UPDATE 2023-10-29 BBC internet radio
Following the BBC’s bizarre decision to make receiving internet radio much more difficult, especially for users of open source software, I have been able to discover a new set of HLS streaming URLs that actually seem to work, certainly for the time being. I have also included a list of non BBC stations too so at least you have them on one convenient blog page…
Non BBC internet Radio
This file contains around 143 non-BBC internet radio player URLs, plus a few BBC World Service streams. Together with the BBC M3U files, this effectively replaces the lists formerly used in the now-defunct GarfNet Internet Radio Player. Click the link below and it should simply open in your chosen media player. Your browser may give you a choice to either download the file or play with default media player. In most cases, you would probably select play with default media player. Exact wording of messages will vary from one browser to another.
- It should work on any modern device with an internet connection and any reasonably good media player. Though it works best with VLC or SMPlayer on GNU/Linux. 🙂
- Most of these stations are English language. However there are a few foreign language stations too, mostly by request of family, friends and regular readers.
- A *.m3u file is actually a simple plain-text file, containing a list of files or URLs. None of these stations is hosted here. This text file is merely a list of links. In this instance you can also download the file (right-click > “Save as”). Then you may copy it to any (or all) of your devices. Providing your devices have an internet connection and a reasonably proficient media player, our *.m3u file will give you access to all these stations. More about M3U format: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M3U
- Also bear in mind that radio streams change quite regularly and servers sometimes go off-line. This means that some stations may not work all the time.
- This file is open source. So hack it about and do what you will with it! If you manage to do something really interesting with it, then please let me know about it. 🙂
These individual radio streaming URL’s should all work directly in your browser and they should open in a new browser tab. Alternatively, you may copy them and use them in an internet radio application of your choice.
Many of the URL’s in this table will play directly from most modern browsers. We have tested them in Firefox and Chromium for GNU/Linux. Your mileage my vary. Click on a URL and see what happens. Any URLs that don’t play ion your browser, copy and paste the URL into your media player. You can find instructions for the popular VLC player further down this page. And if you have time, let us know how it worked for you in the comments box at the bottom of the page. Don’t forget to tell us what browser and operating system you are using.
BBC World Service English (UK Schedule)
CRI (1008 kHz English)
(ILR) Classic FM
(ILR) Classic FM at the Movies
(pirate) Radio Caroline
(pirate) Radio North Sea International
(pirate) Radio North Sea International 192 kb/s MP3
The BBC’s http://bbcmedia.ic.llnwd.net/ radio stream server has now been closed. Moreover all the old HLS streams have gone too. Seems Aunty Beeb wants folks to use its dreadful website instead. However its HLS streams are still available. These are the BBC’s high quality 320kb/s audio streams, using Apple’s proprietary HLS (hypertext transfer protocol live streaming) format. Basically this chops the stream into tiny files, and stitches them together again once they have got through various firewalls etc. These are particularly appropriate for mobile devices.
- Updated M3U files for all the currently-available BBC HLS streams can be found here:
- More about HLS streaming:-
On most modern browsers, you can play the stream URLs directly from your browser window. This is particularly true for the standard MP3 types I cite in my first table. Simply click on the link and hopefully it will play. More complex proprietary streams such as those I list in my second table will probably need a proper media player, such as VLC or similar. In which case, you need to copy the stream URL and paste it into the player of your choice. Here’s how to do it with VLC…
- In VLC, select from the top menu: Media > Network Stream.
- In the VLC “Open Media” dialogue, select: “Network” tab.
- Paste or type your chosen station URL into the “Please enter a network URL” box. E.g.
- Click the “Play” button.
VLC is available for MS Windows, Mac OSX, GNU/Linux, Android and iOS. It is free, open source, with no hidden nasties or gotchas. It is also one of the best and most versatile media players ever created. Debian-based GNU/Linux users probably already have VLC in your distro’s repositories. In which case it is a simple matter of typing the following into a terminal window and pressing the “return” key…
sudo apt install vlc
If you use some other operating system then you may download it for free from…
There are several ways to do this.
Direct from browser (old shoutcast type streams only)
For old-school shoutcast streams, on most modern browsers, you can simply click “File” > “Save Page As” or similar on the actual player page, as it is playing, and it will write the stream to disk. Works well except that to stop recording, you need to go into your browser’s download manager and forcefully cancel the download. This often erases what you have just saved. So you must make a copy of the streamed file before you cancel the download. Which is a bit crude and hacky!
Recording using VLC
VLC will also record the stream for you too, in a somewhat more elegant manner.
- Do the same as you did above to play a radio stream in VLC, up to stage 3.
- Carefully click the down arrow that’s attached to the “Play” button.
- Select “Record”.
- Use the standard “Browse…” button to select where you wish to save the file.
Recording using yt-dlp
Many radio streams are also recordable using the excellent yt-dlp. It is a command line tool written in python initially designed to rip Youtube video. But these days it rips all sorts of streams, example…
- yt-dlp http://as-hls-ww-live.akamaized.net/pool_904/live/ww/bbc_6music/bbc_6music.isml/bbc_6music-audio=320000.m3u8
There are various ways to install it depending on your system. I used the python-based pipx method. But there are many other ways too:-
Useful lists that “cut to the chase” and list the actual stream URL’s:-
Other lists, that can be moderately useful too. However, they tend to make it harder to find the actual stream URL’s:-
(Updated 2023-10-29 19:00 UTC)