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View Full Version : Problem tuning in to Internet Radio stations



Philip Meyer
2005-01-19, 15:47
If I have two players streaming, and I have the second player selected, and then go to help->Internet Radio and enter a url, the playlist for the first player is always modified, not the currently selected player.

This appears to be a bug - I've tried it with a recent nightly, and via a friends setup (who's impressed so far with the software, and I've almost convinced to buy a SqueezeBox) who has the latest stable release.

Shall I file a bug?

Phil

kdf
2005-01-19, 16:32
Quoting Philip Meyer <slim (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk>:

> If I have two players streaming, and I have the second player selected, and
> then go to help->Internet Radio and enter a url, the playlist for the first
> player is always modified, not the currently selected player.
>
> This appears to be a bug - I've tried it with a recent nightly, and via a
> friends setup (who's impressed so far with the software, and I've almost
> convinced to buy a SqueezeBox) who has the latest stable release.

Which skin(s)?

> Shall I file a bug?

if you would like to, feel free.

it looks like the help link doesn't include the player id in the url, so it
makes sense that you'd have this problem.

-kdf

Philip Meyer
2005-01-19, 17:02
>> If I have two players streaming, and I have the second player selected, and
>> then go to help->Internet Radio and enter a url, the playlist for the first
>> player is always modified, not the currently selected player.
>>
>Which skin(s)?
>
I've only tried it with the fishbone skin.

>it looks like the help link doesn't include the player id in the url, so it
>makes sense that you'd have this problem.
>
I was wondering if the problem is really that Help->Internet Radio is the wrong place to have the "Tune In to URL" facility.

Bug 681 has been used to suggest that there should be an internet radio browser in the UI, but perhaps there should be a facility to add radio station urls to a separate list of Radio stations. Then "Browse Radio Stations" entry in the drop down list on the home page could be used for quick selection of a station (rather than clutter up the "browse playlists").

Then as each internet radio developer adds facilities to browse a list of all stations, these can be added to the overall favourite list of radio stations for quick selection from the home page.

Eg. instead of Help->Internet Radio->Tune In to Radio URL, have something like Help->Internet Radio->Add Radio URL to Station List, and then for each player, "Browse Radio Stations" List could be accessed to play or add a station to the current playlist.

So there are three levels to "fix" internet radio browsing.

1. Help->Internet Radio->Tune in to URL should play in currently selected player.
2. Provide support for adding station URLs manually into a list that is more easilly browsable/searchable.
3. Provide specific radio station plugin UI support to make finding stations to add to the list more user friendly.

I have raised bug 791 for (1) above (against 5.4.1).
Bug 681 covers (3).

Should I raise a feature request for (2), or are you thinking of some other way that it should work? I suppose really I'm asking for a separate set of playlist files specifically for Internet Radio stations to be browsable separately from normal local music playlists, which would act as a list of favourite music stations.

Phil

kdf
2005-01-19, 17:17
Quoting Philip Meyer <slim (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk>:

> >> If I have two players streaming, and I have the second player selected,
> and
> >> then go to help->Internet Radio and enter a url, the playlist for the
> first
> >> player is always modified, not the currently selected player.
> >>
> >Which skin(s)?
> >
> I've only tried it with the fishbone skin.
>
> >it looks like the help link doesn't include the player id in the url, so it
> >makes sense that you'd have this problem.
> >
> I was wondering if the problem is really that Help->Internet Radio is the
> wrong place to have the "Tune In to URL" facility.

That's a good place for that form. Its intended for to be a simple "how do I
use internet radio. put the url here" Q&A. Fixing it shouldn't be too hard.
It is probably a good thing to have player param properly passed around anyway.


> Bug 681 has been used to suggest that there should be an internet radio
> browser in the UI, but perhaps there should be a facility to add radio
> station urls to a separate list of Radio stations. Then "Browse Radio
> Stations" entry in the drop down list on the home page could be used for
> quick selection of a station (rather than clutter up the "browse playlists").
>
> Then as each internet radio developer adds facilities to browse a list of all
> stations, these can be added to the overall favourite list of radio stations
> for quick selection from the home page.
>
> Eg. instead of Help->Internet Radio->Tune In to Radio URL, have something
> like Help->Internet Radio->Add Radio URL to Station List, and then for each
> player, "Browse Radio Stations" List could be accessed to play or add a
> station to the current playlist.
>
> So there are three levels to "fix" internet radio browsing.
>
> 1. Help->Internet Radio->Tune in to URL should play in currently selected
> player.
> 2. Provide support for adding station URLs manually into a list that is more
> easilly browsable/searchable.
> 3. Provide specific radio station plugin UI support to make finding stations
> to add to the list more user friendly.
>
> I have raised bug 791 for (1) above (against 5.4.1).
> Bug 681 covers (3).
>
> Should I raise a feature request for (2), or are you thinking of some other
> way that it should work? I suppose really I'm asking for a separate set of
> playlist files specifically for Internet Radio stations to be browsable
> separately from normal local music playlists, which would act as a list of
> favourite music stations.

the problem behind all of this is the huge volume of differing formats, licenses
and controls on internet radio. a generic central browsing point isn't simple,
and may be well beyond the scope of slimserver. Plugins like AlienBBC do a
great job and will expand on the formats they can track. While I encourage the
filing of requests, my personal feeling on this would be to leave these in the
hands of plugin developers for handling given groups of formats. Slimserver
efforts can be then more focussed on providing a clean API fo the plugins to
use, and to provide a more responsive management of this data and dropout-free
audio on demand.

offhand, however, I wonder if the edit playlist form wouldn't solve 2 to some
extent. I should think you could enter any number of urls to that. to see
that, browse your existing playlists, click on a playilst then click on edit
playlist. This would edit the chosen playlist, but if you click again on the
pwd list, Edit Playlist, it will edit a NEW playlist called "Radio Station" by
default. Yes, its a rabbit warren getting there, but if this does work as an
interface, it might not be all that hard to call the link from within the
Internet Radio server settings page, for an example.

cheers,
kdf

Philip Meyer
2005-01-19, 17:40
Okay, I can see where you're coming from, but I would have thought that it wouldn't be too hard to have a mechanism to store a list of favourite radio stations and browse that list. Perhaps not as a playlist or list of playlists, if different internet sites are so dissimilar.
eg. store a station name, and any necessary config data in order to play the station, whether this be just a url, or include username/password, etc.

SlimServer would provide the add/remove/browse station to list facilities (each station item would hold the plugin-specific config data) and an API for individual plugins to handle the specifics.

Once it is in a list, it's also browsable from a SqueezeBox too.

I'm sure this is how most non-techy people would like internet radio to work.

I don't often use internet radio - there's only a couple of stations that I tune into occasionally for special broadcasts, etc, so I'm not going to winge too much; what we have already is good enough really, but this sort of thing would perhaps make it more user friendly and therefore maybe used more often.

Thanks,
Phil

kdf
2005-01-19, 18:20
Quoting Philip Meyer <slim (AT) hergest (DOT) demon.co.uk>:

> Okay, I can see where you're coming from, but I would have thought that it
> wouldn't be too hard to have a mechanism to store a list of favourite radio
> stations and browse that list. Perhaps not as a playlist or list of
> playlists, if different internet sites are so dissimilar.
> eg. store a station name, and any necessary config data in order to play the
> station, whether this be just a url, or include username/password, etc.

> SlimServer would provide the add/remove/browse station to list facilities
> (each station item would hold the plugin-specific config data) and an API for
> individual plugins to handle the specifics.

I suppose one way to do something like this would be to have a setting for a
second 'playlist dir' where we'd save playlist files of radio stations. Then,
you save playlist similar to how you can already, and browse playlist, similar
to how you can already. Of course, you can do this as it stands if you save
the playlist while you are listening to any given radio station. it would be
mixed in with your other saved playlists, but its always there for the
browsing. I rarely use internet radio, so maybe I'm missing something. Are
the stations not able to be saved as a playlist from the right side of the web
ui?

The hard part is providing a list of stations that are not user created. The
server isn't really designed well to be spidering out scraping html from radio
sites in order to compile a list.

However, I do happen to think the AlienBBC plugin does go a long way to show
that much of the features required are there. AlienBBC isn't just for bbc real
audio archives any more :)

Maybe the existing radio plugins could be expanded in a simlar way, to include a
web page. There is also room for something totally outside of slimserver. The
CLI allows the source info to come from just about anywhere. I'm not trying to
squash the ideas, but I'd like to try to see how well this works if its thrown
out to the community as well. Slimserver provides a very good set of interface
tools. The more plugins and third party applications, the better. Input from
those will help make the API's better.

-kdf

Philip Meyer
2005-01-20, 02:13
>I suppose one way to do something like this would be to have a setting for a
>second 'playlist dir' where we'd save playlist files of radio stations.
>you save playlist similar to how you can already, and browse playlist, similar
>to how you can already.
That was what I was proposing, yes. We would have "Browse by Artist / Album / Genre / playlist / Artwork / Favourite Radio Stations".

I don't often connect to internet radio stations; only a handfull that have special broadcasts from time to time.

I suppose I'm relating to how I would use a HiFi component. If I want to browse the airwaves for a radio station, I could twiddle the tuning knob to find a range of stations. If I know what I want to listen to, and it's a station I've been to before, I would press a button relating to a pre-programmed frequency to listen to that favourite. I might only have up to 10 favourites, so it is easy to get to these. I would not expect to confuse this list of radio stations with other sources of music - pressing a button on the tuner would not select a CD for playback.

>Of course, you can do this as it stands if you save
>the playlist while you are listening to any given radio station. it would be
>mixed in with your other saved playlists, but its always there for the
>browsing.
>
>I rarely use internet radio, so maybe I'm missing something. Are
>the stations not able to be saved as a playlist from the right side of the web
>ui?
>
That's what I did with one station. However, rather than saving the url to the station, it saved a list of 50 odd urls to tracks that the station was going to stream. In some situations I suppose I might want that, so I envisaged save as playlist staying for that reason, whilst some kind of "store radio station" would just remember the base url to the station, such that it would create a new list of tracks when I tune in to it.

I suppose I could set up one playlist containing all urls to favourite radio stations.

>The hard part is providing a list of stations that are not user created.
That would be the job for developers of the various radio provider plugins.

>However, I do happen to think the AlienBBC plugin does go a long way to show
>that much of the features required are there. AlienBBC isn't just for bbc real
>audio archives any more :)
>
I haven't really followed the threads about AlienBBC, as it didn't work for PC users. However, I do recall seeing something recently that suggests it does work now, so I might try looking into it.

Phil