Latest BBC HLS Radio streams

Following the fiasco at the end of last week, when the BBC killed all its HLS internet radio streams, I am pleased to report that we’ve found a bunch of new ones, that seem to work. Moreover,  apart from a few irritating caveats, they seem to work well. So I bundled up the URLs and put them in a standard M3U playlist file

There are two BBC m3U files…

One is a standard M3U playlist with standard HLS AAC streams. The other is also a standard M3U file, but includes the BBC’s new “rewindable HLS streams“. In VLC you can actually rewind these back around six hours. Seems not all streams are “rewindable“. But the rewindable list includes all those streams that are rewindable, plus non-rewindable versions of those that are not rewindable.

You should be able to open either of these in VLC or similar and have a complete list of available BBC HLS radio streams. This should save users a lot of copy-and-pasting because it will load all the stream URLs into VLC as a big single playlist, with every station appearing as an object on that playlist. I have also included a third M3U. This our list of around 140 mostly non-BBC  stations, which mostly use conventional shoutcast type streams.

  1. BBC non-rewindable stations:
    20231029-bbc-radio-norewind.m3u
  2. BBC rewindable stations:
    20231029-bbc-radio-with-rewind.m3u
  3. Other Stations:
    20231029-internet-radio.m3u

Editor’s note: these M3Us seem to work directly if you run Debian or Ubuntu Linux and have latest VLC. However on other operating systems such as Android and MacOS, you may need to download them first (right-click/long-tap -> “Save As”) then open them in VLC  using the “File -> Open …” method.


I have also made these M3U files available as web-viewable plan text files…

This enables you to copy and paste individual URL(s) you wish to use directly into a player of your choice. You can also use these to create station playlists of your own, in a text editor of your choice.

  1. BBC non-rewindable stations: 
    20231029-bbc-radio-norewind.m3u.txt
  2. BBC rewindable stations:
    20231029-bbc-radio-with-rewind.m3u.txt
  3. Other stations:
    20231029-internet-radio.m3u.txt

Notes

  • The stream for BBC World Service is one of the older shoutcast type streams. But it works.
  • The stream for BBC Five Live Sports Extra seems quite flaky, with some users unable to connect at all, even here in the UK. However I don’t plan to investigate this further because at time of writing, the stream merely offers a repeated loop telling listeners how bloody marvellous it is, whilst not actually containing any content! 
  • The above information comes with no warranty express or implied.
  • The above are public radio streams supplied by the BBC via its chosen content distribution networks. All GarfNet is doing is displaying the URLs for these streams. We have nothing whatsoever to do with, nor are we responsible for the actual streams themselves. Moreover it’s perfectly possible that the BBC could kill these streams, with or without warning at some point in the future. However, as of right now (2023-10-29 17:30 UTC) all the above URL’s seem to work.
  • I have also included links to our “Other Stations” M3U playlist.
  • More information about using internet radio can be found on our internet radio page…

Credits

With thanks to  https://radio-browser.info and https://gist.github.com/bpsib and to reader Ian Robertson and long-term friend and supporter Rob Weller for testing the above and reporting back.

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27 thoughts on “Latest BBC HLS Radio streams

  1. I pasted the links I wanted into Apple Music (replacing http with itls) and normal service has been restored. I can again play BBC radio throughout the house using Airplay from Apple Music.

    I had no idea that the previous streams had been killed and was tearing my hair out trying to work out what had gone wrong. Long may these new streams continue.

    Thank you very much.

  2. Gday Pal,
    Thanks a bunch. I love listening to radio 4 from australia – and now my 15 year old bash script is still running! I really hate the overhead of having to run a browser. You’re doing the Lord’s work.
    Cheers
    John

  3. Thanks for providing the updated links in plain text. I run a hobbyist web service to cache BBC radio streams and then play them back at pre-set delays to simulate the experience of listening live despite the time zone differences.

    Here is my repo and the issue that you helped me with:
    https://github.com/zenodotus280/BBC-Radio-Relay/issues/20

    And the service that serves the audio (currently non-functional until I implement the changes):
    https://bbcradiorelay.net

    • Thanks for your message. That is a very interesting project. I’m sure that there a lot of people in that part of the planet who will appreciate your efforts. Thanks for the share. And do please let us know when your relays are functional again.

  4. Great work in supplying all the BBC radio stream URLs. I haven’t tried them all, but the national ones all work fine here in UK

  5. Huge thanks, Garf. I was also going mad at why my URLs were no longer working .

    Yours work but I had compatibility issues (I’m using a Volumio streamer), the stream kept dropping out.

    However I also found updated URLs on github: https://gist.github.com/bpsib/67089b959e4fa898af69fea59ad74bc3

    If you go to the second section (BBC-Radio-lstn-HLS-.m3u look for the comment on better compatiblity), these worked for me.
    Bitrate is set at 96kb which is low, but just change the end of the URL to 32000 and that gives you a 320kb bitrate.
    e.g http://lstn.lv/bbc.m3u8?station=bbc_6music&bitrate=320000
    Perfect now.

  6. Thanks so much for these. Excellent work

  7. thanks a bunch! works like a charm

  8. Thank you very much for this precious update.
    I am striving to keep the urls updated for my web-radio project, but it seems to me that the continuous and pestering change on the part of the broadcasters makes this endeavor almost impossible.
    Now I’ll have to figure out, how to get the proper urls from the m3u8 file you provided, in order to feed it to my esp32 chip.
    https://github.com/Pier1965/Esp32-educational-study

    Regards,
    Pier

    • I’m glad you found them useful. And thanks for the links – very interesting stuff. Stream URLs changing all the time has always been a problem for internet radio, and I don’t see it getting better any time soon, sadly. It is particularly disappointing that our own publicly-funded public service broadcaster seems so oblivious to the needs of internet radio enthusiasts. Indeed, the fact that people like me have to publish the streams at all is a bloody disgrace, IMHO. Seems the BBC wants us all to use its infantile website instead of accessing the streams directly in our own software.

      Former BBC director general Lord Reith summarised the BBC’s purpose in three words: inform, educate, entertain; way back in the 1920’s. This remains part of the organisation’s mission statement to this day! So exactly how deliberately obfuscating and changing its streams without adequate warning squares with that mission statement is quite beyond my powers of understanding. 🙁

      With regard to your project, extracting the URLs out of the M3U’s is the easy part. Stuffing them into the chip will no doubt prove somewhat more challenging. But I would be interested to know how you get on, when you have a few spare moments. please?

  9. Thank you very much for the list of BBC radio stations. Went into my trusty old Foobar without problem

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