Sports talk WKNR/850 lost its live Internet streaming feed - when the relationship between the Salem Cleveland station and long-time website provider SportsTalkCleveland.com soured last year, and STC backed out of the joint venture.
Tonight, a message board post alerted us to the return of the WKNR live streaming feed via the station's own site at WKNR.com. We're listening to it right now, and it sounds fine.
But...it took a while for us to get it going.
The station is using MP3 streaming, but directly clicking on the "Listen Live" link did not work for us this early morning. Our primary browser, Firefox 1.5 for Windows XP, is set up to load embedded QuickTime when we click on an .MP3 extension link. It yielded the WKNR feed, but only for about 10 seconds. We couldn't even get that much out of Internet Explorer 6...it tried to load the link and failed.
The only way we could get it to work was by copying and pasting the URL underneath the "Listen Live" link into WinAmp's "Open URL" menu option. The same method worked with Windows Media Player 10 as well. But we had to do it outside the browser, both in Firefox and Internet Explorer.
We're not professional webmasters here, but we believe the direct link being a filename ending in "MP3" is a no-no for live streaming audio, probably for the reasons we encountered above.
But we won't aim our barbs at WKNR or Salem just yet, as we don't know if it's mostly a configuration issue for us, or if they really should change the link to a ".pls" (playlist) file - which automatically invokes WinAmp or WMP 10 instead of assuming that there's a single MP3 file underneath the link.
For an example of the way we believe it SHOULD be done, visit the website of legendary ABC talk KGO/810 in San Francisco and its "Listen Live" page. The MP3 stream on that page is a link to a ".pls" playlist file...which launches WinAmp on our soon-to-be-sold laptop and launches KGO's live stream with no problem...