[clug] RealPlayer "cannot open audio device" - solution. Use 44.1kHz or less for Audio Output

steve jenkin sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au
Mon Aug 7 04:14:37 GMT 2006

This may be relevant to Linux people, and I know there are a few Mac
users lurking here... Problem occurred on a Mac, but probably affects
Linux as well.

The ABC uses "realplayer" to stream programs - I'm kinda locked in to
using it...

I'd done nothing (that I knew of) to audio on my system, and suddenly
files wouldn't stream and trying to troubleshoot, used RealPlayer to
play an MP3 file.  This led to an error message "Cannot open audio

Help pages gave no clue.  RealAudio website said "old version" or bad
sound drivers - not so.

Confirmed other programs could play sound files - like MP3 - through the
system default audio output as it later turned out.

Removed all versions of RealPlayer.  Downloaded latest version.
Reinstalled.  No more joy :-(
Spent a lot of time trawling through all the 'Preferences' - there seems
to be no way to select the audio output device.

Then I remembered I had used a USB audio device to get a microphone...
When I plugged it in - problem fixed!! Just that it wasn't the system
default and I don't have a mixer for the speakers :-(

Stumbled across an article that suggested changing the Audio sampling
frequency of the default system audio device to 44.1 kHz.

<http://www.macosxhints.com/article.php?story=20050817093959692> and

And then it worked :-) Not where you'd expect to configure an audio
player. [Default rate for my system was 96kHz]

As far as I can see, this isn't documented by Real Audio, and the (free)
Real Player and probably Helix players too, don't let you select the
audio output device...

Hope this is useful for someone out there on the Internet.

Steve Jenkin, Info Tech, Systems and Design Specialist.
0412 786 915 (+61 412 786 915)
PO Box 48, Kippax ACT 2615, AUSTRALIA

sjenkin at canb.auug.org.au http://www.canb.auug.org.au/~sjenkin

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