This page describes how to watch Al Jazeera English ( http://aljazeera.net/english, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Jazeera_English) subscription streams from Real.com. It is mostly a log how I (the original author of this page) got things to work on my 1000MHz PIII under Ubuntu 6.10. This is what worked for me, it may not work for you. This is probably not officially supported. If it doesn't work for you, please note it here. Please correct mistakes.
To get Al Jazeera English to work with Ubuntu Linux: --This assumes that you've bought this subscription: http://europe.real.com/partners/aljazeera/us/?r=plus&pcode=news_aj -- 1. Download the official latest Real player from the Real.com website and install it. 2. Click the "Launch Channel" link (http://europe.real.com/smil/aljazeera_us_aj.smil ) on the Watch Now page of the Al Jazeera English website (http://aljazeera.net/english). 3. Firefox offers to open or save that .smil file. Open the .smil file with Real player.
(NB: If Real player is not offered as a choice to open the file with, click Open With -- Other and select the /usr/bin/realplay executable file.) 4. Real player will prompt the user that they need to buy a subscription or sign in. Click "sign in". 5. Several windows will have opened in Firefox, including a Real sign-in webpage window. Sign in there. For reference, the URL of the sign-in page is https://account.real.com/login/?case=invalid_pid&pid=&url=al_jazeera_en_me.rm&src=nosrc&gooey=DE&f_auth= 6. Now Firefox will offer to open or save an .rnx file. Do not try to open that file with Real player. If you do, the player will show an error message that it cannot play this content. Instead, proceed to step (7). 7. Open this (320kbps) URL in Firefox:
http://europarse.real.com/hurl/eurohurl.html?pid=eu_aljazeera&url=al_jazeera_en_me.rm or open this higher bandwidth (500kbps) URL (which I haven't tried) in Firefox: http://europarse.real.com/hurl/eurohurl.html?pid=eu_aljazeera&url=al_jazeera_en_hi.rm Note that these are http, not rtsp URLs. Also, do not try to open these in Real player. This will not work. 8. Firefox will now offer to open or save a eurohurl.ram file. Open that file with Real player. 9. The channel should now start playing. For the channel to play, two things appear to be required: A cookie telling the player that the user has logged in and was authenticated, and a new rtsp URL, which the eurohurl.ram file contains. Reusing the eurohurl.ram file won't work as it contains a new rtsp URL every time it is downloaded and any of these rtsp URLs can only be opened once. This is to prevent non-subscribers from watching the for-fee stream. However, once the user has signed in, the cookie is kept. So when next launching the channel, it is not required to go through all of the above steps. In fact, at step (4), Real player will not prompt the user to sign in if they already have. Instead, it will just say "Checking Membership Status" in Real player and open a bunch of webpages in Firefox. Then it will just sit there and do nothing. This is a sign that the user is already signed in and can just start with step (7) rather than going through steps 1-6. Steps 1-6 can be skipped after the first time and it's even possible to tell Firefox to automatically open the .ram file with Real player. That way the URL from step (7) can be bookmarked or saved to the Desktop as a .desktop file for fast access.
In Realplayer, under Tools -- Preferences -- Hardware, Use XVideo can be turned on or off. It's quicker if Xvideo is on, but it only allows for taking screenshots if XVideo is off. For some reason, if I have watched another stream with Realplayer and I then go back to watch Al Jazeera, there sometimes is no picture. If I restart X it will work again. That could however be related to my not properly supported SiS630 integrated graphics. I would encourage everyone to share this information, and to use it to implement full Linux support. I release the above text into the public domain.