Problems streaming "Listen Again" programmes

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  • Message 1. Posted by elondaits (U14013218) on Friday, 11th February 2011permalink


    Since about wednesday I've been having problems with the Listen Again feature (which I use to listen to Chris Moyles). The stream is constantly interrupted and the iPlayer shows the "buffering" message for a second or less before continuing with the playback. Even the initial "Competitions in this programme might not be available" message got interrupted as much as three times.

    Now, the details:

    - I'm in Argentina
    - I listen to Radio 1 through Listen Again every day (for many years now) and don't have this sort of problem.
    - The Radio 1 live stream seems to work OK.
    - I had this problem both in Google Chrome (the browser I always use for streaming Radio 1) and Mozilla Firefox.
    - I'm using Flash Version 10,2,154,12 in Windows XP
    - I cleared the cache. Both the browser's cache and Flash's own cache.
    - I tried the "Lower bandwith" version
    - I took the bandwidth diagnostic and passed with almost flying colors (my bandwidth was over the required amount for every category except HD TV)



  • Message 2. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Friday, 11th February 2011permalink

    Hi Eric,
    I am an ordinary uk user. Often using firefox & windows XP.

    - I tried the "Lower bandwith" version

    That should not make a difference, other than restarting the stream, I understand from BBC posts that the two choices are an artefact, overseas users only get the one FlashPlayer bandwidth.

    As I do not use a VPN I am not sure exactly what overseas users get at present. I think after RealPlayer streams were deprecated there were problems with the windows media steams, but these eventually became available for listen again.

    Are the Listen Again steams at the moment available as Windows streams still ?
    (for overseas users - uk users may try the beebotron links)

    Did listen again default streams eventually become FlashPlayer streams.

    ( James Cridland who answered some of your previous posts left the BBC a while back, [ ?Aug 2009] and I notice he has been blogging recently about changes to the BBC radio iPlayer output
    "The BBC’s “new radio product”: birtspeak translation
    Posted on Thursday, January 27th, 2011 at 1:17am"
    - )

    So expect changes to BBC Radio anytime soon. Also note this messageboard is due to close later year. One of the users "Matt" has already set up a messageboard [ CatchupSupport ] where hopefully information will be available after the iPlayer board closes.
    See "Our days are numbered..."

    We do have a Host on the board again at present and we may even see BBC coments about your problem.

    Meanwhile one important question is is the problem with
    - one specific listen again programme
    - or many other listen again BBC programmes
    Whichever it is as other BBC reception is ok, and your diagnostics results are good i would send off a contact form to the BBC, it will be interesting to see what response you get.

    A second question, assuming it is a flash player stream ( if they are even available outside the uk for listen again
    what information do you get on right clicking the console)
    An example as a UK user (note the 128kbps)
    2 Line Display from FlashPlayer
    - BBC Media Player v.2.24.18269.21576
    - b00y205x | 128kbps | aac | LI
    from : -


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  • Message 3. Posted by Nicolas (U14770823) on Friday, 11th February 2011permalink

    I'm from Argentina too and I'm having the same problem (I'm writing in English not to disrespect BBC users).
    All those things you mentioned are happening to me right now. There is not a problem with the live broadcasting, but when I try to listen to other programmes the "buffering" message appears. It was working just fine up till last Monday or Tuesday.
    It is weird though, my sister lives in another city but has no problem at all.


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  • Message 4. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Saturday, 12th February 2011permalink

    Hello Nicholas,

    Sorry no time to write a full reply. ( I am only another iPlayer user NOT from the BBC).

    Have a look at other messages.
    BBC often has problems affecting only some groups of users. If something worked and now has stopped wotrking in addition to posting on this messageboard the official BBC advice is to send off contact forms. You must do that if you want a response from the BBC.

    Note also changes may soon be occurring in the use of BBC RADIO on iPlayer, again see other messages and my posts above in this current thread.

    Thank you for using English, it does make it easier for anyone trying to give you a reply. ( I think BBC code of practice recommends English should be used on its messageboards).



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  • Message 5. Posted by elondaits (U14013218) on Monday, 14th February 2011permalink

    Hi, thanks for your reply.

    Fortunately, streaming is working OK today, including those "listen again" shows I wasn't able to listen to properly last week.

    FYI, I've been getting the flash player version of the radio player for a long while now... If I remember correctly I used the RealAudio version of the player while the Windows Media stream was up, and then had to migrate to Flash (which works OK).


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  • Message 6. Posted by jamescook (U14599261) on Friday, 18th February 2011permalink

    i've been getting this problem in the past few days. Programmes in Listen Again are constantly rebuffering - e.g. for last night's "the world tonight" on R4 - bbc mediaplayer 2.24.18269.21576, b00yrg43 32Kps aac LI. Adobe Flash Player

    Have reported this to https://iplayerhelp...


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  • Message 7. Posted by jamescook (U14599261) on Friday, 18th February 2011permalink

    ... forgot to say I'm in Switzerland


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  • Message 8. Posted by jamescook (U14599261) on Saturday, 19th February 2011permalink

    Just to report - no reply from the Beeb so far.
    Listen Again is completely unlistenable - programs stop every 2 seconds for 5 or so seconds - programme e.g.
    ( in case the link is moderated - programme b00yj265, Far Pavillions )

    iplayer intermittently reports insufficient bandwidth - but test is OK.

    No one else outside UK having this problem?


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  • Message 9. Posted by jamescook (U14599261) on Saturday, 19th February 2011permalink

    .. I just read about edge nodes on the Message Board.

    h t t p://
    h t t p://

    I'm not sure how to determine which cp**** link to use to test.
    Tips welcome


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  • Message 10. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Saturday, 19th February 2011permalink

    Hi James,

    I think the edgeserver info is in relation to overseas live BBC iPlayer streams

    I assume the following posting from BBC staff may be up to date, and may have been one you have seen:
    "Listeners receiving 'Insufficient Bandwidth' messages - PLEASE READ!"
    - #250 -

    _ LIVE _
    If it was a R4 live fm programme then from that listing you would need to check using

    For comparison I am in the UK and note R4 live FM 128aac stream is apparently in my instance using: giving

    If however the programme was one of the listen again programmes, I think a different system is used. Do you as a user overseas even get flash player streams for such programmes or are they Windows streams.
    ( iirc They were at one time RealPlayer, then became Windows streams, after an extended period of no overseas service - look at the old radiolabs BBC blogs )

    You may note some changes are likely to be occurring with BBC Radio and iPlayer, probably very soon, but I am not sure what details the BBC has released so far.

    If you are using a listen again stream you could try right clicking the FlashPlayer for further info. If of course it is a Windows stream there is alternative info about the stream quality available from WMP.


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  • Message 11. Posted by jamescook (U14599261) on Sunday, 20th February 2011permalink

    Hallo John,

    thanks for your reply (we've talked before), reading the forum last night I also found the infomation you give - about the cp*** etc servers. For me gives I'm listening to R4.

    But as you note, LIVE is not my problem but LISTEN AGAIN. Overseas listeners get the lowest quality AAC feed in flash - see my above lines from flash - flash version ... aac, li, etc.

    As I say, I do get the programmes (up to now without a problem) but since a few days the streams play for 2 or so seconds, buffer for 5 or so then continue for 2 seconds then ... you get the picture.

    I used to listen with REAL although that was live only and very LQ, at least I never had any problems - over many years.

    Is it possible to listen again with WMA? I mean is there a comfortable BBC WMA listen again page or must I use something like Beebobodge to generate the links for each programme? I'll try the WMA Listen Again e.g. for Thursdays "World Tonight" and let you know what happens



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  • Message 12. Posted by jamescook (U14599261) on Sunday, 20th February 2011permalink

    Just as an aside, I'm not sure what's up with RadioPlayer -seems to me that having spent many millions developing iPlayer developing something new is development gone wild - very hard to justify.

    The perhaps related YouView platform is now postponed to 2012 - according to this week's Media Show on R4


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  • Message 13. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Sunday, 20th February 2011permalink

    Hi James,

    I was never entirely sure what the BBC gives overseas users. Not using a VPN, I do not myself, see the same as you do. So not only do I not necessarily get the same streams; many links may differ.
    Presumably the BBC presents many links differently, and presumably many FAQs or similar pages are seen differently.
    ( good - if you get the required working link
    bad - because a user does not see information as it is presented to others
    bbc - you could openly present options allowing users to see the other options
    + not asking for hacking info, just what other users see)

    _LIVE _
    Using Firebug, even without understanding any technicalities; I can see the time sequence of the connections. Obviously at least in the UK , any info about edgefecs , would appear irrelevant to the listen again. I make the assumption that it is also relevant to overseas users.

    I was under the impression that listen again was now available overseas in Windows format; I thought actually as the default iPlayer stream; but maybe now that is Flash/aac

    Deleted from this computer, so I can not try. But I seem to recall RP actually continued to provide output because (at least on a Windows PC) it could still access the WMP streams.

    I doubt my comments above are of much help, but maybe what you need to consider is
    which BBC streams do work - eg listen live
    which do not

    At least for comparison test beebotron/beebobodge.
    ( Would I be correct in saying beebotron, merely re-presents bbc links in a more user friendly manner - and with a related forum ie )

    Finally of course remember Radio and iPlayer are changing on the BBC, expect overseas users to loose out. ( RadioPlayer, presumably, at least initially, is UK only )

    [ Within last few days UK iPlayer gives access to none bbc output see the current Feb 2011 BBC blogs]

    Hope you get a reply soon from the BBC, but note you may need to use the complaints options if you actually expect a reply.


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  • Message 14. Posted by jamescook (U14599261) on Monday, 21st February 2011permalink

    Hallo John,

    WMA listening via beebotron page - go to beebotron lite page and select a station - worked fine.

    Since about 9 this morning iplayer is back to normal - LQ aac playing fine. Yippee!

    As to what you say about service outside the UK and even inside the UK becoming unstable in view of RadioPlayer etc. - I can't imagine this to be the case - I'm sure the Beeb has clear contracts with their providers.

    I do find it strange that UK/worldwide playing of the feeds relies on user reporting if something goes wrong - surely it would be much more cost effective to monitor this automatically - in fact I'd implement this before iplayer itself ...



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  • Message 15. Posted by John99 (U13871221) on Tuesday, 22nd February 2011permalink

    smiley - smiley glad its fixed

    I have little faith in the BBC's abilities when rolling out new software. Examples being

    1) New Main BBC homepage
    That broke nearly as soon as it came out of Beta and took a while to restore functionality

    2) Previous changes whilst deprecating Real Player
    That resulted in delays and none availability, having knock on effects for overseas users and local radio output

    3) iPd v3 ( iPlayer Desktop )
    Look at the longrunning problems with that, fixes were released but often did not seem to work

    4) Message boards *Improvements*
    That was a classic one step forward and two back shambles.
    It certainly generated a few comments and posts, with some blogs getting into three figures with comments and some individual threads getting into four figures.

    As to what you say about service outside the UK and even inside the UK becoming unstable in view of RadioPlayer etc. - I can't imagine this to be the case - I'm sure the Beeb has clear contracts with their providers.

    I think the BBC probably do have clear contracts with providers, the BBC blogs for instance recently mentioned the one with Siemens
    "BBC Digital Media Project Delayed For Two Years By Siemens Contract Tear-Up" -

    [ I could normally quickly provide links re points 1-4 above but haven't got my bookmarks etc synchronised properly at present ]

    smiley - sadface problem is how long will it take to fix next time there is a problem with your radio programmes
    and if you really expect the forthcoming changes to run smoothly then you are far more optimistic than I am.


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