For a reasonable alternative, please see my recent answer.
Streaming music files in vb.net without WMP
I should add that this is not just a player. Open-source VideoLAN is the one universal solution which can be used for media streaming, transcoding, downloading, with filtering on the fly, and a lot more.
You should also keep in mind that RealNetwork came up with pretty bad and totally proprietary solutions, including their own proprietary RealMedia formats which always caused compatibility problem. We really need open-source solutions.