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Real Media

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REAL media

REAL media is a semi-proprietary format used by/for REAL Networks. The original REAL container format (*.REL) was released in conjunction with Prodigy-Online in the late 1980s under REALNetworks' predecessor; RealTime Entertainment and contains an MIDI audio track and a Raster-Image CAD graphic track. Initially the format was limited to 1.42 Mb so a single download could fit on a floppy disk. No encoder software was ever released to the public and the format is now; for the most part; long dead.

Real AV originally released in 1995 via an agreement with CompuServe, and later AOL with the sale of Netscape to AOL-Time (Life) Warner.


Real Media is found in 4 variations: Real Media Container, Real Audio, Real Video, and Variable Bitrate. The container holds the version audio and video format in the same file.

Constant Bitrate

  • Container Files are .rm
  • Audio Files are .ra .rma .ram
  • Video Files are .rv .rmv

Variable Bitrate


  • .rmv .rmvb
  • .rav .rmav
  • .rvb .rmvb


Real Media
Version; - Video Audio
1 - H.263 lpcJ: IS-54 VSELP
2 - H.263 28_8: G.728 LD-CELP
3 - H.263 dnet: Dolby AC3
4 - H.263 sipr: Sipro Lab Telecom ACELP-NET
6 - H.263 sipr: Sipro Lab Telecom ACELP-NET
7 - H.263 cook: G2/Cook Codec
8 - H.263/RV20 atrc: Sony ATRAC3
9 - RV30 raac: MPEG-4 LC-AAC
10 - RV40 racp: MPEG-4 HE-AAC
8 VB - RV20 atrc: Sony ATRAC3.5
10 VB - RV40 ralf: RealAudio Lossless Format


In order to play the files you will need one of two things; either RealPlayer or the decoder for the codecs of both the formats inside the container.

  • For Windows users you can download RealAlternative and VLC player or MediaPlayer Classic
  • For Mac users; iLife should include everything you need; if not, download VLC player
  • For Linux users you will need a decoder-filter pack and VLC player