There are tens of thousands of radio stations streaming their digital audio over the Internet. These stations are broadcast by a variety of entities, from large companies to independent broadcasters. With Internet Radio, you can hear more of the music you love and discover new favorites; you can also listen to free news, sports, weather, and talk radio from around the world. Internet Radio offers many more stations than Satellite Radio, and most of them are free. Every kind of music and many talk programs are available. Listen to stations in other countries, or from the home town where you grew up!
Yes. The SoundBridge/SoundBridge Radio can play your favorite stations without your computer turned on (you do need a broadband connection, like DSL or Cable Modem). Using the new Radio Roku tuning service and SoundBridge software 3.0, you can browse a library of thousands of stations, either from your computer, or right on the SoundBridge, with the remote control. Also, if your computer is on and you use iTunes, you can use the iTunes tuning service to select stations. SoundBridge Radio also supports Rhapsody Internet Radio, a paid service, and the Roku Radio Snooper.
The following HTTP-streamed formats are currently supported:
- MP3 streams (usually ending in .pls or .m3u)
- WMA streams (usually ending in .asx). You will need the 2.5 software installed on the SoundBridge to play these back.
- AAC+ streams
- Real streams (usually ending in .ram)
Radio Roku is the best way to find Internet radio stations! This new service, available at http://www.radioroku.com, is a directory of thousands of Internet radio stations from all over the world -- all of which have been tested with SoundBridge products! Stations are rated by quality and reliability, and there are great searching and browsing features. SoundBridge players running version 3.0 software can directly browse and search the station listings, even if your computer is off. Or, you can listen right in your web browser.
Sometimes, you may find an Internet radio station website, but not find that station in the Radio Roku database. Roku Radio Snooper is a handy PC application that enables you to find that station's streaming URL, check it for compatibility with SoundBridge, and easily make it one of your SoundBridge's presets. Just download the lightweight application and run the Roku Radio Snooper. Then listen to any Internet radio stream using your PC as you would normally. Snooper will test the stream, determine compatibility in an instant, and then present you with the option to set a compatible station as a preset with one button click. Learn more.
- Method 1: The 18 preset locations on the SoundBridge/SoundBridge Radio are each set to a popular Internet Radio station out-of-the-box.
- Method 2: On SoundBridge 3.0 software (a free upgrade), you can directly browse Radio Roku's database of thousands of Internet radio stations, all of which are compatible with SoundBridge. Just use your remote control to choose "Play Internet Radio" from the main SoundBridge menu, and then you can browse and search for stations. Or, visit the Radio Roku web site to see even more station details, and manage your SoundBridge players with drag-and-drop simplicity.
- Method 3: In addition to the thousands of stations available on Radio Roku, you may add your own stations. See "How can I add a station to my Presets if it's not on Radio Roku?"
- Method 4: You may use Roku Radio Snooper as a simple method to quickly find a streaming url and set a new Internet radio station as one of your presets.
Every SoundBridge player running SoundBridge software version 3.0 has the provision for up to 18 Presets, and an almost unlimited number of Favorite stations. It's important to understand the difference between these two powerful features:
- Any station in the Radio Roku database can be marked as a "Favorite" station, either by using the Radio Roku web page itself, or via the on-screen menus on the SoundBridge.
- Stations marked as Favorites are easily accessed via the "My Favorites" menu option on the SoundBridge, when using the Internet Radio feature on SoundBridge.
- Favorites are remembered on the Radio Roku service, so if you have more than one SoundBridge player assigned to a Radio Roku account, the same list of Favorite stations appears on each SoundBridge, and changes made on one SoundBridge will show up on the others, and on the Radio Roku web site.
- You can mark as many Favorite stations as you want.
- Only stations that are listed on the Radio Roku site can be Favorites.
- You must register for a free Radio Roku account to use Favorites.
- Presets allow you to play any type of supported content with the press of a couple of buttons.
- Presets are not limited to Internet radio stations. You can set an Internet station to be a Preset, but you can also set a Preset for a favorite album on your local music server, or a shuffled playlist, or even an entire genre.
- If you want to play a station that does not appear in the Radio Roku database, you can use one of your Preset memory slots to remember the URL for that station on your SoundBridge. You can either enter the URL manually, or by memorizing a playlist from iTunes, or by using the Roku Radio Snooper (see "How can I add a station to my Presets if it's not on Radio Roku?")
- The SoundBridge can store up to 18 Presets.
- Presets are stored right on your SoundBridge. Each SoundBridge has an independent list of Presets.
Radio Roku has thousands of stations, and you can use the Favorites and Presets features of SoundBridge to make them easy to play (see "What's the difference between a 'Preset' and a 'Favorite' station?).
Sometimes, you may want to play an Internet station that's not listed in the Radio Roku database. To do this, you can use one of your SoundBridge's 18 Preset memory slots to remember the station's URL and make it available to be played. There are three methods for doing this:
Method 1: Roku Radio Snooper
- See "What is Roku Radio Snooper?"
Method 2: iTunes Playlist Memorization
If you have a station or stations in an iTunes playlist, you can "memorize" the stations into that playlist. Each station will be stored into one of your Presets, and a maximum of 18 stations can be stored. Follow these steps:
- From the SoundBridge, select your iTunes library.
- Scroll down the main menu and select Settings.
- Scroll down the Settings menu and select Memorize radio playlist...
- You will then be asked to select an iTunes playlist. Select the playlist that contains the stations you want to add to your SoundBridge Presets, and the SoundBridge will replace the current Presets with the first 18 stations in the selected playlist. If the playlist has fewer than 18 stations, then the remaining Presets will be left as they were.
Method 3: SoundBridge/SoundBridge Radio Web Configuration Pages
You can directly enter the URL of a station into the web page built in to your SoundBridge player. Follow these steps:
- Obtain the IP address of the SoundBridge by going to System Configuration > Show WiFi Status or System Configuration > Show Wired Ethernet Status (depending on what model and how you have it set up) from the SoundBridge main menu.
- Enter this IP address into a web browser on your computer to bring up the SoundBridge configuration pages.
- Select the Internet Radio link at the top of the SoundBridge configuration page.
- Now, enter the URLs of the stations you wish to access, replacing the Preset stations. Click here to find out more about how to obtain the URL for your personal Internet radio stations. You can also change the name that will appear on the SoundBridge for each station.
- When you are done, click the Update Radio Stations button at the bottom of the page.
Yes. You can play radio stations from an iTunes playlist. Simply open the station in iTunes, drag and drop it into a playlist that you have created, and then select that playlist for playback on the SoundBridge.
The SoundBridge software supports HTTP streaming of WMA Internet radio streams that use the standard WMA decoder. This includes the vast majority of WMA Internet radio streams available. Some stations use a variation of WMA called WMA Voice. The SoundBridge currently does not support this. The most popular station to use WMA Voice is the BBC World Service. Roku plans to extend the SoundBridge Internet Radio functionality to include playback of the BBC World Service Stream. Some additional stations use protocols other than HTTP to stream their broadcast. Currently the SoundBridge only supports HTTP.
There are several methods for determining a URL:
- Download and install Roku Radio Snooper, a program that detects Internet radio streams and returns their URLs.
- If there is a link for the stream on a webpage and clicking the link results in the stream playing in your media player, it should be possible to simply allow the stream to play and then choose File > Properties in Windows Media Player or Edit > Get Info in iTunes to get the URL which can then be copied and pasted into the SoundBridge preset configuration webpage.
- If the stream opens in an embedded Windows Media Player in a web page, you may be able to right-click on the embedded WMP and choose Properties to obtain the URL.
- If the stream is played in a window through some other embedded application, you may be able to discover the URL through inspection of the source code of the page.
- If all else fails, ask on the Roku forums. A helpful fellow customer or Roku employee may be able to provide the URL for the stream.
There are many reasons a station may not play. The first thing to check is to see if the station is playable on your computer. If it is not playable on the computer, It may be the the station has moved servers or the server could be too busy or temporarily unavailable.
If it is playable on the computer you can check to see if the stream uses HTTP or not by configuring Windows Media Player to only play HTTP-based streams by choosing Network from the Tools > Options menu in WMP. Here, uncheck the Multicast, UDP and TCP boxes, leaving only HTTP checked. Then attempt to play the stream again. If it fails to play in WMP, then the stream is using something other than HTTP, which means that for now the SoundBridge will be unable to play the stream. If the stream still plays in WMP, it may mean that the station uses WMA Voice or has incorrectly setup the ASX file that is used to describe the stream for WMP and the SoundBridge.