Author Archives: and1000

error: preAvailablity

From the end of February 2015, the BBC have turned off all WMA (Windows Media Audio) streams, so no radio stations will work in Listen Again.

Version 2.1 will show message saying “error: preAvailablity”, and I’ve just released an update which gives a clearer message when the app starts.

I’ve had a quick look at the AAC streams but they use HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) which is not natively supported on Windows Phone, so using them is not easy.

I do this app in my spare time, so don’t really have a huge amount of time available to fix this.  If I find time, great.  If not, well, thanks for playing along!


BBC phasing out support for Windows Media

You might hear a short (30 second?) pre-recorded message before the start of a programme, which says something along the lines of:

Windows Media Player is not going to be supported anymore and at the end of the year your device will no longer be supported. You should contact your device manufacturer.

This is news to me.  I am investigating possible fixes.

In the meantime, I understand that once the announcement has finished playing, the normal programme starts to play as expected.

BBC server outages

Since around 10am BST on Saturday 19 July 2014, the BBC’s iPlayer service started an extended outage, with fairly wide-ranging consequences.  The Register covered it, as did BBC News.

From the app’s perspective, the BBC servers have been either returning Not Found, returning a “no media” error code, or returning a page intended for humans telling them that the service is unavailable.  Unfortunately, the last of these does not parse correctly, and Listen Again shows a parse error: Reference to undeclared entity ‘hellip’.

These are all symptoms of the ongoing BBC outage, and should clear once the BBC resume their normal service.

Error getting stream descriptions

Around Friday 2 May, the BBC changed the format of the “media selector” their web servers return, which Listen Again uses to decide how to stream the audio (for both UK and International streams).  The immediate result of this was that Listen Again version 1.5 and earlier cannot understand which streams it can use, and so you will see the dreaded “error getting stream descriptions” error message.

I’ve released version 1.6 of Listen Again which should understand both the new and old formats.  I’ve only tested it in the UK, but it may work for international streams too.  Look out for the update coming in the next 5 working days.

Missing images

You may have noticed that programme images are coming up as a grey/white placeholder rather than the expected programme image.

I’m not sure why this is happening.

I will try to investigate, but can’t promise anything.

Listen Again v1.5 released

Version 1.5 adds a few new stations (BBC World Service, and BBC Solent). Let me know how you get on with them.

It also adds better handling of HTTP protocol errors. Recently the BBC’s media server has started returning 500 Unavailable errors, but they malform the error response which causes the phone’s header parser some problems. This release catches this error case and now displays an error message rather than crashing.

Also, some programmes have very long titles, for example:
“Book of the Week: Gold: The Race for the World’s Most Seductive Metal: Episode 2”

This is so long it falls off the right-hand side of the screen, so you can’t read the episode number.  This release takes the episode number and presents it as part of the programme’s description.

Listen Again v1.0 released

This is the first public release of my Listen Again app.

You can listen to almost all programmes from the previous week. This includes programmes which are not available as podcasts. You can browse programmes by the day they were broadcast on, or you can browse episodes by series.

I will post answers to common questions here.