Actually, come to think of it, what your saying makes PERFECT sense.
In EARLIER versions of RealPlayer, you had the option to "Open" or "Open Location". Since they obviously combined the two into a single option, and as you said, integrated a browser, it makes sense that when you enter a URL, you have to enter it PRECISLY correct, so that RealOne can distinguish the difference bewteen whether your request is web based, or in fact audio based.
Actually, I never knew to enter the listen.pls in any of the players; I always thought that IP/Port were sufficient.
I do NOT do ANY web programming, and know virtually NOTHING about it, but I did introduce a ".PLS" file to my webmaster, so that when making public streams, he knew how to make a "click to listen" button.
I just always thought that the PLS file basically instructed your web browser to load up the default player for .pls files, but when the player is already loaded, and your typing in the URL manually, never occurred to me that the .pls was needed...I always thought port and IP were enough.
As far as HAVING to include the trailing slash on WMP...that is just plain odd...
Anyway, thanks again. I do feel kind of stupid though. The gentleman at the top told me to do a "search"; and HONESTLY I did (specifically for "REALONE"), and read every post in the search results, and did NOT find ANY solution. As a matter of fact, I saw a couple posts that suggested that RealOne and WMP did NOT support Shoutcast streams, and took them to be accurate. I have seen a few posts where people get jumped on to do a seach before posting. In this case, if I had NOT have posted, the search results would have bitten me with FALSE information.
Oh, well.....learn something new everyday.
Thanks again for your help. I really appreciate it!