How to save real audio files to hard disk

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 7, 2005
Updated • Apr 29, 2013
Music and Video

I published a stream ripping tutorial yesterday and one of the comments that I have received was if I knew a way to save real audio music as well to the computer. After a bit of fiddling around I found a solution that lets you save real audio music to your computer's hard drive.

You will need the following tools: Real Player, Real Player Alternative or another tool / plugin that plays real audio files. I suggest Real Player Alternative as it is lighter and not as bloated as the official tool.

There is more than one way to save the files. I try to give an overview on all of them, there are surely more out there but I think its sufficient if you know how to save them, no one needs more than 2-3 ways for the same process.

1. Go to a webpage that offers Real Audio Streams, they normally offer a link to a .ram file which you download. The .ram file only contains the link to the .ra / .rm file, and that's what we need. Remember the .ra file contains the audio, the .ram file the location of the audio file.

Download the .ram file and open it locally with a text editor. You should see a line with a link to the audio file. If you are lucky the url starts with http://

If that's the case simply copy paste the url into your browser and you are prompted to download the audio file.

Unfortunately most of the time the url does not start with http but with rtsp:// for example. The browser won't download this files, there is a workaround for this though. Just a quick note, there is an older format as well, just in case, don't worry if you find a pnm:// link, its just the old protocol. There should not be a lot of those around anymore.

You can use the flashget program to which is a download manager to save streams, it is able to handle the rtsp:// format as well as others.

Once on your hard disk simply double click to start the audio file. I suggest a player like AIMP or VLC Media Player for that.


Tutorials & Tips

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  1. Anonymous said on August 1, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Why not make use of the mplayer.conf?

  2. Mike J said on August 1, 2010 at 2:58 pm

    Huh, I have never even seen this “font cache” pane; videos play at once for me, using VLC & XP SP3.

    1. Martin said on August 1, 2010 at 3:39 pm

      Mike, in theory this should have only been displayed once to you, at the very first video that you played with VLC. The time this window is displayed depends largely on the number of fonts in your font directory.

      1. Mike J said on August 2, 2010 at 2:30 pm

        huh, I lucked out for a change?? Amazing!!
        Apparently VLC keeps this info through version updates, but I didn’t see this message after a fresh OS install about 8 weeks ago, & a new VLC.

  3. myo said on August 1, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    yes, yes, i have the same problem. sometimes, VLC crashes when it is playing .mov file.

  4. Kishore said on August 13, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Buidling font Cache pop-up


    Open VLC player.

    On Menu Bar:


    (at bottom – left side)
    Show settings — ALL

    Open: Video
    Click: Subtitles/OSD (This is now highlited, not opened)
    Text rendering module – change this to “Dummy font renderer function”


    Re-open – done.
    Progam will no longer look outside self for fonts

    Source –

    1. Martin said on August 13, 2010 at 3:10 pm

      Great tip, thanks a lot Kishore.

  5. javier said on August 14, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    @Kishore, I’ll try your tips, but does this mean it will no longer show subtitles either?
    I do use subtitles, but the fontcache dialog box pops up (almost) everytime I play a file.

    Could this be related to the fonts I have installed? Or if I add/remove fonts to my system?

    I’ll try to do a fresh install also, if your tips does no work. I’ll post back here later…


  6. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,

  7. Kishore said on August 15, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    @ Javier, The trick i posted will show up subtitles too. If not,Dont worry, VLC is currently sorting out this issue and the next version will be out soon.

    No probs @ Martin !! Its my pleasure

  8. Ted said on October 22, 2010 at 3:57 am

    Try running LC with administrator privileges. That seemed to fix it for me

  9. Evan said on December 8, 2013 at 1:48 am

    I am using SMplayer 0.8.6 (64-bit) (Portable Edition) on Windows 7 x64. Even with the -nofontconfig parameter in place SMplayer still scans the fonts. Also, I have enabled normal subtitles and it is still scanning fonts before playing a video. Also, it does this every time the player opens a video after a system restart (only the fist video played).

  10. Mike Williams said on September 6, 2023 at 1:26 pm

    Does that mean that only instrumental versions of songs will be available for non-paying users?

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