Fix iTunes Catalog Streaming on FStream for iPhone

On my way to work, I've gotten in the habit of listening to web radio on my iPhone instead of local radio. It's a much more satisfying commute when you get rid of commercials, etc.

Up until recently I used an app called FStream, however, that all stopped working a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what changed, but FStream is no longer able to play any streams from the iTunes radio catalog (although other streams in the favorites browser, such as those from Shoutcast, still seem to work). After quite a bit of fiddling, I finally came across a solution, although it's a bit hackish.

Since I only had issues with the iTunes catalog stations in the app, I was betting that the stream URLs were wrong, or something along those lines. So I went into iTunes to try to get the stream URLs that it was playing, because I could still access those stations through iTunes. I couldn't find a way to just right-click on the stations in the radio browser in iTunes, so I had to drag the station to a playlist first and then do a 'Get Info' on it. Doing so, I was able to then copy the stream URL and then paste it into FStream as a new station (I emailed the URL to myself on the iPhone if you are wondering how I did this copy/paste).

No dice.

Looking at the stream URL I realized it was actually a redirect URL. Maybe iTunes uses these as some sort of marketing ploy to figure out what stations users are listening to? And maybe FStream can't follow the redirect? Don't know. So instead I took that URL and pasted it into Safari and let it follow the redirect. Doing so I was able to download the M3U playlist file that the actual web radio station serves up. Opening that with a text editor yields the real stream URLs. Copy/pasting those URLs into FStream instead did work. Voila!

So like I said, it was a bit hackish and I'm hoping the FStream app gets updated to remove this issue. Most users will not want to go through this process and the only reason I did it was because I only had two stations I listen to so it was easy. But for a free app that works well and keeps me from having to listen to the annoying local radio stations play the same crap over and over, this little hack fest was worth the effort for me.

No comments: