The Beebotron

Help and Support => Help => Topic started by: Goober on October 08, 2009, 12:55:31 PM

Title: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Goober on October 08, 2009, 12:55:31 PM
Hi there. I\'ve been reading here for a while and using the facilities quite extensively. Thanks \'Kronalias\' for all your work; it\'s really very impressive.

I am a huge BBC fan (British and UK-based) and have been for decades! I am particularly impressed by the way the BBC, less encumbered by the need to make profits for its shareholders, has adopted such a pro-active approach to the new means of distribution and presentation of news and both audio and video programming.

I\'d like to jump in with my comments on the loss of (some of the) Real streams. Hope you don\'t mind a newcomer putting in his 2 penn\'orth! I have no inside information but have been following streaming stuff for quite some time and have a few thoughts on what\'s happening.

Real was (one of) the first into steaming technology and it ruled the roost for a number of years. When BBC started streaming it chose Real, one assumes on the basis that this would give the greatest number of people the opportunity to listen, especially as there has always been a free version available of the Realplayer (for Windows at least). The BBC stuck with Real through thick and thin and despite the fact that this format was being abandoned by other broadcasters in favour of other technologies. In particular, Windows Media Player files and MP3, AAC, OGG, FLV format streams (many using the Flash container which is the basis of the BBC iPlayer) have now taken the market away from Real.

On the premise that Real is a technology which is in decline the BBC has decided that it must offer other formats. It now allows its programmes to be heard/watched in a variety of formats. This page BITRATES (http://beebhack.wikia.com/wiki/IPlayer_TV#Comparison_Table) gives some idea of the multiple video formats available, for example.

So you will see that the BBC is only following the market. I\'m sure this is the correct decision despite the fact that, sadly, it cuts down (and I\'m sure will eventually drop) support for legacy platforms which only support Real (some Nokia smartphones for example).

If you\'ve got this far, thanks for reading and sorry for being so long-winded. ;-)

I agree with those who say that VLC is very complicated for \'every day\' use. What you need is something like Realplayer which just pops up when you click a link in a web page (e.g. K\'s R2 example above) and plays the stream. You might like to look at Winamp which has been around for many years (and is still being developed) and has a free version. This will do what I proposed in the previous sentence.

You can get Winamp from HERE (http://www.winamp.com/player). Choose the version labelled \"full\" and \"FREE\" and click on \'download\'. Save the file to somewhere where you can find it again (I suggest \'Desktop\' is the easiest). Then install it from wherever you left it (if you used \'Desktop\' you will see it there, er... on your Desktop. I suggest you turn off (untick) all the \'extras\' as you install. Allow Winamp to load after installation.

You will then be presented with a screen called \'File Associations\'. Until you\'ve decided what else you want to use Winamp for (it can be your main music/video player if you like) I suggest you turn off (untick) all filetypes except for the following:

Winamp Specific Files - leave all ticked.
Audio Files - First, untick this whole group, then click on the \'+\' sign to open the filetype details. Then tick individually AAC, M4A and WMA.
Playlist Files - Untick the group, then open the detailed filetypes and tick ASX.
Video Files - - Untick all, then tick individually ASF, FLV, SWF and WMV.

Click through to the end (\'Finish\')

Now close Winamp.

Go back to your web browser, find K\'s R2 link above and click on it. It should open Winamp and play the stream... (seemples!).

Hope that helps somebody. If you all use Macs, I\'m Sorry I haven\'t A Clue!

Terry
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Kronalias on October 09, 2009, 04:53:18 PM
This was an interesting and useful post (thanks Terry!) that was on another thread.

I\'ve ripped it from there and made it into a sticky as, when the Beeb kill off RealAudio they may offer something that doesn\'t need a Flash player.

There again they may not... If you know better, please post here!
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Goober on October 10, 2009, 08:09:41 PM
I feel honoured that you\'ve given my first post such special treatment, K.

I\'ve been doing some research to see if my assumption that Real would soon no longer be used by the BBC held water and I\'ve found this very important recent article:

BBC Statement on Real Streams (http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/radiolabs/2009/10/realmedia_an_update.shtml)

You may well have already seen this. I think it paints a pretty clear picture of where BBC streaming is going and confirms that the changes will take place much sooner than I expected. I was interested to see comments from other Beeb hacking wizards below the statement and it\'s good to know people who understand our needs are on the case.

Anyway, it does mean that, while it\'s currently only BBC local radio (and \'nations\' as BBC calls the regional stations) that have lost live Real streaming and no longer offer the ability to play programmes on demand other than via iPlayer, the writing is on the wall for *all* other Real streams (apart from World Service it seems).

I hope that long before the Real streams are removed, you programming experts are given the wherewithal to provide direct URLs (i.e. avoiding iPlayer) to both live streams and, probably more importantly, to the Listen Again schedules. The article appears to suggest that WMA feeds will be available for Listen Again. That will be a start but I\'d also like to see aac and/or mp3 streams. From what get_iPlayer (see below) dredges up it would appear that this is not beyond the realms of possibility. I would also be delighted if use of the awful Windows Media Player could be avoided.

I shall be watching developments closely and I urge other users of the Beebotron to do the same. Big changes are afoot.

Meanwhile, have a play with Winamp. It may be just what you need when your Realplayer stops working...

Terry

PS. K, I am indebted to you for your get_iPlayer helper. I\'d never have worked out how to get anything useful from it without your guidance!
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Kronalias on October 11, 2009, 05:10:10 PM
Hi Terry

Thanks for the info!

That link is really good news. Real was going nowhere, and at some time it had to die. The good news is that the Beeb will make Live and Listen Again available via WMA. If and when this transpires then the Beebotron can continue as normal - it\'ll just be that when you click a link it\'ll open the programme in WinAmp (or, if you\'re that way inclined, Windows Media Player).

Hopefully it\'ll be just as easy on Linux, although I haven\'t tried the Linux port of WinAmp.

I don\'t think you\'ll ever be able to stream aac or mp3 files directly - these are provided as an RTMP stream in a Flash wrapper in the iPlayer - and I can\'t see the Beeb providing these as native streams, or at least not in the forseeable future. That means that to get streaming aac or mp3 you\'d need to go through some hoops, as in the following.

Aac, mp3 and get_iplayer. I don\'t know if you\'ve had a go at Phil\'s Web PVR Manager (http://linuxcentre.net/getiplayer/get_iplayer-pvr-manager/) for get_iplayer - it\'s brilliant for downloading, but you can\'t stream either Live or Listen Again on Windows (basically because Windows doesn\'t support piping the output of one program into the input of another). You can, however, on Linux.

If you, or anyone else, has any other knowledge on when the Beeb intend to start providing WMA I\'d be really grateful if they\'d post!

Cheers, K
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on October 11, 2009, 05:34:42 PM
Tho I understand little of the above :S, do know enough to see that when OMK expresses relief, the Collective can sit back and r-e-l-a-a-x!
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on October 11, 2009, 07:27:27 PM
Terry, I really think you should consider posting on the R7 board about this. There quite a few Real listeners over there that will surely be caught unaware when this goes in force.

If you don\'t feel comfortable with that, perhaps you\'ll allow me to put an FYI there with a link to the article above?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Goober on October 11, 2009, 08:24:26 PM
Jan

I\'d be more than happy for you to put a pointer to this thread in the R7 board.

By way of introduction you should perhaps (without frightening anyone) let the R7 folks know that the BBC have now come clean on the demise of the Real streams and that by March next year (at the latest) they will all have disappeared.

This thread can then become a focus for news on what (new format) streams are becoming available over the next few months and what progress K and his colleagues are making in providing links to these so the likes of ourselves can get to all the programs as simply as we can now. No pressure K!

Also up for discussion would be the means of playing the new streams (which is where the likes of Winamp would come in).
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Kronalias on October 11, 2009, 08:26:20 PM
I\'ll lob in another tuppenceworth...

WinAmp is a brilliant program. If you install it, like wot Terry said, and click one of the \'Possibly Worldwide\' live radio links in Beebotron Lite (http://beebotron.org/indexlite.php?reload#BBC_Live_Radio_Links) then off it goes.

But it\'ll do a lot more. I\'ve used it to shoutcast radio programmes that I\'ve downloaded around my house - it just needs a plugin... So before we get too complicated, let\'s just open the door to plugins - they\'re littlie gizmos that just enhance WinAmp.

WinAmp, by itself, is pretty good. As in excellent.

If you wished to practice with it - as it were, before Auntie goes WMA instead of Real, then you could do the following (this is for Windows - I\'m not too bright on Linux yet)... with a plugin!

1. Make sure you have Real installed, and that you can click on a Beebotron RealAudio link and it plays.
2. Go and install WinAmp in the way Terry described, toward the top of this thread.
3. Make sure that WinAmp works, by clicking one of the Possibly Worldwide Live Links that I mentioned above in this post.
4. Go and get Tara\'s Real Audio plugin for WinAmp. I\'ve just done a search for it and it\'s available HERE (http://www.free-codecs.com/download/Real_Audio_Input_Plugin_for_Winamp.htm). It appears to be the same one that I\'m using - it\'s Version 1.0.3.b - and the copy I\'m using is up on the Beebotron download site, HERE (http://beebotron.org/downloads/Tara_v1.0.3b_(Real_plugin).exe). Take your choice... Mine works...
5. Download it and then doubleclick it to install.
6. Now go back and doubleclick a RealAudio link in the Beebotron, and it should play in WinAmp, rather than in the RealPlayer that you normally see.

Do be aware that the plugin is just a sort of kicker-offer to Real, so if you haven\'t got RealPlayer installed it\'s not going to work.

If you\'re not too confident about a changeover from Real to WMA in the future, then this is probably a good way to have a go and start learning about WinAmp.

WITH APOLOGIES FOR SHOUTING! If there\'s anyone out there who\'s not averse to messing about in Windows, and they have a go it would be really nice to hear if this works. Or comments on the problems they had. My idea was to try to make things easy for people who weren\'t too happy with messing about in Windows... And my PC is not exactly standard, so I\'d appreciate a hand here...

Cheers, K

[EDIT] Yup, I know, the \"Possibly Worldwide\" links should be renamed \"Worldwide\" links in Beebotron Lite (http://beebotron.org/indexlite.php), and I haven\'t put them into the main Beebotron (http://beebotron.org/index.php) yet... I\'ll do it i the next few days, honest... [/EDIT]
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Goober on October 11, 2009, 08:49:24 PM
Truthy

I too was pleased to note that K is confident the changeover can be managed without too much trouble.  ;)

You should however be aware that the Beeb seems to have used Local Radio as a testbed for this exercise and has failed (so far) to make any of the Listen Again streams available in the new (Windows Media) format!

These were available on Real in just the same way as the National broadcasts are. This means that I can now *only* listen to my local BBC station live; I have no access to programmes that I missed. But see note 1 below.

This doesn\'t augur well for a smooth switchover from RA to WM streaming of Listen Again material.

1. This is not precisely true as I can get to archived LR broadcasts via iPlayer. But do I want to...?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Kronalias on October 11, 2009, 08:57:13 PM
Arrgghhh - we were posting simultaneously! Doncha just hate it when that happens...

I completely agree with you - I suspect this thread could become extremely useful as a focus of:

1. What\'s happening
2. When it\'s happening
3. How people migrate - that was the purpose of the post that I posted at the same time as you.

I don\'t know how best to do this - nothing new there - but I know that a lot of people use the Beebotron to find out what\'s on, and then play it, record it, or whatever, in some other way. That\'s fine with me!

The site that gets hit hardest is, surprisingly (or there again, perhaps not!), the get_iplayer helper. Then it\'s Beebotron Lite, then the Beebotron main site.

Just to keep it easy on myself, I was musing that mayhap I could create another site as well -  Beebotron Lite WMA, where I could offer the WMA streams as they became available.

My gut feel is that people who like this site are... quirky... because the site is .... quirky... I know I have people in their eighties who use it, and also people in their thirties. Dunno of any younger ones.

The upshot is that I guess the majority of site users are not particularly worried about the hifi quality of the streams - they\'re more interested in the quality of the content. And, in all fairness, although Real has taken a severe slating for hifi-ness, it\'s been good enough for plays and other talkie stuff. Anyway, off we go to WMA, which is going to be good enough (better than Real?) to listen to on demand, and anyone who\'s picky can download the high quality audio and listen to it later.

It\'s all starting to sound pretty good to me! I\'m actually becoming quite excited about this...

Open to suggestions....

Cheers, K
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: IvorThirst on October 11, 2009, 08:58:36 PM
Like Terry, I cannot access Local Radio programmes, not even via iPlayer. All that I get is \'Andy Whittaker: 09/10/2009 is unavailable at this time.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on October 11, 2009, 09:40:58 PM
Thanks for that, Terry. I\'m having a sloooow brain day today, but I will put something together for posting on the R7 site tomorrow. I think the farther we can get ahead of this the better. My thoughts are to put a link to the article and to this thread, if R7 will let me, and at least a mention of it if they won\'t.

I think a WMA site would be great, K, if it\'s not too much trouble. This way we could see how the links are going to work in practical situations. We all listen a bit differently and it would be nice to have WMA Sandbox to play around in.

Again, I\'m really thankful you posted about this, Terry. It would have been a real blow without the heads-up.

My question? Why hasn\'t this BIG change been announced more over there, I haven\'t heard or seen anything over there and I\'m all over the place station and website wise every day. As much as I love the BBC this seems to be their biggest problem....lack of communication with the listeners....sort of ironic isn\'t it?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on October 11, 2009, 10:02:11 PM
Sure is hun!
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Kronalias on October 11, 2009, 10:49:00 PM
Quote from: Janaru
We all listen a bit differently and it would be nice to have WMA Sandbox to play around in.


Now that\'s a great idea - that would make it easier for me to find out how things work for people inside and outside the UK.

I still like the idea of a Beebotron Lite WMA site. A WMA Sandboxy thingy would be a good way to test things, get feedback, sort stuff, and then migrate bits into Beebotron Lite WMA as bits start working.

I\'ll open one up.

PS to Jan: I seem to remember a chat we had ages ago about Sandboxes v Sandpits... where you were trying to get me into trouble... again...  I think we\'ll stick with a Sandpit, ok?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on October 12, 2009, 03:10:07 AM
Yup, I\'d forgotten about that :)  I think you\'re right ;)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on October 12, 2009, 10:18:53 AM
Or even $4np17 (:D
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Goober on October 12, 2009, 10:59:47 AM
K, I don\'t want to hog the show but would like to comment on a few of your great points above:

1. WMA Beebotron? Yes please!

BTW, I\'m sure you know this already, but I\'ve noticed that not only are live WMA streams already available for R1-R7 but there are two different ones per station (one high quality (128kbps) and another lower quality (48kbps). These look to be the UK and (expurgated) International streams. Here\'s an example pair just in case it\'s useful:

R4 128kbps feed (http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4.asx)
R4 48kbps feed (http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4_int.asx)

Format follows the same pattern for the other URLs (except R4LW which only seems to have one feed).

2. MP3/AAC streams? I guess you are right but it seems a shame as AAC is (I hear) particularly efficient.

3. Winamp and Real Audio. I\'ve been using Winamp for years and only found the Tara Real widget a couple of days ago! It\'s pretty crude but it works. However, I haven\'t managed to get Winamp to open a RA stream by clicking it in Firefox (only by pasting the URL).

4. Phil Lewis\'s PVR server thingy. I\'ve had a look but I get the impression it only works properly under Linux. Is that right or should I try again with Windows?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on October 12, 2009, 12:41:36 PM
Got the heads-up posted on the R7 board now, Terry. Thanks again :)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Kronalias on October 12, 2009, 04:17:56 PM
Quote from: Goober
I don\'t want to hog the show


Don\'t be daft Terry, you\'re helping me greatly! Keep \'em coming!

Thanks for the R4 links - I\'ve opened up a WMA Sandpit phorum, and I\'ll post them over there in a min with some manufactured links to see whether people outside the UK can get the lot.

MP3 and AAC streams - I\'ll bung some stuff in the sandpit on these as well. This will need get_player (with or without Phil\'s posh frontend - heaps better than mine) and I\'ll put something over there on that. And yes, it\'ll work on Windows, apart from the fact that you won\'t be able to stream.

On WinAmp and RealAudio - I think I\'ve done this from Firefox... The box that I\'m using for MythPC was, in a previous life, running Windows and I used WinAmp with a shoutcast plugin to stream stuff. It\'s a while since I did that, as I\'m now using a UPnP server on the box - I\'ll have a little play. Look out for stuff in the sandpit.

Cheers, K
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on October 15, 2009, 01:25:01 AM
Oh, my brain hurts!  [insert lolcat photo of your choice]

Terry, it looks like you are going to be a positive addition to our illustrious crew of brilliant Beebonerds.  Welcome and thanks for the ton of info you\'ve provided, now and in the future.  Yes, we know you can time travel!  And thanks to you too, Kron, for offering to set up a place where we will be able to start testing this stuff.  Though it seems it\'s more for folk in the UK at the moment, not outside.

Like Jan, much of the above went over my head.  It did prompt me to start looking into what a poor Ubuntu user will do when all the darn changes happen, since WinAmp is a no go in Linux.  I\'ve also been using Real Player for a long time.  It seems the Linux alternative for WinAmp is Audacious Media Player. (http://audacious-media-player.org/)  

Eric Fleming, in an article here (http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/699041/audacious_a_lightweight_playlistbased.html?cat=15) says that \"Audacious can play more than just music already on your hard drive. Audacious supports streaming via IceCast and ShoutCast servers, in MP3, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, AAC and AAC+ formats, plus any format supported by normal HTTP streaming.\"  I\'m still not convinced since I don\'t see a lot of discussion around radio for this app.

I just installed Audacious, as well as a bunch of plugins & stuff, via my Synaptic Package Manager.  It appears very stripped down, with few visible controls.  IceCast, ShoutCast?  Oy.  My poor brain!  

Does anyone know if VLC player will be able to take over from Real Player when BBC makes these changes for radio?  I\'ve never used is for radio, but it appears to be able to.  It looks like it takes some doing as well.

Another concern I have is with changing preferences for media in Firefox.  I\'m worried if I change radio away from RP, I\'ll always get VLC or Audacious, when I still would like Real for things that will apply to it.  Is there a way to have Real as the default, and the others just for the BBC?  Probably a silly question and poorly worded.  

So this is why my brain hurts.  Hours of googling, juggling, researching new stuff can be fun.  I just need a cook and resident life organizer so I can enjoy it!  It took me over an hour just to write this comment, because I had to research stuff to be able to ask vaguely the right questions.  OK, I\'m going to take a break from all this and come back when the ol\' noodle is rested.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on October 15, 2009, 01:52:53 AM
Hey Maggie!

Yeah, this change has got me poor old head a spinnin\' like Linda Blair (minus pea soup, blessedly!).

I\'m not sure what version of Real you\'re running at the moment. I think from a previous conversation, it might be Real Player SP (probably not, I\'m such a poopoohead when it comes to my memory), anyhoo, I just upgraded to that version and it plays the Live WMP files fine. The assumption being that when all the Live WMP and Listen Again WMP files come around we should be able to listen in Real as usual. I\'m not sure how the older versions will handle it. They may just need the right codec (or decoder as we normal people would say) to run them.

I have VLC too and it does play the WMP Live streams as well.

I\'m on a laptop using Windows XP and an Opera browser, but most systems have an option to \"Open With...\" when you right click on a file, so you can choose which software you want to run it with. You might play around with a sound file you already have and see how Ubuntu/Firefox works.

Here\'s the WMA Live link for World Service (http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/meta/tx/nb/live_infent_au_nb.asx) if you want to give it a spin. You may have to paste the link into the \"Add URL\" feature in Real Player (which is what I had to do to check it just now) but it does play there for me.

I hope I didn\'t just add to the confusion :S

Good luck, and if you try it, let me know how you got on with it.

Jan
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on October 15, 2009, 03:26:53 AM
Hey Jan!

I\'m still able to open Play Again shows (that are still listed in Beebotron) in RealPlayer 11 Gold, as well as live BBC World Service and Radio 4 & 3.  

I have noticed that Beebotron is no longer listing Celtic Heartbeat (Radio Wales) and Genevieve Tudor\'s Sunday Folk (Shropshire).  I went to Celtic Heartbeat\'s website and I can listen to the Play Again version in iPlayer, but it tells me that the low bandwidth version is unavailable as of 10/10/09.  The same thing happens for Sunday Folk, same message for low bandwidth dated 11/11/09.  I suspect they might be among the local shows that are no longer available in RealPlayer.  Not sure.  But as mentioned above, we won\'t be able to use RealPlayer at all soon.

A small, but possibly consequential, effect of having to play via iPlayer is that it is more bandwidth being transferred.  It may not sound like much, but here in Canada we are facing down the threat of usage based billing as of November.  It all adds up, believe me.  UBB is insane and will hurt Canada\'s already flailing standing in IT world rankings.  The US just managed to bash down the idiots who proposed it (always the ISP monopolies).

I notice you use \"WMP\"  as well as\" WMA\".  Are they interchangeable?

I haven\'t been able to use VLC for any streaming.  In Linux and Firefox, I don\'t get the \"open with\" choice, not for streaming anyway (only for files on my computer).  What I get is a configuration box.  I get nervous about changing things there in case I want to change them back for other uses.  I\'m not clear how people know what to enter for applications.  I just have Real in for everything at the moment (it\'s not just the title of the app, but the location in my computer).  I looked for VLC in browse in that box, but what I found didn\'t work.  I mostly use VLC for downloaded films & tv shows.  It will open just about anything.  I like Real for radio because it\'s simple to add a URL and save it.

I get confused because some of this discussion is about how this affects listeners in the UK, some for us outside the UK.  

Anyhoo, nice to hear another head spinning out there in Beeboland!  This seem like a good time to again say thanks to Kron and all the other tech wizards here.  They may not agree to the title, but still.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on October 15, 2009, 03:43:47 AM
No, I told you, I\'m a poopyhead. WMA is what I meant. Sorry about that.

The local stations (Wales, Scotland, etc...) have already stopped using the .ra (Real Player) files, so we can\'t seem to listen to the lower bandwidth through iPlayer (I found that out today too) and the Beebotron isn\'t finding the WMA files. I\'m not even sure if the BBC are creating WMA files for those programs yet.

For streaming your World Service in VLC, you can try:

Opening VLC
Go to Media
Open Network Stream
Paste the WMA link (I think it works with .ra links too) into the address field
And Play

That\'s been working for me....so far anyway.

I love VLC for downloaded movies and shows too. You\'re right, it WILL play anything, but it is confusing. I\'m not a tech head by any stretch and when I see those foreign terms I tend to lock-up, and for the same reason, I don\'t want to kill anything.

But I\'ve tried the above and it should work without changing settings. You might give it a go.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on October 15, 2009, 09:40:16 AM
Thanks, Jan!  I\'ll try that tomorrow.  (You said poopyhead.  :D)  I hate change.  Well, these kinds anyway.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on October 15, 2009, 01:40:58 PM
Hi Maggie,

Thanks for the informative post, just wanted to stick my head over the wall to say hello!

maggie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> A small, but possibly consequential, effect of
> having to play via iPlayer is that it is more
> bandwidth being transferred.  It may not sound
> like much, but here in Canada we are facing down
> the threat of usage based billing as of November.
> It all adds up, believe me.  UBB is insane and
> will hurt Canada\'s already flailing standing in IT
> world rankings.  The US just managed to bash down
> the idiots who proposed it (always the ISP
> monopolies).

Interesting to note and hopefully such an uber-creative sales-strategy won\'t reach this side of the pond:S
 
> I notice you use \"WMP\"  as well as\" WMA\".  Are
> they interchangeable?

Yes I was wundrin \'bout that too.
 
> I haven\'t been able to use VLC for any streaming.
> In Linux and Firefox, I don\'t get the \"open with\"
> choice, not for streaming anyway (only for files
> on my computer).  What I get is a configuration
> box.  I get nervous about changing things there in
> case I want to change them back for other uses.
> I\'m not clear how people know what to enter for
> applications.  I just have Real in for everything
> at the moment (it\'s not just the title of the app,
> but the location in my computer).  I looked for
> VLC in browse in that box, but what I found didn\'t
> work.  I mostly use VLC for downloaded films & tv
> shows.  It will open just about anything.  I like
> Real for radio because it\'s simple to add a URL
> and save it.

I\'m not (regrettably) on Linux but have had similar problems with VLC, in my case prolly due to an outdated version, but the \"getting nervous\" in case you can\'t backtrack and somehow cock up the current systems set up is an issue that brings me out in a cold sweat.  Needless to say, though, I\'ve none of Jan\'s nor your competence in this domain.

> I get confused because some of this discussion is
> about how this affects listeners in the UK, some
> for us outside the UK.  

That\'s a fair point.
 
Bests,
Tru
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Kronalias on October 15, 2009, 01:57:11 PM
Quote from: Maggie
I get confused because some of this discussion is about how this affects listeners in the UK, some for us outside the UK.


Hello, Canada!

With a bit of luck, Maggie, when things settle down it shouldn\'t matter too much whether you\'re inside or outside the UK. If I\'ve read things right, then when you try to listen to a Beeb WMA stream, then the Beeb will detect where you are and supply you with either 128K (if you\'re inside the UK), or 48K (if you\'re outside). On the basis that we\'re all half-deaf at our age it ain\'t gonna matter too much what you get...

As an example, here\'s the Radio 1 WMA link:
http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r1.asx (http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r1.asx)

If you right click it and copy the link, then open VNC, click Media then Open Network Stream and then paste the link into the Address bit and press Play it should... play.

I can\'t get Firefox to automatically open VNC in linux, either - I\'ll bung some other stuff on this in the sandpit.

I\'m sorry about the folky stuff on the other stations that you can\'t get right now other than on iPlayer - the Beeb seem to be in a bit of a mess right now - but as those bugs iron out then with a bit of luck the WMA streams will start emerging.

Cheers, K
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on October 15, 2009, 08:59:22 PM
Hey, Maggie, at this point we\'re still charged flat rate, so if you can\'t get a particular program, let me know and maybe we can work something out ;)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on October 16, 2009, 12:11:37 AM
Thanks, Kron!  Your instruction to open the WMA link works in VLC for me.  That\'s interesting to know.  (Various boxes can be opened in VLC, with rather unclear labels as to what they\'re for.)  At present, I can get the same WMA radio stations in Real.  With future changes coming, I\'m looking to be ready for it.  Now I see why Goober said what he did about VLC being complicated for \'every day\' use.  It\'s more that it\'s inconvenient in 2 ways: it doesn\'t pop up automatically when clicking on radio links, and it doesn\'t seem to be able store URLs for radio shows.  

I don\'t mind a 48K stream, hearing loss notwithstanding.  My computer speakers make the best of output anyway.  Interesting to know that the future format for everyone will be WMA.  At least I know what I\'ll be dealing with.  

There is some connection between VLC and Shoutcast that I keep seeing in my searches.  Do you think it is worth my investigating this for when Auntie makes RealPlayer redundant? I\'m not familiar with Shoutcast and don\'t know if it will solve the instant pop up problem.  

 As mentioned, the other choice is Audacious player, an alternative to WinAmp for Linux.  I\'m trying to wrap my head around how the Beebotron main page will look after this migration period is finished in  March 2010.   That Radio Labs article gives me a headache!  

In other words, my hope is that when we all click on a link on Beebotron, whether we\'re on Windows or Linux, we\'ll be able to open it without having to go through a mess of copy & paste at the end of it all.

Tru -

\"Interesting to note and hopefully such an uber-creative sales-strategy won\'t reach this side of the pond\"
Greed strategy is more like it.  Kills competition too.  Small ISPs like mine are forced to use the main DSL lines owned by these oink-oinks.  

Jan -

Thanks, not to worry.  It seems this is just a temporary thing.  From the Radio Labs article on \"Nations and Local Radio\" - \"In addition to the disruption caused to the Listen Live services, an unforeseen dependency means that the Listen Again service in Windows Media won\'t be operational until November.\"  I\'ve just become more aware of bandwidth even though radio is a small part of usage.  Most people don\'t even know what bandwidth is.  Not all older internetizens are like us! Compared to 99% of users, I\'d say you and me qualify for Mensa.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on October 16, 2009, 04:18:42 AM
BWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

Oh my gawd, Maggie!!! Thanks for that, woman ;)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on May 17, 2010, 07:49:24 PM
Hi all!

I\'ve been away from here for a while - just been busy, but missed you guys.  

Today when I went to listen to Radio 3 live in my saved link in RealPlayer, before the live audio kicked in there was a message from Auntie saying that by the end of May we won\'t be able to listen to Beeb radio on RP any more. Such a cute big brother type message!  B) Not.

Anyone hear anything about what they\'re replacing it with?  Keep in mind I\'m on Linux/Ubuntu (yes, I\'ll go back & search for that thread too).  I\'ve done some looking into VLC player for this, and it works, but it\'s a many step process to open up a radio program on VLC so I\'ll be searching around to see if there\'s any viable alternatives.  This is trs annoying.  I\'m getting too old for all this change business.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on May 17, 2010, 08:03:21 PM
maggie Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> I\'m getting too old for all
> this change business.

You and me BOTH!

Welcome back, even if it is to discover smouldering ruins ...  They call this progress. Before, mobiles didn\'t exist but there sure enough were all kinds of things those gadgets could have been used for. Today Communication channels and gadgets abound, only \"management\" just doesn\'t seem to function which kicks \'content\' right out the window leaving chaos in its wake!::o
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on May 17, 2010, 09:55:21 PM
Miss Maggie! Glad you\'re still in the land of the living :)

They are replacing them with WMA (Windows Media Audio) files. You can still play these in you\'re Real Player. You\'ll have to futz around with your Real Player settings to get them to open automatically (I assume it\'s the case in Ubuntu).

You can find the links here (http://beebotron.org/index3lite.php?reload).

I dumped my Real Player awhile ago, but if I remember correctly, you have to go into your options (or similar) and make Real Player your default player for WMA files. I posted how to do this somewhere on the board, but it was awhile ago, so you might have a bit of a search on your hands.

Anyhoo...all hope is not lost...at least not quite yet :)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on May 18, 2010, 04:20:24 AM
Quote from: Truthyness
Welcome back, even if it is to discover smouldering ruins ... They call this progress.


:D I\'m getting used to it, screaming & kicking, Truthy.  Pretty much describes the state of the world.  Except of course the fragrant lilacs down the street!  Communicate that!  Mobile, schmobile.  Don\'t have one.  Wouldn\'t mind an open source non-apple ipad thingy.  

Quote from: Janaru
Miss Maggie! Glad you\'re still in the land of the living smiling smiley

They are replacing them with WMA (Windows Media Audio) files. You can still play these in you\'re Real Player. You\'ll have to futz around with your Real Player settings to get them to open automatically (I assume it\'s the case in Ubuntu).


Living, and in the land of the merry month of May too, Miss Janaru!  Yay!  Balmy breezes!

Aha - I didn\'t know about playing WMA files in RealPlayer - oh wait, I guess I did.  Thanks to Kron\'s help in the Linux thread, I had set up VLC player a while back.  It\'s not opening World News, either of them (one is called English News), which has the .asx at the end.  R3 & R4 are ok, which are the only other ones I use live.

Well, if it means coming to Beebotron more often, that\'s a good thing.  Small is beautiful.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on May 18, 2010, 12:46:15 PM
I love VLC too, but it\'s really glitchy on my computer. :(  It\'s good for about two or three streams and then conks out. I\'m sure it\'s some setting or another, but haven\'t had time to mess with it. Had my hands full with \"B*stard\" (the laptop that doesn\'t play well with others).
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on May 18, 2010, 07:40:49 PM
Oy! Having a \"B*stard\" laptop cannot be fun.  I find one of the most exhausting things, more than cleaning house or digging a garden, is dealing with wonky technology.  

I\'ve been doin\' some vlc exploring today.  I\'ve managed to store my usual live beeb radio url\'s in vlc\'s playlist, so I\'m a happy camper.  They\'re almost as easily accessible as they were in RP.  I don\'t know if it might help, but here\'s videolan\'s basic use page (http://www.videolan.org/doc/play-howto/en/ch03.html#id306206) for vlc player.  

When you say it conks out - do you mean it just refuses to play a stream?  Can you describe what happens.  Of course, I may not be much help with the Windows side of things.  But I might, who knows.

I\'ve been looking more at Beebotron 3 Lite - didn\'t realize we can still have play again shows! yay!  It\'s a step or two more with the wma and vlc thing for me on linux, but it\'s often better than going to the beeb radio pages.  I sometimes forget, ot just don\'t know,  what shows are available, so it\'s just another reason to highly praise K and anyone working to keep this place the gem that it is.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on May 18, 2010, 08:09:58 PM
I think the biggest problem was Real Player conflicting with VLC. It\'s sort of a moot point now anyway. I\'m using Total Recorder Pro to listen and record at the same time. Sweet!

The problem is now in the settings for \"B*stard\" which is running XP (yeah, yeah, I know :P) trying to communicate with my husbands computer (which is running Vista) and the Linksys router. It keeps randomly switching to Ad Hoc for some reason.

On top of that, the Beeb are having stream troubles as well, and it\'s hard to tell when it\'s me or when it\'s them. Rule of thumb: If all internet is slow, it\'s me, if it\'s just he Beeb it\'s them.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on May 18, 2010, 10:20:39 PM
Argh!  I just came up with a problem in VLC.  When listening to any beeb radio on vlc, the pause button doesn\'t work.  That\'s ok for live, but not for listen again when I often want to pause to do something else, but not stop altogether. Google was no help so far.  Anyone else experience this?

Janaru, re: conflict between RP and VLC - hmm.  Could well be.  Not sure what it\'s like in windows.  I thought I wouldn\'t be able to use both and I\'m still confused as to why vlc opens automatically for beebotron 3 radio links.  I can see I need some time to look into all this.  But I suspect Truthy\'s \"smoulering ruins\" analogy still stands.

I just discovered that the vlc playlist won\'t save the url\'s for beeb live radio I put in.  They only stay there as long as vlc is open.  And even then they disappear as soon as I open a play again show from Beebotron 3. Maybe I need to change my media settings back to RP or something.  Will report back later.  Need to re-read that linux thread.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: IvorThirst on May 18, 2010, 11:18:04 PM
Maggie. I don\'t know whether my VLC is different from yours, but when I open it I get a small player pad, with all the appropriate buttons. I don\'t use playlists and, as Jan will tell you, I\'m not that technically oriented. I just go to the UK Beebotron 3 Lite and save the URL location to the clipboard.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on May 19, 2010, 12:08:40 AM
\"Argh! I just came up with a problem in VLC. When listening to any beeb radio on vlc, the pause button doesn\'t work. That\'s ok for live, but not for listen again when I often want to pause to do something else, but not stop altogether. Google was no help so far. Anyone else experience this? \"

Nope. I never had that one happen.

\"Janaru, re: conflict between RP and VLC - hmm. Could well be. Not sure what it\'s like in windows. I thought I wouldn\'t be able to use both and I\'m still confused as to why vlc opens automatically for beebotron 3 radio links. I can see I need some time to look into all this. But I suspect Truthy\'s \"smoulering ruins\" analogy still stands.\"

You may have the VLC preferences set to open WMA files, so that when you click the Beebotrons links they open in there automatically. I don\'t have VLC installed at the moment, and I can\'t remember where you go to change that, Tools or Options or something like that.

Yeah. Smouldering ruins is right.

\"I just discovered that the vlc playlist won\'t save the url\'s for beeb live radio I put in. They only stay there as long as vlc is open. And even then they disappear as soon as I open a play again show from Beebotron 3. Maybe I need to change my media settings back to RP or something. Will report back later. Need to re-read that linux thread.\"

I think you can save them, Maggie, but it\'s a damn dog and pony show to get it to do it. Jeez, I wish my memory was better. It\'s been a few months since I messed with VLC and I\'ve forgotten most of what I\'d figured out. I think they have a Wiki forum.

Do you want to use VLC or would you prefer using your Real Player? I know you can set that one up to play the WMA\'s automatically.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on May 19, 2010, 01:34:20 AM
You might try this site too, Maggie. VLC Wiki (http://wiki.videolan.org/Main_Page)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: maggie on May 19, 2010, 03:51:27 AM
Quote from: Janaru
Do you want to use VLC or would you prefer using your Real Player? I know you can set that one up to play the WMA\'s automatically.


I don\'t think this works in Ubuntu.  That would be ideal because, well, I\'ve subjected you to my whinging above.  Maybe it will if I can find that alternate universe.

I installed mplayer and fooled around with it a bit for WMA Beeb radio.  It\'s not pretty.  It works, but won\'t shut off, doesn\'t show the name of the program while playing, & makes believe it\'s not working (pop-up) when it is.  It\'s been recommended for these beeb radio changes for linux users, so I\'ll continue to look at it.

Thanks for the VLC wiki - will putter around in it tomorrow.  I love where it says \'mad things you can do with VLC\"!

It\'s amazing how much time this sort of activity soaks up - like one of those super cloths on tv with that annoying guy, forget the name of it.  I\'m sure any successes I have will be overblown out of self-preservation.

Quote from: Ivor
Maggie. I don\'t know whether my VLC is different from yours, but when I open it I get a small player pad, with all the appropriate buttons. I don\'t use playlists and, as Jan will tell you, I\'m not that technically oriented. I just go to the UK Beebotron 3 Lite and save the URL location to the clipboard.


Sorry I didn\'t get back to you, Ivor!  I can do that too.  I\'m just spoiled by RealPlayer where I don\'t have to copy & paste the URL each time I want to open Radio3.  It\'s save permanently in my favourites there.  VLC won\'t do this.  I may find a way, hopefully.  I switch from World News to R4 and R3 often during the day.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on May 19, 2010, 06:18:53 AM
\"It\'s amazing how much time this sort of activity soaks up - like one of those super cloths on tv with that annoying guy, forget the name of it.\"

Sham-Wow, baby! B)-

Yeah, tell me about it. I\'ve been fighting with the BBC since February :S

Hmmm....don\'t now about Ubuntu and Real. Let me poke around a bit and if I come up with anything, I\'ll post. We gotta have Maggie back to happy listening again! :)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on May 19, 2010, 06:36:29 AM
Hey Maggie, thought you might check this out Helix Player (https://player.helixcommunity.org/). It may not go anywhere, but it might be worth a look.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on May 19, 2010, 07:06:21 AM
You probably already know this, or it isn\'t what you\'re looking for, but just in case....


Running RealPlayer

RealPlayer can be started via Applications > Sound & Video > RealPlayer11 or via the Terminal by typing:
realplayer

RealPlayer can run as a standalone media player or as a plugin to Firefox and some other browsers. Currently the 32-bit version integrates well with Ubuntu while the 64-bit version and plugins are still not fully developed.

$PATH. If RealPlayer won\'t start, make sure that a symbolic link of the realplay start-up script is in your system path. To check, run this command in Terminal:
which realplay
# The command should return:
/usr/bin/realplay

If it is not, the user will need to enter the full path to realplayer when the command is run or entered into scripts. If the RealPlayer startup script (realplay) is not located in /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin, create a symbolic link so the startup script will be located by the system. The following example is for a RealPlayer installation into the /opt/real/Realplayer folder. If RealPlayer was installed in another folder, change /opt/real/RealPlayer to reflect the actual location:
sudo ln -s /opt/real/RealPlayer/realplay /usr/local/bin

External Protocol Handling: As a standalone player, the default Ubuntu settings may start Totem when a RealPlayer file is selected (.ra, .rm, .rv, .ram, .smil, etc.). If these files are not opened with RealPlayer, the application may start and then crash or close.
   
   
To change the default to RealPlayer, right click on the file, select Properties > Open With and then RealPlayer. If it is not a choice, select Open with Other Application and select it.

(https://help.ubuntu.com/community/RealPlayerInstallationMethods?action=AttachFile&do=get&target=realplayer.association.png)   


   


   
If not listed, expand Use custom command and the Browse button to point it to the RealPlayer run file. By default, this is /usr/bin/realplayer. If not installed from the Medibuntu repositories, the location may be /opt/real/RealPlayer.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: ray on August 26, 2010, 02:54:43 AM
For those on Windows, try XMPlay.

I use it and it\'s awesome.  Lightweight and great.
http://un4seen.com/xmplay.html

Plays WMA natively.

[Update]
A new release of the WMA plugin allows you to seek!
http://www.un4seen.com/forum/?topic=11739.0
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Ironeyes on August 28, 2010, 10:43:26 PM
Ray,

This looks interesting and some of the skins are great.  I love the Vintage Radio one.

Can you explain something to me?  Assuming as I am that the software is free, what\'s in it for the developer?  I don\'t see any adverts on the site, as far as I\'ve looked anyway.  Are these people in it for the challenge or do they wear the cloak of altruism, or both?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on August 30, 2010, 05:14:37 PM
Maybe they\'re like K and do it because they are nice...hard to believe, but there are still some out there :)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on August 30, 2010, 08:55:13 PM
Nice and community minded eh! Jan. I understand this \"share-ware\" concept offers all sorts of possibilities to parties involved. Not unlike couch-surfing perhaps?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: ray on September 01, 2010, 01:24:39 AM
Yup, it\'s freeware.  The developer makes money by licensing the audio library he built (BASS) for commercial projects.
I\'ve been using XMPlay for years and it\'s the best audio player ever since Winamp became all bloated.

Be sure to try the update to the WMA plugin I listed above as it allows you to listen to \"Listen Again\" streams with seeking.
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on September 03, 2010, 05:55:21 AM
Bookmarked that for later perusal. Thanks :)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: IvorThirst on September 03, 2010, 11:43:33 PM
Whoop-ee-do! The other day, I got the option to upgrade my VLC, to cure a problem. I now no longer have to copy to clip board and open VLC from there. Now, I can clip on the links in Beebotron 3 Lite. It tries to open the WMPlayer, but then opens VLC and starts to play - just like the old days!
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on September 04, 2010, 01:31:23 AM
WOOHOOO!!!  :)o

I love it when a computer problem is solved! Pass your good luck on to me, Ive :)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: IvorThirst on September 04, 2010, 12:23:25 PM
(http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTykEregsnLgOT3m9_iID9zLnUJzCFqZEu9ViKtcvRL1NkhsC4&t=1&usg=__dKvokE7Kk1kZoFEWoFlXmseFfQE=)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on September 04, 2010, 04:57:55 PM
Well I\'ll be darned! I believe the little guy worked, Ive!  

My husband discovered our next-door neighbor has an illegal antenna on the corner of his house which is about thirty-feet from my window. This has been causing severe interference with B*stards wireless card (which is pretty old). So we took a trip to Radio Shack and picked up some CAT5 Ethernet cable and hooked me up directly to the router. So far so good! I haven\'t had any dropped programs since he plugged it in. So the problems on my side are solved....I think :)

Hey, you should save Mr. Wizard for future needs....or maybe go drop a C Note ($100) on a horse named Wizard at Santa Anita (or your equivalent) :)

Thanks Buddy! ;)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on September 04, 2010, 06:03:22 PM
(http://www.clicksmilies.com/s1106/party/party-smiley-038.gif)

Amazing Good Luck stories. Just shows what you can do with the power of positive thinking.::o
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: IvorThirst on September 04, 2010, 10:16:07 PM
Doesn\'t the Second Amendment give you the right to target practice on illegal antennae?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on September 04, 2010, 10:28:26 PM
Wow! Is this a Perry Mason page? ;)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: IvorThirst on September 05, 2010, 12:08:37 AM
I\'ll ask Della.

\"Hey, Honey, Is this my page?\"

Apparently, it is.

\"While you\'re up, would you get me a mug of java?\"

Perry
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on September 05, 2010, 05:16:01 AM
I suppose I could, but buying the cord was much easier. I\'m a lousy shot. I can open a can of whup-a*s with my cane though! B)-  
(I got serious Old Lady Ken-do skills!)

No Java. Paul Drake forgot to bring home the goods ;)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on September 05, 2010, 01:47:48 PM
What have I started #-o!
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Janaru on September 05, 2010, 06:26:20 PM
(http://www.thecomputermechanics.com/forums/images/smilies/girl_haha.gif)
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: IvorThirst on September 05, 2010, 06:33:15 PM
A Hitman Bureau?
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: berbatov on January 20, 2011, 02:40:07 PM
Thank you very much ^^\"
Title: Re: Winamp - an alternative when RealAudio dies
Post by: Truthyness on January 20, 2011, 07:31:25 PM
Hi Berb, welcome aboard! Out of pure curiosity, mind if I ask to which post your message relates? (tu)