Subscribe to the::unwired's RSS Feedthe::unwired at Twitterthe::unwired on Facebookthe::unwired on Google Plus
the::unwired Article
THOUGHT: Why is it so hard for Radio Stations to publish their Live Streaming URLs?
Posted by Arne Hess - on Saturday, 16.07.05 - 18:52:39 CET under 09 - Thoughts - Viewed 10785x
Not Tagged

Thanks to the Internet, virtually everywhere in the world you can listen your favorite radio station as long as it is broadcasting over the Internet as well; which most stations do today anyway using either Microsoft's WMA or Real's RealPlayer formats.
So I have a couple of Bookmarks for my favorite radio stations, some of them are local stations (Munich radio stations), some of them I can not listen (over antenna or cable) anymore since I live in Munich (my good old Hessian radio stations like FFH and Planet Radio (not to mention HR3, "the best radio station in town" (and my all time favorite station) which is unfortunately streaming via a propriety format which requires a special application from the Frauenhofer Institute (which invented MP3 10 years ago anyway)) but it's always "hard" to get the URLs for the streams and I wonder why?

For me it makes sense for several reasons to have the (deep linked) streaming URLs instead of a typical browser pop-up windows which has the Media Player embedded anyway:

  1. I don't have my Internet Explorer open all the time (okay, not really ;-) but at least I would like to have the option to listen the radio stream without having it running)
  2. I want to listen the radio streams with my (W-LAN connected) Pocket PCs also (while I'm in the office, abroad in hotels or in my own sleeping room) and these embedded pop-up players don't work with Pocket Internet Explorer but the streams works great with the Pocket Windows Media Player (10 Mobile).
  3. I found a nice (and free) Windows Media Center Edition plug-in called Web Media (RC1.3) which lets you easily add Internet Radio stations to your Media Center Edition:

    This is pretty cool for me since the Media Center Edition 2005 isn't supporting standard FM radio if you have configured the MCE to receive TV via DVB-T instead of analogue TV.
    However, thanks to this plug-in, now I can also listen local, national and international FM radio stations (as well as typical Internet Radio stations, for sure).

But back to the problem - doesn't matter if you need the URLs for your Internet Explorer Favorites, Pocket PC Mobile Favorites or Media Center Edition, you always have to check the source of the embedded Media Player to get the URL and copy it to your Favorites manually:

That's so annoying and I don't get it at all - what's the idea behind it? Is it because of the ad-banners some stations serve? Come on you radio station managers, you don't believe at all, that I'm sitting in front of the pop-up all the time and watching the window while I listen to your station and recognizing the ad-banners; you don't - don't you? 8O Hey, we are talking about radio, something which is running in the background and something I'm listening to - not watching!
Or is it because of the bandwidth? Do you have the feeling I'm steeling you the bandwidth if I listen your station via my own Media Player and not via your pop-up windows where the same Media Player is running anyway? Nah, this can't be the reason - for sure you have to pay your hosting service the bandwidth, nothing is free (like I have to pay for the::unwired bandwidth also), but either you interrupt your program for the commercials anyway or you have an ad-teaser before the stream starts, etc. So what's the idea?

While I was configuring (and refreshing my IE Favorites) my Media Center today, I just found one radio station I would like to positive highlight here which simply provided the link to copy/paste it: Radio Gong here in Munich

They have the URL just on the Web-Radio page as well as a embedded version if you don't want to copy/paste it. Well, that's what I call service.

Since I'm not working in the media/broadcasting/radio world, maybe I have missed something important - the "reason why" for not providing the (deep link) URL and maybe somebody can enlighten me - I still don't get it at all. For all the rest of us, what's your experience with web radios and do/how do you use it?

Cheers ~ Arne


Related Articles streaming

Posted by Andy Abramson on 17.07.05 - 05:45:53

The stations hide the URLs so they get the ad revenue or track the streams in their players or via the sydicate they are part of. If they are only streaming in MP3 their ability to track is lessened as their isn't any real DMR around the MP3 format.

Posted by BruceM on 03.05.06 - 01:31:30

They'll have to start realising that we the masses will only listen to those internet radio stations that are a)good, b)have adeqaute sound quality and most importatntly c)are easy to get at - by virtue of having a simple bookmarkable link...
I had to jump thru hoops to get m3u links saved as favorites in .mpv format (which are but simple text files!) so that my MediaMPV can see them - and they DO work :)
When I right click a link I now get the option to "add to MVP Favorite radio stations" but have yet to find one that works - it simply returns "unable to locate a valid radio station link"! Oh boy.
Back on topic - the option to "buy CD" that you are currently listening to - is one good reason - from their side - but very rarely from mine - I am simply not that impulsive - most of the time:)

Social Sharing
This Week's Top Stories
Feeds & More
Awards & More
Recent Discussions
© Copyright 1998 - 2013 by the::unwired® & Arne Hess
All rights reserved!
the::unwired is a registered trademark of Arne Hess.
All trademarks are owned by their respective companies.
All site video, graphic and text content is copyrighted to the respective party and may not be reproduced without express written consent.