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BBC Radio 4 Internet streaming to Sonos player issue.

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  • Message 1. Posted by hktrooper (U14416205) on Friday, 9th April 2010permalink

    I have noticed recently a very patchy service on Radio 4 streaming via my Sonos zoneplayer.
    I can listen to say Jazz FM, download a film at 50+ Kbs and access the net via Firefox with no loss of streaming quality. However, change to BBC 4 and i have to stop the download and any activity with my browser. Radio 2 is better but not great.
    I have a slowish connection (512) as i live in the countryside and am a fair distance from the exchange.
    Is there anyone else experiencing issues via this type of device?

    Although some of this info is irrelevant i have included it anyway.
    XP sp3
    dual processors
    1 gig ram
    Firefox 3.6.3
    fixed ip
    latest Sonos software (ver 3.1)
    Listening in the UK.
    ISP Chess Telecom

    Thx

    Martyn

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  • Message 2. Posted by Jon iPlayer Host (U8557168) on Monday, 12th April 2010permalink

    It may be that the streaming quality Radio 4 offers is better than that of Jazz FM, but this increased bitrate is too much for your connection.

    Jonathan

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  • Message 3. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 13th April 2010permalink

    Hi hktrooper,

    Some guesses with at least one possible solution.

    Being unsure what a Zoneplayer was I did web search and found www.sonos.com/whatto....

    So my understanding would now be that the sonos system is able to operate as an internet radio or is able to operate as a class D amplifier from your computer audio output.

    I have am discussing simulcast listen live, it simplifies the discussion.

    If you stop other streaming activity do radio 2 & radio 4 play as expected on the computer. Note as a UK user you will have 3 main streaming choices for live radio, normal bandwidth, lowbandwidth and windows, have you tried all three options.

    Have you tried the BBC diagnostics, what are the typical results you get. If you use the Sonos device as an internet radio do you know what stream it will then use? when for insatnce listening live to radio 4. You could be having problems with just one stream.

    Note for instance
    - I have problems with LowBandwidth UK Radio 4 listen live, the stream stopped working a while ago, and I know others have had problems with that, and that the bbc did not the problem (but they seemed to be able to resolve by cache clearing, that just resets it to normal bandwidth on my system).
    - overseas users often report intermittent problems with some streams, and some users report problems with windows streams and internet Radio devices.
    - my outdated computer system no longer works with Windows streams audio, apparently after some BBC changes to streaming (it does work with windows iPlayer video downloads)

    One possibility is that your Sonos device has recently switched from using deprecated and probably now ceased RealPlayer BBC streams to higher bandwidth alternatives.

    _ SOLUTIONS
    A solution may be to use the audio output from the computer as the Sonos Zoneplayer source rather than the internet Radio directly.
    Another possibility is that the specific streams are faulty sometimes. If you identify faulty streams use the contact form in addition to posting on this messsageboard.
    Streaming quality could also become a problem, especially if you are getting close to the limits on your line that has been discussed in some posts, reducing your bandwidth use may help with that.

    John

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  • Message 4. Posted by hktrooper (U14416205) on Tuesday, 13th April 2010permalink

    John,
    Many thanks for ur input, I shall try ur suggestions and get back with the results.

    Regards

    Martyn

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  • Message 5. Posted by hktrooper (U14416205) on Tuesday, 13th April 2010permalink

    John,
    How can i differentiate between streams, is there a different URL for the low bandwidth stream?

    When i set up a radio station on the Sonos it asks for a URL, I just copied and pasted the one from the iplayer. I noticed that the normal and lower BW has the same URL in the browser???

    Martyn

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  • Message 6. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 13th April 2010permalink

    Martyn
    The default iPlayer streams are now FlashPlayer types both in the UK and outside the UK. In the UK you will get a low and normal bandwidth.
    If you right click the iPlayer FlashPlayer console/tab/webpage, whichever you use click in the centre where you would get the play icon, it then gives a 2 Line Display with further information , including a shorthand name for the stream and other details, sometimes also including an additional error message.
    Radio 4 url: www.bbc.co.uk/iplaye... {...bbc.co.uk/iplayer/playlive/bbc_radio_fourfm/ ].
    (You will be able to get that from your browser either the location field or the link information.)
    The 2 LIne Display info is:
    BBC Media Player v.2.23.18182.18346
    bbc_radio_fourfm | 48kbps | aac | AK
    for the low bandwidth version.

    The normal bandwidth in the uk showing
    bbc_radio_fourfm | 128kbps | aac | AK

    I did not read the Sonos information, it possibly does not play FlashPlayer streams.
    The windows streams can be found from: iplayerhelp.external...
    the R4 fm windows stream being bbc.co.uk/radio/list... {... bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4.asx ]

    Possibly the sonos player has its own default streams setup for various radio stations.

    John

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  • Message 7. Posted by Alan Ogilvie (U11945512) on Tuesday, 20th April 2010permalink

    Sonos uses RadioTime (an aggregator of Internet Radio services). I will mention this to them.

    As far as I am aware - the Sonos units cannot directly play Flash streams.

    However - if you are in the UK you can stream both our Windows Media UK streams and our Windows Media International streams. This gives you, as a UK user, the ability to pick up either Radio 4 at 128kbps (UK Windows Media stream) or the 48kbps one (International Windows Media stream).

    Our link:

    bbc.co.uk/radio/list...

    ...does a check to see which user you are (UK or non-UK).

    But there is a way of forcing it...

    To get the International stream:

    bbc.co.uk/radio/list...

    To get the UK stream:

    bbc.co.uk/radio/list...

    Note - to users not in the UK - this won't allow you to actually get the UK stream - as it is still blocked at the server end. But it does allow UK users to pick up the lower bandwidth version. The only issue with this is that for 5live the International stream is blanked for International rights. There is not currently a reason for us to offer another lower bitrate UK Windows Media stream.

    Alan @ BBC

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  • Message 8. Posted by gillramsay (U14471229) on Monday, 17th May 2010permalink

    hi

    since last sunday (over a week a go) i too have been having problems with accessing bbc radio via Sonos (previously had no trouble). Sonos tries to connect, but can go no further. I don't understand what's changed - why it is that now i'm having problems. Incidentally can access bbc radio on my laptop, it's just with sonos that i'm having trouble.

    Have read this thread and particularly Alan's reply. I'm afraid i'm not a techy so i don't really understand what 'bitrate' etc means. However when i click on the 'uk link' provided, i can't connect to the bbc. A window comes up and says 'connecting', but nothing hsppens. When i click on the international link, i can connect. I wonder if this is somehow connected to my Sonos troubles and if so, how do i solve it? Is Sonos somehow using the wrong link (if that makes sense!).

    Have contacted Radiotime, who were of no help whatsoever - they just said it's Sonos' problem. Have advised Sonos of this prob but thus far a solution hasn't been found.

    I really hope this can be sorted as i really miss listening to the Beeb on Sonos - i don't listen to anything else! And it defeats the purpose of having Sonos if i have to fish out my DAB radio from the garage in order to listen to my fave programmes.

    Please can someone advise me what i can do to sort this? It seems to be problem just with me - my husband happened to be in a shop that sold Sonos in Hull and they were able to access bbc radio no probs.

    Many thanks

    Gillian

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  • Message 9. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Monday, 17th May 2010permalink

    Hi Gillian,

    As you say you know other Sonos radios work with BBC maybe the fault is with your own Sonos radio
    .
    You could try for example resetting it or see if any other firmware is available for it. And presumably Sonos, or Sonos forums are the people to contact about your problems.

    As we know from Alan's reply that Sonos uses RadioTime you could try their site also and at least see if their BBC streams work ok on your computer. (see radiotime.com/channe... ) I am assuming your computer is able to use Windows streams ok.

    You also mention a local shop selling Sonos Radios, are they able to help.

    I have not been able to use BBC Windows streams myself, and probably due to BBC stream changes, not being compatible with my ancient version of Windows Media Player.

    John

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  • Message 10. Posted by gillramsay (U14471229) on Monday, 17th May 2010permalink

    hi john, thanks for your message.

    i've tried everything i can think of. Have contacted sonos and Radiotime, but so far no answers. Sonos seems to thnik it's something to do with the UK bandwidth being too large for Sonos, since the international version works ok. ie. when i click on the uk link that alan provided i can't connect with my laptop, whereas i can if i click on to the international link (which has a smaller bandwidth i believe).

    if i could get the URL for the international version, i might be able to add it manually to my sonos. Does anyone know how i can get hold of this?

    i'm fairly certain that this problem has nothing to do with my network. Also, everything else on Sonos works fine.

    Gillian

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  • Message 11. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Monday, 17th May 2010permalink

    Hello again Gillian,

    I thought you said in the original message your laptop works with BBC radio.

    Now you seem to be saying that your laptop only works with the international Windows stream of BBC radio and not with the UK stream. Is that correct ?

    Sorry I am not quite following what you are trying to explain by

    if i could get the URL for the international version, i might be able to add it manually to my sonos. Does anyone know how i can get hold of this?

    If you want to use the international R4 URL Alan did post that in a message above.
    URL = bbc.co.uk/radio/list...
    or in text form { h ttp://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4_int.asx } (remove one space after "h" in the text to get http )

    If by the way you have bandwidth problems have you tried connecting the laptop or the Internet Radio by cable to your router ?
    (I am guessing they may be using WiFi connections rather than cable)
    Or even just moving the laptop and internet radio so they are close to the router WiFi antenna.

    By the way do you use the laptop to stream iPlayer TV ?
    (If so you have no bandwidth problems on your laptop)

    John

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  • Message 12. Posted by gillramsay (U14471229) on Monday, 17th May 2010permalink

    John

    Sorry for being misleading.

    My laptop will play bbc via the i player no problem. however, when i clicked on the windows media links that alan posted (ie, the uk and international links), my laptop won't connect to the UK link but will connect to the international link. So that made me wonder if somehow sonos is trying to use the uk link rather than the international one and that may be why it won't play the bbc stations.

    However, i've just tried the radio 4 link (ie. copy and pasted it into the 'add a station' feature on Sonos) that you gave and hey presto it works on Sonos !!! Yippee!

    Can you tell me how to get the links for all the other main bbc stations eg. radio 5 live, radios 1 and 2 etc and 6 music? (the local bbc stations all seem to be fine for some reason)

    Hope you can help John. I feel that I'm finally getting somewhere at last.

    thanks

    gillian

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  • Message 13. Posted by gillramsay (U14471229) on Monday, 17th May 2010permalink

    John

    worried that i'm not making myself clear again!

    To reiterate: i have managed to get radio 4 to play through Sonos by adding bbc.co.uk/radio/list... to Sonos.

    I just don't know how to get the urls for all the other bbc stations that i can't get.

    thanks again

    gillian

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  • Message 14. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Monday, 17th May 2010permalink

    Gillian,

    URLs difference between windows default, UK , & international, probably fairly intuitive from Alan's post.

    List of windows uk default is on faq page:
    "Where can I find the Windows Media streams to listen live to National BBC Radio? iplayerhelp.external... "

    No doubt whatever the problem with the laptop it is unimportant, as I guess that normally uses the FlashPlayer iPlayer Radio streams.

    Hope above info helps, post again if you still have problems.

    John

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  • Message 15. Posted by gillramsay (U14471229) on Tuesday, 18th May 2010permalink

    John

    Thanks for all your information and advice. In the end, I did manage to work out the urls for each international work on Sonos, so that's great. Hopefully, that's me all sorted.

    I appreciate all your help.

    Many thanks

    Gillian

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  • Message 16. Posted by JoeChip (U13759661) on Sunday, 23rd May 2010permalink

    @AlanOgilvie

    Slightly OT, but it's disappointing that FiveLive International is streamed at 32kbps. I know it's only talk radio ... but if 48kbps is good enough for Radio 4 then it's good enough for Radio 5 smiley - winkeye

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  • Message 17. Posted by iPod_Touch_n_Go (U14143982) on Monday, 12th July 2010permalink

    Since BBC radio went over to WMA only for national channels I have been unable to get uninterrupted reception on my iPod Touch form more than a fraction of a minute. Pity as I used to have a selection of bitrates to choose from and always found a good working one.

    I have the latest firmware on iPod 2nd gen and have tried the following apps:

    - Fstream as recommended on a BBC website.
    - Wunderradio - this used to work perfectly before this Spring.
    - Reciva

    It is slow to buffer to start then cuts off very soon afterwards. I am pretty sure that anyone using an iPhone (128 k stream) or iPod Touch on WiFi will experience this.

    I can stream many foreign stations ,some classical with even higher bit rates, perfectly. I can stream Youtube videos on the iPod - much higher bit rate than radio. What is going on?

    On the same WiFi on a laptop Radio 4 streams OK - but then I see this seems to use a Flash based AAC stream.

    Also: Is there a way to access the 48 kbps R4 stream on WMA/iPod Touch using, say, Fstream?

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  • Message 18. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Monday, 12th July 2010permalink

    If you are using streams from third parties
    - Fstream as recommended on a BBC website.
    - Wunderradio - this used to work perfectly before this Spring.
    - Reciva
    maybe you should try asking them about some of the problems

    on a laptop Radio 4 streams OK - but then I see this seems to use a Flash based AAC stream.

    The default stream is now the FlashPlayer type, but overseas listen again on iPlayer will be windows type streams, and the live streams are also available as Windows streams see: iplayerhelp.external....

    John

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  • Message 19. Posted by derek1808 (U14828443) on Thursday, 31st March 2011permalink

    Hi I have just set up a AUNA internet tuner with my Brennan 7 and its very good but no connection to BBC chanel 4 weird ! all over the world but no BBC4 and a few other DABS , the remot for the Brennan 7 also affects the AUNA and vice versa ..............

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  • Message 20. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 1st April 2011permalink

    Hi derek,

    If by no connection to BBC chanel 4 you mean that you can receive all other BBC channels but not BBC Radio four (which has am FM an a LW schedule) then (assuming you know how to set and check the channels) then the problem is probably with the BBC and you should send off a contact form.

    See - iplayerhelp.external... regarding the forms, it includes links to the form. The form has an extra section for additional technical details and you should use that to make it clear that it is only R$ and that youcan receive other BBC channels ok.

    You could post on the messageboard to keep oothers informed of progress, if it is still open.

    You could of course also try using the computer for Radio the BBC iPlayer is FlashPlayer Based, but thers are also Windows streams ans AOD available, and also the newly out of Beta "RadioPlayer" service includes BBC R4 and many other stations (RadioPlayer will be available internationaly, but what content is available internationally I am not sure see thread
    "Radioplaayer" (sic)
    - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb... )

    See also
    "Our days are numbered..."
    - www.bbc.co.uk/dna/mb...

    One of the regular posters has even set up a messageboard for use when this one closes down
    "CatchupSupport" - www.catchupsupport.c...

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