Installing RealPlayer© in OS/2 Warp

By: Walter Metcalf
Date: 12/03/98

If you do any amount of surfing on the Web, you've undoubtedly come across many sites that offer high-quality sound and/or video downloadable over the internet, called streaming media. To make use of this feature, you must have a RealAudio© or RealPlayer© software package from RealNetworks, Inc. installed on your system. Doing this on OS/2 Warp, Netscape 2.02, and Netscape Communicator 4.04 is the subject of this article.


Unfortunately, as many of you have found out, RealNetworks does not make an OS/2 version, and has no plans to do so. The latest version is a 32-bit version that works only on versions of Windows 9x and Windows NT.

The good news is that there is an earlier 16-bit version, RealPlayer 5.0, that does work with Warp by utilizing Win-OS/2. The sound provided is really very good, although there can be some interruptions if the internet is very busy. Video works fine too, except my 33.6K modem was too slow for smooth action.


  • OS/2 Warp with Win-OS/2 installed
    Note: I only tested this with Warp 4, but Warp 3 should work as well. I also used TCP/IP 4.1, but I see no reason why 4.0 should not also work.

  • The latest versions of the Dos Box and the TCP/IP stack.

  • Note: if you get Winsock errors, read the very helpful document, Winsock Help by Judy McDermott, and follow the instructions exactly.

  • Last, but definitely not least, you must have a sound card installed under Win-OS/2.

    • Tips
      SoundBlaster 16 and AWE 32 PnP Win-OS/2 installation is covered in Section 27.0 of the main Warp 4.0 Readme.txt file written to the root directory of your system drive at installation time.

      Sound cards using the ESS868 PnP family of chips are inexpensive, are OS/2 supported, work extremely well and product a high-quality sound. A package containing the necessary instructions including a revised installation program can be downloaded from here.

      Additional information and files may be found in the WININST.ZIP in the Drivers subdirectory of your Device Driver Pak CD that came with Warp 4.0. If you're using Warp 3, or your CD isn't handy, you can also download the file from here.


  1. Download RealPlay© 5.0.

  2. Install RealPlay (i.e. run the .exe file) and don't select a browser.

  3. Netscape 2.02

    1. Start Netscape and select Options | General Preferences | Helpers.

    2. Scroll down until you find a File Type of audio/x-pn-realaudio. Highlight that entry.

    3. Make sure the File Extensions are ra, ram. If they're not, then edit the window.

    4. Click on Launch the application.

    5. Enter the filename realplay.exe (raplayer.exe if you're installing realaudio) along with the complete path and device name in the last field.

  4. Netscape 4.04

    1. Start Netscape and select Edit | Preferences. In the large box on the left, click on the category Navigator, and then click on Applications.

    2. Scan down the box labelled Applications and look for an entry called RealAudio, or something similar.

    3. If you don't find one, then click on New Type.

    4. Fill in the information as follows:

      Description: RealAudio;

      File Extension: ra ram;

      Mime Type: audio/x-pn-realaudio;

      Application to Use: raplayer.exe plus the full path including the device name.

  5. For successful multimedia playing, it is critical that the path name, device name, extensions, and MIME type be entered exactly as shown.

  6. If using Netscape 2.02, you may find that some multimedia sites will fail with a message about the OS/2 multimedia plugin. The means the multimedia plugin is out of date, and the only solution is to switch to Netscape 4.04. It is doubtful IBM will upgrade the multimedia plugins for the older version of Netscape.

  7. If you have any problems not covered here, please report them on the Focus on OS/2 bulletin board, so we may all work on them together, pooling our experience on various configurations.

For further reading:

Winsock Help by Judy McDermott. Document containing detailed instructions on what to do if you encounter Winsock.dll errors. Awesome site with over 100,000 files to test your new RealAudio© installation. After the document loads, click on Spinner button to start the Javascript program.

Microsoft Trial See and hear Bill Gates' depositions as well as other videos related to the trial from Court-TV. You'll find this works best if you choose a time when the Internet is quiet, and if you have a high-speed connection (>= 57.6 KB).

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