Author Topic: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream  (Read 5472 times)

Brian

  • Posts: 733
Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« on: 21 Feb '09 - 20:48 »
In parallel with the difficulty I've been having opening the BBC's RA stream using Fraggie's native input plugin, I've also been having a problem with the corresponding WMA stream. This link opens in WMP, but not in XMPlay:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/meta/tx/nb/newshour_au_nb.asx

Evidently the input plugin doesn't issue a GET request to find the actual URL of the stream, which will play when pasted into XMPlay's `open URL' dialog:

rtsp://a406.v39440a.c39440.e.vm.akamaistream.net/7/406/39440/200902212030/
bbcworldservice.download.akamai.com/39440/worldservice/css/nb/newshour.wma

Ian, would you very kindly look into this, please? Many thanks.

r

  • Posts: 188
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #1 on: 22 Feb '09 - 02:20 »
RTSP is a RealPlayer protocol... I would think that Fraggie would have to sort this out somehow with the RA plugin.

Either that or somehow work in tandem with the WMA input plugin?

Dotpitch

  • Posts: 2871
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #2 on: 22 Feb '09 - 10:04 »
RTSP is a RealPlayer protocol...
That's not entirely true.
Quote from: WikiPedia - RTSP
The Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), developed by the IETF and created in 1998 as RFC 2326, is a protocol for use in streaming media systems, which allows a client to remotely control a streaming media server, issuing VCR-like commands such as "play" and "pause", and allowing time-based access to files on a server. The sending of streaming data itself is not part of the RTSP protocol. Most RTSP servers use the standards-based RTP as the transport protocol for the actual audio/video data, acting somewhat as a metadata channel. The RTSP server from RealNetworks also features RealNetworks' proprietary RDT as the transport protocol.

Evidently the input plugin doesn't issue a GET request to find the actual URL of the stream, which will play when pasted into XMPlay's 'open URL' dialog.
I can confirm that. Just as with the RealAudio stream, the BBC server produces a playlist at the given URL, rather than a stream. BTW, the .asx I got contained an mms:// stream rather than an rtsp:// stream. The stream plays fine when added manually.

Brian

  • Posts: 733
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #3 on: 22 Feb '09 - 10:18 »
I got both an mms:// and an rtsp:// stream; for no particular reason I just chose to paste the address of the rtsp:// stream into my forum post. Evidently they are both WMA streams.

Ian @ un4seen

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 20427
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #4 on: 23 Feb '09 - 15:13 »
XMPlay reads that ASX file, and sees what is apparently a WMA file entry in it (it has a ".WMA" extension), so that is added to the XMPlay playlist. But it isn't really a WMA file, it's another ASX file. XMPlay does support nested playlists, but only if they have the appropriate extension (opening all entries to see whether they contain further playlists would be slow).

To get around the problem, you could open the nested playlist manually, eg. after opening the parent ASX file, copy the URL from the "Track info" and open that.

Brian

  • Posts: 733
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #5 on: 23 Feb '09 - 15:26 »
Ian - thanks for responding. Of course what you've suggested does work, but I'm sure you appreciate that it's a rather roundabout way of playing the stream. As I mentioned, WMP handles it without apparent difficulty or slowness, starting from the first-level ASX.

r

  • Posts: 188
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #6 on: 23 Feb '09 - 18:22 »
RTSP is a RealPlayer protocol...
That's not entirely true.
Quote from: WikiPedia - RTSP
The Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP), developed by the IETF and created in 1998 as RFC 2326, is a protocol for use in streaming media systems, which allows a client to remotely control a streaming media server, issuing VCR-like commands such as "play" and "pause", and allowing time-based access to files on a server. The sending of streaming data itself is not part of the RTSP protocol. Most RTSP servers use the standards-based RTP as the transport protocol for the actual audio/video data, acting somewhat as a metadata channel. The RTSP server from RealNetworks also features RealNetworks' proprietary RDT as the transport protocol.
Wow... I guess you learn something everyday!

Dotpitch

  • Posts: 2871
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #7 on: 23 Feb '09 - 19:34 »
To get around the problem, you could open the nested playlist manually, eg. after opening the parent ASX file, copy the URL from the "Track info" and open that.
Of course what you've suggested does work, but I'm sure you appreciate that it's a rather roundabout way of playing the stream. As I mentioned, WMP handles it without apparent difficulty or slowness, starting from the first-level ASX.
Loading the final entry directly isn't really useful in this case, since the BBC is linking to it's shows/bulletins through non-static Akamai mirrors. On the other hand, XMPlay can't start manipulating it's playlist entries on load, so following the ASX path like WMP does is no option either. Perhaps XMPlay shouldn't assume it's a true WMA stream because the adress has a '?' in it?

Ian @ un4seen

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 20427
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #8 on: 24 Feb '09 - 17:10 »
Of course what you've suggested does work, but I'm sure you appreciate that it's a rather roundabout way of playing the stream. As I mentioned, WMP handles it without apparent difficulty or slowness, starting from the first-level ASX.

Yep, it's probably not an issue when the playlist contains a single URL (as in this case), but with larger lists, checking the content of them all could introduce significant delays.

Perhaps XMPlay shouldn't assume it's a true WMA stream because the adress has a '?' in it?

That could work :)

Here's an update to try, which will check the content of ASX playlist entries when they include a query (a '?' character)...

   www.un4seen.com/stuff/xmplay.exe

Brian

  • Posts: 733
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #9 on: 24 Feb '09 - 18:22 »
Ian - thanks for this, but I'm afraid it doesn't work here, at least not with this particular stream - I get the dreaded red line.

Ian @ un4seen

  • Administrator
  • Posts: 20427
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #10 on: 25 Feb '09 - 16:42 »
Oh right, I guess you have the "Scan HTML pages for playable URLs" option disabled? The ASX processing modification is implemented via that, so it will need to be enabled. Note that this means it will also scan any webpages that happen to be in ASX entries for some reason. I haven't really thought of any negative consequences to that, so please let me know if you come up with any.

Brian

  • Posts: 733
Re: Cannot play BBC Newshour WMA stream
« Reply #11 on: 25 Feb '09 - 17:01 »
Yes, that's done the trick, thanks very much. So now I have the choice of RA or WMA for listening to Newshour using XMPlay. By the way, the sound quality of the BBC's WMA streams is much better these days; it used to be rubbish.