BBC Internet Radio Streams

Those of us who take the business of listening to radio seriously, i.e. high quality sound through high quality audio equipment, will have been astonished or just plain confused by the BBC's recent decision to make most of its prestigious internet radio feeds only through its computer iPlayer or through a limited number of smart phones and tablets. The latter are rightly known for their slick presentation but don't rate very highly for sound reproduction. The BBC further compounded the problem by not letting anyone know about all this in advance (other than a very obscure BBC blog post last year) and they didn't properly consult with internet radio or streaming hardware manufacturers.
I could go on in great detail about all this, the arrogance with which the BBC has largely ignored the thousands of pleas for help, offers of advice etc post on the above blog. When listeners, after a month getting no adequate response from the BBC, started to get frustrated and complain, the BBC closed the blog!!
At this stage I'm just interested to find out how many people are adversely affected by all this with the intension of trying to get the BBC to reconsider its misguided "leap forward" regardless of the impact on its listeners. ChipMonk
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On 13/03/2015 11:26, ChipMonk wrote:

I agree. They are trying to force us back onto DAB to turn off FM :((
I bought a high end internet decoder because the quality of DAB is awful and now all I get is voice telling me it is no longer available :(
My newest kit works but the 320k Radio 3 stream has vanished. Selecting it jumps after a few seconds to the next channel in the favourites list.
My device manufacturer is Japanese and not especially bothered by the parochial decisions of a cut price broadcaster in a far off land. They are allegedly looking into it... but don't hold your breath.
I presume it is something to do with license fees.

I think this is one that requires a concerted campaign against this gratuitous change to Feedback on Radio 4 requesting the hanging drawing and quartering of whichever beancounter chose to do away with it!

Count me in on any campaign.
It wouldn't be so bad if they provided a sensible reliable new index of where to find valid decodable realtime streams. Searching for the suggested search terms that the little man suggests merely shows that they did it to save money and don't give stuff about customers with digital internet radios that cannot decode the new formats.
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I use FreeView for radio these days. Tuners are cheap - much cheaper than DAB.
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On 13/03/2015 13:15, Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

The FreeSat feed is noticeably better at least for Radio 3. But the internet radio was excellent on 320kbps until they pulled the plug :(
Linn still do their own 320k service that works (for now).
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Its still there, see other post...

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On 15/03/2015 13:36, tony sayer wrote:

It is still there but my physical hifi hardware won't play it. I can't manually edit URLs I can only choose from favourites or found channels and for some reason it won't play the new Radio3 320k channel at all.

I can play it on my PC with VLC. The R3 320k stream is there but that is little consolation if your kit or player client can't play it.
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Who makes this Internet player Martin?...
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Increasingly, dab is losing bits but so is Freeview. its not bad for r3, but for time shifting or listen again its a pain to have to mess with a tv.
Myy pc client of choice for radio is now busted due to the stream changes. Webbie. They did not tell the authors of this either. Brian
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On 13/03/2015 12:43, Martin Brown wrote:

I have this in vtuner:
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/select/version/2.0/mediaset/http-icy-aac-lc-a/format/pls/vpid/bbc_radio_three.pls
My receiver shows 320kbps AAC.
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On 13/03/2015 13:43, Michael Chare wrote:

I have an entry for it but the decoder won't handle it at all :( It skips to the previous channel after a few seconds.
My PC will play the link you provided no problems @ 320k.
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Yes the blind listeners are behind you 100 percent. Indeed one hardware maker was almost out of control in their response to the so called consultation, saying that there was no consultation and as they had been in the field of portable internet radio provision for blind people for over 10 years they were hardly hard to contact. Humanware. They are not happy, and I guess nor are most normal users. Kind of makes you want to become a hacker. The other issue is using international streams for some sports channels and thus removing their output outside of the uk, due to legal issues, but apparently due to the problems with the new streams, people inside the uk can now only get the international streams and they thus lose their sport. Brian
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Shame on them:(...

Yes so it does, but this one works at 320 K for BBC Radio 3...
As measured in VLC..
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/sb r_high/ak/bbc_radio_three.m3u8

Some others here which might be of use...
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_one.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_1xtra.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_two.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_three.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_fourfm.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_fourlw.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_four_extra.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_five_live.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_five_live_sports_extra.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_6music.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_asian_network.m3u8
http://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/uk/s br_high/ak/bbc_radio_humberside.m3u8
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On Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:26:06 +0000, ChipMonk wrote:

I agree. However I am now managing to stream Radio 2,3,4 etc. through mplayer again on my (non Windows) PC.
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On 13/03/2015 11:26, ChipMonk wrote:

My hifi can receive the HD BBC Radio3 transmission on:.
http://open.live.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/5/select/version/2.0/mediaset/http-icy-aac-lc-a/format/pls/vpid/bbc_radio_three.pls
I think the URLs changed recently. PITA
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OK - I use "Squeezebox" for BBC Internet streams and, thanks to immense work by the o-l community, we've found fixes. But many thousands must be left stranded. Some of us have been lobbying BBC for last month with very little success. I'm trying to avoid getting into too much technical detail here - but for those who are lucky enough to receive them, the "new improved" BBC streams are unreliable, constantly re buffer etc.
The BBC "announced" all this in this very obscure internal blog last September:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/234a65f0-89c1-489c-b6e9-55d2de932e53
After messing up the Live streams and receiving well over 1000 well considered cries for help, constructive criticisms and technical suggestions, they then went ahead and killed Listen Again for all but smart phones, tablets and iPlayer App's on PCs. They've even deliberately blocked publication of the urls people could use to manually reinstate service. When there were too many protests they closed the blog last Wednesday!!
There's now an ePetition to try to get reinstatement of some streams back.
https://www.change.org/p/the-bbc-trust-and-the-bbc-director-general-restore-aac-audio-and-listen-aga ...
If, as many of us have, you try to get politicians on board you get this:
Quote: "Thank you for your e-mail of 10 March, to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, about BBC radio. I have been asked to reply. Under the terms of the BBC’s Charter and Agreement, the BBC is operationally independent of Government and there is no provision for the Government to intervene in the Corporation’s day-to-day operations. The BBC is accountable to the license fee payer through the BBC Trust. The Royal Charter is the constitutional basis for the BBC. It sets out the public purposes of the BBC, guarantees its independence, and outlines the duties of the Trust and the Executive Board. It is still possible to enjoy live radio on Freeview, Freesat and YouView devices. It is also possible to receive live and on demand radio from the BBC iPlayer Radio on computers, tablets and smart phones. The Government believes it is important that the Corporation is aware of the concerns of viewers and listeners. In the first instance your concerns about bit rates may be raised with BBC Information: email via the website, http://faq.external.bbc.co.uk/questi...ntact/comment ; or telephone 03700 100 222, or by writing to BBC Information, PO Box 1922, Glasgow, G2 3WT, or by writing directly to the programme area concerned. Alternatively, if you would like to contact the BBC Trust directly for more information, you may do so by writing to the BBC Trust Unit, 180 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5QZ, by emailing snipped-for-privacy@bbc.co.uk or by calling their information line on 03700 103 100. I hope that this is helpful. Yours sincerely, Dempster Marples"
So, we can only talk to the BBC Trust about all this and the BBC Trust has its fingers in its ears and hands over its eyes and, if it replies at all, sends copies of the "September Diktat". It's the Plan which counts, not the consequences or outcomes!
I'm not suggesting for a moment that this business is on a par with Jimmy Savile, various hospital and care home scandals, Hillsborough, Rotherham child abuse - oh I could go on and on - but, despite being constantly told that "lessons will be learned" the response of our public servants is alarmingly consistent.
Those who can please use Usenet, social media or whatever to publicise the ePetition. We have very few other options to show how many people are affected by all this.
It's probably clear that I'm quite upset about this - but I want to listen to the radio in high quality sound through my expansive HiFi equipment. Not spending even more time in front of a computer or through a pretty but tinny iThingy. ChipMonk
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On Fri, 13 Mar 2015 11:26:06 +0000, ChipMonk

Why are you posting incorrect information? Why are you posting individual messages to different news groups instead of cross- posting?
I can play any of the BBC's radio stations using VLC. And I can choose between four different bit rates: 320, 128, 96, & 48 kbps.
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Roger

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wrote:

Because I'm an old man who's used Usenet over decades but rarely posted. I confess - I posted in 3 groups. My bad - is that the right current expression?

So can I - sorry I should have said iPlayer AND VLC - on a computer.
I thought it was clear that I was referring to folk who don't want to spent any more time in front of a PC or with a PC next to their audio equipment. I mean those with specialist internet radio receivers or streaming hardware. You know, the sort of cheap outdated stuff made by Naim, Linn, Cambridge Audio etc. Squeezebox uses have fixes after immense community effort - I'm actually trying to give a voice for the little non techie guys who haven't a clue what's been going on in the last month other than their kit isn't doing what it should and they haven't a clue why.
ChipMonk
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On Fri, 13 Mar 2015 15:49:43 +0000, ChipMonk

I've replied in "uk.tech.digital-tv".
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On 13/03/2015 15:49, ChipMonk wrote:

Well one group that has been badly affected are people who are visually impaired, which includes those with no vision at all.
If you read the BBC blog called 'Audio factory' or Google it, you will find stories from people in this group who have specialised bespoke kit to allow them to use an audible reader to help them select what they want to listen to. All this has gone haywire (afaik) because of the beebs decision to switch off WMA feeds (and others) and force everyone to use HTTP Live Streaming (or something like that) of AAC, without actually telling *any* of the manufacturers that this is what they (the beeb) was going to do (encapsulating AAC with HLS).
In one fell swoop the Beeb have decided to make the highest quality feeds available to the very segment (smart phones) who couldn't care less about HD radio, while slamming the door in the faces of people who a) do care about hifi, b) aren't PC literate, and so c) prefer to have a one-box solution called an internet radio.
It's all very well using a PC; just download a new version of whatever you are using. PC's have loads of ram, with dynamic allocation so it's not an issue. But for a dedicated radio with an embedded operating system and a fixed amount of memory it's not so simple. The manufacturer probably did the development of a 4-year old internet radio 5/6/7 years ago, and selected components that were designed 6/7/8 years ago. This is a huge cost to them, and no increased revenue for it.
The Roberts Stream 93i (What HiFi recommended) cannot receive the new format, and Roberts may or may not update the firmware. I'll hold off buying one until they do.
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On Fri, 13 Mar 2015 20:17:16 +0000, Andrew

Indeed. The only hint from the BBC that all may not be quite as planned with the "Audio Factory" project was in Peter White's "In Touch", on Radio 4 two weeks ago (programme for disabled listeners for those not aware of Radio 4 UK). The mildest of criticism directed towards Andrew Scott, the senior manager responsible for all this. Just a pity that Paxman was not available for the interviewing job.
Truly the blind leading the blind
ChipMonk _____________ It took some time for me to realise that George Orwell and Fraz Kafka were futurology's great optimists.
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