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  1. #1
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    BBCiPlayer Plugins - an alternative quick fix guide

    Updated 6th April 2016 - the BBC iPlayer Extras plugin was not working on 5th April but is now working again - the BBC may withdraw the feeds it uses at any time - see http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...l=1#post850389

    Updated 11th February 2016 with a reference to the new, but still very much 'test', DASH solution.

    With the recent changes to the BBC Internet Radio streams, 3 sets of solutions for LMS users have been developed by the amazing people here on the LMS forum. Note that users of the "BBC Radio" applet (not using LMS) on Logitech Radios and Touch devices should instead look at http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...l=1#post810788

    The first uses the 'PlayHLS' plugin and some fixes. See the thread starting at http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...l=1#post811346.

    A second set of solutions, which are the solutions described in this thread, has been developed by Triode and bpa, requiring 2 updated plugins coming from 2 new 'repositories'. The PlayHLS plugin is NOT required. This set of solutions provides one method of playing Live streams, and 2 separate ways to listen to 'On Demand' (Listen Again) streams. The 2 different methods for searching for previous programmes both have their uses. There are some differences in the quality provided for Radio 3 (BBC iPlayer Extras giving higher quality).

    One additional patch is required to get BBCiPlayer "Listen Again" working - see Step 4 below. Some station icons also disappeared - see Post #2 below.

    A third solution is still very much in test mode, both with respect to the BBC's own use of the technology, and the solution provider's (bpa) plugins. This solution supports the 'DASH' standard. See http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...t-test-version for information about this test solution.


    This solution.

    Please note that with the patches, unless you know exactly what and how to replace the files it may be better to start with a fresh BBCiPlayer system by removing the BBCiPlayer plugin on the Settings, Plugins page on the LMS GUI (see Step 1).

    I have assumed use of the 'Default' interface on the LMS GUI.

    [b]1) If you have older versions of the BBC iPlayer (before version v1.3.1alpha3) or BBC iPlayer Extras (before version v1.8) plugins, or you want to reinstalled these plugins, or remove even newer plugins (such as those used in the DASH solution), these need to be removed first.

    - Go to the Settings, Plugins page on the LMS GUI.
    - Untick the plugins you want to remove (i.e. 'disable' them).
    - If the plugins were installed by using 'Additional Repositories' near the bottom of the page, delete the repository URLs.
    - Restart LMS.
    - Refresh the Settings, Plugins page.

    2) Install updated 'alpha' version of Triode's BBC iPlayer plugin - version v1.3.1alpha3 (latest on 31st March 2015 incorporating many improvements over alpha2)

    - Go to the Settings, Plugins page on the LMS GUI.
    - Go to 'Additional Repositories' near the bottom. If this is not available, there should be an option to enable third party plugins. Tick this, and press 'Apply' at bottom right.
    - Add the following line to the list of additional repositories:
    Code:
    http://triodeplugins.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/testrepo.xml
    - Press 'Apply' at bottom right.
    - Restart LMS.
    - You should now find that either the new BBCiPlayer plugin is now already available and installed, or there is a box you can tick near the bottom of the plugins list (under "Triode's Squeezecenter Plugins (Test Versions)") to make it available on the next LMS restart. If the latter, tick it and restart LMS.


    3) Install updated version of bpa's BBC iPlayer Extras plugin - version v1.8

    Repeat the instructions in step 1 except use the repository below, and ensure that the BBC iPlayer Extras plugin version 1.8 is selected and installed.
    Code:
    http://bpaplugins.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/repo-short.xml
    The plugin will either be installed straight away after a restart, or you need to tick it against "bpa's Squeezecenter Plugins Short".

    This method of listening to On Demand streams usually provides a better quality stream for Radio 3.

    4) Install updated BBCXMLParser.pm file to fix a problem with BBC iPlayer "Listen Again" (BBC iPlayer Extras works without this patch).

    See http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...l=1#post834111 for the patched program. There is currently no automated way of updating this file. You therefore have to replace this file in the BBCiPlayer folder. On ubuntu linux this is in /var/lib/squeezeboxserver/cache/InstalledPlugins/Plugins/BBCiPlayer . For other platforms you need to to find the file. Before replacing the file you should stop LMS. In all cases you need to check that the access rights for the file are the same as for other files in the same folder (so that LMS can run it). It is regrettably not possible to give detailed instructions here given the (wonderful) variety of platforms LMS runs on. Once updated, restart LMS.

    5) If you have problems there are a few options to check:

    a) Go to Settings, Advanced, BBC iPlayer. Unless you have a good reason not to, the 1st two options should read HLS > MP3 > FlashAAC > FlashMP3 . It is also suggested you turn off 'Show Live Text' since this has been known to cause problems.

    b) Go to Settings, Advanced, File Types. Under AAC you should have
    Code:
             AAC   Native
             FLAC  faad/flac
             MP3   faad/lame  (assuming you have already installed lame for MP3s)
             PCM   faad
    Some have found that there can be a pitch change if your system is set up in a way that it uses AAC to PCM, so you could try disabling PCM in this list if that happens to you.

    c) For Windows Users Only - you may find some programmes don't play. A patched version of faad.exe is available and attached here - faad.zip. Find your old copy, take a backup, and, entirely at your own risk, copy this one, making sure the access rights for the program are the same as the old one. It is hoped this will become part of the standard LMS release at some point. In the mean time, if you update LMS you may well lose this fix and have to re-apply it. So I suggest you either stop updating LMS for now, or write a small batch file to run to update faad.exe each time you update LMS.

    d) On ubuntu 13.04 and newer, and possibly other linux distros, running LMS prior to 7.9, you may find that streams do not play on older SB devices such as SliMP3, SB1, SB2, SB3, Transporter, Boom, Classic and Duet, and some software devices such as squeezeslave and Softsqueeze. This may be due to problems with the faad and flac transcoders being unable to run to convert aac to flac. This problem does not occur using devices such as the LMS Touch or squeezelite since they can process aac natively. If this happens you have two possible ways to improve matters.

    i) You could update to LMS 7.9. However 7.9 is a beta release and may not suit those who prefer a stable release with which they are familiar.

    ii) Update your versions of faad and flac as follows:
    - Go to https://github.com/Logitech/slimserv...n/x86_64-linux and download flac and faad from there.
    - In /usr/share/squeezeboxserver/Bin/i386-linux on your LMS server rename the two files flac and faad, and replace them with the two files you've downloaded
    - make sure that the two new files have the same ownership and permissions as the previous versions, using chown and chmod commands as appropriate.
    - Restart the server.

    e) If you have 'buffering' problems, especially on a low powered device such as a Pi, check the CPU load. If high, and you have extra services enabled, consider disabling them. One user has reported that including the LMS UPnP plugin caused problems since his TV was tending to try and access it and increasing the load. Disabling such plugins may help.

    f) If some stations don't work, but some do, straight after installing the plugins, wait for an hour or two. There is a cache holding recent station addresses (URLs) that will get cleared after a while. Alternatively, if you have direct access to your server and can find the 'cache.db' file in the LMS 'cache' directory, stop LMS, delete the file, and restart.

    6) In the UK using BBC iPlayer you can now listen to high quality Live streams of almost all stations, and moderate quality On Demand streams. Outside the UK, the quality of Live streams using the separate menu item 'Listen Live (Non UK)', and of On Demand streams, is reduced, but at least the stations mostly exist. Using BBC iPlayer Extras you can find On Demand streams in a different way, and listen to high quality Radio 3 programmes.

    7) Send thanks to bpa, Triode, utgg, bonze, Parky, and many others who have contributed patches and suggestions that have led to the current stable solution.

    8) I have tried to resist providing much technical information in this description. I will therefore just add that Triode's BBC iPlayer plugin uses 'HLS' as a streaming protocol, which the BBC have been talking a lot about, and should exist for some time to come. bpa's BBC iPlayer Extras plugin uses 'RTMP' as a streaming protocol, which the BBC have been very quiet about, and might disappear at any time. A third protocol (MPEG DASH) is promised for the future. As far as I know all current and planned streams now use the AAC codec. Some legacy streams have been temporarily provided using MP3, but neither of these LMS plugins use that.
    Last edited by PasTim; 2016-04-06 at 00:40. Reason: 12/02/16 - Tidy up and apply helpful comments from bpa
    LMS 7.9.1 on VortexBox Midi box, Xubuntu 17.04, FLACs 16->24 bit, 44.1->192kbps. Touch & EDO. 2nd Touch standard.
    LMS plugin UPnP/DLNA Bridge to MF M1 CLiC (to A308CR amp & ESLs) & Marantz CR603 UPnP renderers.
    Alternatively Minimserver & Upplay to same & to upmpdcli/mpd PC renderers.
    Squeezelite to Meridian USB Explorer DAC to PC speakers/headphones.
    Wireless Xubuntu 17.04 laptop firefox/upplay or Android 'phone with Squeeze-Commander/BubbleUPnP controls LMS/Minimserver.

  2. #2
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    A patch has been developed by utgg which a much better text display when playing live programs. See http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...l=1#post814578 for details. As of late October 2015 this patch was also updated to fix some icons that had gone astray. You can either start again with post 1, and do the updates from scratch, or to just fix the icons replace only the menu.oml file from the patch zip file.

    You have to either apply a patch (on linux only), or replace some programs in the BBCiPlayer plugin directory.

    To revert to the 'standard' new BBCiPlayer plugin version v1.3.1alpha3, uninstall it (by unticking it on the Settings, Plugins page of the LMS GUI), restart LMS, and then tick it again in the "Triode's Squeezecenter Plugins (Test Versions)" entry on the Plugins page and restart LMS again.
    Last edited by PasTim; 2015-11-03 at 04:35. Reason: Fixes some missing icons, so now an essential patch..
    LMS 7.9.1 on VortexBox Midi box, Xubuntu 17.04, FLACs 16->24 bit, 44.1->192kbps. Touch & EDO. 2nd Touch standard.
    LMS plugin UPnP/DLNA Bridge to MF M1 CLiC (to A308CR amp & ESLs) & Marantz CR603 UPnP renderers.
    Alternatively Minimserver & Upplay to same & to upmpdcli/mpd PC renderers.
    Squeezelite to Meridian USB Explorer DAC to PC speakers/headphones.
    Wireless Xubuntu 17.04 laptop firefox/upplay or Android 'phone with Squeeze-Commander/BubbleUPnP controls LMS/Minimserver.

  3. #3
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    Some players (Touch, Classic, Controller, Squeezeplay) do not display the bit rate or codec correctly. If this is important to you there is a patch available. See http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...l=1#post817083

    You have to apply a patch on some programs in the BBCiPlayer plugin directory, and the instructions are for linux. Be sure to include the '<' in the patch instructions (I didn't and so failed to get it to work for a while!).

    To revert to the 'standard' new BBCiPlayer plugin version v1.3.1alpha3, uninstall it (by unticking it on the Settings, Plugins page of the LMS GUI), restart LMS, and then tick it again in the "Triode's Squeezecenter Plugins (Test Versions)" entry on the Plugins page and restart LMS again.
    Last edited by PasTim; 2015-05-06 at 00:17.
    LMS 7.9.1 on VortexBox Midi box, Xubuntu 17.04, FLACs 16->24 bit, 44.1->192kbps. Touch & EDO. 2nd Touch standard.
    LMS plugin UPnP/DLNA Bridge to MF M1 CLiC (to A308CR amp & ESLs) & Marantz CR603 UPnP renderers.
    Alternatively Minimserver & Upplay to same & to upmpdcli/mpd PC renderers.
    Squeezelite to Meridian USB Explorer DAC to PC speakers/headphones.
    Wireless Xubuntu 17.04 laptop firefox/upplay or Android 'phone with Squeeze-Commander/BubbleUPnP controls LMS/Minimserver.

  4. #4
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    Triode and bpa - you deserve medals.....

    Huge thanks guys for the very speedy response. Life without iPlayer on my Touch is misery.
    It's also good to have the programme thumbnails back.
    Neil
    Last edited by NMarshall; 2015-04-01 at 07:52.

  5. #5
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    Triode and bpa - you deserve medals.....

    Quote Originally Posted by NMarshall View Post
    Huge thanks guys for the very speedy response. Life without iPlayer on my Touch is misery.
    It's also good to have the programme thumbnails back.
    Neil
    .....and thanks from me too, finally managed to get the iPlayer working on my server after several frustrating weeks of trying to get ffmpeg to work!

    Neil
    FLAC->Receiver x 2 (wired), Controller x 2, Boom, Touch (wired), Radio and Squeezeplug x 2.

  6. #6
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    Thanks from me as well! You guys have helped enormously!

  7. #7
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    For people who are getting buffering or other instability problems, there have been a number of comments on the BBC blog at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/...8?filter=none#, mainly by 'off-tune', comment #239.

    In short, it will pay to double-check you have a really well-connected local network. For instance, using Powerline Adaptors can cause problems.

    It seems that for one of the main streaming sources (called Akamai) the IP address changes frequently, requiring frequent name look-ups using DNS. These DNS look-ups do not use a guaranteed request/response exchange of messages. That's fine for normal data because one can just ask again, and IP addresses usually don't change that fast, but for live radio (or video) it can be a problem.

    So if you do have problems, check your local network thoroughly. It may be OK for normal internet use but not for the method of streaming using by Akamai.

    If you still have problems, you might want to try a different DNS server. There are many. You could try Google's at 8.8.8.8.
    LMS 7.9.1 on VortexBox Midi box, Xubuntu 17.04, FLACs 16->24 bit, 44.1->192kbps. Touch & EDO. 2nd Touch standard.
    LMS plugin UPnP/DLNA Bridge to MF M1 CLiC (to A308CR amp & ESLs) & Marantz CR603 UPnP renderers.
    Alternatively Minimserver & Upplay to same & to upmpdcli/mpd PC renderers.
    Squeezelite to Meridian USB Explorer DAC to PC speakers/headphones.
    Wireless Xubuntu 17.04 laptop firefox/upplay or Android 'phone with Squeeze-Commander/BubbleUPnP controls LMS/Minimserver.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PasTim View Post
    For people who are getting buffering or other instability problems, there have been a number of comments on the BBC blog at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/...8?filter=none#, mainly by 'off-tune', comment #239.

    In short, it will pay to double-check you have a really well-connected local network. For instance, using Powerline Adaptors can cause problems.

    It seems that for one of the main streaming sources (called Akamai) the IP address changes frequently, requiring frequent name look-ups using DNS. These DNS look-ups do not use a guaranteed request/response exchange of messages. That's fine for normal data because one can just ask again, and IP addresses usually don't change that fast, but for live radio (or video) it can be a problem.

    So if you do have problems, check your local network thoroughly. It may be OK for normal internet use but not for the method of streaming using by Akamai.

    If you still have problems, you might want to try a different DNS server. There are many. You could try Google's at 8.8.8.8.
    FWIW, my LMS machine has always been connected to my router with via Powerline Network Adapters and I've not seen a hint of this issue, so it isn't a given that you will have problems with them. But it is definitely something to consider if you do have problems.

  9. #9
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    I use dnsmasq on a Raspberry Pi as a local DNS cache, referring back to the Google public DNS servers IPv6 addresses over a true IPv6 connection, this avoids any NAT latency and memory problems in my router. I switched to this setup because my ISP's own DNS servers often respond very slowly. It is amazing how well the cache works and how many cache hits it gets, having turned on dnsmasq logging.

    I have turned off the Windows DNS service on both my LMS server (WHS v1) and my Vista laptop. This removes DNS caching in Windows, because the Windows cache is awful and has a tendency to hang onto results forever even if they expire. It may be this Windows keeping results for too long that is causing some people problems with Akamai.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Owen Smith View Post
    I use dnsmasq on a Raspberry Pi as a local DNS cache, referring back to the Google public DNS servers IPv6 addresses over a true IPv6 connection, this avoids any NAT latency and memory problems in my router. I switched to this setup because my ISP's own DNS servers often respond very slowly. It is amazing how well the cache works and how many cache hits it gets, having turned on dnsmasq logging.

    I have turned off the Windows DNS service on both my LMS server (WHS v1) and my Vista laptop. This removes DNS caching in Windows, because the Windows cache is awful and has a tendency to hang onto results forever even if they expire. It may be this Windows keeping results for too long that is causing some people problems with Akamai.
    Much of this is over my head. First, I have no idea at all how, or whether, I can get IPv6 addresses to work with my ISP and router. Secondly every ubuntu system I've tried to set up seems to have dnsmasq errors at startup, and I don't understand it all. So all I did was to set my router/gateway to have one Google and one ISP DNS address.

    If there are serious and general steps that many could take to improve things, this topic might be better of with a new thread.

    I thought you liked to keep things 'simple'?
    LMS 7.9.1 on VortexBox Midi box, Xubuntu 17.04, FLACs 16->24 bit, 44.1->192kbps. Touch & EDO. 2nd Touch standard.
    LMS plugin UPnP/DLNA Bridge to MF M1 CLiC (to A308CR amp & ESLs) & Marantz CR603 UPnP renderers.
    Alternatively Minimserver & Upplay to same & to upmpdcli/mpd PC renderers.
    Squeezelite to Meridian USB Explorer DAC to PC speakers/headphones.
    Wireless Xubuntu 17.04 laptop firefox/upplay or Android 'phone with Squeeze-Commander/BubbleUPnP controls LMS/Minimserver.

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