I was helping my girlfriend watch some videos that she needed for a class that she was having trouble playing on her mac. Once I saw that ubuntu wasn't able to play them out of the box I looked at the extension and found a solution on ubuntu forums.

The solution suggested that I try mplayer to play the file:

$ mplayer -playlist file.ram

Success! I could watch the video streaming.

However, it also pointed out that extension ram files were just real player's playlist and the file was simply a text file. I opened the file and it contained one line which was the url to the video. A .rm file, real players video file, that I was sure I could covert with ffmpeg.

The url was rather long so I used cat and wget to download the whole file.

$ wget `cat file.ram`

Next, I used a tutorial on ehow to find the correct flags for converting using ffmpeg. (I am lazy and why read man pages when you have examples you can search and find)

$ ffmpeg -i IN.rm -vcodec mpeg4 -sameq -acodec aac -ab OUT.mp4

It seems I am never going to remember that avconv is the new replacement for ffmpeg. But no matter what I tried I couldn't seem to get it to work.

I decided because I knew it would run in mplayer that mencoder was the logical choice.

$ mencoder IN.rm -aid 0 -vid 1 -ovc lavc -oac lavc -o OUT.mp4

And that .... worked a little but the video seemed poorly made.

Next i tried something called transmageddon which was a gui and seemed to spin rather than work. More to come if I get it to work...

Sources:

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1177723

http://www.ehow.com/how_6306550_convert-realmedia-mp4-using-linux.html