Sunday, November 6, 2016

Fixing Commotion internet radio on Windows XP

I've been busy lately so it's hard to find time to write posts. I've managed to look over some C# code by Lucas Teske and write a low-pass filter for my Java Costas loop. I did get some cool output in Audacity that looks kind of like digital symbols at the beginning.

What I'm mainly writing about, however, is a quick hack I learned about Commotion Internet radio. I wanted to listen to a station called Way FM on my Windows XP computer, but it wouldn't work in Opera or IE. The page remained silent without giving any errors. I was able to make it work on my Windows 8.1 tablet (Opera), Windows 7 x64 PC (Opera), and ZTE Sonata phone (the app), but it stubbornly refused to work on Windows XP. Using a mobile phone or tablet to listen was the only convenient way but it required keeping the screen on, which in turn usually means staying plugged in, which is hard on the battery, so this was not ideal.

I kind of knew that it was because Opera for XP won't play MP3 for some reason. I've had trouble on websites with HTML5 embedded MP3's and had to download them to hear them. I did an unsuccessful Google search about this problem with Commotion Internet radio so I looked at the page source and expected to have to find a weird JavaScript streaming system. I was surprised to see an API Key field near the top, which indicated player code, and even more surprised to find the field underneath that contained a plain MP3 URL, which I copy-pasted into Media Player Classic and was able to listen to. It will sometimes buffer and even pause, but that also happens on the webpage.

I was concerned that this MP3 issue was a nail in XP's coffin, so this fix was fortuitous.

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