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Canadian Public Radio Streaming Ogg Vorbis 224

d00dman writes "CBC Radio, Canada's major national public broadcaster is now streaming in ogg/vorbis. Recently CBC had switched from realmedia streams to windows media streams for their radio broadcasts. After receiving a plethora of complaints, suggesting ogg/vorbis as an alternative, CBC has begun a test ogg stream of the toronto stations. They boast in their ogg FAQ that they're encoding with oddcast and streaming with icecast."
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Canadian Public Radio Streaming Ogg Vorbis

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  • by tx_kanuck ( 667833 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:16AM (#10708942)
    That a publicly funded organization is actually trying to cut costs. Too bad it doesn't happen more often.
  • Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

    by isometrick ( 817436 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:16AM (#10708944)
    Sounds very forward-thinking. I will definitely be listening to this stream when I move there soon.
    • Re:Cool! (Score:5, Funny)

      by dr_d_19 ( 206418 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:19AM (#10708952)
      Sounds very forward-thinking. I will definitely be listening to this stream when I move there soon.

      Yeah, because the obvious audience for internet broadcast is a local listener, and you wouldn't be able to listen to it now. :)
      • Re:Cool! (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Froug ( 710553 )
        Actually, given how wired Canada is, it makes perfect sense to put content on the net even if it's only intended for local consumption. People often have net access in places they don't even have a radio, or where radio reception is poor. At the very least, they're increasing coverage over their intended audience.
    • Re:Cool! (Score:3, Funny)

      by Gopal.V ( 532678 )
      Does that have something to do with the US elections or are just simply going there for the frost bite ? :)
    • Sounds very forward-thinking. I will definitely be listening to this stream when I move there soon.

      Moving to Canada so soon? Hang in there; Ohio hasn't been called yet! Have faith!

  • by dankelley ( 573611 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:18AM (#10708947)
    What a bunch of standards-following wimps Canadians are. Join Kyoto protocol. Join international world court. Use the same ballot across the nation. (Count that ballot in hours.) Same-sex marriage. Soon-to-be-legal marijuana. Free health care. Soon to be free daycare. What a crew. Oh, and some Ogg Vorbis thingee now, too.
    • by gustgr ( 695173 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (anidnor)> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:23AM (#10708959) Homepage
      Now we have to wait for free hookers... I mean... free sexcare.
    • by Colin Smith ( 2679 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:54AM (#10709042)
      We had a few extra years on that one. America came out of the oven under done.

    • Re:typical Canadians (Score:4, Informative)

      by AchilleTalon ( 540925 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @09:27AM (#10709517) Homepage
      A little bit misleading.

      1. Same-sex marriage is not yet legalized a bill is still waiting to be wrote and voted. In the mean time court trials opened the road to this. But government may still forbid it.
      2. There is no such plan like rendering marijuana legal in Canada. Instead, there is a proposal to decriminalize it. Instead of being thrown in jail after a costly, long and complex trial, policemen will be fully entitled to just give you a ticket for possession of small quantities of marijuana for you own consumption. Traffic, growing and related activities will still be criminal.
      3. Ogg-Vorbis encoding/decoding is legal.
      4. Music sharing is legal.
      • Re:typical Canadians (Score:4, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @12:53PM (#10711572)
        #4 is funny, soley because it was the music industry itself that brought it about.
        1. Assume all blank media purchases will be used for piracy and lobby to have legislation passed.
        2. Institute a levy on all blank media to cover the piracy costs.
        3. Having a levy while simultaneously making media copying illegal would be a double standard since purchasers of the media have already "paid" for their crime.
        4. Music sharing becomes legal.
        5. Music industry: "Whoops!"
    • Kyoto (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Jordy ( 440 ) * <jordan&snocap,com> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:35AM (#10710473) Homepage
      The US gets a lot of guff about Kyoto, but while Canada ratified the treaty two years ago, it hasn't actually put a plan in place to meet any of the targets. No laws to curb emissions on vehicles, no powerplant switches, nada.

      Kyoto requires that greenhouse gas levels drop 6% below 1990 levels. In 2001, Canada's greenhouse gas levels were 18.5% above 1990 levels. So you're talking about dropping greenhouse gas emissions by 25% in 8 years (assuming they haven't increased since 2001).

      Canada has been fighting to get credits for all of their forests as greenhouse gas sinks. That seems to be their plan on meeting Kyoto. Make everyone else agree they don't have to do anything.

      As far as I can tell, Kyoto was a feel good measure.
    • Re:typical Canadians (Score:4, Informative)

      by Idarubicin ( 579475 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @11:44AM (#10710568) Journal

      It's a little over a year old, but this is still one of my favourite columns by an American looking at Canada. It's not just the weather that's cooler in Canada [], by Samantha Bennett at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The best quote is probably

      "The Canadians are so quiet that you may have forgotten they're up there, but they've been busy doing some surprising things. It's like discovering that the mice you are dimly aware of in your attic have been building an espresso machine."
      • by Jeremi ( 14640 )
        Is Samantha Bennett by any chance a pseudonym for the Daily Show's Samantha Bee? The names are similar, and the article's content sounds a lot like Samantha Bee's schtick....
        • Looking at their photos and biographies, they appear to be different people. If you compare Samantha Bee's bio [] and Samantha Bennett's bio [], then the differences become more obvious... Samantha Bennett was born in East Pennsylvania, lives in West Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh), and was educated at Yale University and Carnegie-Mellon University. Meanwhile, Samantha Bee was born in Toronto, Ontario, lives in Manhattan, and was educated at the University of Ottawa.

          They do have the same sort of fun, cheeky, unforc
    • Re:typical Canadians (Score:3, Informative)

      by zx75 ( 304335 )
      "Soon-to-be-legal marijuana."

      Common misconception, legalizing marijuana is not on the table at the moment except for chronic pain/palliative care situations. The bill being discussed is decriminilization, which means that possessing small quantities of marijuana will no longer land you a criminal record. Instead it will be a $150 to $800 fine. So marijuana won't be legal, it'll just be a less serious offence.
    • They also just finished rewriting their constitution in OpenOffice, and are using GNUCash for the nation's budget.
  • by funkycat ( 201974 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:19AM (#10708950)
    hopefully the cbc will completely change over to Ogg format. Its difficult for older computers (like the one my parents have) to play media cleanly through Windowsmediaplayer as its a resorce hog, and if they want to do anyhting else while listening it gets choppy.
    • they offer the same content in both, and they also have instructions for patching both mplayer and older windows media for the proper codecs (if needed).

      " We tested our streams using the Mplayer plugin version 2.66 on:
      - Gentoo Linux 1.5.1
      - FreeBSD 5.x "

      Sometimes I'm happy with how they spend my taxes :)

      Now if only the NPR station I listen to when cbc is playing opera would offer ogg streaming, I'd be set!
  • by zoeblade ( 600058 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:23AM (#10708960) Homepage

    Cool, now it's up there with the classical station WCPE []!

    Does anyone know of any other Ogg Vorbis streams? The only other one I know is a police scanner [].

  • Let management know (Score:5, Informative)

    by wombatmobile ( 623057 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:23AM (#10708964)

    Happy about this?

    From CBC's Ogg FAQ []:

    We're currently testing the streaming of Ogg Vorbis, an open, free audio codec. Please contact CBC Audience Relations [] if you have suggestions or comments.

  • by Darren Winsper ( 136155 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:28AM (#10708976)
    Virgin Radio have already been streaming Ogg Vorbis for ages, they even have a 160k stream: []
  • The CBC kicks ass (Score:5, Informative)

    by Zork the Almighty ( 599344 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:34AM (#10708989) Journal
    People in Canada always harp on the CBC because it receives public funding, but it really is the best news organization in the country and to top it off they actually innovate. They had a decent website back in 1998 (the earliest Wayback [] is from '99). They stream CBC radio and all of their TV news broadcasts for free, in multiple codecs. And if you want local news that isn't about a dog or a whale they might be your only option. Bravo CBC. They can take it from my cold, dead hands.
    • I had the URL wrong. In 1998 I was reading CBC news at []. Not bad considering what other news organizations [], even technical iones [], looked like at the time.
    • Re:The CBC kicks ass (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Yaztromo ( 655250 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @09:12AM (#10709420) Homepage Journal

      The CBC's website dates from even earlier than this.

      And not only that, but from at least 1996 I used to download WAV files of CBC Radio 1's morning news from their website. Long before most organizations were even thinking about streaming audio, the CBC provided the morning news for download within minutes of its broadcast.

      I remember mornings working away in the lab at University, sucking up bandwidth downloading those 10 - 15 minute WAV files so I could bring myself up-to-date with the world while working on assignments.

      The CBC has long been on the forefront of journalism and the use of technology in journalism.


    • I agree completely. And what's more, CBC radio has no commercials. One thing I can't stand are commercials on radio. Especially while stuck in traffic. The other local talk/news stations (1010 and 680) have more commercials than content.
    • 1998? I would say most news organizations had decent websites since then. Hell, I have been using the New York Times website since 1995, and still use the same login to boot.

      The web was quite mature by 1998 and I haven't noticed much innovation since then.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      CBC Radio kicks ass - yes.

      CBC as a news organization kicks ass - yes.

      CBC Television - as a populist TV channel - sorry, there they fail miserably.
      • I used to think the same way, but when I actually started watching CBC television my opinion changed dramatically. I lived with no cable for 3 years, and I found CBC to be better than Global, CTV, VI, and KVOS (Seattle) on average. Maybe you expect it to good all the time ? TV is mostly crap! The CBC is just a little less crap.

        Here are my suggestions for good programs on CBC Television:
        The Nature of Things (with David Suzuki)
        Da Vinci's Inquest
        The National (news broadcast)
        Just For Laughs Gags (hidden ca
  • by now3djp ( 621650 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:43AM (#10709011) Homepage
    All the feedback was likely a direct result of me featuring it in my blog last month. Many people linked to my blog and kindly repeated my message.

    Bandwidth saving URL: org/#b log_2004-10-09

    Otherwise: 2004-10-09

    Finally, my boadband connection link:

    Cheers, now3djp
  • by pyropaul ( 571423 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:49AM (#10709034)

    Despite the parent article stating there were a plethora of complaints when the CBC switch from Real Media streams to windows media, they do, in fact, provide information [] on their site for unix users to access these streams.

    For the ogg streams, they only provide access to the stations in Toronto, rather than the local stations.

    Whichever format, though, I'm happy that I can listen to the CBC on the operating system of my choice. However, I think it is appropriate that a public service broadcaster use a format that is unencumbered and hence accessible to all.

  • Way to go! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN ( 578166 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:53AM (#10709040) Homepage Journal
    Now this is the way to go. Public radio accessible to the public; not just the part of the public that pays for <commercial technology>.

    Let's hear what they are broadcasting, anyway. BTW, anyone aware of a cooperative streaming solution (i.e. clients serve to one another, like Bittorrent)? I've worked one myself (StreamDist []), but it's not really production-ready and I haven't worked on it for some time now.
  • by mgv ( 198488 ) <Nospam,01,slash2dot&veltman,org> on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:54AM (#10709046) Homepage Journal
    What is interesting is that they have said that they are dropping support for real media and quicktime.


    Because of the technical complexity of running multiple streams and getting it all to work.

    So its really quite interesting that they are adding a new streaming format at the same time.

    Or is their plan to lose windows media player as well?

  • by smartin ( 942 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @07:56AM (#10709049)
    I complained to them the day they switched (as i always do when someone picks a proprietary M$ format) but i didn't expect anything would come of it.

    Does anyone know of a good ogg client for OS X?
    • Does anyone know of a good ogg client for OS X?

      VLC works for me with this stream.

      The only problem I ran into was that FireFox wouldn't allow me to select VLC as the helper application when I clicked on the stream link -- it wanted to use iTunes. I let it (as I recently installed the Vorbis Quicktime plug-in), and while it loaded the stream, it wouldn't play (a problem with the Vorbis QuickTime plug-in I presume).

      Instead, I copied the URL of the .m3u file, opened VLC, and selected "File -> Open Netw

    • I complained to them the day they switched (as i always do when someone picks a proprietary M$ format) but i didn't expect anything would come of it.

      Now that they've switched, you're going to remember to congratulate them on it, right? Maybe even a little 'thank you'?

      Still, it warms my heart to see that they have tested their streaming on Mplayer under FreeBSD and Gentoo (Linky [].) They even tell you how to reduce buffering time in Mplayer by changing its .conf file.

      For those with a penchant for other

  • Check it! []

    Of course, I live in Canada and listen to CBC every day so maybe I don't count.
  • by gwn ( 594936 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @08:20AM (#10709150)
    As a CBC Radio listener for the better part of 40 years I can tell you this is just another innovative step in the history of a great public institution. CBC is also known for its great honest and open minded coverage of news. This has been very apparent in the last couple of decades as comercial private media has been gobbled up by massive multinational corporations and given a sanitized, unified, and politically correct editorial viewpoint (according to the disposition of the owners and not always the accuracy of the facts). But possibly best of all the CBC works to inform, educate, motivate its listeners with open and honest coverage of world events... presented from multiple points of view.
    If anyone would like to hear what the rest of the world is thinking and doing, catch the news and editorials on CBC... By the way, BBC radio does this too.
    • As a CBC Radio listener for the better part of 40 years I can tell you this is just another innovative step in the history of a great public institution. CBC is also known for its great honest and open minded coverage of news.

      Stop! Stop! You're bringing a tear to my eye. I think I hear O Canada playing softly in the background. I must turn on the CBC.

      Unfortunately, those nerds in Information Management won't allow us to stream audio. I sneaked this little device into the office called a "radio".

  • This isn't perfectly on topic but its close enough.

    What are peoples favorite streams? I've only really found one place that I like so far but then again I mostly listen to techno. Check out if you're into that kind of thing.

  • Listening to the broadcast for some time, it seems that they mostly broadcast speech. This makes me wonder if Speex [] wouldn't have been a better fit for their needs.

    Of course, Speex is probably not supported as well as Vorbis is.
  • I've admittedly been a long time CBC listener. I've been wanting for a long time to get a shortwave radio so I can pick up CBC's Radio Canada International service when I travel outside the country (but have kept putting it off as I haven't had occassion to leave Canada for the last couple of years). The CBC is by far the best news and information service in North America -- they actually take investigative journalism seriously. I'd argue they're one of the best news and information services in the world

  • I explained to them why they were forcing people to pay money to see things on their web site by using proprietary formats and that I used Linux, a free and open source operating system which didn't work with Microsoft expensive proprietary formats.
  • This is great news. I live in Finland and our bbc equivalent media company [] doesn't stream ogg vorbis because "ogg vorbis can contain software patents and the media companies don't allow a format which doesn't contain digital restrictions management". Maybe they will change their minds someday and start offering streaming in a Free format.
    • That's simply untrue.
      To the question: "Why does YLE not use Ogg Vorbis sound format which is patent free and "Open Source?""
      They answer: "Of all the new media formats, Ogg is one of the most interesting. The BBC has tried Ogg and we are following the development of this technology with great interest."

      Did they change it just now or did you just rip that quote out of your ass?
  • by ssclift ( 97988 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @09:07AM (#10709397)

    At the start of September the CBC switched exclusively to Windows Media 9. I fired off a few e-mails to hosts I'd corresponded with before, and to their news desk. I noted they were denying "universal access" to their internet radio (that's a good push-button word in Canada) because the latest codecs were not supported by Linux/Unix based media players. I strongly suspect I wasn't the only one, since it only took about a week for them to switch to WM7/MS-MPEG4 for their streams, which Xine and Mplayer seem to handle more reliably.

    On one of their promo-spots before the news they even explicitly said "even linux users" could listen on their internet streams. :-)

    The switch to testing Ogg was a little later, which runs against their stated "one-stream" policy. I also strongly suspect Akamai was behind the original switch. Akamai streams the CBC content and are a "Microsoft Partner" company in the venture. It sounds a bit to me like Akamai sold them a bill of goods in the name of cost cutting, and that the response was not what they expected. I'm quite sure listeners in Europe, where MS does not reign quite as supreme, were not pleased. I've had notes from friends over there asking how to stream WM7 on Linux.

    Then, three weeks ago, I submitted this story. (...but I'm not bitter...) :^)

    The CBC is not only great radio and television, it's also an organization full of really nice, really smart folks, and has been voted in the top 100 places to work in Canada.

  • Veronica / kinkfm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DataDevil ( 1762 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @09:12AM (#10709422)
    at my previous job we employed an ogg stream for some time..until some (i suspect) MS sponsored company offered to host windowsmedia streams for *free*
  • Anyone know where I can DL a Mac OS X ogg client?
    • Re:Mac Ogg Client? (Score:4, Informative)

      by ablair ( 318858 ) on Wednesday November 03, 2004 @12:28PM (#10710973)
      There are tons of MacOS Ogg Vorbis players, here are some:

      Sourceforge Quicktime Components []
      Play Ogg Vorbis file on QuickTime (including QT-based players, like iTunes). Note that this is still under development and may have bugs.

      A Better QuickTime Ogg Vorbis Plugin []
      Try this one if the Sourceforge one above dosen't work for your configuration. .php?story=20021 103065300430

      MacAMP []
      Like WinAMP or XMMS.

      Whamb []
      Whamb player, haven't tried it.

      More Ogg Vorbis Software [] for MacOS X
      Here's a list from the Vorbis folks.
  • This is cool, but I now have to ask what players are available on the various OSs to play the stream? Can iTunes be used to play this, either on MS-Windows or MacOS X?
  • CBC's science show - Quirks and Quarks [] has had ogg support for a few years. They also have an audio archive of old shows.
  • Other than simple popularity of the clients (Windows Media, Real) and licensing issues (Ogg), what are the technical issues involved in *serving* these different formats?

"Oh what wouldn't I give to be spat at in the face..." -- a prisoner in "Life of Brian"