I am listening to 6 Music this morning and I am hearing the announcement that this stream will stop mid 2023. A search revealed I must be listening to a Shoutcast stream which is being dropped. Will my Mu-so gen 1 be supporting the newer formats like HLS and DASH?
Naim will be doing a more formal reply sticky to this subject, but summary yes.
If listening to the BBC from within the UK we already use the HLS streams and expose the higher bitrate 320kbit ones.
For international listeners VTuner currently expose the legacy MP3 feeds.
There will be two main changes, the second point will have a lot of implications on 3rd party and open source software:
BBC will be dropping the legacy MP3 streams - not a problem,.
The HLS feeds will require a distribution licence agreement signed between either the radio database company (vtuner, airable, etc) or the equipment manufacturer. A dynamically generated secure token will then be needed to access the streams.
Naim have this all in the place and will be rolling it out next year. We also did a meeting with the BBC and various others in the industry this week.
There is a FAQ on the subject here:
So summary - we’re on it!
Naim Audio Ltd.
Thanks for the re-assuring reply Steve. It’s interesting to hear vTuner is detecting that I am an international listener. I don’t have problems using BBC iPlayer! It’s a pity I can’t enter the BBC radio URL myself. Does the Mu-so tune in the radio station via vtuner.com?
There are BBC HLS streams available outside UK but at a lower bitrate. A list of the stream adresses can be found at BBC Radio Streams · GitHub. At the end of the list you can see what you need to change in the stream address for the outside UK streams (nonuk and sbr-low). You can add the stream in vtuner via the https://naim.vtuner.com page by entering the mac address of your muso. After that you can find the added stream in the muso under the Added Streams in the list.
Hi @robin @Blueteles
As Blueteles mentioned you can manually enter the HLS URL, but that won’t get you far for long. Due to point 2) in my post that will also start nagging that the stream will go unavailable if a manufacturer doesn’t sort out their service agreement with the BBC.
Regarding Geolocation - currently if using MP3 or HLS streams it is up to the radio database system to resolve the country that the user is in and then offer suitable streams for them. Radio is tied up with rights on music and events (eg. sports) and these rights must be respected so the relevant people who produce content get paid.
I have a gen 1 Mu-so so don’t think I can do this.
I have a (gen 1) UnitiLite and it works for me. But as Steve indicate it will depend on the outcome of the negotiations whether it will keep on working…
Does this mean that as Naim will be licensed we’ll get the higher quality streams abroad as well?
So what option(s) are available in the US?
Check on this thread
Uk. Northern ireland, isle of msn, jersey - 320k and 128k AAC in an HLS container
Everywhere else 96k AAC in HLS container. The stream may differ if broadcasting material that is only licensed for UK territory is playing.
Currently the HLS and DASH streams are open for all to use, with geo-location restriction rules applied server side. Around mid 2023 it will require a secure negotiated token to make the streams play. This will be transparent to Naim customers, give or take a software update.
My understanding is that international listeners will still get the lower quality stream but in another format like HLS instead of MP3.
One follow up question. Does that token contain any information? And if data is shared with the BBC will we have the option to opt out?
No data is shared. The token/login is there to ensure BBC streams are represented on the 3rd party platforms to the BBC distribution rights docs. That means correct logos and names, prominent position, not injecting adverts or non BBC material etc.
In practice it will give a better end user experience, as will minimise third parties making a mess of things.
So - Living in Japan and listening to the BBC quite a lot, it seems that the BBC Sounds app will probably be the best Im going to get quality wise following the change?
Currently listening to Radio 4 in Ireland, through Roon
The URL is https://a.files.bbci.co.uk/media/live/manifesto/audio/simulcast/hls/nonuk/sbr_low/ak/bbc_radio_three.m3u8
The link for those within the UK is
I have tried a number of VPN/DNS services to manipulate the IP stream to access the endpoint for the UK, with mixed results.
Hopefully once BBC has deprecated the Shoutcast MP3 based service, they can focus on a MPEG-DASH Lossless service, following the trials they undertook in 2017.
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