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Internet radios - International BBC Radio WMA On Demand Streams don't work

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  • Message 21. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Wednesday, 3rd February 2010 permalink

    Hi John,
    Anyone wanting to answer your questions would probably need more info eg exactly which streams and what equipment you use.
    I would hazard a guess that it is one of two things
    - you are using old or experimental streams
    - you are unlucky BBC seems to have had problems today
    look at other adjacent threads and also:

    ' We are currently experiencing problems with Live Streaming content on some of the Radio platforms.** 'iplayerhelp.external...

    We're aware of a problem with Live Streaming content on all Radio 4 International, Radio 4 LW, Radio 4 FM, Radio 3 International and Radio 7.
    The user could experience an error message stating the 'iPlayer content is unavailable' and the Live Stream will cease to play. This issue has now been resolved.


    Sometimes these resolved messages are premature. The Christmas Radio4 problem was resolved and then the faq was revised a few times and yesterday still said actively being investigated.

    It is possibly a good idea to start a new thread about your own specific problem if it is not resolved giving as much information as possible. (see 'PLEASE give more information.'www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb... )

    John

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  • Message 22. Posted by Alan Ogilvie (U11945512) on Thursday, 4th February 2010 permalink

    We experienced some problems on our streams due to an outage with our distribution partners on our primary streams. However we do have a secondary set of streams which take over. Yesterday, though, we had a secondary system failure at around the same time. So - your problems could have been due to this. However - on top of this - we understand that some Internet Radio devices, depending on manufacturer and service that is powering them, failed to list our secondary streams - so the result would have been a failure on these devices. Windows Media makes use of a playlist where we list out primary and secondary streams - the agreed workflow for handling this is to cycle through the playlist should the first stream fail to playback, which would have been the case when we had a failure. However this didn't happen on certain Internet Radios. We have been working with companies who had this problem, that we know about, to make sure their solutions work as desired.

    The majority of Internet Radios either use our RealMedia or Windows Media streams - and we are encouraging them to migrate to use Windows Media instead of RealMedia for live streaming and listen again services. (see www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/... for more information )

    I would again reiterate that complaints/comments about BBC services on particular devices should be logged first through the manufacturer's support service - unless it is obviously a problem with our streams (perhaps audio crackle or hiss), and if you aren't satisfied with the answers given please do contact the BBC ( iplayerhelp.external... ) with details of your device and problem.

    Alan

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  • Message 23. Posted by JoeChip (U13759661) on Monday, 8th February 2010 permalink

    @AlanOgilvie: Alan, can you really be sure your staff understand the problem?

    Please see below the response I received from your iPlayer support section. My original submission is towards the end of the response.

    "Dear Mr Hill

    Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer support team.

    I understand you're experiencing issues listening to radio programmes on BBC iPlayer.

    I would advise you to uninstall and reinstall Adobe Flash. Please follow the instructions at Adobe's site on how to remove Flash.

    kb2.adobe.com/cps/14...

    This link will take you to a website outside bbc.co.uk. The BBC is not responsible for content or software downloaded from external sites.

    Once complete, download and reinstall the latest version of Flash.

    Thanks once again for contacting BBC iPlayer.

    Regards,

    G*****
    BBC iPlayer
    ________________________________________________________________
    You can also visit the BBC iPlayer messageboard to chat with other users at www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mbiplayer, or visit BBC Webwise if you want clarification on the technical wording we use at www.bbc.co.uk/webwise

    ----------------------Original Message-----------------

    >{Description:} Firstly, you do not provide an appropriate means of
    >accessing BBC internet radio in your form above. I use an internet
    >radio device. Two in fact, via different portals, Reciva and vTuner.
    >The problem is the same with both. All BBC internet radio streams are
    >subject to frequent breaks for re-buffering and bouts of digital
    >distortion. No other stations are affected. This has been going on for
    >a matter of weeks now. Interestingly, listening via iPlayer or live
    >streaming via PC there is no problem, nor with listening to
    >podcasts/listen again via the radio devices. The problem is with live
    >programming. There seem to have been a stream of similar complaints for
    >several weeks in the iPlayer forum, but frankly, the issues are getting
    >worse and there seems no attempt to inform us what is happening .... a
    >"working towards a solution" type message would at least let us know something is happening."

    It appears they don't even read the complaint.

    I just feel this indicates the BBC's attitude towards internet radios.

    Very disappointing ... and incidentally, "reception" is still poor ...

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  • Message 24. Posted by Gumrat (U2340387) on Monday, 8th February 2010 permalink

    Alan,
    Is there any chance of the BBC holding back on closing down the Real Audio on demand streams until a workable solution has been found for internet radio listeners?

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  • Message 25. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Monday, 8th February 2010 permalink

    Hi JoeChip,

    It appears they don't even read the complaint

    It seems that this is sometimes the case. To be honest I'd try again and you might get an answer to the question you actually asked this time.

    If you play the same streams that the radio's are using on your computer, do you have the same problems? If the same streams work ok on your computer then it might be something thats not a BBC issue.

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  • Message 26. Posted by JoeChip (U13759661) on Monday, 8th February 2010 permalink

    Hard to say ... as I stated in my first communication to BBC support, I have no problem using iPlayer/PC or podcasts and listen again ... it's actually difficult to say whether there's a problem with either client using another stream since the streams are allocated when a device accesses the *.asx file on the BBC's server.

    As I understand it I could be allocated any one of at least a dozen different streams being abroad ... I confess my total lack of knowledge on how this works.

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  • Message 27. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 9th February 2010 permalink

    @ JoeChip

    It appears they don't even read the complaint.

    I dont know if using the contact form from the Internet Radio faq: "Internet radios - International BBC Radio WMA On Demand Streams don't work"iplayerhelp.external... helps.

    Otherwise I foresee your next contact form reply will merely be a pointer to that faq.

    I guess problem could be due to the internet Radio portal used, rather than the BBC, but until someone reads your reports it is not going to get directed to anyone in the bbc who can find out. If you use the complaint section rather than the comment section of the form maybe the bbc would read it more carefully.

    ... I use an internet>radio device. Two in fact, via different portals, Reciva and vTuner.The problem is the same with both. All BBC internet radio streams are
    subject to frequent breaks for re-buffering and bouts of digital
    distortion. No other stations are affected. ... via iPlayer or live streaming via PC there is no problem, nor with listening to podcasts ...

    I did note other Internet radio users complaining, one apparently in the UK the other apparently outside the uk, but posts buried in another thread: www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb... Having several devices you can probably give more comprehensive problem reports than some others.

    smiley - evilgrin You may even yet get a comment in this thread from the BBC, as it already has a post in it from Alan Ogilvie.

    John

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  • Message 28. Posted by JoeChip (U13759661) on Tuesday, 9th February 2010 permalink

    Yes ... that's what I was sort of hoping ...

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  • Message 29. Posted by Alan Ogilvie (U11945512) on Wednesday, 10th February 2010 permalink

    Ok - so I need to investigate why front end support is a problem here. Clearly there is a problem with this, and I will escalate it to those that can help me in dealing with it.

    I'm still investigating why some people are having issues from non-UK locations on the Windows Media streams. However - testing this fully is very resource intensive.

    Alan

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  • Message 30. Posted by JoeChip (U13759661) on Wednesday, 10th February 2010 permalink

    @AlanOgilvie ... ty

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  • Message 31. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Wednesday, 10th February 2010 permalink

    @ Alan
    Thanks a lot, and your Blog comments www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/... also noted,
    John

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  • Message 32. Posted by JoeChip (U13759661) on Thursday, 25th February 2010 permalink

    @Alan Ogilvie : I have recently received a more helpful reply to my follow up to my original post to support. Thank you.

    I am pleased to say too, that here on the east coast of the USA the buffering issue seems to have been resolved.

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  • Message 33. Posted by Alan Ogilvie (U11945512) on Sunday, 28th February 2010 permalink

    As I posted on one of the other threads...

    I had a meeting last week with the front end support people and we discussed where improvements could be made.

    We have identified a number of places we can try to make the complaints procedure actually capture information that is useful and gets through to the correct place.

    This also included a discussion about 'insufficient bandwidth' messages some people receive from the Embedded Media Player in iPlayer web interface. I have input some instructions for asking the agents giving support to request more information. Also - the information helps diagnose internet connection speed and quality in a general way - so it may be able to tell us whether this is a BBC specific issue, or just general problem with the audience member's connection.

    We also went through the complaint procedure and have identified a couple of improvements.

    I'm seriously hoping we can get this up in the next couple of weeks. I also suspect that there will be some new FAQs - so we can start diagnosing these issues.

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  • Message 34. Posted by Dinarius (U14324118) on Wednesday, 1st December 2010 permalink

    Just wondering what experiences others are having with listening to BBC Radios 1-7 via live streaming now?

    I am based in Dublin, Ireland.

    I am listening to live BBC radio in three different ways.

    1. On my computer via BBC iPlayer. The computer is conncected directly to an uncontested 8Mb connection. Reception is perfect.

    2. Via cable (part of a TV connection) connected directly to a standard transistor radio. Reception is perfect.

    3. Via wifi, from the same internet connection as 1. above, to a Naim Uniti. This is where I have problems.................!

    Earlier this year I had been getting "Can't play. Station unavailable." messages. Then, in March, it improved, though with frequent dropouts. However, reconnection was easy.

    Now, getting any connection at all is almost impossible. Oddly, playing podcasts through the Naim Uniti is perfect. Never a single dropout.

    So, the problem with live wifi streaming is either with the BBC or with the Uniti's firmware.

    How are others finding wifi reception of live BBC radio now?

    I would be grateful for any feedback.

    Many thanks.

    D.

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  • Message 35. Posted by lemonzorba (U14636525) on Wednesday, 1st December 2010 permalink

    it looks like all the live broadcasts on iplayer are off air. i pretty much only listen to the radio through iplayer so have had to get my little radio out. it shows how important they think iplayer is - the idea that all radio stations would not be broadcast on FM for a period of time is unthinkable

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  • Message 36. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Wednesday, 1st December 2010 permalink

    Hi Dinarius,

    You may be able to provide more evidence yourself.
    re
    1) is the computer a Windows type PC ?
    if so it may be worth trying
    a ] - Listen Live WINDOWS streams
    (see - faq.external.bbc.co.... - for the links )
    b] - listen again windows streams
    I believe these were available directly to Overseas listeners through iPlayer, is this still the case ?
    In any event the Beebotron site will make the links available.

    I do not currently use the Windows Radio streams myself (only the windows TV downloads) but to my mind what you are describing sounds more likely to be abbc problem rather than a firmware problem. Hopefully others will comment on the Windows streams.
    This is a thread from last year, but the BBC has repeatedly had problems and has a *current* ( July ! ) announcement about problems see:
    "Why am I having problems listening to BBC radio outside the UK, such as
    experiencing poor sound quality or the station is not working?
    06 July 2010 17:36" - iplayerhelp.external...

    We have been made aware that some overseas users have been having difficulties listening live to BBC Radio output. Stations including Radio 4 have been affected by this, meaning that your listening enjoyment may be interrupted.

    We are investigating and hope to resolve this problem shortly


    I guess the BBC needs 6 months to investigate and a year or two to fix problems.

    John

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  • Message 37. Posted by Dinarius (U14324118) on Thursday, 2nd December 2010 permalink

    Hi John,

    I have a PC (Vista x64bit) and reception on iPlayer is prefect, as I wrote above - I'm listening to it right now, in fact.

    The issue is with wireless streaming to my Naim Uniti ( www.naimuniti.com/ab... ). As I wrote, playing back podcasts through it is prefect. The problem is *live* rado. Maybe it's a problem with the Naim (as in something in its firmware not agreeing with changes to the way the BBC streams - I am due a firmware update soon, so that may make a difference) But, while I had problems through the Spring, reception right through the Proms season was very good - the odd dropout, but easy to reconnect. Since then it has been dire.

    Very, very frustrating since the Uniti is an outstanding piece of kit.

    D.

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  • Message 38. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Thursday, 2nd December 2010 permalink

    I was wondering if your computer is using Flash Player streams but your NaimUniti is using Windows streams, so my suggestion is try Windows stream on your PC, the Windows streams may also fail on the PC proving the problem is not the NaimUniti.

    John

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  • Message 39. Posted by derek (U2955718) on Saturday, 4th December 2010 permalink

    No is the simple answer!!
    Listening to BBC programmes was easy and much better 10 years ago; now their complete disinterest in ex-pats is adding to the growing anti-Brit attitude worldwide! I am quite sick of it and have just about given up using the BBC websites. Does CBC treat its overseas users this way with geo-blocking?
    I do not want to be automatically routed to the BBC World Service when I try to connect to BBC UK channels.
    I agree though - bring back Real player or Win Media Player and stop the constant premature "improvements" . As a dial-up user I am completely abandoned now!! So my advice is just ignore the BBC there's plenty of alternative and often better programming out the in the real world.

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  • Message 40. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Monday, 6th December 2010 permalink

    bring back Real player or Win Media Player


    You have lost RealPlayer, but as I pointed out Windows streams are available still. I did ask whether the Windows streams work on your computer, but I am not sure whether the answer

    No is the simple answer!!

    Means you tried them and they work on your computer.

    Or merely that
    - your computer allows you to stream FlashPlayer streams, and
    - the Naim does not work when you try the Windows streams.

    You may note iPlayer and overseas use is in the news again, but it appears Apple users will be the first to benefit eg
    "Round Up Friday 3rd December 2010" - www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...
    The news that BBC Worldwide plans to launch a version of the iPlayer for iPad in the United States has been recieved with much excitement.

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