Author Topic: Many of my podcasts don't work  (Read 9631 times)

bubbatex

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Many of my podcasts don't work
« on: 18:47:57 | 02 March, 2017 »
Hello,

A while back I catalogued a number of podcasts to My Podcasts at Reciva.  After about a year of not listening to them, I recently attempted to stream them on my Grace Digital Mondo, but some of my favorites are not working, even after refreshing the URLs.  Has anything changed that is preventing successful podcast streaming?  The status of the podcasts falls into three general categories, with examples below.

1. Error: Screen displays "Podcast not compatible with this radio (should be RSS or ATOM)" and never displays a list of archived podcasts
Examples:
Fresh Air: https://www.npr.org/rss/podcast.php?id=381444908
To the Best of Our Knowledge: http://www.ttbook.org/book/radio/rss/feed
WNYC's Radio Lab: http://feeds.feedburner.com/radiolab

2. Error: List of podcasts is displayed, but after selecting one, the radio never connects and displays the following: "Connecting," "Buffering 0%," "Retrying"
Examples:
This American Life:  http://feed.thisamericanlife.org/talpodcast

3. Success
Examples:
Stuff You Should Know: http://www.howstuffworks.com/podcasts/stuff-you-should-know.rss
Eye On Books: http://feeds.feedburner.com/EyeOnBooks
Amateur Traveler: http://feeds.amateurtraveler.com/AmateurTravelerPodcast

Any suggestions to fix the ones with errors?

Thanks for your help.

Regards,
Steve

Solo2

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #1 on: 23:48:56 | 02 March, 2017 »
Reciva radios can't play podcast URLs that begin with HTTPS.  Most NPR podcasts have gone to that format. My solution has been to buy a $35 Chromecast audio, attach it to the aux in jack and to stream to it from the pocketcast app.
Radios:  Grace GDI-IRMS300, Grace IRC6000B, 2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT Grace and Reciva iradio apps

bubbatex

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #2 on: 11:05:10 | 03 March, 2017 »
@Solo2.  Thanks for the info.  That explains the problem with Fresh Air and any other NPR feeds I try.  I still have a lot that aren't connecting and that begin with just http:.  Probably the most frustrating is WNYC's RadioLab.  It's hosted by feedburner.com, as is Eye On Books.  I'm able to receive Eye On Books but not RadioLab, which is really puzzling since they are from the same host.

Thanks,
Steve

Solo2

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #3 on: 17:16:59 | 03 March, 2017 »
I tried that link you gave for WNYC Radiolab and the one they show on their website.  Neither one worked.  You may need to e-mail them and ask for a working RSS URL.  I get a feeling that http://feeds.wnyc.org/radiolab resolves to https://feeds.wnyc.org/radiolab which is why that one isn't working.
Radios:  Grace GDI-IRMS300, Grace IRC6000B, 2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT Grace and Reciva iradio apps

bob12564

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #4 on: 18:55:43 | 14 March, 2017 »
I just discovered this thread.  I also recently lost several podcasts including those from WNYC and WBUR.  I  understand that the HTTPS issue is an accommodation to Apple ITunes, and that Qualcomm no longer supports software changes for the Reciva chips so the existing radios are slowly becoming obsolete.

Is there any more information on this?  Are the NPR member station feeds also migrating to HTTPS?  There are hundreds of NPR stations in the Reciva database and this would be devastating.

Grace Digital seems to be the only manufacturer of internet radios in the US and all of their radios are affected by the HTTPS issue.  Does anyone make a radio that handles HTTPS and has the versatility of the Reciva radios?


Solo2

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #5 on: 04:06:26 | 15 March, 2017 »
The only information I could quickly find regarding the number of podcasts that have begun using the https format is here:  http://misener.org/how-many-top-podcasts-use-ssl-feeds/

Grace is bringing to market the Mondo Plus without any podcast integration and without the ability to add podcasts using something like "my stuff."  They say that they intend to add this later.  In the meantime, you can cast podcasts to the Mondo Plus from a podcast app on your phone or tablet using chromecast built-in.  The Mondo Plus is capable of playing https podcasts, so if and when Grace makes it possible to play podcasts directly from the radio, the technology should catch up with itself.
Radios:  Grace GDI-IRMS300, Grace IRC6000B, 2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT Grace and Reciva iradio apps

bob12564

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #6 on: 07:04:05 | 15 March, 2017 »
Thanks for that information.

I was looking at the Mondo+ and my impression is that it's a home-grown product that, in the initial release, will need much more development before it reaches some of the capabilities of the Reciva products.  Reciva is a mature technology that has had many years of development to make it was it is today.  I don't know how well a small company like Grace Digital can support something like this long term.  I'd have to wait a year or so to see how it actually works out.  Besides, over the past 2 years I already bought 3 Grace Digital radios that now seem to be on their way to obsolescence. 

The Chromecast capability of the Mondo+ is interesting but it relies on a phone or computer to be the tuner.  The whole concept of internet radios was to eliminate the need for a computer (and now the smartphone).

It makes one wonder if the future solution is an internet radio device that's fronted by a smartphone radio app running under Android.  Something that looks like a radio but brings up an Android home screen that automatically opens a radio app...

Solo2

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #7 on: 07:22:43 | 15 March, 2017 »
Something that looks like a radio but brings up an Android home screen that automatically opens a radio app...

The Aluratek Wi-Fi radio and the Zettaly Avy are basically that;  Android tablets sandwiched between 2 speakers. The Aluratek limits the apps accessible to just the usual music apps, plus Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Radios:  Grace GDI-IRMS300, Grace IRC6000B, 2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT Grace and Reciva iradio apps

bob12564

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #8 on: 13:34:06 | 16 March, 2017 »
Thanks for the tip.  The Aluratek is interesting and cheap but the interface is limited.  The Zettaly Avy is also inexpensive but the reviews aren't that good and customers seem to be complaining that manufacturer support is non-existent.  The ZBINNO-Smart MediaCenter looks like a higher quality device that's more expensive, but the manufacturer's website doesn't open and that's generally a bad sign.

I'm currently looking at Android apps that might be useful for internet radio and podcasts.  There's lot's to choose from but nothing comes close to the power and convenience of Reciva.  Tunein seems to be the best of what's out there and you either have to deal with ads or pay a monthly subscription.

One last question: will all radio streams eventually be converted to HTTPS or is this issue limited to podcasts only?  I hope it's just podcasts.  I could live with that because it would mean our Reciva radios would still have some life in them.

mitduffy32

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #9 on: 06:26:44 | 18 March, 2017 »
Query from a Non techy

I am experiencing the same problem and wish to note it 

For years I was able to listen to WNYC & NPR Podcasts.
Quite suddenly they no longer work.
Message displayed:  “Podcast not compatible with this radio:” or “Podcast URL invalid”

Examples of URL's that don't work.
WNYC  “Fresh Air” = http://www.npr.org/rss/podcast.php?id=381444908
WNYC  “Freakanomics” = http://feeds.wnyc.org/radiolab?format=xml
Have refreshed URL's,  No change

BBC and C-Span Podcasts work fine.

Have two Grace radios, same problem with both.
   IRD4000  &  IRDT200

Have contacted station. Awaiting response.

Any suggestions appreciated.

bob12564

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #10 on: 15:13:23 | 18 March, 2017 »
mitduffy32:

I spent hours researching this and I can add to the information already on this thread.  Here's the official NPR press release:

http://digitalservices.npr.org/post/secure-url-transition-streams-podcasts

This update was released in January:

http://digitalservices.npr.org/post/update-https-transition-streams-and-podcasts

The change is required by Apple.  Apple will not allow a non-encrypted streams on any of its IPhone apps.  They have zillions of IPhone users and because of the volume they apparently get to set the policies for everyone else.  As you note, many podcasts still work fine.  I would guess that every stream provider wants to be on the IPhone platform and that they'll be forced to convert to HTTPS eventually.  Then again, if they value the Reciva crowd, they may continue to offer standard HTTP streams.

I also wrote to WNYC and WBUR and did not receive a response.  I also called Grace Digital and they confirmed that they were notified by NPR that this change was coming.  Grace Digital acknowledges that the Reciva radios cannot be updated so we're out of luck.  GD does not make the Revica chips and does not own the software.  Reciva is now owned by Qualcomm and Qualcomm has notified Grace Digital that it will no longer support the Reciva platform.  GD states that it still stocks Reciva-based radios and will continue to sell them.  I was told that they have relationships with a good number of NPR member stations and the feeling is that the individual stations will continue to support non-encrypted streams for our radios so that we can continue listening to the stations.  The podcasts are another story.  They're gone.  The new GD Mondo+ will support HTTPS so that's an option if you want to spend the money for a new unit.  You can read the pros/cons about the Mondo+ elsewhere on this forum.

The Mondo+ is a typical internet radio as far as the database is concerned.  It's not the Reciva database and it's  maintained by GD.  GD has stated that podcast support will not be the same as the Reciva radios, at least at the beginning.  The radio relies on Chromecast for outside services like Pandora and Spotify.

I thought a bit about the Chromecast angle and started reading about Chromecast Audio.  It's on sale through March 25 for $30.  I picked one up and tested it with my 3 GD radios.  It connects to the aux-in jack and you use a tablet or smartphone like a remote control to control the streams.  There are many Chromecast-enabled smartphone apps that seem to work quite well.  The good thing is that the stream overhead is on the Chromecast and not the smartphone so you don't  run your battery down.  Of course, all song information only appears on the smartphone.  Tunein has a large database of internet radio stations and also many podcasts, and there are also other Chromecast-enabled podcast apps.  You also have the NPR One app that is 100% Chromecast-enabled.  You get all the podcasts and archived copies of other NPR programs.  No worry about HTTPS.  Your tablet or smartphone already handles that. 

A big advantage of using Chromecast and your smartphone or tablet is that future technology changes will be internal to Android/IOS, Chromecast and the apps, so it's less likely that you'd end up with unusable hardware.  Maybe this is the future of internet radio.  I'll continue to test it through the weekend.  If it works, it's cheaper than a new radio.

BTW, GD already sells a Chromecast-enabled smart speaker.  You just need the smartphone or tablet.
The following users thanked this post: Solo2, mitduffy32

Solo2

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #11 on: 17:19:06 | 18 March, 2017 »
Thanks for providing that detailed explanation.  I suggest that you consider the Pocket Cast app in the Google App store as a source for a large variety of podcasts.

I have had success in explaining the situation to individual podcasters and in getting them to keep an un-encrypted http stream available.  Jamie Jeffers, who writes and produces the British History podcast, that I regularly listen to, was particularly accommodating and resurrected his http stream.  While Apple may call the tune, podcasters can understand that not everyone dances to it.
Radios:  Grace GDI-IRMS300, Grace IRC6000B, 2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT Grace and Reciva iradio apps
The following users thanked this post: mitduffy32

bob12564

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #12 on: 06:50:09 | 20 March, 2017 »
Solo2:

I hope you're right about the podcasters. The response you got from the podcasters is similar to the response Grace Digital says it's getting from radio stream providers.  The question is how many of us are there to justify the streamers maintaining both an HTTP and HTTPS stream?  I was also reading a forum for professional Apple developers and there seems to be a lot of anger from them regarding the HTTPS issue.  They cite the expense and labor to convert their streams, and some complained that they may have to completely rewrite their websites.  Some asked, "What is the problem that this is supposed to be solving?"  Solo2 may be right that Apple is calling the tune but not everyone wants to dance to it.  I'd be very happy if our Reciva radios will be supported for years to come.

For anyone following this thread, I'd like to recommend the thread under "Behold - The Future ..." / "Is the future with ANDROID devices".  Good information and opinions.  Solo2 makes a good point about how hard it is for internet radio manufacturers to keep up with technical changes.  We have the HTTPS issue now and before that it was the change in the BBC streams.

Grace Digital is one of the last internet radio manufacturers and it looks like they're conceding the market to Android.  Their new model relies on Chromecast for outside services like Pandora and IHeartRadio which were previously built into the Reciva models.  And GD already markets a portable speaker with built in Chromecast.  For the new Mondo+, GD is again outsourcing the chips and the software so there is a future danger that a few corporate mergers or takeovers will render those radios orphaned, just like Reciva after the Qualcomm purchase.

I've had fun playing with the Chromecast Audio device I picked up over the weekend.  Anything with an aux-in jack can become an internet radio.  Your smartphone or tablet is used as a remote control and battery drain is negligible.  You also have use of the "OK Google" voice commands and it's fully supported by Google Home.  I wasn't expecting to like the thing but now I'm thinking of buying a decent portable speaker to use with it.  I was set on the Mondo+ but now I'm not so sure.  Internet radio streaming is alive and well, but it's the hardware that's uncertain.

Dogmatix

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #13 on: 07:25:19 | 20 March, 2017 »
Grace Digital is one of the last internet radio manufacturers

I really don't think so. It may be the case in the USA, but not elsewhere. There are many models of internet radio based upon the Frontier Silicon Venice 6.5 module, which, depending on the configuration and the firmware level chosen by the brands, can offer features such as DAB/DAB+, FM, CD, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, multi-room etc. New models are appearing, mostly manufactured by established companies such as King Champion and Hip Shing for the brands. Brands such as Roberts Radio, Goodmans, Revo, Technisat, Como, Palona, Lemega, Numan, Hama, Auna, Sangean, DNT use Frontier, but there are other brands that use other platforms such as MediaU or TuneIn. Grace Digital is in very good company world-wide as an internet radio device brand.

Radios in use: Roberts Stream 93i & SB1 (×2), Revo Pixis RX, Hama DIT2100, IR110 & DIR3500, Technisat 520. No smart speakers, no voice-control gadgets.

Solo2

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Re: Many of my podcasts don't work
« Reply #14 on: 07:40:03 | 20 March, 2017 »
Grace Digital is one of the last internet radio manufacturers

I really don't think so. It may be the case in the USA, but not elsewhere. There are many models of internet radio based upon the Frontier Silicon Venice 6.5 module, which, depending on the configuration and the firmware level chosen by the brands, can offer features such as DAB/DAB+, FM, CD, Spotify Connect, Bluetooth, multi-room etc. New models are appearing, mostly manufactured by established companies such as King Champion and Hip Shing for the brands. Brands such as Roberts Radio, Goodmans, Revo, Technisat, Como, Palona, Lemega, Numan, Hama, Auna, Sangean, DNT use Frontier, but there are other brands that use other platforms such as MediaU or TuneIn. Grace Digital is in very good company world-wide as an internet radio device brand.

Sadly, it is pretty much the case in the USA.  With the exception of Sangean, if one can find a radio from one of those other manufacturers, one is going to pay more than $300.  It would be great if someone would sell an up-to-date Frontier Silicon radio here at a reasonable cost (like a Como without the all the pretty wood veneer).
Radios:  Grace GDI-IRMS300, Grace IRC6000B, 2 Grace GDI-WHA6001, Grace  GDI-WHA 7501, Grace GDI-WHA8001, Hama DIT2100MSBT Grace and Reciva iradio apps