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World's highest quality on-line classical music feed (BBC Radio 3)

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  • World's highest quality on-line classical music feed (BBC Radio 3)

    BBC Radio 3, the British Broadcasting Corporation's 24 hour classical music service, is now available as a continuous 320kb AAC high-quality stream. This is as close to the ex-studio feed as you can get.

    As I have the free VLC Media Player installed on my W7 PC, clicking this link starts the streamed audio decoder and recognises the format.

    BBC Radio 3 stream is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls

    VLC player, if necessary is available here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

    This really is as good as it gets on-line. If you listen closely to the presenter's voices, you can clearly hear the whirr of equipment and the acoustic of the studio from which they are talking - and the characteristics of their microphones. I assume that there is no equalisation or signal processing, and that the 15kHz low pass filter that applies to all (BBC) broadcasting has been applied but this can easily be checked with a spectral analysis plot.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  • #2
    BBC Radio 3

    Absolutely wonderful! It is available on iTunes for apple users.
    Thank you for the tip.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Allan,
      GREATLY appreciated from us down under.
      Cheers
      C

      Comment


      • #4
        The BBC Radio 3 HD stream is indeed extremely good.

        Would users outside the UK confirm that they are actually accessing that 320kb/s stream? I think they may be hearing a less high bit stream. In Cyprus I can get the 320kb/s stream using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnelling me back to a UK IP address. If I switch the VPN off my Squeezeboxes will only get the lower quality international stream.

        If members have just been clicking the BBC webpage to listen outside UK they might be surprised how low the bitrate is. I would be pleased to hear the contrary.

        I believe the best Radio 3 stream available outside UK is this, and it will beat what you get outside UK from iPlayer.

        Here it is, send as "Code" to cut and paste.

        Code:
        http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3.asx
        192kb/s WMA

        ---

        German "Radio 3" (WDR 3) is also excellent at 256kb/s MP3, and has no territorial limits.

        This stream:

        Code:
        http://www.wdr.de/wdrlive/media/wdr3_hq.m3u
        http://www.wdr3.de/

        ---

        There is an East European Classical Radio Station that offers a higher bitrate than BBC HD - three times higher using FLAC (FLAC in an OGG container)

        Try D-DUR http://www.rozhlas.cz/d-dur/portal/

        This stream

        Code:
        http://radio.cesnet.cz:8000/cro-d-dur.flac
        and compare it to the same programme at about 256kb/s with OGG compression

        Code:
        http://www.rozhlas.cz/audio/download/ddur_maxogg.m3u
        Watch your internet usage if streaming the FLAC - the bitrate hovers around 800kb/s and can exceed 1000kb/s. It will eat your bandwidth!

        Foobar on a PC and VLC player on most platforms will handle both these streams.

        The technical quality is superb, but BBC Radio Three may have the edge on musical content.

        ------------------------------------------

        For those interested in VPN, I use

        https://www.my-private-network.co.uk/

        and it costs me UKŁ5 per month on top of my ISP charges. With it I can use BBC iPlayer and the other UK streaming sites. I can watch UK TV almost as easily as in UK. An HD TV download from iPlayer is superb. I have sufficient speed to watch normal quality real time streams, and, as said, it gives me access to the higher quality BBC Radio streams.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Labarum View Post

          Would users outside the UK confirm that they are actually accessing that 320kb/s stream? I think they may be hearing a less high bit stream.
          Alan's link accessed in the United States
          AAC 320kbps 44100Hz

          Originally posted by Labarum View Post
          There is an East European Classical Radio Station that offers a higher bitrate than BBC HD - three times higher using FLAC (FLAC in an OGG container)
          Try D-DUR http://www.rozhlas.cz/d-dur/portal/

          Use this URL and the entire web site - not just the first page - will be in English language:


          --> http://translate.google.com/translat...ur%2Fportal%2F




          Thanks to you and Alan for the references.

          Comment


          • #6
            Wide audio bandwidth

            Originally posted by A.S. View Post
            BBC Radio 3 stream is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls

            VLC player, if necessary is available here: http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

            This really is as good as it gets on-line.... I assume that there is no equalisation or signal processing, and that the 15kHz low pass filter that applies to all (BBC) broadcasting has been applied but this can easily be checked with a spectral analysis plot.
            Attached is a spectral analysis of a studio conversation this evening (the excellent Night Waves, speech only). As you can see the audio extends right out to 20kHz and beyond so there is no 15kHz filter as there is on FM radio.

            This really seems to be an extremely good source of (mainly) classical music, and with the BBC's recent commitment to more live concert recordings could be the best audio source available to the serious hifi listener.
            Attached Files
            Alan A. Shaw
            Designer, owner
            Harbeth Audio UK

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Supersnake View Post
              Alan's link accessed in the United States
              AAC 320kbps 44100Hz
              I have just tried Alan's link in Foobar Media Player in Cyprus with my VPN off. It does indeed work.

              Yesterday, before posting I checked that my Squeezeboxes would only deliver the HD stream with the VPN on. All very odd, but good news that the R3 HD stream is internationally available.

              I have now added Alan's link (thanks Alan) to my Squeezebox Favourites labelled "BBC Radio 3 HD (Direct)", and yes, it does work without VPN.

              Yesterday I was using the Squeezebox BBC iPlayer Pluggin (not App). iPlayer does indeed switch to lower radio bit-rates when it sees an IP outside the UK, and will not stream TV at all. I will continue to use the iPlayer pluggin as it gives me access to the "listen again" service.

              ----
              These 320kb/s streams are also worth a try

              http://radio.linnrecords.com/

              This is the classical stream I send as "Code" to enable cut and paste.

              Code:
              http://radio.linnrecords.com/cast/tunein.php/linnclassical/playlist.pls
              Not a true radio station, but randomly streamed content of the Linn Catalogue.

              ---

              I would be interested, Alan, to know how the other high definition streams measure in comparison to the BBC R3 stream.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Drdennis View Post
                Absolutely wonderful! It is available on iTunes for apple users.
                Thank you for the tip.
                I'm not an iTunes user, but I do believe there is a "Manual Tune" option in the Internet Radio section of iTunes. Cut and copy the link into the manual tune box and click go. There may be a Favourites system, if not, save the entry as a Playlist (a one track playlist) and access it that way in future.

                BBC Radio 3 HD 320kb/s AAC (Mentioned earlier)

                I send links as "Code" for easy cut and paste.

                Code:
                http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls
                You could also try the German Classical Station Westdeutscher Rundfunk 3 from the region (Land) of Westphalia.
                This is based in Cologne and as close to BBC Radio Three as the Germans get.

                WDR 3 256kb/s MP3

                Code:
                http://www.wdr.de/wdrlive/media/wdr3_hq.m3u
                Some detail here in English

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WDR_3

                and you could try

                Linn Radio Classical 320kb/s AAC

                Code:
                http://radio.linnrecords.com/cast/tunein.php/linnclassical/playlist.pls
                Put them in the same or their individual playlists. iTunes will stream AAC and MP3.

                ---

                But VLC Player is available for Mac, Windows and Linux and is worth having on any computer because it will play almost any media file.

                VLC for Mac

                http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

                Comment


                • #9
                  I propose that we all thank Labarum for adding those classical music streams to Alan's BBC3 stream link.

                  The Linn Radio Classical 320kb/s AAC stream is quite good.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks for the thanks! I spent most of my listening time with these high bit radio stations even though I have a lot of my CDs ripped to my hard drive.

                    Try

                    Avro Classic 256kb/s MP3

                    Code:
                    http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s55517&Formats=mp3,wma,real&username=sampletime&PartnerId=16

                    Avro Baroque 256kb/s MP3

                    Code:
                    http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s55512&partnerId=16

                    But bitrate is not everything.

                    Try Radio Swiss Classic at "only" 128kb/s MP3

                    Code:
                    http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s25582&Formats=mp3,wma,real&username=sampletime&PartnerId=16
                    I hope these URLs work for everyone - I have just manually tuned them in Foobar on my Windows PC.

                    And the bad news?

                    "Triode", who is the programmer of the Squeexebox iPlayer Pluggin thinks the international access (or any access) to the HTTP BBC Radio 3 HD stream which Alan gave us at the top of this thread my be shortlived - so make the most of it. The BBC seems keen to have all access by iPlayer.

                    See

                    http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?t=87614


                    ---

                    I would be interested to hear quality comparisons made by Alan (and others) between the BBC HD stream and the rest. Many of the stations do live broadcasts, or at least stream content that has never been committed to CD.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The BBC iplayer will launch on an international level this year but will not be free of charge, it will launch first as an ipad app, with a subscription fee of a few dollars a month, have a look at BBC Worldwide for more news.

                      I would like to ask Alan if he has tried the Radio3 home page Listen Live in HD button (I think it is WMA instead of AAC), if so have you run the spectral analysis on this stream and will it rival or equal the AAC stream?

                      Thanks in advance and thanks to Alan for VLC link and others for the tips.

                      Mike.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mike Smith View Post
                        I would like to ask Alan if he has tried the Radio3 home page Listen Live in HD button (I think it is WMA instead of AAC), if so have you run the spectral analysis on this stream and will it rival or equal the AAC stream?
                        I'm two time zones ahead of UK so up earlier than most British residents.

                        If I press the Radio 3 HD button I see the AAC stream at 320kb/s - so Flash reports.

                        That's as from UK (VPN on). From my Cyprus IP address (VPN off) it doesn't work.

                        The WMA stream is this one

                        Code:
                        http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3.asx
                        192kb/s but still very good.

                        There is a family of them


                        Code:
                        BBC WMA Streams mostly at 128
                        
                        R1
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r1.asx
                        
                        R2
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r2.asx
                        
                        R3
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3.asx
                        
                        R4
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4.asx
                        
                        R4 Longwave
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r4lw.asx
                        
                        R5 Live
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r5l.asx
                        
                        R5 Live Sports Extra
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r5lsp.asx
                        
                        R6 Music
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r6.asx
                        
                        R7
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r7.asx
                        
                        R Asian Network
                        
                        http://bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/ran.asx
                        I have only checked Radio 4 before posting - I got 128kb/s as if in UK (VPN on) but only 49kb/s from my Cyprus IP address (VPN off)

                        This really is a black art!

                        ---

                        And I too would be very pleased if Alan made a comparison of the 320kb/s AAC stream and the 192kb/s WMA stream.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          The real thanks for the Radio 3 320kb AAC stream are to our member Pluto for discovering it, not me.

                          I'm really pressed for time these next days with our USA distributor about to arrive, then travelling to the Munich hifi show, and then on my return a visit from our Hong Kong distributor. I'll try and get around to the spectral analysis. If you have the means, try it yourself and publish but make the pictures understandable (see thread on Influencing Others).
                          Alan A. Shaw
                          Designer, owner
                          Harbeth Audio UK

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Post #5 on this thread should be noted

                            http://forums.slimdevices.com/showth...165#post631165

                            It links to a BBC page showing most of the BBC Radio streams.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Labarum View Post
                              I'm two time zones ahead of UK so up earlier than most British residents.

                              If I press the Radio 3 HD button I see the AAC stream at 320kb/s - so Flash reports.

                              That's as from UK (VPN on). From my Cyprus IP address (VPN off) it doesn't work.


                              Yes it is I had not checked the flash, I had wrongly quessed it was a WMA file which is why I asked the question of Alan because I had found it sounded every bit as good as the AAC link, turns out it is the same thing so no requirement for the spectrum analysis, just as well as Alan is a busy man.



                              And I too would be very pleased if Alan made a comparison of the 320kb/s AAC stream and the 192kb/s WMA stream.

                              No real need now it is clear which is best.

                              Mike.

                              Comment

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