QuickTime/RealPlayer (RTSP) Streaming Links

RTSP streaming media links use a different protocol to stream lecture videos to your computer.  You do not need the Flash player to view these videos in your browser.  Instead, the video is streamed directly to another program already installed on your computer.  Streaming videos directly to these programs allows you to control progress (start/stop/pause) easily and resize the video how you prefer, among other things.


It is recommended that you have at least two programs installed on your machine to view these links.  As with web browsers, certain videos may not stream properly in one program while streaming perfectly in another.  Please keep all video players up to date, and please try all available programs before reporting a problem to the IMC.


Required players for RTSP playback (Windows, Mac)


Recommended players (Windows, Mac)


This document covers the following topics


This document may be updated as new information becomes available.  If, after reading this document, you still have questions about QuickTime/RealPlayer streaming videos, please contact the IMC.


Manually Opening RTSP Media Links

Depending on your setup, sometimes RTSP media links may behave differently than expected (not open at all, not open in the correct player, etc.)  If you are having trouble clicking the RTSP media links, you can manually open the media files using the copy/paste method with the media link.


  1. Right-click the RTSP link you want to view.  In the pop-up menu that appears, select “Copy Link Location”

  2. Open whichever program you want to view the video in.  For this example, QuickTime is being used.  Your program will have an “Open” command under the file menu similar to “Open Location” or “Open URL”, or it just may say “Open”.  Select this option.

  3. Right-click in the box that appears and select “paste” from the pop-up menu.

  4. The location of your video will appear in the text box.  Click OK and the video will begin streaming in your selected program.


Changing the Default RTSP Media Player for IE and Google Chrome (Windows XP)

You can change the default video player for Internet Explorer and Google Chrome yourself on Windows XP, though the process may seem a bit long and difficult.  It is recommended that you use this procedure only if you’re absolutely sure you wish to use a certain video player with the RTSP video links, and do not want to manually copy/paste the links as mentioned earlier.


  1. Go to Start > Control Panel.  In the window that appears, click the “Tools > Folder Options” menu option

  2. In the dialog box that appears, click the “File Types” tab at the top.

  3. It may take a few seconds for your system to detect every file type and protocol to add to the list.  Once it has finished searching and added everything to the list of file types, look for the “Real-Time Streaming Protocol” under the “File Types” column.  It does not have an extension, so the “Extensions” column will read “(NONE)”.  Highlight the Real-Time Streaming Protocol item and click the “Advanced” button.

  4. In the “Edit File Type” box that appears, highlight the “open” action and click the “Edit…” button on the right side of the box

  5. In the “Editing action” box that appears, click the “Browse…” button and search for the video player you wish to use to open the RTSP video links

  6. Select the video player you wish to use and click the “Open” button

  7. The player you have selected will appear in the “Application used to perform this action” box.  Make sure the string there ends with a “%1” (including quotes) – if it does not, add it to the end of the string, with a space between the program name and the “%1”


  8. Click OK on all the boxes that are opened.  Your RTSP videos will now load in the player you have selected.

Changing the Default RTSP Media Player for IE and Google Chrome (Windows 7)

When clicking an RTSP streaming media link in either Internet Explorer 9 or Google Chrome, the browser will initially notify you that it is opening an external program, and ask you to confirm opening the file before proceeding.  You can choose to bypass the warning in the future by checking the appropriate box in the notification that appears.

The RTSP notification when clicking a VUSN media link in Google Chrome v27.0.  This box will not appear again
If you click the box next to “Remember by choice for all links of this type”


The only way to change the default RTSP player for these browsers is through the system registry.  In order to make this change easier, the IMC LAN technicians have a script that can quickly change your default program to any of those on the recommended list, provided you have previously installed those programs.  To change your default RTSP viewer for Internet Explorer and Google Chrome, please bring your computer in to the IMC so the technicians can install and run the required script.


Changing the Default RTSP Media Player for Safari and Google Chrome (Mac)

Whether or not RealPlayer is your default player for viewing RTSP streaming videos, it is easiest to change your program preference from the RealPlayer options menu.  This how-to assumes that RealPlayer is initially set as your default program, and explains how to change to another program.  Changing your preference back to RealPlayer will be covered after step five below.


You can also use this method to change defaults between two programs without changing to RealPlayer (for example, changing your default player from QuickTime to VLC).


  1. With RealPlayer open, go to the RealPlayer > Preferences menu

  2. Click the “Media Types” icon on upper far right side of the window that appears.  You will see a list of checked options.  “Real-Time Streaming Protocol” will be one of these options.

  3. Uncheck the “Real-Time Streaming Protocol” checkbox.  A menu will appear on the right side of the window directly underneath the list of checkboxes.  This menu contains all installed programs on your Mac that can play RTSP streaming video.

  4. Change the menu to the program you wish to use as the default RTSP viewer.

  5. When you have selected your preferred player, click the “Save Media Types” button at the bottom of the window.  Any VUSN RTSP link you click on will now open in the new default player.


To change your preference back to RealPlayer, simply check the checkbox next to “Real-Time Streaming Protocol” in the list of file types and click the “Save Media Types” button.


Changing the Default RTSP Media Player for Firefox (Mac, Windows XP/7)

Firefox is currently the only recommended web browser that allows you to change your RTSP media viewer on the fly.  As in IE, Google Chrome, and Safari, you will initially be prompted to select one of your recommended programs, after which you can choose whether or not to always use the chosen program as the default.


Initially Selecting Your Video Player


  1. Click the link of the RTSP link you wish to view.  You will receive a pop-up box asking you which application you wish to use to view the video.

  2. If you do not see the program you wish to use, click the “Choose…” button towards the middle right of the screen.

  3. In the dialog box that appears, navigate to the location of the video player you wish to use and click the “Open” button at the bottom.  This will add the program to the list of applications, and you do not have to add this application to list again.

  4. Highlight the video player you want to use in the list.

  5. If you prefer, you can check the box next to “Remember my choice for rtsp links”.  This will make your currently-selected video player the default player every time you open a VUSN RTSP video link, and the “Launch Application” dialog box will no longer appear.  You can change this preference later if desired.

  6. Click the “OK” button.  Your selected video player will open and the video will begin streaming.

Changing Your Video Player through Preferences

If you checked the box next to “Remember my choice for rtsp links” in the initial pop-up box, you will not be able to select a different program to view videos through unless you go through the Firefox preferences menu.


  1. In Windows, go to the “Tools > Options” menu at the top of the screen.  If you do not see a “Tools” menu at the top of the screen, press the ALT key on your keyboard.  On a Mac, click the Firefox > Options menu option.

  2. In the dialog box that appears, click the “Applications” icon in the middle of the top row of icons.  You will see a list of different file types Firefox recognizes and what it does when it finds an associated file type.

  3. In the “search” box above the file types, type in “rtsp” (no quotes).  You will see the RTSP protocol, along with its associated action.  The current action will be to open with the program you initially selected.

  4. Click the action on the right side of the screen – it will change to a drop-down menu with several other actions you can choose from.  You can choose to open these links in another program, or you can choose to have Firefox “always ask” which program you want to use, as it initially did.

  5. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the Options box.  Firefox will now handle your RTSP links with the newly-selected action.


Mac Mavericks - QuickTime Player 10.3 (Troubleshooting)

QuickTime Player 10.3, that comes with Mavericks upgrades, does not support the RTSP links VUSN uses in its master video menu. However, there is a workaround that is not too cumbersome.


  1. Go to Apple at http://support.apple.com/kb/DL923, then download and install QuickTime 7. (You don’t have to do anything to QT 10.3, just leave it as is.)
  2. Make an alias of the QT7 icon for your desktop or dock. (QT7 installs in your Applications | Utilities folder. Leave the application there.)
  3. From the course master video menu, right-click or control-click and copy the QuickTime link that you want: it starts with rtsp.
  4. Open QT7, click Open URL, and paste the link and start your playback.

Once you have done the first two steps (about five minutes) and learned the routine for steps 3 & 4, it should take all of 30 seconds more to access the streaming video this way.