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Older programs not playing

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  • Message 1. Posted by cathcurtis (U14346245) on Friday, 19th February 2010 permalink

    I had never used the iPlayer before yesterday, but when I did I encountered a problem I have not seen addressed anywhere. When I try to play programs from the "In Our Time" archive from earlier this year, they do so without trouble, but all the ones from before 2010 fail. The player opens, and the information about the program appears in the window, but it is replaced by a message saying "This content doesn't seem to be working. Please try again later." I have now tried this with many of the older programs, all with the same result in both regular and low-bandwidth, on two different computers (both Windows) over two days. What am I missing, or doing wrong?

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  • Message 2. Posted by Onslow The Cat (U13672446) on Friday, 19th February 2010 permalink

    The older programmes are available only if you have Real Player on your computer. If you don't have it you'll get error messages.

    The newer ones use Flash to play, and you definitely will have that!

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  • Message 3. Posted by cathcurtis (U14346245) on Friday, 19th February 2010 permalink

    Thank you for your reply, but I want to make certain I understand: some of the programs in the list say they are available as Real Player files (.ram); others do not, including all the ones I referred to -- the "Play" button is different. Do you mean that even the ones which do not specifically say they are for RP are in fact in that format? I appreciate your help.

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  • Message 4. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Friday, 19th February 2010 permalink

    Hi,
    I've just tried some random 2009 programmes and they seem to be playing fine. Please can you post links to some examples that aren't working for you?

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  • Message 5. Posted by cathcurtis (U14346245) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Thanks for your response. Here are a few of the most recent ones, all from "In Our Time":

    The Samurai
    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye...

    Pythagoras
    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye...

    The Silk Road
    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye...

    In each case, when I click the "Listen Now" button on the site, the iPlayer opens and first shows the information about the program, then puts up a message saying "This content doesn't seem to be working. Try again later." I have tried on 3 different computers (unconnected to each other, or to the same network) over several days, with the same result. The same thing happens with all the older programs with the ordinary "Listen Now" button. (As distinct from the ones which are marked as "Available in Real Media".) I very much appreciate your help.

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  • Message 6. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    All 3 links seem to be playing fine on my computer. Are you in the UK or abroad?

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  • Message 7. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    @ cathcurtis

    smiley - sadface Something seems to have gone wrong.

    I tried the links, you give, they do not work for me either, I get a not available message from the iPlayer FlashPlayer. (error message"Title: GenericKind:FMSConnectionError.FMS_CONNECTION_API
    Description: CDN Failover, final connection failed
    Code: 3" )

    It may be worth reporting the problem with the contact form. (iplayerhelp.external... It could be that the BBC is trying to get the older programs playable with iPlayer as FlashPlayer streams and has not yet finished transcoding programmes.

    Podcast options also seem problematic.
    I did not appear to get the option of using downloadable podcasts for the programmes either, a link for >400 previous programmes did not work properly. The current IOT podcast page www.bbc.co.uk/podcas... NOT currently displaying directly the previous podcasts

    John

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  • Message 8. Posted by matt (U8621220) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Ok it seems that the reason it's working for me is because I'm using the normal bandwidth version. The low bandwidth version returns the content not available message.

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  • Message 9. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 23rd February 2010 permalink

    Well spotted Mat.
    I had changed to lower bandwidth to check something and did not switch back, it does work for me in normal UK bandwidth.
    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye...
    BBC Media Player v.2.22.15501.15796
    b00pcm7s | 128kbps | aac | LI

    I note problems also reported on a Blog: www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/...

    @ cathcurtis
    are you overseas for BBC purposes, ie outside UK or using a none UK connection.

    John

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  • Message 10. Posted by cathcurtis (U14346245) on Wednesday, 24th February 2010 permalink

    Thanks for all your replies. I am in the USA, and have tried the programs in question using both regular and low bandwidth, all with the same result, I haven't mentioned it before, but the programs available as RealMedia play in RP without any problem: it is only the other ones from before January of this year which are failing.

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  • Message 11. Posted by Jon iPlayer Host (U8557168) on Wednesday, 24th February 2010 permalink

    Hi cathcurtis,

    So to confirm these programmes do not work for you overseas in either the low or regular version? What is the message you see? Do all programmes from January work for you?

    Thanks,

    Jonathan

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  • Message 12. Posted by Bobby (U14344283) on Wednesday, 24th February 2010 permalink

    Hey John,

    Thanks for posting to the IOT blog and bringing my attention to this thread. I am overseas (US) based. Like cathcurtis I am unable to play IOT iPlayer links if the IOT episode aired earlier than the one on Mary Wollstonecroft (i.e. anything that aired on or before 24th December 2009 if the link provided is iPlayer rather than RealAudio). I have tried this from 32 bit Windows XP, Windows 2000, and 64 bit Vista, all three had realplayer and flash installed.

    I have been able to find realplayer/realaudio streams for most of these, the streams have urls of the form:

    From 15th October 1998 until 2nd October 2008:
    rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk:554/radio4/2008/archive/inourtime_<yyyymmdd>.ra

    From 9th October 2008 until 20th November 2008:
    rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk:554/radio4/2008/archive/0900_thu_<yyyymmdd>.ra

    From 27th November onwards:
    rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk:554/radio4fmcoyopa/archive/radio_4_fm_-_thursday_0900_<yyyymmdd>.ra

    where <yyyymmdd> is replaced with the date the episode in question was originally aired I was not able to find streams for the episodes on The Royal Society as well as the others noted in my post to the IOT blog (www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/....

    Bobby

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  • Message 13. Posted by Bobby (U14344283) on Wednesday, 24th February 2010 permalink

    Hey Jonathan,

    I am also in the US and can confirm that it does not matter whether lower bandwidth or normal version is selected, the same message appears:

    "In Our Time: <episode title> is unavailable at this time."

    where <episode title> is the title of the episode I am trying to play.

    Thanks,

    Bobby

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  • Message 14. Posted by cathcurtis (U14346245) on Wednesday, 24th February 2010 permalink

    Jonathan and Bobby,
    Thank you both for your replies. Yes, to confirm: the iPlayer programs from January 2010 forward play without problem; the older ones all fail, in low or higher bandwidth, in the same way I described earlier. All the RealMedia ones I have tried play without problem. The same thing happened on all 3 systems I tried, which admittedly were all Windows XP or 2000 but not connected to one another (i.e., one at home, one office, one library).

    Where did you (Bobby) find the URLs for the ones you list? When I look at the properties, what I see is in this form:

    www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye...

    which is for the most recent of the ones that fail ("The Samurai", from 24 December). I must be missing something. Thanks again for your help.

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  • Message 15. Posted by Bobby (U14344283) on Wednesday, 24th February 2010 permalink

    Hey cathcurtis,

    > Where did you (Bobby) find the URLs for the ones you list?

    Short answer "trial and error" smiley - winkeye

    Long answer:
    I found the rtsp URLs be opening the ram files from the RealAudio links in a text editor. I then tried with different dates and found many to be operational even in cases where the link on the IOT page was for iPlayer. I compiled a spreadsheet after going through all the IOT pages and noted where the generated rtsp failed to work or resulted in the wrong program being played. I then filed technical faults for many of these pages (and pages where IOT said the episode was not available but for which I could find a working rtsp stream). After seeing no updates to the IOT pages I posted some of my findings to the IOT blog ...

    Cheers,

    Bobby

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  • Message 16. Posted by Bobby (U14344283) on Wednesday, 24th February 2010 permalink

    I should add that I open the rtsp URLs directly in realplayer (File->Open), rather than a browser ...

    Cheers,

    Bobby

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  • Message 17. Posted by cathcurtis (U14346245) on Thursday, 25th February 2010 permalink

    Hi Bobby,
    Like you, I am opening the URLs directly in RP, but when I try some of the ones from last year in the format you describe, I get the "File not found...link may be outdated or inaccurate" error, so I must be entering them incorrectly. For example, I tried the Akhenaten program from 1 October 2009 this way (without the "<>"):

    <rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk:554/radio4fmcoyopa/archive/radio_4_fm_-_thursday_0900_<20091001>.ra>

    And others similarly. What am I missing? Sorry for the confusion on my part. Thank you again for all your help.

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  • Message 18. Posted by Bobby (U14344283) on Thursday, 25th February 2010 permalink

    Hey cathcurtis,

    The RP link I have for that episode is:

    rtsp://rmv8.bbc.net.uk:554/radio4fmcoyopa/archive/radio_4_fm_-_thursday_0900_20091001.ra

    If you'd like my spreadsheet of links, send me an email to [Personal details removed by Moderator]

    Good luck,

    Bobby

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  • Message 19. Posted by Jon iPlayer Host (U8557168) on Thursday, 25th February 2010 permalink

    Thanks for confirming, I've passed this on for the team to look at.

    Jonathan

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  • Message 20. Posted by cathcurtis (U14346245) on Thursday, 25th February 2010 permalink

    My mistake! How very embarrassing, removing the <> from my link but not the internal ones on yours. Thanks for the correction.

    The link I mentioned does work when I use your correct version, so there's good news there. I would like to have your full list, but your e-mail address was removed by the moderator, so apparently that kind of info isn't allowed here. If that's the case, I'm not sure how you could send it, but in any event thanks for the offer and especially for all your help.

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