Unfortunately it's the only one most of us have at our disposal!
What don't you like about it?
Associates all files with itself
Rubbish quality in comparison to WMP, Quicktime, Ogg
Many features disabled unless you pay Real $15, and even then it's still rubbish
Tries too much to be the 'hub of your digital life'
STUPID Media Guide and messages reminding you about how great a trailer for
Sluggish, ugly UI
Demands your personal information on installation - I can understand if you've bought a brand new computer, but a
WMP has to be surgically removed from a machine - to remove Real Player you practically have to torch the machine and then hammer it to pieces.
In other words, I hate RealPlayer with a passion. May I recommend QuickTime, or Ogg Theora?
I've never had a problem with the free Real Player, It plays my Real files, MP3s and MPGs and nothing else. The trick is to go for custom installation and then select the file types you want it to play, really simple and easy to do. The messages are easily turned off too, I have never had a pop up message from Realplayer!
The big advantage Real has over other media players is the way it buffers streaming audio in a timeline so you can pause, rewind and fastforward radio in a PVR (Sky/Virgin+) style.
Haven't tried VLC yet, but the problem I have with Quicktime is that I've never found a way to get it to 'stay on top'