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TUTORIAL: Helix Player (Nightly Build Tarball)

by Thomas Chung on Dec 27, 2003

In this tutorial you will learn how to build Helix Player rpm package and install it for Fedora Core 1. Helix Player is the Helix Community's open source media player for consumers. It's availalbe for FREE under the RPSL (RealNetworks Public Source License) Agreement and Binary EULA (End User License Agreement).

Download a Helix Player binary compiled for Linux using GCC 3.2 from following URL:

In this turotial, we will download hxplay-linux-2.2-libc6-gcc32-i586.tar.gz 
for Source tarball for 01/13/04*.

It's located at Platform/Target starts with linux-2.2-libc6-gcc32-i586 
under HelixPlayer column.  Screenshot: hxplay-tar.png

before you can download it.

* Older version of source tarball may not be available any more
  as the project continues to develop in fast pace.

UPDATE 2004-06-30:
See this great news from Kevin Foreman who is General Manager of Helix Project.

UPDATE 2004-06-16:
See my new HOWTO on RealPlayer 10 Beta.

UPDATE 2004-05-18:
As of 2004-05-18, Helix Player is now 100% open source but it can ONLY play open source format such as Ogg Vorbis, Ogg Theora, as well as SMIL 2.0
A superset of the Helix Player called RealPlayer 10 alpha can play non-open source format such as RealAudio, RealVideo, MP3, Flash
See the annoucement of RealPlayer 10 Alapha:

UPDATE 2004-04-15:
Build 20040415 seems to be pretty stable as far as testing Officlal RealVideo Test Clips and NPR's Hourly Newscast but it seems there is a minor issue handing RealVideo 10 files with extension .rmvb. If you get this error message, try updating mime-type handle with /usr/bin/hxplay as shown in this screenshot.

UPDATE 2004-03-09:
If you see an error message when you try to play an URL begins with rtsp://, try copying the URL and paste in URL field in Helix Player (File >> Open >> URL)
Here is a good test site for RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) Real Media: (Right Click on Webcast URL and choose Copy Link Location)

UPDATE 2004-03-07:
Nighlty build has been broken since 2004-02-09 so Helix Player Project manager has created this special thread
and released MS2.1 (Milestone 2.1) at

UPDATE 2004-03-05:
Here is the screenshot for my custom MIME Type for audio/x-pn-realaudio
which allows me to play RealVideo 10 with extension .rmvb as well as HDTV.

When you play media with .smil extension for the first time from,
you should have gotten this dialog to create a new MIME Type for application/smil

If your browser keeps freezing and couldn't play any audio, try removing any possible other plugins
such as mplayerplug-in to avoid a conflict and try it again.

UPDATE 2004-02-08:
Helix Community now offers RPM version for Helix Player.
See this screenshot took on Feb 8.

UPDATE 2004-01-28:
Helix Player, the first commercial grade, open source and multi-format digital media player, has been awarded top honors by the LinuxWorld Product Excellence Awards, as unveiled at LinuxWorld Conference & Expo 2004 held last week in New York. The Helix Player was recognized for being the 'Best Open Source Project'. For more information,

UPDATE 2004-01-15:
Helix Player MS2 (Milestone 2) has been released. See Release Notes
I've also written HOWTO: Helix Player MS2 (MileStone 2)