For many a year, I’ve been frustrated by the fact that BBC radio first off streamed only in RealPlayer format, and then replaced that with Windows Media Player formats.
By not offering a format that Apple’s iTunes was happy with, I couldn’t listen to radio streams via my nice stereo setup using my Airport Express and AirTunes. I could pay for Airfoil and play it using Real, but that was clunky and I just wanted the BBC to use a more friendly format.
In parallel, I’ve been using the excellent Fstream on my iPhones to listen to BBC radio on the go – in the UK and abroad. Its worked most excellently and is a nice bit of free software. Up until today, I’ve been using the list of .asx streams published at BBCStreams.com, but today, they were no longer working.
Luckily, I tried calling up the live stream of Radio 4 on my iPhone via Safari. Doing that exposed a new playlist file that points to a AAC stream. The .pls works in not only Fstream, but also natively in iTunes and Airplay.
- BBC Radio 4 (128kbps, AAC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4_aaclca.pls
Changing the URL slightly also gives:
- BBC Radio 3 (192kbps AAC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls
- BBC 6music (128kbps, AAC) http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r6_aaclca.pls
I hope that the BBC don’t find some way to block people from using these streams on platforms other than Mobile Safari.