Playing BBC HLS radio streams on an internet radio
The BBC has replaced most of its Shoutcast radio streams with new streams that use the HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) protocol. Some internet radios can play the previous AAC ADTS streams but can't play these new HLS streams. If you are in this situation, you can work around the problem by running MinimStreamer and MinimServer on a computer or NAS on your local network and following the steps listed below. These steps assume you don't already have MinimServer installed.
- Decide which computer or NAS you will use to install and run MinimStreamer and MinimServer. It can be a Windows PC, a Mac, a Linux computer (a Raspberry Pi is ideal), a QNAP NAS, an ASUSTOR NAS or a Synology NAS.
- Create a folder named 'BBC Radio' on this computer or NAS.
- Install MinimServer on the computer or NAS by following the instructions on the Quick start page. For the content directory setting, use the 'BBC Radio' folder that you created in step 2.
Create a plain text file named
Radio.m3uin this folder (with Windows Notepad, select ANSI). You can download a sample version of this file from this link. This sample file lists all the BBC national HLS AAC UK streams in the best available sound quality. After downloading this sample file, remember to rename it to
Radio.m3uand make sure it has been saved as a plain text file and not some other format such as RTF (with Windows Notepad, select ANSI).
On Windows, check the Type column in Windows Explorer to make sure the Type column shows
M3U file, not Text Document. If the Type column shows Text Document, select View and enable the
File name extensions option, then edit the filename in the Name column to change the
file extension from
- If you have installed MinimServer on a NAS, you need to install MinimWatch on another computer on your local network. It can be a Windows PC, a Mac or a Linux computer. To install MinimWatch, follow the instructions on the MinimWatch page.
- Activate a full license or trial license for MinimServer. You need this to be able to install and run MinimStreamer. For details of how to activate this license, visit the Quick start page.
- On the computer where you installed MinimWatch, you should see a small icon with a minim symbol in your system tray or menu bar. From this icon's pop-up menu, select Properties and then select the Packages tab in the Properties window.
- Select the 'minimstreamer' entry that appears in the list of available packages, then click Install and follow the prompts. When installation is complete, click the Relaunch button.
On your internet radio, add custom radio station URLs for the stations you want to
listen to. For each station, you need to add a custom station URL of the form
where x.x.x.x is the IP address of the computer or NAS that you're using to run MinimServer and zz is the stream ID from the BBC Radio.m3u file (e.g., R2 for Radio 2 or R3 for Radio 3). For example, if you want to listen to BBC Radio 3 and the IP address for MinimServer is 192.168.0.10, the custom URL would be
Note: To make sure this IP address doesn't change, you can set a static IP address in the configuration settings for the computer or NAS. Alternatively, you can use DHCP address reservation in your router to allocate a fixed IP address for the computer or NAS.
Select the custom radio station URL for the station that you want. This will play the 320 kbps UK
HLS AAC stream for the station. If this stream doesn't play, check that the
Radio.m3ufile has been saved as a plain text file and has the correct file extension (see points 4 and 5).
- If the stream isn't playing, select 'Show log' from the minim icon and check whether the log contains any error or warning messages.
You can add more stations (e.g., BBC local stations or non-UK streams) by editing the
Radio.m3u file using a text editor. Make sure the updated file
has been saved as a plain text file and not some other format such as RTF (with Windows Notepad, select ANSI).
After making any changes to this file, select Rescan from the minim icon.
If you have any problems or questions, please create a thread in the MinimStreamer section of the MinimServer forum as described on the Support page.
For more information about MinimStreamer, see the MinimStreamer page. Enjoy!