Mourning the loss of the Real streams.

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  • Message 1. Posted by Clare (U13868697) on Wednesday, 2nd December 2065 permalink

    Perhaps not strictly a technical point but it is radio stream related: The Beeb's bandwidth beancounters may be pleased to know that I am definitely listening to much LESS live radio since they turned off the Real stream of Radio 4. In fact, much less BBC radio in general.

    The reason - RealPlayer buffered the stream so you could pause and resume the live feed. If the phone rang or you had to leave the room for a while you could come back and start where you left off. Brilliant! You could also 'rewind' to listen again if something was really interesting.

    But now if you miss something you have to wait for the iPlayer upload, find it, open it, scroll to find the place where you stopped listening and then rinse and repeat for everything else you missed.

    This is too much work compared to the convenience of the Real stream so I just don't bother listening now, except to a few choice programs from the archive.

    I have tried all the available live streaming options and none of them offer the possibility to pause, not even redirecting the WMA stream to RealPlayer works - the pause option is disabled. So, I guess this behaviour is by design - copyright issues perhaps?



  • Message 2. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Wednesday, 2nd December 2065 permalink

    Hi Clare,
    Are you outside the UK ?

    Getting close to MB closing time.

    AND an off topic criticism I have mentioned before
    - I guess mb does not show open & closing times in your local times
    - it shows them as UK time without even specifying that ir is uk time
    - it then shows discussions as closed annoying,
    why not say something like "suspended overnight" because pages get searched and cached with closed showing

    I believe there is information in the BBC blogs and probably other threads explaining the transport options on AOD are available to use, but apparently most providers do not use them.
    (did RealPlayer listen live have pause options etc ? I remember listen again did)

    BBC R4 LW was and maybe still is available in Real Media, as presumably is World Service.


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  • Message 3. Posted by Gumrat (U2340387) on Thursday, 3rd December 2065 permalink

    Yes, that's just one reason I am mourning the demise of Real Audio for the BBC, Clare! I'm presuming it's deliberate, for copyright reasons. Another is that the Flash and WMA streams are far less reliable nowadays than Real was.
    John, you did used to be able to use transport control for live broadcasts on your computer in Real, as Clare says, it was an extremely useful option.


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  • Message 4. Posted by Clare (U13868697) on Thursday, 3rd December 2065 permalink

    I used the Real streams of R2 and R4 both in the UK and when abroad. I had desktop shortcuts to both which opened directly in RealPlayer - no messing around with a web browser!

    As Gumrat confirms, control of the live stream was much better in RealPlayer than any of the options currently available.

    Of course, if you listened to BBC radio via Freeview and had a pause and resume option on your digibox, you would have the same timeshift flexibility that RealPlayer offered. So perhaps it's not copyright that's the problem?


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  • Message 5. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 4th December 2065 permalink

    Anne/Gumrat did you miss this, I will quote it in full as it is only short:

    At 7:28pm on 29 Mar 2010, Alan Ogilvie wrote:

    @Gumrat#2 - Windows Media Audio is available internationally, the manufacturers we have spoken with are aware. (This includes Reciva)

    @MicroCosm - 'transport controls' - Windows Media streaming does allow skipping through an on-demand stream, just like Real. Indeed - you can confirm this by playing the On-Demand stream in Windows Media Player. So the BBC is not restricting this ability. I'd be happy to sort it out, but all I can say is this is up to the manufacturer of the client player. I'd be happy for you to email me any communications you have with the manufacturers.

    Obviously the fault here is not with the BBC.


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  • Message 6. Posted by Gumrat (U2340387) on Friday, 4th December 2065 permalink

    John, it's true, transport controls for on demand programmes do indeed work in WMA (and with a beta testing software version, in Reciva internet radio as well), but the facility for pausing a live programme if the doorbell or phone rings, which was available in Real Audio via the computer (never via my internet radio, by the way), is not available at all in WMA, which I think is what Clare and I are talking about.
    I'm wondering if the problems with getting live streams on BBC channels in the iPlayer which have been reported here recently are anything to do with the security warning you have posted today?
    As yet no response to my complaint to the BBC of yesterday.


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  • Message 7. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 4th December 2065 permalink

    The question about spooling and saving live streams must have been asked before and I guess it is considered a security risk. Ask again in Suggestions, or RadioLabs if you can not find anything about that.
    WMA can if i remember correctly pause the AOD listen again

    _ Security
    Some percentage of users will always have security problems either low security resulting in malware, or high security interfering with iPlayer operation.
    The new vulnerability is one of many potentially affecting OS, Browsers, or Flash and a serves as reminder to keep software and security uptodate. A fix for FlashPlayer itself being anticipated in a couple of days.

    _ Recent Problems
    Possibly mainly the hard to track down problems
    - output distorting etc
    - stuck streams affecting only 'random' users

    _ Contact Forms
    briefly reiterating
    I have made my feelings clear a number of times.
    I think the system needs to be reviewed and revised by the BBC, I will follow up on this and eventually make formal complaints if I see no BBC response about that In my opinion it is nolonger fit for purpose, failing on three main types of enquirey/comment/complaint
    - Radio dificult problems
    - Multiple programmes not available
    - Problems where BBC requests logfiles or detailed reports

    It is appears entirely unsuitable for those types of reports, and reporting on the messageboard does not necessarily get any BBC response whatsoever. because the BBC say use contact forms in order that faults are dealt with 24/7 in a structured way.
    The BBC also seem to have stopped using the auto-response email, that at least allowed a user to show a comment had been made and received by the BBC.
    The system probably gets overloaded sometimes, due to the BBC neglecting to advise users of known issues.


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