Terrestrial radio is dead
, HD won't save it, satellite is in the same mess. As we become more and more connected, people listen online more and more. Unfortunately these stations (their owners) are looking at ways to capitalize on it and that means proprietary apps and ad streams. This means a mess for listeners as you need 5 apps to hear the various stations.
It's a mess so let's fix it by putting all of their streams into one program.First off, we need an app
, there are three options that I know of so far that allow you to add streams.Aonlineradio
(or Aonlineradio1) – This is an older app, but it still works. Uses very little caching.Cherry Radio
– A slightly newer version of above.MediaU Radio
– This is the same as the full version minus the ability to add your own urls. Has a widget. Full version ($2?) allows you to add streams manually.
Aonlineradio and Cherry are virtually identical, just one (Cherry)is a bit newer. Aonline for some reason supports different stations than Cherry, I have no idea why, but it does. These may be ad supported (I use Adsfree so I never see them), the interface is a bit clunky and slightly different between the two. They work, but could use work. Keep in mind, there is no widgets, which is something I like to have.
Media U is not only ad free, but also a better buffer (cache) that you can adjust, two widgets, a better interface and a web interface that lets you adjust and listen to your streams from a computer. The one disappointment on this app is it doesn't tell you what is being played, something Cherry and Aonlineradio do have.
I would start with MediaU Free, and see if they have the stations you want, If nothing else, it may cut down on the number of apps you need. If you still need more, then you will want pro so you can add any streams you want that they lack. How to find a stream url.
Despite what you may find and how hard they make it to locate, there is nothing illegal here, it;s just station owners protecting their revenue stream. So now you get to view ads as well as hear them. YAY.
First things first, check the app, your favorite station may have a stream they list. My experience with MediaU was that it covered 90% of the stations I wanted. If it's not some rinky dink small town station, odds are they might have it.
If that fails, that is where things get compicated.
Next easiest is to check a site which lists streams.
The best I have found is http://www.thestreamcenter.com/
Not perfect, some info is outdated, but it's pretty comprehensive. With luck, they have a working stream link. Now, you will likely need a player for this link, I highly recommend VLC player. http://www.videolan.org/vlc/
The site may offer several formats such as AAC, WMP, MP3, flash,etc.. as well as bitrate. I would pick a stereo stream with a low bitrate if possible, you also want AAC or mp3. When you click the stream link it will give you anywhere from 1 to 50 streams to chose from. It doesnlt matter which you pick, but in VLC, pick a stream, right click and hit information. In Location at the bottom of the new window should be the stream URL.
If this fails to find the stream, it gets way more difficult, but it can still be done.
The easiest is to simply search the call letters and “stream” on Google. Someone else may have a stream you can get with the method above, or they may even list it. This can be a wild goose chase though as you will get a LOT of hits and often linking back to the station's player.
After that, your last hope is a network analyzer.
There are several apps you can use as well as programs on your computer. On computer you can use a snifer, but there is also some dedicated stream catchers for Windows and Linux. I had good luck with Wireshark and Mediasniffer. However both require a bit of skill to use and even if you use it right, you may not get what you need.
If these are beyond you, you are simply better off either asking the app creator if they can find it, or sticking to the apps the station provides.Adding your stream.If you are using Cherry or Aonlineradio
Copy the URL, and send it to your phone in email. On your phone, open the email, copy the url, and then open the app. At the top, go to World/Live and select add channel and paste the URL here. Once it starts playing, favorite it, and you are done.On MediaU...
You will not only need the pro version, but you also will want to signup on their website (http://www.mediayou.net/
). This may not be required, but is easier. Once you have an account, go into the app on your phone, login and sync the phone and website. Back on the website, after you log in, go to the “my MediaU tab (you may need to go to My MediaU at the top near your name), and on the right side, click manually add station. Enter the info there and save it, it should show up in the manually add area. Now back on your phone, re-sync, find the added station, play it, and save it to favorites.
That sounds like a lot, but after you have done this once, all you have to do later is add the station on the website, then sync from the app, play it, and add to favorites.