Last month I described how a new licensing regime has meant that listeners from outside the UK may no longer listen to British independent radio stations. But certain stations, including Classic FM, only required the listener to enter a valid UK postcode to listen.
Then, at the start of this month, something changed again, and people outside the UK could no longer connect to Classic FM even after entering a correct postcode. I’ve received lots of messages from disappointed listeners who wanted to know if there was a way they could still listen.
How to listen
Please note: These instructions are intended for use by people in the UK whose IP addresses are identified as being overseas, preventing them from listening to Classic FM. While the instructions may also work for people located outside the UK, it is the responsibility of the reader to ensure that they are not breaking any laws of their country by listening, and that any royalties due are paid.
Update 11 June 2006:
To listen, open the following URL in your media player:
For example, if you use Windows Media Player, go to File > Open URL, then enter that address.
Listening via a proxy
If the above URL doesn’t wory for you, you could try listening via an anonymous proxy server located in the UK. A list of these may be found on the Great Britain (UK) Open Proxy List. Note that sometimes servers on this list are not in the UK as claimed, and that others won’t allow audio to be streamed via them. At the time of writing, 220.127.116.11 (port 80) appears to suit our purposes.
I don’t endorse the use of Microsoft products by any means, but I’ll assume most people are using Windows Media Player (WMP). The principles remain the same whatever media player you are using.
In Windows Media Player, go to Tools > Options… > Network. You should then see “Streaming proxy settings”. Select “HTTP” and click “Configure”. Choose “Use the following proxy server” then enter the IP address and port number of the proxy given above.
Now you are ready to listen. Go to File > Open URL and enter the following address: http://mediasrv.musicradio.com/classicfm
The station should now start playing!
There are several things that can go wrong. The proxy might be down, in which case you won’t be able to connect. Latency is another problem: the extra stage of using a proxy might cause interruptions to the stream. If you have problems, try using a different proxy, or tweaking settings in WMP such as the buffer size.
Please feel free to leave a comment if you have any problems, or if you have any listening tips to share.