For some reason AOL seems to insist on Real Player and I must admit I`ve completely removed it from my system. You could try installing it again but make sure you take the advanced or custom install and deselect every file type available. I think there`s a button to do this on the selection dialog box at that stage. Also decline Google Toolbars and any of their newsletters, keep me informed etc etc.
Be careful because they ask you a second time during the installation! Now AOL should see the program is installed but doesn`t know you`ve effectively disabled it`s automatic start up. If you do get an icon in the tray, right click and explore the options. Deselect the start up option and display in tray options if they are there.