PDA

View Full Version : How do you listen to BBC Radio??



Trevor
2009-03-05, 06:05
I often have BBC Radio 4 playing while I'm working. I originally used to use Alien BBC but a few months ago it started constantly re-buffering and someone recommended using RadioTime. This was far better playback but doesn't give the options to use the "Listen again" feature. Every now again (such as today) it won't connect at all. Over the last few releases of SqueezeCenter I've noticed a few more options to play BBC radio but some of them don't work or give a bad connection.

I was wondering how other people out there listen to BBC Radio? Is there a way to use the "Listen Again" BBC features on a SqueezeBox? Is Alien BBC now dead and buried? (it doesn't seem to work at all any more)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Trevor

Luke Redpath
2009-03-05, 07:14
I never had much success with AlienBBC but the iPlayer plugin works great.

burnside
2009-03-05, 07:56
I never had much success with AlienBBC but the iPlayer plugin works great.

Can you listen to live BBC Radio with the iPlayer plugin?

cdmackay
2009-03-05, 08:43
burnside wrote:
> Can you listen to live BBC Radio with the iPlayer plugin?

yes indeed, if you're in the UK, and I believe it's the highest quality
was of doing that (~100Kbps (Radio 3: 128Kbps) WMA, although Listen
Again is generally higher ~200Kbps MP3).

cheers,
calum.

bpa
2009-03-05, 08:49
AlienBBC is alive and well and works fine for me everyday outside of the UK. I use "Listen Again" so I don't know about live streams quality.

Patrick Dixon
2009-03-05, 09:01
Live streams using the iPlayer plugin sound significantly better than the AlienBBC ones.

I use the iPlayer plugin a lot .... and it's great!

ModelCitizen
2009-03-05, 09:47
I seem to have at least four ways to listen to live BBC and two for Listen Again stuff (I have AlienBBC and iPlayer installed) and none of them are reliable. iPlayer gives me constant buffering just at the times I really need to hear something, AlienBBC seems to regularly have no content in its menus and the other stuff seems here today, gone tomorrow, often leaving me with non-connecting favorites. :-(

Can anyone that uses SlimCenter say that have dead reliable, rock solid BBC radio?

MC

cdmackay
2009-03-05, 10:38
I put this little summary together, which might be helpful.

Well, if it's correct, of course :)

However, I've not used them enough to comment on stability.


- inbuilt SC; no plugin
65Kbps CBR WMA
native SB decoding; no PC load
Live only; no Listen Again
no BBC Local nor Regional Radio
UK use only
accessible via:
Internet Radio - More Radio - BBC

- BBCiPlayer plugin
~100Kbps (Radio 3: 128Kbps) WMA (Live)
~200Kbps MP3 (Listen Again)
native SB decoding; no PC load
Live, Listen Again
no live BBC Local nor Regional Radio; some on Listen Again
UK use only
accessible via:
Internet Radio - BBC iPlayer

- AlienBBC plugin
64Kbps CBR Real Audio
PC transcoding; requires mplayer; PC load
provides access to many other Real streams, not just BBC
Live, Listen Again
BBC Local & Regional Radio
International
accessible via:
Internet Radio - Alien BBC


cheers,
calum.

Trevor
2009-03-05, 12:21
I didn't know there was an iPlayer. Where can I get hold of a copy?

chris.mason
2009-03-05, 12:36
I too have a number of problems listening to BBC radio live feeds.
I'm based in the UK, so should have no problem getting the feeds (from a legal perspective anyway).

I'm running SC7.3.3 on Ubuntu 8.10, with a wireless SB3.

I've found that the live AlienBBC streams for Radio 2 and 4 to be reliable.

For BBC iPlayer, I've given up trying to listen to the feeds. All the live feeds consistently cause my SB3 to crash and reboot. The feeds play for about 30 seconds (I'm guessing the buffer size) then it all stops. I'd love to listen to these feeds for the higher bit-rate. I don't believe this is a BBC iPlayer plugin issue. I have copied the high bit rate WMA URL into "Tune in URL" and I get the same issue.

Through the "More Radio.." menu, I can play the 65Kbit WMA streams without problem in the whole, certainly they don't cause my SB3 to reboot.

Anybody else experienced this problem of the 96k streams causing the SB3 to reboot?

bpa
2009-03-05, 13:28
Can anyone that uses SlimCenter say that have dead reliable, rock solid BBC radio?


Works fine for me - the only time I have missing programs they are missing in iPlayer as well. I think the BBC have a different delivery mechanism for RealAudio within the UK.

HectorHughMunro
2009-03-05, 14:22
With the Iplayer plugin installed, I'm really happy with the BBC. It seems to be a simple, very good piece of work that Logitech should be doing.

There's the odd missing programme but very rarely. Hopefully, it will continue to work like this.

florca
2009-03-05, 16:15
There are options other than AlienBBC and IPlayer plugins, although I also use both for "ad-hoc" Listen Again (in truth I almost always use the iPlayer plugin rather than Alien these days as I find the schedule-based navigation more intuitive and the streams are better quality).

For live streams by far the best option for me is some form of broadcast streaming - Hauppauge Nova-T or S + DVBServer or DVBShout for DVB-T (Freeview) or DVB-S (Freesat); Psion Wavefinder + DABBar for DAB, or Griffin RadioShark2 + RadioShark plugin for FM. Any of these will relay a broadcast signal to your Squeezebox(es) with no dependancies upon your local Internet connection, ISP or momentary BBC server capacity, any of which can mess up the stream and waste capacity.

For regular programmes which you know you want to listen to I really recommend "GET_IPLAYER" http://linuxcentre.net/getiplayer/ which you can use to download known favourites at an uncongested time - and in the best available quality. Load the shows into your Music path and a re-scan will index them along with all of your other music, with a cron task to delete them after seven days to comply with BBC copyright.

My current hierarchy is:

Live radio (and morning alarms): DVBShout from DVB-T
Regular shows where quality is important: GET_IPLAYER (using PVR & amode=iphone options)
ad-hoc Listen Again: IPlayer plugin
NPR Morning Edition / Car Talk: NPR plugin

which doesn't leave much time for anything else.....

Phil

bonze
2009-03-05, 16:27
My current favourites are set from the
Internet Radio > Local > London menu.

I'm guessing they are provided by RadioTime and use the same live streams as used by the BBCiPlayer plugin but with added features such as logos and programme information.
Looks good on SqueezePlayer :)

Never had any problems with either these or the iPlayer plugin live streams.

ModelCitizen
2009-03-06, 01:24
For live streams by far the best option for me is some form of broadcast streaming - Hauppauge Nova-T or S + DVBServer or DVBShout for DVB-T (Freeview) or DVB-S (Freesat); Psion Wavefinder + DABBar for DAB, or Griffin RadioShark2 + RadioShark plugin for FM.

I have got so fed up with the unreliablity of BBC radio on my Squeezebox that I now use a Roberts digital radio in the kitchen and my Freeview TV in the lounge.

I am perplexed as to why my wireless laptop can stream the same BBC feed flawlessly whilst my Squeezeboxes & Boom stutter. My squeeze devices have no problems with any other radio services (Shoutcast, Last.fm etc) or higher bandwidth local flac files.

MC

bpa
2009-03-06, 01:38
I can't offer any suggestion for the iPlayer MP3/WMA streams but the RealAudio streams used by AlienBBC are delivered using RTSP on port 554 whereas on a PC with iPlayer they are delivered over HTTP on port 80. So in relation to RealAudio the services cannot be directly compared. Mplayer does not support RTSP over HTTP.

Some routers (e.g. NetGear, Apple) treat the RTSP traffic "special" for video/audio streaming (e.g. Application Level Gateways settings) but RealNetworks RTSP and standard RTSP (as used by Apple) are different and seems to cause some problems.

Edit:
There is also a feedback mechanism in RealAudio which allows the server to control the flow to thew player. MPlayer does not implement this feature and so it may be causing problems although it was mainly designed for dialup user whose modem connection speeds could vary between 24 and 56 kbps.

Trevor
2009-03-06, 04:17
Where can I download a copy of the BBC iPlayer plugin? I tried searching on the plugins section of this website and only got a message "There is no page titled "BBC iPlayer "
Is it me? or is the "Plugins" page on this site completely useless?

ModelCitizen
2009-03-06, 04:32
If you are using SC 7.2 or 7.3 look here. The links to the plugin are in the first post:

http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=53229

The thread is full of info and the first point of reference if you have any problems (i.e. search it).

MC

Trevor
2009-03-06, 06:53
Thanks for that. Installed it and it seems to work fine for me. So far, it hasn't re-buffered once!

I'm still confused why some people can play Alien BBC and some can't. All I get is loads of menus but none of which seem to work.

bpa
2009-03-06, 07:52
Possible reasons why AlienBBC won't play
- you are using stream.mp3
- you are using bit rate limiting (Windows only).
- you have a security s/w which is blocking network access (Windows only)
- your router has ALG enabled which blocks port 544
- you have an old firmware in an Apple Airport Express
- mplayer is not properly installed or not properly built.
- network radio station timeout is too short.

J-skid
2009-07-10, 03:05
I have the same problem. Since upgrading the server to 7.3.3 I get timeout on all internet radio stations when, BBC R4 is the worst, rarely do I get 10 minutes of feed before it goes "connection timemout". It's driving me mad! It worked fine on the previous version of the server I had.

Bizarrely it seems to work okay when I connect to the SqueezeNetwork.

I've played around withe the buffer / timeout settings for ages and nothing helps. Anyone have any ideas?

Help..!

Thanks

bpa
2009-07-10, 03:53
I have the same problem.


Information please.

Provide more details especially on system and versions.

Some UK ISP are messing with BBC streams - so your location is also important.




I've played around withe the buffer / timeout settings for ages and nothing helps. Anyone have any ideas?


Details - what did you try ?
IS the problem the same with live and "Listen Again" streams ?
Are you using ALienBBC or BBCiPlayer plugin or SC menus ?
Are you using RealAudio streams or the BBC WMA streams ?

Labarum
2009-07-10, 05:02
Some UK ISP are messing with BBC streams

Some are experimenting with Multicast.

This site is always worth watching especially for UK users.

http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/

And on Multicast

http://www.digitalradiotech.co.uk/2008/04/multicast.php

J-skid
2009-07-10, 07:11
Information please.

Provide more details especially on system and versions.

Some UK ISP are messing with BBC streams - so your location is also important.



Details - what did you try ?
IS the problem the same with live and "Listen Again" streams ?
Are you using ALienBBC or BBCiPlayer plugin or SC menus ?
Are you using RealAudio streams or the BBC WMA streams ?

Okay thanks. Details are:

1. Completely basic SQCentre install of 7.3.3 no plugins installed, totally off the shelf.
2. Have 02 broadband, and live in London.
3. System - Dell Vostro 220 on Win XP, only running SQCentre and offering a few shared files (Photos) over the network, hardly used. Windows firewall is disabled and no other AV or other apps running at all. It is a completely clean install from about 1 month ago.
4. Have 2 x SQBox 3, 2 X Duet and 1 X SRI Duet/Amp combo. All of these are hard-wired through my Netgear router.
5. Am only using SC menus - a totally our of the box install
6. Tried messing around with buffer and timout options in SQcentre Advanced / Network options.
7. Problem is with Live streams - I don't listed to anything else

Odd thing is, if I switch to SqueezeNetwork then I don't get the timeout issue.

bpa
2009-07-10, 07:26
How do you access the live streams -

- Through the RadioTime menus (e.g. Internet Radio / Local / ..
- Through the SC provided menus (e.g. Internet Radio / More Radio / BBC / ..)

J-skid
2009-07-10, 07:29
How do you access the live streams -

- Through the RadioTime menus (e.g. Internet Radio / Local / ..
- Through the SC provided menus (e.g. Internet Radio / More Radio / BBC / ..)


Through the SC menus - Internet Radio / Location / Europe / London / etc....

bpa
2009-07-10, 07:30
OK =- that's Radiotime

Try the "More Radio" menu to BBC.

J-skid
2009-07-10, 07:31
OK =- that's Radiotime

Try the "More Radio" menu to BBC.

Okay, sorry.

Can I ask, why would that make a difference?

Labarum
2009-07-10, 07:52
Try the "More Radio" menu to BBC.


These menu options now access the highest bitrate WMA streams put out by the BBC - most are 128Kb/s but Radio 3 is 192Kb/s

With a decent DAC that 192 stream should better a good FM tuner.

Edit:

But drop these URLs into the "Tune" box for a comparison

Bartók Rádió (Hungary) MP3 at 320kbps

http://212.92.28.75:2008/


AVRO Klassiek Beste NL MP3 at 256Kb/s

http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s55517&Formats=mp3,wma,real&username=sampletime&PartnerId=16

And although the bitate here is only 128, this sation I particularly like.
It may be using minimal Digital Signal Processing.

Radio Swiss Classic MP3 at 128Kb/s

http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s25582&Formats=mp3,wma,real&username=sampletime&PartnerId=16

bpa
2009-07-10, 08:04
These menu options now access the highest bitrate WMA streams put out by the BBC - most are 128Kb/s but Radio 3 is 192Kb/s


For clarification especially for non-UK listeners. The BBC now allow non-UK listeners to play WMA streams of the national stations. The same URLs are used but if you are outside the UK then you will get a 48kbits/sec stream.

Labarum
2009-07-10, 08:08
For clarification especially for non-UK listeners. The BBC now allow non-UK listeners to play WMA streams of the national stations. The same URLs are used but if you are outside the UK then you will get a 48kbits/sec stream.

That is a very great pity.

J-skid
2009-07-10, 08:10
For clarification especially for non-UK listeners. The BBC now allow non-UK listeners to play WMA streams of the national stations. The same URLs are used but if you are outside the UK then you will get a 48kbits/sec stream.

Sorry, maybe I'm being a bit thick, but why would a greater stream rate cause the SQ centre to timeout less frequently / at all, compared to a lower rate?

autopilot
2009-07-10, 08:10
For clarification especially for non-UK listeners. The BBC now allow non-UK listeners to play WMA streams of the national stations. The same URLs are used but if you are outside the UK then you will get a 48kbits/sec stream.

I'm in the UK, but Radiotime only ever gives me the non-UK low bitrate BBC feeds.

I'm finding Radiotime increasingly unreliable and annoying to use, so i just manually enter and use the feeds that the BBC provide on there website (or the iPlayer plugin's 'listen live' which i understand is the same). I do miss the programme info and station logo's though.

bpa
2009-07-10, 08:47
I'm in the UK, but Radiotime only ever gives me the non-UK low bitrate BBC feeds.

I'm finding Radiotime increasingly unreliable and annoying to use, so i just manually enter and use the feeds that the BBC provide on there website (or the iPlayer plugin's 'listen live' which i understand is the same). I do miss the programme info and station logo's though.


That's right - that's why I suggested using the "More radio" which are direct to BBC (which are the same as the URLs you enter manually) and are NOT through Radiotime.

J-skid
2009-07-10, 08:53
That's right - that's why I suggested using the "More radio" which are direct to BBC (which are the same as the URLs you enter manually) and are NOT through Radiotime.

Ah ha - Thank you. I will give it a go tonight when I get home and let you know how I get on!

Thanks

bpa
2009-07-10, 09:16
I do miss the programme info and station logo's though.


As I said in another thread - I have a solution to providing the programme info and logo on the direct BBC streams. The code is being reviewed to see if it is OK for a plugin.

Labarum
2009-07-10, 09:19
I have not noticed the Radiotime URLs to stations outside the Uk to be less reliable than the direct URLs I use to the BBC.

But I do not use the radiotime BBC streams at all.

Phil Leigh
2009-07-10, 10:45
These menu options now access the highest bitrate WMA streams put out by the BBC - most are 128Kb/s but Radio 3 is 192Kb/s

With a decent DAC that 192 stream should better a good FM tuner.

Edit:

But drop these URLs into the "Tune" box for a comparison

Bartók Rádió (Hungary) MP3 at 320kbps

http://212.92.28.75:2008/


AVRO Klassiek Beste NL MP3 at 256Kb/s

http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s55517&Formats=mp3,wma,real&username=sampletime&PartnerId=16

And although the bitate here is only 128, this sation I particularly like.
It may be using minimal Digital Signal Processing.

Radio Swiss Classic MP3 at 128Kb/s

http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s25582&Formats=mp3,wma,real&username=sampletime&PartnerId=16

Don't want to be controversial Brian, but that 192 stream is nowhere near as good as my FM tuner! (Linn Pekin).

Labarum
2009-07-10, 10:48
Don't want to be controversial Brian, but that 192 stream is nowhere near as good as my FM tuner! (Linn Pekin).

Well you are lucky then, Phil, it beats my Quad!

What about the even higher bitrates? More difficult, because you cant get an A-B test.

When I get to Southampton I will have line of sight to the Isle of Wight Transmitter, so I might change my mind.

Phil Leigh
2009-07-10, 11:25
Well you are lucky then, Phil, it beats my Quad!

What about the even higher bitrates? More difficult, because you cant get an A-B test.

When I get to Southampton I will have line of sight to the Isle of Wight Transmitter, so I might change my mind.

I've got a 5-element Triax with LOS to Oxford.
:-)

Labarum
2009-07-10, 11:32
I've got a 5-element Triax with LOS to Oxford.
:-)

I have a five element - Maplins best- it's in the garage, folded.

I have hills on three sides.

FM off cable was probably not great, but they have even turned that off now.

But tell me, Phil, how good is the 13 bit digital link the BBC use to the transmitter? ;-)

Phileas
2009-07-10, 12:15
OK =- that's Radiotime

Try the "More Radio" menu to BBC.

Is More Radio included in SqueezeCenter? I thought it used to be but it's not there now. I've just got iPlayer and tune-in under Internet radio.

Phileas

Phileas
2009-07-10, 12:18
But tell me, Phil, how good is the 13 bit digital link the BBC use to the transmitter? ;-)

And what about the dynamic range compression?

Phileas

Labarum
2009-07-10, 12:20
Is More Radio included in SqueezeCenter? I thought it used to be but it's not there now. I've just got iPlayer and tune-in under Internet radio.

Phileas

Well I can see it in Squeezecentre

Internet radio/More Radio.

Just above "Search" on my screen.

Labarum
2009-07-10, 12:24
And what about the dynamic range compression?

Phileas

And the high frequency cut off needed to accommodate the stereo coding?

(Mind you, I suffer from high frequency deafness. Left ear -40dB at 9 KHz!)

bpa
2009-07-10, 12:26
iPlayer is a plugin.

You should have more than just "Tune-in" - typically "Staff Picks", "Local", "World", "Music" and "More radio".

Some user have reported this same problem. Not sure of the exact problem but the following may help.

1. Check WebUI to see if menu option present.
2. If using a player - check WebUI Settings/Player/Menus to ensure menu item is enabled.
3. Make sure you have registered with Squeezenetwork and that SC has the SN login details and then restart SC.
4. Try disabling virus checker as some virus checkers may blocm SC.

Phileas
2009-07-10, 12:58
iPlayer is a plugin.

I know, I plugged it in ;-)



1. Check WebUI to see if menu option present.
2. If using a player - check WebUI Settings/Player/Menus to ensure menu item is enabled.
3. Make sure you have registered with Squeezenetwork and that SC has the SN login details and then restart SC.
4. Try disabling virus checker as some virus checkers may blocm SC.

1. No
2. Not listed
3. Registered - all the options available on Squeezenetwork
4. Don't think this can be an issue - I can use SC OK, just missing the internet radio options except iPlayer & tune-in url

Phileas

bpa
2009-07-10, 14:42
Most of those menu options are created by a plugin called Internet Radio.

Can you check the status of "Internet Radio" under WebUI Settings/Plugins.

Also check the server log around startup for message such as
"Unable to dynamically create radio class" or errors about creating icons.

Phil Leigh
2009-07-10, 22:32
And the high frequency cut off needed to accommodate the stereo coding?

(Mind you, I suffer from high frequency deafness. Left ear -40dB at 9 KHz!)

FM Stereo has always been limited in practice to 15kHz as you know :-) Sounds very nice - like an LP thats been played a few times... I'm always more concerned with the mid-range (where the magic is)!


As for the infamous compression... I don't listen to local radio or Radio 1, 2 is compressed but not in a disastrous way, 3 is fine as is 4.

The fact that the BBC uses a 13-bit digital protocol to get signal to its transmitters is a "bit" misleading :-)

The NICAM method of companding effectively gives it more like a 14/15 bit range - just like those early top-end CD players. With a good aerial, SNR should be 60-65 dB - same as good, new vinyl or top-end cassette.

Anyway, regardless of the technology, the actual "sound" of a live concert can be entrancing at times on 3. To me that just reinforces the view that there's more to enjoyment than dynamic range, SNR, freq response etc.

Labarum
2009-07-10, 22:48
Anyway, regardless of the technology, the actual "sound" of a live concert can be entrancing at times on 3. To me that just reinforces the view that there's more to enjoyment than dynamic range, SNR, freq response etc.

Agreed.

Phil, have you listened to live concerts for the eastern European stations that use the OGG codec at about 256Kb/s?

pfarrell
2009-07-10, 22:51
Phil Leigh wrote:
> FM Stereo has always been limited in practice to 15kHz as you know :-)

Technically, since the stereo sideband was at 17kHz, it was way lower
than that. Think 6 db/octave starting at 10kHz on a good day.

And nearly all radio station turntables were filtered radically below 50
hz or so. Rumble takes way too much transmission power, and table top
radios, car speakers, etc can't reproduce it anyway.

The idea that a FM radio transmission is high fidelity is a myth. The
famous Scott tuner sounded great. but only in comparison with 99% of the
other radios at the time.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Labarum
2009-07-10, 23:08
The idea that a FM radio transmission is high fidelity is a myth.

Agreed.

FM radio was a brilliant engineering solution at the time of its development. We no longer need to make the compromises they made.

Most digital systems make compromises for commercial reasons - which is a great pity. We could have studio quality in our homes via satellite, cable or internet. A multicast would effectively be the same as cable, and take up little general internet bandwidth.

Phil Leigh
2009-07-11, 00:23
Phil Leigh wrote:
> FM Stereo has always been limited in practice to 15kHz as you know :-)

Technically, since the stereo sideband was at 17kHz, it was way lower
than that. Think 6 db/octave starting at 10kHz on a good day.

And nearly all radio station turntables were filtered radically below 50
hz or so. Rumble takes way too much transmission power, and table top
radios, car speakers, etc can't reproduce it anyway.

The idea that a FM radio transmission is high fidelity is a myth. The
famous Scott tuner sounded great. but only in comparison with 99% of the
other radios at the time.

--
Pat Farrell
http://www.pfarrell.com/

Pat - you mean 19kHz (for the pilot tone)?
The analogue output roll-off is low pass at 15kHz. Below that its flat. Of course, what gets transmitted is another matter...


The hi-fi elements I was talking about are for live FM broadcasts not turntable/cd replay.


Not sure how US FM stations compare with the BBC here in the UK? This was one small thing we used to lead the world in :-)

UK manfactured FM Tuners are rather insensitive by US standards because our tiny island is quite well covered by powerful transmitters and bandwidth/frequency allocation is religuously managed.

Phil Leigh
2009-07-11, 00:26
Agreed.

FM radio was a brilliant engineering solution at the time of its development. We no longer need to make the compromises they made.

Most digital systems make compromises for commercial reasons - which is a great pity. We could have studio quality in our homes via satellite, cable or internet. A multicast would effectively be the same as cable, and take up little general internet bandwidth.

Except that we now have DAB which is unmitigated rubbish.
High bit-rate Internet radio (and I mean like minimum 240/320) can more-or-less compete with my FM. YMMV.
Phil

Labarum
2009-07-11, 00:29
. . . religiously managed.

Hey Phil, religious management is my area - hands off!

(He who cannot "see" either of the main transmitters that is in range, or the local repeater that is only three miles away!)

Labarum
2009-07-11, 00:39
Except that we now have DAB which is unmitigated rubbish.

Agreed.



High bit-rate Internet radio (and I mean like minimum 240/320) can more-or-less compete with my FM. YMMV.
Phil

Depends on the codec and the amount of Digital Signal Processing applied in the transmission.

As I said, the east European OGG streams are very very good.

I am presently listening to

Radio Swiss Classic MP3 128
http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s25582&Formats=mp3,wma,real&username=sampletime&PartnerId=16

But it comes across very cleanly. Piano at the moment, and that is always a give away.

Venice Classic MP3 128
http://www.shoutcast.com/sbin/tunein-station.pls?id=4975&filename=playlist.pls

Is good for "Popular Classics", but I suspect there is a lot of processing going on.

Bartók Rádió (Hungary)
http://212.92.28.75:2008/
MP3 at 320kbps

is good, but the OGG streams at lower bit rates match it.

Phil Leigh
2009-07-11, 00:55
Hey Phil, religious management is my area - hands off!

(He who cannot "see" either of the main transmitters that is in range, or the local repeater that is only three miles away!)

Fair enough - I accede :-)

Phil Leigh
2009-07-11, 00:56
Agreed.



Depends on the codec and the amount of Digital Signal Processing applied in the transmission.

As I said, the east European OGG streams are very very good.

I am presently listening to
...

Bartók Rádió (Hungary)
http://212.92.28.75:2008/
MP3 at 320kbps

is good, but the OGG streams at lower bit rates match it.

Cool - Bartók Rádió ...Hungarian Dances all day every day?

I like Bela - he's very "rock 'n roll" for me...

Just tuned in - music sounds great, but the announcers sound is not so good. Seems the BBC still know a thing or two about how to record/transmit human speaking voices...

Phileas
2009-07-11, 01:10
Most of those menu options are created by a plugin called Internet Radio.
Can you check the status of "Internet Radio" under WebUI Settings/Plugins.

Yes, I saw that yesterday. It's ticked but "greyed-out".


Also check the server log around startup for message such as
"Unable to dynamically create radio class" or errors about creating icons.
Moost recent logs:
[09-07-11 08:29:12.6877] main::init (270) Starting SqueezeCenter (v7.3.3, r27044, Mon Jun 15 15:14:08 PDT 2009)
[09-07-11 08:29:23.2971] Plugins::CustomScan::Scanner::refreshData (1720) CustomScan: Synchronizing Custom Scan data, please wait...
[09-07-11 08:29:37.8442] Plugins::CustomScan::Scanner::refreshData (1949) CustomScan: Synchronization finished
[09-07-11 08:30:07.2718] Slim::Networking::SqueezeNetwork::_error (455) Unable to login to SN: Invalid SqueezeNetwork username or password.
[09-07-11 08:30:07.2726] Slim::Networking::SqueezeNetwork::_init_error (182) Unable to login to SqueezeNetwork, sync is disabled: Invalid SqueezeNetwork username or password.
[09-07-11 08:30:07.2735] Slim::Networking::SqueezeNetwork::_init_error (192) SqueezeNetwork sync init failed: Invalid SqueezeNetwork username or password., will retry in 51900

The Squeezenetwork errors are odd since I'm able to connect OK (just tried).

Phileas

Phileas
2009-07-11, 01:18
As for the infamous compression... I don't listen to local radio or Radio 1, 2 is compressed but not in a disastrous way, 3 is fine as is 4.

I thought Radio 3 FM(I only listen to 3 & 4) uses significant compression (maybe not all day?)- hence the advantage of DRC on DAB radios. I also read somewhere that the Freeview stream was taken from the FM feed so includes this compression.

I have to admit I don't listen "properly" to R3 - my serious listening is all from my personal library.

Phileas

bpa
2009-07-11, 01:20
The URLs for the "More radio" BBC menu comes from squeezenetwork so you have to sort this error out.



[09-07-11 08:30:07.2726] Slim::Networking::SqueezeNetwork::_init_error (182) Unable to login to SqueezeNetwork, sync is disabled: Invalid SqueezeNetwork username or password.
[09-07-11 08:30:07.2735] Slim::Networking::SqueezeNetwork::_init_error (192) SqueezeNetwork sync init failed: Invalid SqueezeNetwork username or password., will retry in 51900

Phil Leigh
2009-07-11, 01:30
I thought Radio 3 FM(I only listen to 3 & 4) uses significant compression (maybe not all day?)- hence the advantage of DRC on DAB radios. I also read somewhere that the Freeview stream was taken from the FM feed so includes this compression.

I have to admit I don't listen "properly" to R3 - my serious listening is all from my personal library.

Phileas
Compression can vary on R3 during the day. The dreaded Optimod. BBC are quite careful how they use this ( except for R1) - unlike every commercial station...

When R3 is good it is very very good.

However, DAB never sounds better...
Internet radio can sound as good as R3 FM

bpa
2009-07-11, 01:47
A bit of info about internet feeds up to last year from a BBC blog ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radiolabs/2008/06/under_the_iplayer_hood_for_rad.shtml ) so don't go on old experiences. The new internet feeds are much better.



Finally, perhaps I might be able to let you into a bit of a dirty secret. For the last six years, the online streams from BBC national radio have been taken from satellite: the same feeds you get on Freesat or Sky. So we've been taking a lossy MP2 audio feed, and then encoding it further into even lower bitrates. As we move into higher quality audio online, clearly this has to stop. So, from July, it will - we'll be encoding everything within Broadcasting House, plugged in to the studio feeds. So better bitrate is only part of the story - it's also better sound.

Labarum
2009-07-11, 01:55
The new internet feeds are much better.

I think so.

I haven't really had time to listen to Radio 3 at 192 WMA - the other classical stations were just so much better that I just didn't bother with R3. The 192 MP2 stream off the Virgin Box was OK, but I still thought the foreign internet streams better.

The next step will be to try to get the BBC AAC+ streams via SB.

Labarum
2009-07-11, 01:59
BPA, you are in the Republic of Ireland?

Have you thought of using a proxy to get a UK IP, and the higher bitrates.

But maybe you can get BBC FM from north of the boarder?

bpa
2009-07-11, 02:05
There is an issue about BBC providing AAC+ streams in an iPhone friendly format. As it stands AAC+ is only provided with Flash whereas MP3 is not.

Once of the blocking issues could be funding.

The BBC message board have some interesting discussions and comments from James Cridland provide insight such as ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbiplayer/F13735684?thread=6716553 )
and also other regarding move from RealAudio to AAC+ for local radio.

Phileas
2009-07-11, 03:13
The URLs for the "More radio" BBC menu comes from squeezenetwork so you have to sort this error out.

OK. I assumed my SN password in Settings was correct because I could access SN but it seems not. Sorted now - thanks.

Phileas

J-skid
2009-07-13, 02:45
Ah ha - Thank you. I will give it a go tonight when I get home and let you know how I get on!

Thanks

Thanks for all the tips on this. I spent several hours over the weekend messing around with the settings and changing over the streams to the More Radio variety.

And guess what, I still get "Timeout" and "Connection Reset by Remote Host" after about 15-25 mins of streaming.

Any ideas how to fix this?

Thanks

bpa
2009-07-13, 02:53
Time to check the basics - reset after 20 mins sound like network problems.

1. Where are you located in the UK or outside the UK ?
2. What sort of broadband connection do you have (e.g cable, ADSL, Wireless, 3G)
3. Does BBC iPlayer play OK on your PC (i.e. no resets) ?
4. What results do you get from these tests
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/diagnostics
5. Do the WMA streams play OK on your PC using a player that is NOT iPlayer.

J-skid
2009-07-13, 03:18
Time to check the basics - reset after 20 mins sound like network problems.

1. Where are you located in the UK or outside the UK ?
2. What sort of broadband connection do you have (e.g cable, ADSL, Wireless, 3G)
3. Does BBC iPlayer play OK on your PC (i.e. no resets) ?
4. What results do you get from these tests
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/diagnostics
5. Do the WMA streams play OK on your PC using a player that is NOT iPlayer.

Thanks for the help.

To answer your questions:
1. Am in London UK
2. I use 02 broadband ADSL (get about 6k down and 0.9k up)
3. iplayer works fine on the PC
4. I will run them at home tonight
5. I store all my music (from CD) as WMA lossless, which plays fine on all SQboxes with no stutters / re-buffering, even if I have all 5 of my players going at differnt songs at the same time.

The thing is, this all worked fine until I upgraded to 7.3.3 of the SQCentre, which I needed to as I purchased a Duet / Controller.

Thanks again.

bpa
2009-07-13, 03:38
The thing is, this all worked fine until I upgraded to 7.3.3 of the SQCentre, which I needed to as I purchased a Duet / Controller.


Coincidence can be distracting. Since about May-June BBC have been changing their network and some ISP have been massaging BBC traffic - so it may not help to speculate on the cause.

When playing a WMA stream (assuming Native WMA is selcted in File types) on SB2/3, Boom or SBR - the data goes straight from BBC to player - so the version of SC will not affect resets or buffering as it is not involved - they are network effects from the hosts. I am not sure but possibly if the user has increased the Radio Station buffer so large that the BBC's TCP/IP timeout (usually about 3 mins) is kicking in to cause the reset because so much data is in the player buffer.

J-skid
2009-07-13, 03:45
Coincidence can be distracting. Since about May-June BBC have been changing their network and some ISP have been massaging BBC traffic - so it may not help to speculate on the cause.

When playing a WMA stream (assuming Native WMA is selcted in File types) on SB2/3, Boom or SBR - the data goes straight from BBC to player - so the version of SC will not affect resets or buffering as it is not involved - they are network effects from the hosts. I am not sure but possibly if the user has increased the Radio Station buffer so large that the BBC's TCP/IP timeout (usually about 3 mins) is kicking in to cause the reset because so much data is in the player buffer.


Thanks again for your help.

I messed around with the buffer / timeout settings at the weekend. Rather oddly, it seems to be much worse in the mornings than later in the day, especially on Radio 4!

trouty00
2009-07-13, 03:47
I listen to radio 1 everyday for 8+ hours using either the iplayer link 96kbps or the direct squeezenetwork link 48kbps and I never receive dropouts at all.
both just seem to work.

Tradewind25
2009-07-22, 15:19
I was wondering how other people out there listen to BBC Radio?

For those of us in the UK, by far the most reliable, best quality reception of live BBC radio programmes is via FM broadcast. Let's not get carried away with internet radio just because it is there.

Horses for courses!

Phil Leigh
2009-07-22, 15:26
then upgrade to 7.3.4
See if that works for you.
BBC iplayer works perfectly for me (latest 7.4 nightly, XP SP3)

agbagb
2009-07-22, 18:11
Just came across this thread (while looking for something else......). Here in Dallas, TX, (and occasionally in New York City and the South of France)I listen all day and everyday to BBC via Alien. Mostly Radio 3 (which is my morning Alarm wakeup), but to R4 and R7 Live streams, plus the various Listen Again archives.

Almost always works perfectly (especially under the current software releases, as below), and even for R3 Classical - the Proms just now - the audio quality is perfectly acceptable.

For this Brit, a long way from what was once home, it's a life-saver!

Labarum
2009-07-22, 23:19
For those of us in the UK, by far the most reliable, best quality reception of live BBC radio programmes is via FM broadcast. Let's not get carried away with internet radio just because it is there.

Horses for courses!

Not true.

The 192Kb/s WMA Radio 3 Stream from my SB3 feeding a decent DAC betters my Quad FM tuner. So do the 128Kb/s streams now available for the other BBC Radio Stations.

Do remember that the feed to the FM transmitter is digital - at 13bit resolution! It wasn't worth higher resolution because the FM technology could not transmit at higher quality.

The digital media has a bad reputation because of poor implementation, not because of its inherent limitations.

---

UK only

BBC WMA Streams mostly at 128Kb/s or better

R1

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r1.asx

R2

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r2.asx

R3 (192Kb/s)

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3.asx

R4

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4.asx

R4 Longwave

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4lw.asx

R5 Live

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r5l.asx

R5 Live Sports Extra

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r5lsp.asx

R6 Music

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r6.asx

R7

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r7.asx

R Asian Network

http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/ran.asx

wonder boy
2009-07-24, 07:29
^^^ thanks for these Brian, the ones I had as favourites in s/n were all dead as internal server error...cheers!