When it comes to streaming video over the internet, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with a vast array of choices. Most bog-standard cloud backup and sync services are capable of streaming video over their servers, but they’re not really optimised for the task. You could make use of a locally stored solution such as XBMC or Plex, which lets you stream over the internet, but only within certain strict parameters.
The third way is to invest in a cloud-based service that’s geared specifically towards the sharing and streaming of video. That’s the thinking behind RealPlayer Cloud. It’s designed to work on a wide array of devices, allowing you to back up your videos to the cloud and access them from anywhere through a user-friendly interface and without having to worry about whether or not your video will play on the device in question.
The Windows client is basically an updated version of Real’s veteran media player, and very good it is too, with three particular strings to its bow. The first is its media player capabilities, giving you access not only to your personal PC’s library and any external devices attached to it, but also any video you upload to your RealPlayer Cloud account.
The second string is that it’s a media server, allowing you to stream your PC’s library to any of your other mobile devices over your local network. And the final string is that it makes it easy to upload video to your cloud storage.
As a personal media player, RealPlayer Cloud has all the tools you need and more: organise files into playlists and collections for easy access, plus add your music and photo libraries too.
Its new raison d'être, however, is to give you a gateway to your RealPlayer Cloud library. Existing video can be watched and organised from here, while adding locally stored content to your cloud storage is simple too: locate the video(s) in question, then once selected simply click Upload to Cloud.
Once uploaded, a handy icon appears over the file to let you know it’s now also stored in the cloud, giving you access from any of your connected devices to that file and making it easy to see which files have been uploaded and which haven’t.
There’s a lot to like about RealPlayer Cloud except for one thing: its pricing. Only 2GB is offered for free, although you can up this to as much as 3.5GB in total by jumping through various hoops. Sadly, the actual pricing model, starting from $4.99 a month for just 25GB storage, makes it hard to recommend for those with a lot of video they wish to share. If that’s a deal-breaker, then try Streamnation instead.
While it’s expensive as a cloud-storage tool, RealPlayer Cloud is far more than a simple cloud-streaming service. Well worth a look, particularly for streaming content directly from your PC to other mobile devices.