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

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labarum View Post
    Listening to the Wigmore Gala Concert on the BBC HD stream

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011j85x

    Quite excellent.
    Am in United States and like before, we are still unable to call up the HD stream. The BBC HD server responds with "Not available in your area".

    QUESTION: Is the BBC Radio 3 HD stream of higher audio quality than the http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls AAC 320 kbps 44100HZ stereo stream that Alan posted?

  2. #22
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    I have just tested "that" stream - Alan's stream - which I was listening to last night.

    Code:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls
    It worked in Foobar from my laptop in Cyprus with my VPN off.

    If you click the buttons in the BBC iPlayer webpage for "HD" you probably wont get it as it's locked up in Flash and limited to UK.

    You have to cut and paste the url for the stream into a music software player that will handle AAC like Foobar, Songbird, iTunes; or into a hardware internet radio like Squeezebox - that's why I have sent the urls in "code", to make it easy to cut and paste.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labarum View Post
    I have just tested "that" stream - Alan's stream - which I was listening to last night.

    Code:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls
    .
    Have edited and clarified my post to indicate the same. Alan's stream plugs into Foobar and plays without any problem.
    However, it is the BBC HD stream that we in the United States are unable to play, as Labarum has noted.

  4. #24
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    To clarify further "Alan's Stream" IS the BBC Radio 3 HD stream accessed directly - you have to copy it manually into the media player.

    Exactly the same stream is accessed by clicking the R3 HD button on the webpage, but if you do it that way, the 320kb/s AAC stream is locked up in the Flash routines of the BBC iPlayer, and it is iPlayer that sets the territorial restrictions.

    If you are in UK you will receive the HD data by either means.

    If you are outside the UK you must copy the URL into your media player of choice that will handle the AAC format.

    If you are outside the UK but use a VPN to give yourself a UK IP address you will receive the HD data by either means.

    ---

    If you use a Squeezebox install the iPlayer Plugin by Triode (not the App) and you will access the HD stream at 320kb/s from a UK IP address.

    Once the plugin is installed go to "BBC iPlayer" in the Squeezebox web interface. Look at the bottom of the page for "Special Events" and click.

    Choose "Listen Live - AAC Test Streams" - There you will see the whole family of BBC AAC streams.

    Choose Radio 3 and (probably) save it as a favourite.

    Only Radio 3 streams at 320kb/s - the rest seem to be 128kb/s.

    You can also copy "Alan's url" into the manual tune feature of the Squeezebox and save as a favourite.

  5. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Supersnake View Post
    Is the BBC Radio 3 HD stream of higher audio quality than the http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls AAC 320 kbps 44100HZ stereo stream that Alan posted?
    Quote Originally Posted by Labarum View Post
    To clarify further "Alan's Stream" IS the BBC Radio 3 HD stream accessed directly ....
    Aha! I was hoping that they would be the same stream, thank you.
    Am now a more happy Yank knowing that I too am able to listen to the BBC Radio 3 HD stream, via Alan's url of course (smile).

  6. #26
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    Default Live tonight! Radio 3 from BBC's new Manchester studios

    Not to be missed! The BBC Philharmonic Play Music from Your Favouite Films etc. including Star Wars.

    More info here.

    Be sure to listen in 320kb AAC "HD SOUND" direct from the BBC website

    www.bbc.co.uk/radio3

    Suggestion. If you are recording for your own listening later, considering wide dynamic range on AAC feed using TotalRecorder set record boost to no more than +8dB to avoid clipping. (May not apply on every computer).

  7. #27
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    Users outside the UK will not be able to access the BBC HD stream by clicking the button on the webpage quoted above.

    They need to cut and paste the URL below into a music player that will process AAC.

    Code:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls

  8. #28
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    Default Capturing an AAC audio stream and saving for replay later

    Do you have a suggestion (other than TotalRecorder which we are familiar with) for how to capture that stream, to save it for future private replay? We are not exactly sure how TR works, whether it captures and interprets the raw binary stream before/after the user's browser, the stream as it enters the sound card, in the sound card or at the sound card's output. Or maybe at none of those stages.
    Last edited by HUG-1; 10-06-2011 at 11:59 AM. Reason: We respect the Copyright in the original sound recording

  9. #29
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    I have never attempted to record such a stream.

    1. I have used the iPlayer Listen Again feature as it is made available using the Squeezebox iPlayer plugin by Triode. That is not a recording to keep forever. I have never looked at what bitrate is available for a R3 "Listen Again". I suspect is is not the very best. I will ask in another place.

    2. What will "Audacity" do? http://audacity.sourceforge.net/

    Edit:

    Just had a play with Audacity. I am sure it will do it provided you can access

    "Stereo Mix", "Wave", or "What U hear" in your soundcard control pane.

    I was looking for this feature for another purpose the other day and it is disabled in my laptop, and I cannot find the drivers to enable the feature.

  10. #30
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    Default Recording Radio Streams with VLC Player

    After discussing a number of options with an expert in another place, here is a relatively simple digital recording method that uses free software.

    VLC Media Player

    If you do not have a copy download from here

    http://www.vlcmediaplayer.org/download.html

    The process is entirely automatic.

    1. Start VLC.

    It will probably start after installation.


    2. From "Media" menu select "Convert/Save"

    3. Click on "Network" Tab and copy the BBC R3 URL


    Code:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls

    into the "Network URL" field. Then click on "Convert/Save" button at bottom.


    You have now chosen the source of the recording, you must now specify the place to store it.

    4. You now have a "Convert" dialog box with BBC3 URL in "source" field. Enter a file name with directory (e.g. "C:\BBC\SatConcert.flac") into the "Destination file" field.

    More expert computer users will need no more instruction than above; but to expand. You now need to give the VLC Player a place to store the recorded music, and to give this recording a name.

    In the "Convert" Pane that is now open, to the right of the "Destination" box, click "Browse". On the left scroll down till you see "Computer". Supposing you have only one Hard Disc click "Local Disc C". Click the RIGHT mouse button in the right side of the open window. You will now be offered options. Click "New" and then "Folder". Give the folder a name by typing in the highlighted box, and LEFT click on the box. Keep it simple. Maybe "BBC"? You now have a new folder on your hard drive (C:\BBC\) for storing your recorded radio programmes. This will serve for all future recordings.

    Now your must give your first recording a name. Just below where you have made your new folder you will see a box called "File Name". Type in a unique name for the file you are about to record. eg
    Concert1.flac, BachPno.flac SatPM.flac Notice they MUST all end dot flac (.flac)

    In future you may chose not to use the "Browse" button, but just type in the FULL name for a new recording
    e.g.
    C:\BBC\WaterMus.flac , C:\BBC\SunJazz.flac C:\BBC\RecordReview11_06_11.flac


    5. In "Settings" and "Profile" select "Audio - Flac" and also check the "Deinterlace" box. Then click "Start"


    You have chosen a recording source, the BBC R3 HD stream off the Network; you have chosen a place to put the recording, and you have chosen a format in which to store it. The source started as a stream in high quality AAC format, which is a "lossy" format for efficient transmission over the internet. Now you want to store it without further lossy compression. You could store it as an uncompressed WAW file and the advanced features of the VLC player allow that, but FLAC is fine. It will store the recording without further loss and do it in half the space.

    6. VLC screen will appear and no music will be played just the elapsed time incrementing if stream is converted.

    7. Click stop button to stop conversion (recording).


    To play your recording go to the "Media" tab on the VLC player and chose "Open File". If you do not see the file you have just recorded on the right use the left of the pane to go to "Computer/Local Drive C:/BBC" or whatever path (address) you chose earlier.

    Click the file and it will play.

    I have just tried all this, connected my laptop to my DAC by USB and the recording sounded very fine.

    I am assured this recoding method does not modify the bitream in any way - what goes into the recording comes out.

    If further help is needed post on this thread.

    Please remember the Radio 3 HD stream accessed using the URL in this post is "experimental" and may come and go.

    Acknowledgement: With many thanks to BPA on the Squeezebox Forum. His instructions to me are in bold.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labarum View Post
    ...The source started as a stream in high quality AAC format, which is a "lossy" format for efficient transmission over the internet. Now you want to store it without further lossy compression. You could store it as an uncompressed WAW file and the advanced features of the VLC player allow that, but FLAC is fine
    It would make more sense to record the raw AAC bitstream rather than convert it to anything, as AAC is more compact than the derived WAV (or FLAC) would ever be. Any thoughts on this?

  12. #32
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    I guess it would. I am relaying advice from another place and from someone who knows much more than I.

    He has said to me by PM
    VLC just takes the AAC from BBC, strips the ICY metadata such as program name (which is why you can't dump the stream straight from BBC, then uses *faad (same a SBS) to decode pure AAC stream into PCM and then encodes into Flac. No bits are harmed in the process.
    This may be the best solution with this free software and domestic hardware.

    Can you tell us otherwise?

    ---
    * faad http://www.audiocoding.com/faad2.html

  13. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Labarum View Post
    Can you tell us otherwise?
    No - but the idea of transcoding to FLAC seems rather inefficient given that AAC is more-or-less the same as M4A which is a standard file format. I'm sure there must be a way of storing the raw data to disk rather than artificially bloating it as we are discussing here.

    320kb/s is roughly a quarter of the rate of PCM 16/44. FLAC achieves 50% compression, give or take - so storing FLAC rather than raw 320kb/s AAC means you are using twice as much storage as is strictly necessary (but possibly more relevant, twice as much network bandwidth when subsequently transporting it).

  14. #34
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    Yea. But this is a dirty engineering solution for occasional domestic use - it works, and it's free!

  15. #35
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    The BBC Radio 3 HD stream at

    Code:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/listen/live/r3_aaclca.pls
    is working again, but remember it is "experimental".

  16. #36
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    Listening to this "live" concert in HD

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b011y7rt

    Fabulous.

  17. #37
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    Default Checking the facts about bandwidth ...

    Thanks to Pluto, he made a recording of the marvellous BBC Philharmonic's Film Music concert on 10th June. This was off the 'high quality wide bandwidth HD' sound feed to the internet, in AAC - at at least 44k sampling, hence 22kHz bandwidth.

    Out of curiosity, here is a spectrum analysis of the first seconds of the concert from that HD feed, see attached.

    The interesting point is that whilst the studio announcer's speech extends (admittedly in a dark colour hence low audio level) to beyond 20kHz* the concert itself has a sharp brickwall filter cutting of the top above about 17kHz ( a strange number).

    *The odd thing is that this is without doubt a wider bandwidth feed than the normal BBC circuit. Within normal (incl. FM) transmission, there is a sharp cut-off at 15kHz and this is seemingly applied in the continuity (i.e. routing source) studio in Broadcasting House. So the fact that the continuity announcer's voice extends far beyond that frequency confirms that the AAC feed is taken from before the 15kHz cut, as we would expect. But why the filter at about 17kHz on what is already a wide bandwidth potential? Is this a one-off or what we can expect in live concerts from Manchester?

    Having said this, be the upper cut-off frequency 17kHz or 22kHz, I can't hear that high any more, and it certainly doesn't impact on my enjoyment. Listened to on these humble Logitech PC speakers, the overall sound is fantastic - and in fact there are several interesting musical examples that could help explain the point I've made before about the difficulty conventional loudspeakers have in reproducing brass instruments - which are very well presented in this recording.

    I just need some free time to make the excepts for you. (Free time - what's that??)

    >
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by A.S. View Post
    The interesting point is that whilst the studio announcer's speech extends to beyond 20kHz, the concert itself has a sharp brickwall filter cutting of the top above about 17kHz ( a strange number).
    Alan, for clarification - by "studio announcer" do you mean the voice preceding the concert or the announcer (? Mark Kermode) who takes part in it?

    I know nothing of the nature of the feeds from Manchester, but I wouldn't mind betting that the strange 17kHz LPF you describe is related to the trip from Manchester to London continuity.

    Not strictly related, but bear in mind that most perceptual coding schemes incorporate significant low pass filtering: if your mission is to discard those parts of the audio that your scheme deems to be of little or no use to the auditory system, the first thing probably worth doing is to get rid of those parts of the sound that are of least value - above 15kHz for starters!

  19. #39
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    Default Now on iTunes

    Below is a screenshot of the station listing in the Classical category under Radio.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pluto View Post
    Alan, for clarification - by "studio announcer" do you mean the voice preceding the concert or the announcer (? Mark Kermode) who takes part in it?
    The announcer I'm referring to is the Continuity Announcer, most likely in BH London. Mark and all the film music is truncated at about 17kHz or thereabouts. I guess that the the performance (live or recorded) appears as a source on the Continuity Announcer's desk, and he fades up whatever technical parameters that source is (alongside his microphone) into the data stream that's encoded for us as AAC, 320kb.

    I wouldn't think that he is audibly aware of, or needs to be concerned by, or is interested in any technical data such as bit rate or bandwidth of sources presented to him, providing that they are not clipped or too quiet.
    Alan A. Shaw
    Designer, owner
    Harbeth Audio UK

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