Sunday, January 24, 2010

How To Play StreamTheWorld Radio Streams on SONOS, Windows Media Player or any media Player

Guys this was a tricky one and took a lot of time to figure out. I'm on Windows 7 and use a widget call MiniRadio. Its a nice add-on where you can configure all your online streams in a playlist fashion. Almost a month ago, some of the streams which were either .wmp or .asx or .m3u stopped playing. Finally figured out that the radio stations migrated to this new "StreamTheWorld" service. This messed up everything for a lot of stations because you cannot play them on any media player because first of all, the streams are all encrypted in the Flash Player which is proprietary stuff by stream the world. So now you can't get the direct http address of the stream which you can just try in WMP or VLC or as a matter of fact any media player. Also it affects all players like SONOS who reply on the HTTP URL. So for n00bies the flash URL looks something like below..

This is for City 101.6 Fm Streaming out of Dubai..Good channel and i hated to let it go and me having to open the flash player to listen to it..

For them to play you will have to download some unique useless flash media players or directly stream from radiotime or stations website as another browser popup. It was a nuance and thought that there should be some way to find out the actual url of the stream. I tried several URL snooping, flash downloading tools but nothing worked.

Then while i was playing around with WunderRadio app on iPhone, i saw that most of these streams allowed "play in background" feature on WunderRadio. Now what that does is, it opens up the stream in Safari and its an HTML page since iPhone doesn't support Flash.. Good for us right.. yeah at-least in this scenario :-).. Now what i did was i copied the URL WunderRadio opened in Safari sent myself and email so that i can open the URL in FireFox on my Laptop.

The URL looks like this

This link is for Radio City 101.6 streaming out of Dubai. For other Streams, all you need to do is find the last numbers in the URL (which in my case are 96716) for your stream and do as below.

There is now an easier way to get the RT Number for the station by just using FIREFOX.

Based on Rich's comment, i went ahead and looked up the station on RADIOTIME's website

RadioTime Website

Hover your mouse over the URL of the station and below in FIREFOX you will see something like

The number following s_ is the RT Number. Use that number and replace it in the following URL and you guys can get the URL yourself without asking me for it :-)
  1. Now when you open the link on firefox, you will get an alert to install missing plugin. FireFox cannot find the plugin so don't worry.
  2. All you do is Right Click on the page and click "View Page Info". Go to the "Media" tab and you will find and ADDRESS of type "EMBED".
  3. PS: Since radiotime is now owned by TuneIn, get the the stream URL from TuneIn, view page source using firefox, and search for "TuneIn.payload =". You will find "". Copy the entire string in firefox and you will get a page with the MP3 URL. Search for "MP3","URL", and the HTTP URL next to it will be the URL you can use for streaming using your favorite media player.
  4. Click on the Address and below you will see the Location which you can copy.
  5. Copy the URL and again paste it in FireFox. It will look like this ""
  6. When you open the above URL, Firefox will ask you to save the file "m3umaker.m3u". Save it on your desktop and open it in Notepad. You will see the HTTP or whatever protocol for the stream.
  7. For the Radio City 101.6 Streaming out of Dubai the URLs are below..
  9. Now the next challenge is how to play encrypted ACC on Media Player or on Windows. These streams will play fine using iTunes but for me it was more about how to get this working with my MiniRadio gadget which is an extension of the Windows Media Player.
  10. Figured out that there is a plugin for Windows Media Player to play these kind of streams. Its a free plugin by a company called ORBAN which you can download here "".
  11. If you can't find the plugin anymore, download it from my rapidshare link below
  12. ORBAN RapidShare Link
  13. Download the essential codec pack from "" followed by the ORBAN plugin and you will be able to play the AAC and AAC PLUS streams directly in Windows Media Player..
  14. Now For Windows Media Player to play the AAC & AAC+ streams using the Orban Plugin, you will need to change the protocol from HTTP to ICYX.. So for the HTTP URLs above, the Windows Media Player link would be something like this "icyx://"
So finally i have my MiniRadio gadget playing the AAC and AAC+ streams which StreamTheWorld stations are playing.. I hope this will be helpful for people who are searching for the same. This is a big deal for people who own players like SONOS etc which need a HTTP url because they can't play flash. Let me know if anyone has any issues and i'll see if i can help out with the URL stream... Cheers and happy listening..

PS : Note to all users who have followed the steps above and the .m3u file from RadioTime's website says "Stream Not Supported". This means that StreamTheWorld or the Radio Station has blocked the access. I'll continue to find another way, till then you will have to use the flash based player for all those streams.

The new way to play the non supported streams is mentioned below

  1. Download the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack from the following link "K-Lite Mega Codec Pack"
  2. This codec will install a FLV/SWF/Flash Player plugin for the Windows Media Player.
  3. Now Go to the Radio Time Website and find the radio station you want to listen to
  4. Click on the LISTEN link. You can also go the the station website and do the same.
  5. Make sure you are doing this in FIREFOX.
  6. Also make sure you have No-SCRIPT plugin installed and is set to block flash streams
  7. Now when you click on the LISTEN link, a new window pops up with blocked SWF/FLV player.
  8. Right Click on the FLASH/SWF blocked link and click "Copy Link Location". This will copy the swf/flv/flash URL
  9. No go to Windows Media player of your favourite Windows 7, Windows Vista Gadget and press CTRL+U to play a URL and paste the URL. The Stream will play seamlessly without any issues. You can try the same for all other streams as well.
For users requesting the stream for Radio Asia 1269 AM, the URL is mentioned below

PS : A new comment by ViRuS has given some excellent information on how to still get the PLS file when the none of the methods described above work.
  1. Get the Call Sign for the Stream. For City 101.6 Fm Dubai, its ARNCITY.
  2. Use the following URL and replace the call sign after pls/. So the final URl will look like
  3. Open it in Firefox and it will ask you to download the ARNCITY.pls to your computer.
  4. Download the file and open it in notepad and you will have the actual stream URLs. use anyone in windows media player or any media player and you are all set..
Cheers to ViRuS for finding this out.

Another anonymouse reader has posted about a freeware tool on source forge. Please give it a try and see if it helps.

Happy Streaming & Listening guys..