Listening Tips

 JpegLISTENING TIPS:

Different operating systems (computer, phone, tablet) and internet platforms (IE, Firefox, Chrome, etc) and internet services (satellite, land-line service, cell phone wi-fi) all can affect the workings of sound files differently.  When listening to internet radio, stations most often offer several different listening options formatted slightly differently to try and accomodate the competing quirks of these different access sources.  You can find out more about the competition between all the ‘access’ sources or operating systems online with regards to players and sound files.  It’s ugly.  Some reject streams or will only handle streams under certain methods.  Some will work in a certain internet platform on a land-line service but not on a satellite service.  Some of the phones won’t be compatible with ‘universal’ open source software players like VLC Media Player, others will.  Truth be known, there’s always a way your machine can listen to a stream or a mp3/M3U file but if you don’t already know how, then you may have to experiment a bit to find the method.

Mind Mix Radio tests its stream on Chrome & Firefox atop the Microsoft OS platform.  We don’t have the resourses to test for Mac.  But Mac users can understand that we’re presenting a Icecast stream with mp3/M3U files and most often HTML5 players embedded on sites to present the stream, and send us feedback which we can post listener recommendations for.

Now let’s talk SOLUTIONS:

With Internet Radio Streams problems you will frequently encounter include:

  1. Stream breakage:  this is where the internet service is briefly interupted by: weather, low bandwidth issues, problems with internet provider, updates needed to Operating System or Internet Browser, or machine on listener side with slow processor speed or “limited” connection.  If source of problem is on the broadcaster side this corrects itself; on the listener side you may need to refresh your page or player until the correction on the broadcaster side occurs.  If on the listener side, you will have to check each of these conditions to see if you can adjust to correct or accomodate the situation.  This is frustrating for both broadcaster & player.
  2. Something interupts the stream for a long period and the server software goes into standby.  When this happens the broadcaster has to ‘notice’ it and go restart the server.  You may contact your radio station and let them know the stream is down if it lasts longer than 15 – 20 minutes.  Use email notification.  Most stations are able to see a message popup when new emails arrive. Refresh page.  Start player if applicable (not a direct stream).
  3. The HTML5 player bugs out.  Solution 1: try stopping & starting your HTML5 audio player.  Solution 2:  try refreshing your page.  Then start your player again.
  4. Your internet page presenting the stream or HTML5 player has ‘timed-out’.  Symptoms in the HTML5 player is most often either dropped audio or repeating audio (looping).  Chrome and now Firefox have both gone to a practice of the browser timing out and going to a blank screen if you aren’t on the page for a period of time.  This breaks the direct stream and causes most players to loop.  Solution: refresh your page.  Start player.

Best Preparations for Listening to Internet Radio:

  • Have your operating system updated
  • Have the browser you are using updated
  • Have your player updated if applicable
  • Have java updated if applicable
  • Have flash player/Adobe Flash updated if applicable
  • If experiencing breakage on older computer, close other software one by one until stream holds solid.  More speed/processing power for your operation/activity.
  • If you can’t get a direct stream to work, try a player (desktop or embedded HTML5 at our sites).  Vice versa.
  • We recommend open source player software like VideoLan (VLC Media Player) and its browser app.  It’s some of the most versatile available.  Be sure to like them if it works for you.  Morale inspires coders who donate their time and volunteers are often making the very best stuff.

Get VLC media player

DON’T GIVE UP!

Listening to Internet Radio can be a quirkey ordeal until you find a method that works relatively consistantly for you.  Like the internet itself the conditions and software are often continually changing.  If you are regular listener of internet radio this is something to keep in the back of your mind.  I can’t tell you how many times updates to the internet in general have caused broadcasting problems that took a day or two to fix.  Sometimes I have to resort to cleaning and updating the server across all software to correct the issue.  It happens.  The best advice I can give to novice listeners or those who just acquired a new and unfamiliar machine figuring out how to listen to their favorite stations again, BE PATIENT!  It’s hard I know!  Keep at it…the stubborn bird gets the worm.

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