RealPlayer 10.5 and RealPlayer 11, both of which are distributed widely, both violate our badware guidelines, but in different ways. RealPlayer 10.5 is badware because it doesn’t tell the user that its “Message Center” feature will pop up ads from the system tray if the user doesn’t register the application. RealPlayer 11 is badware because it installs the Rhapsody Player Engine without notifying the user. When the user uninstalls RealPlayer, Rhapsody Player Engine is left behind, unless the user also knows to uninstall it separately.”
To RealNetworks’ credit, the company seems to be taking its medicine on this one.
Stopbadware.org says RealNetworks has been upfront about these tactics and acknowledged that it was a mistake on their part to not offer to uninstall Rhapsody Player Engine when uninstalling RealPlayer 11.
“We expect that the next version of RealPlayer will correct the issue and provide better disclosure, and we encourage RealNetworks to work with their downstream partners to ensure that older versions are replaced by the new version,” Stopbadware.org says.