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Capital FM Network (Part 2)


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Old 20-01-2015, 23:21
Colin_London
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Does anyone have the ability to confirm the bitrate and codec in use on the BBC Flash streams now?

A posting by Jim Simmons on the messageboard of the BBC Internet blog in December stated:

Audio Factory will deliver live streams and streams of on-demand programmes using the AAC codec. Specifically AAC-LC at 320kb/s and 128kb/s bit rate and HE-AAC(v1) at 96kb/s and 48kb/s. The AAC-LC bit rate pair will be for high quality connections (e.g. wifi) the HE-AAC (v1) will be for international streams and mobile. We have chosen v1 over v2 as this has a slightly greater range of compatible devices. This will be the same for all UK BBC radio stations. i.e. Not World Service yet.

This suggests that all flash streams for UK BBC stations are now 320kbps AAC-LC (i.e. better than that available on the URL addressable AAC streams which are still 128kbps). Unless he really means only Radio 3 is at 320kbps still. Of course there is no easy way to check the situation via a normal media player.

Have to say that I don't know why the BBC persists in hiding their highest quality content behind the Flash wrapper. Really, what is the problem?
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Old 21-01-2015, 06:31
vinnielo
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As an aside, the BBC have started making their first HTTP mp3 streams available.
The working ones were added to http://www.radiofeeds.co.uk last week.
Of those important to note, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Foyle and BBC Radio nan Gaidheal are now available (for the first time) in a stream format that isn't Windows Media or.. (get this...) RealAudio!
It's OK. It's only 2015.
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Old 21-01-2015, 06:37
vinnielo
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Does anyone have the ability to confirm the bitrate and codec in use on the BBC Flash streams now?
<SNIP>
Have to say that I don't know why the BBC persists in hiding their highest quality content behind the Flash wrapper. Really, what is the problem?
Probably to annoy those who 'listen' to 'quality' with their eyes!
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:19
mfr
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Have to say that I don't know why the BBC persists in hiding their highest quality content behind the Flash wrapper. Really, what is the problem?
Isn't it because the Adobe content delivery servers are incredibly effective at managing traffic? I presume they haven't had the resources to come up with something as good.
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:52
Colin_London
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Probably to annoy those who 'listen' to 'quality' with their eyes!
Well it certainly annoys me!

The World Service is another one. The flash stream is significantly higher quality than the published 48kbps MP3 stream, and is in Stereo.

But you have no way of getting World Service in stereo except via the flash stream.
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Old 21-01-2015, 07:55
Colin_London
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As an aside, the BBC have started making their first HTTP mp3 streams available.
The working ones were added to http://www.radiofeeds.co.uk last week.
Of those important to note, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Foyle and BBC Radio nan Gaidheal are now available (for the first time) in a stream format that isn't Windows Media or.. (get this...) RealAudio!
It's OK. It's only 2015.
Except that MP3 isn't exactly bleeding edge technology either!

Why aren't the published streams for these stations in AAC like the Nationals?

128kbps is certainly an improvement though - hope the locals are to follow.
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Old 21-01-2015, 16:53
Nick_G
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Regarding the BBC Internet Blog, as both 128 kb/s and 320 kb/s are mentioned, isn't this just referring to 320 kb/s for Radio 3 and 128 kb/s for the rest of the nationals?

There is a mention that the BBC local streams will be upgraded to the same quality as the nationals some time this year, which will definitely be a good thing:

the idea is that you will be able to hear a local show in the same quality as those on National networks. The actual date of this happening will be some time in 2015. We need to migrate the services on to the new infrastructure first, and then start rolling out the quality improvements afterwards.
The regional stations such as BBC Cymru, Scotland, Wales etc are in stereo via the Squeezebox and display as AAC streams but they aren't as clean as the nationals. There are DAB-like digital artefacts, which makes me wonder if there is transcoding going on.
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Old 21-01-2015, 17:14
vinnielo
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Regarding the BBC Internet Blog, as both 128 kb/s and 320 kb/s are mentioned, isn't thid just referring to 320 kb/s for Radio 3 and 128 kb/s for the rest of the nationals?


The regional stations such as BBC Cymru, Scotland, Wales etc are in stereo via the Squeezebox and display as AAC streams but they aren't as clean as the nationals. There are DAB-like digital artefacts, which makes me wonder is there is transcoding going on.
The BBC Radio 3 stream is up, but it's only at 128k.
Perhaps it'll be upgraded shortly.

Don't forget the RadioFeeds app is available in the Squeezebox app gallery so you can listen to the 'regional' stations through that.
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Old 21-01-2015, 18:06
Colin_London
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The BBC Radio 3 stream is up, but it's only at 128k.
Perhaps it'll be upgraded shortly.

Don't forget the RadioFeeds app is available in the Squeezebox app gallery so you can listen to the 'regional' stations through that.
You are talking about a new MP3 stream at 128? The 320kbps AAC stream is already up and has been for a couple of years now.

And it's not PC to call Wales, Scotland, NI regions!
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Old 21-01-2015, 18:52
vinnielo
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You are talking about a new MP3 stream at 128? The 320kbps AAC stream is already up and has been for a couple of years now.

And it's not PC to call Wales, Scotland, NI regions!
Yup. The mp3 stream was just added today.
You'll see I used single quote marks around the word "regional" as that's what the previous poster had used.
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Old 25-01-2015, 21:41
Robert Williams
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There is a mention that the BBC local streams will be upgraded to the same quality as the nationals some time this year, which will definitely be a good thing:
I've noticed today that the live stream and listen again for Radio Solent have been upgraded to stereo, not sure if any other local radio stations have been upgraded as well.
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Old 25-01-2015, 22:39
vinnielo
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I've noticed today that the live stream and listen again for Radio Solent have been upgraded to stereo, not sure if any other local radio stations have been upgraded as well.
Indeed they have. So far..
BBC Radio Bristol
BBC Radio Cambridge
BBC Radio Devon
BBC Radio Kent
BBC Radio Leeds
BBC London 94.9
BBC Radio Manchester
BBC Newcastle
BBC Radio Norfolk
BBC Radio Nottingham
BBC Radio Solent

http://www.radiofeeds.co.uk/query.asp?feedme=BBC
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Old 26-01-2015, 04:36
hanssolo
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Have to say that I don't know why the BBC persists in hiding their highest quality content behind the Flash wrapper. Really, what is the problem?
The raw streams are listed in radiofeeds, html5 is replacing flash and allows stations (like Absolute) to have a registration feature for marketting clubs, extra content or less ads
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Old 26-01-2015, 04:42
hanssolo
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Except that MP3 isn't exactly bleeding edge technology either!

Why aren't the published streams for these stations in AAC like the Nationals?
It's so some devices will "work out the box" without downloading codecs, the old WMA streams worked on Windows media player, it now supports MP3 but not AAC without a plugin.
From radiofeeds
(16/01/15): A selection of BBC national and nations stations now also streaming in mp3 format, making them natively compatible with iOS, BlackBerry 10 and Windows Phone, and playable on our PS3, Windows RT, BlackBerry PlayBook and Chromebook players for the first time.
However it is easy to download software so online mp3 should be replaced by more efficient AAC or Opus codecs.
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Old 27-01-2015, 04:08
ozbrit
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On looking at the BBC site this caught my eye:

"Will this change affect my internet radio?

Some radios will be affected, but the effects may differ depending on whether youíre listening live or on demand.
For live radio, each station will now be broadcast in the SHOUTcast mp3 format. This should work for most devices.
Unfortunately, we canít use the same solution for on-demand programmes, so many internet radios will no longer be able to access on-demand programmes. We recommend you check your instruction booklet or contact the device manufacturer to check what formats your receiver supports."


By on demand do they include live football commentaries? I often listen to sports commentaries on my standalone Internet radio, which handles mp3 & wma streams, but not AAC. Perhaps Vinnie Lo or someone else normally informed on these things can clarify.
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Old 27-01-2015, 06:27
paulx23
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By on demand they mean the "listen again" on the iPlayer.
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Old 27-01-2015, 07:52
Colin_London
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On looking at the BBC site this caught my eye:

"Will this change affect my internet radio?

Some radios will be affected, but the effects may differ depending on whether youíre listening live or on demand.
For live radio, each station will now be broadcast in the SHOUTcast mp3 format. This should work for most devices.
Unfortunately, we canít use the same solution for on-demand programmes, so many internet radios will no longer be able to access on-demand programmes. We recommend you check your instruction booklet or contact the device manufacturer to check what formats your receiver supports."


By on demand do they include live football commentaries? I often listen to sports commentaries on my standalone Internet radio, which handles mp3 & wma streams, but not AAC. Perhaps Vinnie Lo or someone else normally informed on these things can clarify.
On Demand means 'catch up' programmes on iPlayer radio. These are going to be encrypted in future.

You'll still be able to listen to live programme streams using the new MP3 streams.
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Old 27-01-2015, 08:03
Colin_London
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So I think I understand the following about the BBCs policy for live streams.

For the UK the primary streams will move to 320 / 128kbps AAC-LC using HDS or HLS methods of HTTP streaming. 320 will be for Radio 3 only. Am I right that these methods are intended for use with Flash plugin and Apps, and not native players? This may mean that the present AAC streams receivable on Internet radios are to cease.

UK listeners on internet radios will shortly only have the 128kbps MP3 shoutcast streams available to them, and these have a limited lifespan of perhaps only 1 year(!).

International and mobile listeners will only have 96 / 48kbps HE-AAC v1 streams available, again only in HDS/HLS with the 96kbps probably for Radio 3, so you will have to use PC / mobile OS devices to listen outside the UK.

If I've got this right this is really bad news for Internet radio owners

It sounds like they are thinking of FLAC streams in future but again using an envelope that would prevent use on Internet radios.
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:19
JG1970
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Another Batch of BBC Local Stations have been upgraded to 128k Stereo which are....

BBC Essex
BBC Hereford & Worcester
BBC Radio Derby
BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC WM
BBC Three Counties
BBC Radio Jersey
BBC Radio Humberside
BBC Radio Guernsey
BBC Radio Cumbria
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Old 03-02-2015, 23:27
Colin_London
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Another Batch of BBC Local Stations have been upgraded to 128k Stereo which are....

BBC Essex
BBC Hereford & Worcester
BBC Radio Derby
BBC Radio Lancashire
BBC WM
BBC Three Counties
BBC Radio Jersey
BBC Radio Humberside
BBC Radio Guernsey
BBC Radio Cumbria
The BBC Essex stream appeared to be Mono when I listened earlier.
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:16
vinnielo
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The BBC Essex stream appeared to be Mono when I listened earlier.
It seems all the new additions are in mono.
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Old 04-02-2015, 10:45
Inkblot
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I am way out of my depth here but as far as getting these streams to play on an internet radio, if you choose one of the BBC streams in iTunes you can see the URL (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls). Can that URL be added to an internet radio's "added stations"?

Secondly, if you paste that URL into VLC and then look at the URL it is playing from you get something weird: http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/...604290a3406d48

Can any of that be used to play the stream on an internet radio? I can't check this myself because my stupid Revo IR won't play aac streams.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:12
Vectorsum
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I am way out of my depth here but as far as getting these streams to play on an internet radio, if you choose one of the BBC streams in iTunes you can see the URL (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls). Can that URL be added to an internet radio's "added stations"?

Secondly, if you paste that URL into VLC and then look at the URL it is playing from you get something weird: http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/...604290a3406d48

Can any of that be used to play the stream on an internet radio? I can't check this myself because my stupid Revo IR won't play aac streams.
When programmed as a custom station ("Radio 3 Test") via Pure Connect, my One Flow happily plays

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls

and

http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/...461c27ed2a2cef

after a bit of buffering, but not the pass-through URI

http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/stream/...a_lc1_radio3_p

i.e. without the session/player/client watermark.
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Old 04-02-2015, 11:51
vinnielo
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I am way out of my depth here but as far as getting these streams to play on an internet radio, if you choose one of the BBC streams in iTunes you can see the URL (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls). Can that URL be added to an internet radio's "added stations"?
Yes, you can. If you have a Frontier Silicon wifi radio, you can use the tool here to help you add them so there is no address-digging needed: www.radiofeeds.co.uk/fs
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Old 04-02-2015, 14:07
CRTHD
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Yes, you can. If you have a Frontier Silicon wifi radio, you can use the tool here to help you add them so there is no address-digging needed: www.radiofeeds.co.uk/fs
Yes I have a Roberts so use that but I'm pretty sure most wifi radios have a similar "browser interface".

My Freecom Musicpal has an almost identical arrangement.
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