BBC Radio HLS Streams, the Humax HDR, Serviio and MinimServer / MinimStreamer


Probably one for the gurus here. I was sent off to look at Serviio many months ago here on the board to provide the FLAC to MP3 transcode on the fly for playing music libraries. This sort of worked and has worked excellently since the January 2015 release 1.5 and then 1.51 of Serviio. I have provided the parameters elsewhere on here. The RSS podcast streams have also worked very well since the January update where Serviio was previously plagued with an issue on calling FFMPEG due I think to a bug in FFMPEG.

To this date I have never had any joy playing live streams via Serviio. The old BBC ones of AAC where in a flash wrapper which had given Serviio users an issue which was never resolved. With HLS streams coming out thought I would give it another go since these streams aren't flash wrapped. Serviio talked about m3u8 files so I was rather hoping that it could handle these - see red marked ones which are the 320k UK ones:

Back drop the BBC caused a great deal of upset to internet radio users and internet radio manufactures when it pulled it's AAC feeds in general in February and left some problematic MP3 ones which it said were temporary and they would be pulled as well. BBC Radio technology man apologies for the BBC eventually but still hopes that internet radio providers may provide a fix to users.

The listed URLs can be played via MPC-HC plus some other tools on a PC or laptop, think there is a Squeeze Box solution now. I didn't get anywhere with Serviio which recognised the live feed but doesn't play it on the Humax with the selection dropping through the online list. This generally means it's not going to play. The same issue with some FLAC files and RSS feeds until this was fixed with the January release.

The developer of MinimServer has developed a side java script MinimStream within the server which plays BBC HLS and has been adopted by a fair few people that have high end audio systems (e.g. the £5,000 jobs) to fix the problem the BBC created with their streams.

Key links

(the last with the drop box link that provides the m3u8 and images file that fully populates the app when copied across).

MinimStreamer also allows you to transcode the output to MP3 as is required by the Humax. But 320 AAC to 320 MP3 would be a big issue.

Now the bad news begins where I'm seeking a solution from the Humax gurus but I suspect there won't be one. Essentially Simon the developer who has looked at the interaction of the Humax HDR with MinimServer tells me that it's not addressing the server correctly for live streams.

Link here

Simon says:

I've looked at the mp3 log that you posted. Here is the sequence of byte-range requests that the Humax is sending to MinimServer:

Range: bytes=0-0
Range: bytes=0-1
Range: bytes=0-524287
Range: bytes=0-0
Range: bytes=0-1
Range: bytes=0-0
Range: bytes=0-1
Range: bytes=0-1048575
Range: bytes=1048576-

It isn't possible for MinimStreamer to handle this sequence of requests when playing a live network stream, for the following reasons:

1) "byte 0" is likely to have moved to a different point in the stream when the next request in the sequence is received

2) some of these requests require seeking / reading ahead, which isn't possible with a live stream

Hmmm guys is there some other technical fix that I can do with the HDR that I haven't thought of ?. Do we already know that the Humax can't address live feeds, has anybody ever managed to get it to. I noted one post on the Serviio thread asking for help but nobody replied....

I have installed MinimServer / MinimStreamer on a PC and Raspberry Pi and it does work well, but not with a Humax HDR. Serviio still remains better for playing FLAC and RSS podcast feeds etc with a Humax. But it would have the edge or unique selling point for use with the Humax HDR if it worked with the 65 BBC 320k AAC streams. Yes there are 65 BBC stations now distributed in 320k AAC that you can plum into although not all stations / pipes to the BBC are not up to the output quality yet. R1, R1Extra, R3 and R4, Asia and indeed the Scottish Gaelic station seem fine.

Suggestion apart from get a squeeze box welcome... :).

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
No technical fix - the DLNA client is in the undocumented Humax code and is what it is. Neither is it possible to provide an alternative player, because we have no access to the audio/video output drivers.


Black Hole, thanks, bit of a pain that Humax didn't implement the DLNA / UPNP for controlling live streams just playing back recordings. If anybody has any canny buffer methods via a third application would be interested. It does resolve why I have never got Serviio to play live streams (these are within the Online part of the menu, RSS fine podcasts are fine on that menu but anything live or live via a "Groovy" has never worked).