BBC streams failing with Portal Internet Radio app

/df

Well-Known Member
I've posted here although the only CFW aspect is that the issue is not affected by installing new-portal. Doubtless it's not dependent on HD (tested) vs HDR (not).

Almost the only reason for using the Humax Portal is its Internet Radio app.

In the last few months something has changed regarding the BBC radio streams that the app uses. Now, when connecting to a BBC station, the app displays "LOADING", there is a half-second flash of sound, and then silence. Non-BBC stations seem to work fine as before.

By navigating the app (which the new-portal package handily identifies as http://tv2.humaxtvportal.com:8094/P...dex.htm?feed=favourite&level=top&siteLang=eng, no authentication or platform id required, unlike the Portal itself) on a laptop I was able to identify (eg) the stream for BBC London as http://stream.live.vc.bbcmedia.co.uk/bbc_london, and this works fine. The app acts like a stream directory and isn't involved in the playback, except to provide the stream URL to the settop browser.

What strangeness could be occurring? Let's ask ffprobe (BBC London fails, LBC works):
Code:
humax# ffprobe -hide_banner 'http://stream.live.vc.bbcmedia.co.uk/bbc_london'
[mp3 @ 0x4428c0] Skipping 237 bytes of junk at 0.
Input #0, mp3, from 'http://stream.live.vc.bbcmedia.co.uk/bbc_london':
  Metadata:
    icy-br          : 128
    icy-pub         : 0
    icy-name        : BBC Radio
    icy-description : BBC Radio
    StreamTitle     : BBC Radio London
  Duration: N/A, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 128 kb/s
    Stream #0:0: Audio: mp3, 48000 Hz, stereo, fltp, 128 kb/s
humax# ffprobe -hide_banner 'http://media-the.musicradio.com/LBC973MP3Low'
Input #0, mp3, from 'http://media-the.musicradio.com/LBC973MP3Low':
  Metadata:
    icy-private     : 0
    icy-pub         : 1
    icy-br          : 48
    icy-description : LBC London
    icy-genre       : Talk
    icy-name        : LBC London
    StreamTitle     : 
    StreamUrl       : 
    UTC             : 20210507T154121.882
  Duration: N/A, start: 0.000000, bitrate: 48 kb/s
    Stream #0:0: Audio: mp3, 44100 Hz, mono, fltp, 48 kb/s
humax#
So it must be this "junk", whose length varies with each test, that's making the difference. I've raised this with the BBC, so we'll see what happens.

For information, the Internet Radio app displays a LH menu-bar with a scrollable contentlist object whose items can represent folders, stations, etc. From a top-level folder, such as Country, you can extract a link to the XML representing the folder contents using your browser's developer tools and then carry on down.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
OP
D

/df

Well-Known Member
The JS in the app is looking for key events (corresponding to remote control actions) but the matching PC key actions don't seem to reach the JS. By inspecting the JS one can detect what it ought to be doing and then make it so. Not a great UI, though!
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I think the key thing for me would be to pull out the direct links to stations of interest and bookmark them - actually I'm only interested in one: W Jazzowym Klimacie. It can be a right faff by other means.
 

Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
I found the same by conventional means. Never known that before, I hope it's not terminal (but I have no idea where the funds to run it come from, there are no ads).
 
OP
D

/df

Well-Known Member
While preserving the garden furniture I found myself wondering whether Poles in particular find jazz comforting because of the 2 'z's ...
 
OP
D

/df

Well-Known Member
An obscure bug has broken my browser sound but the URL (http://mp3.polskieradio.pl:8024/) that vtuner.com found gave me what sounded like Madeleine Peyroux in an external player. And after restarting the browser the station plays there too.
 
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Black Hole

May contain traces of nut
An obscure bug has broken my browser sound but the URL (http://mp3.polskieradio.pl:8024/) that vtuner.com found gave me what sounded like Madeleine Peyroux in an external player.
I have no idea how to reproduce that, or how you found the link from vtuner.com. Not that it matters.

Rather than my usual background of ClassicFM on the radio, I decided to have the portal's Internet Radio on... wasn't long before my HomePlug connection crashed and rebooted the Humax (or maybe it was the other way around) :(
 
OP
D

/df

Well-Known Member
Mozilla browser developer tools: reload page while viewing network traffic. May not be so easy with iPad Safari, which I know not.
 
OP
D

/df

Well-Known Member
Each and every BBC station on Internet Radio app would play for two seconds and then go silent.
Does anyone know where the issue comes from and how it can be fixed?
See above.

Still no response from the BBC (escalated).
 
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OP
D

/df

Well-Known Member
So there has been some back-and-forth, and a cynic might characterise the BBC responses as "Na-na-na-na-BBC-Sounds-not-listening".

MP3 streams format (CAS-6726777-W9F0B7) - my last response said:
The response from John Pxxxxx:
"we decided to bring ICY streams ... distribution in-house"

The response from Adam Mxxxxx:
"the internet radio app you use is no longer supported and this is why you can no longer access the streams."

So are ICY streams supported or not? Were ICY streams brought in-house and then abandoned?

The response from John Pxxxx:
"If you can no longer get the streams, then the manufacturer has decided not to update the URLs."

No, the URLs being used are valid and current. They are obtained by the set-top box using the vtuner.com database. You can play the exact ICY URL that the settop box is accessing in some current browsers, or using a program like mpv. It doesn't play in the settop box because the BBC has deliberately or accidentally started to send a random preamble that isn't present in other ICY MP3 streams, including BBC MP3 streams last year.

Surely your technical staff must be aware of this as they would have run a simple test on the in-house streams like the ffprobe test I reported? As this form allows more text, I'll re-post the results.

Here is your (internally managed?) MP3 stream for BBC Radio London compared with the stream from a commercial station (LBC) which plays OK, as BBC streams did in (eg) August 2020. The ffprobe program analyses the structure of media files. The size of the problematic preamble (237 bytes here) is not fixed.
[... the test results as posted above ...]
 
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