Classic FM and overseas listeners

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:
http://gcap5.planetwideradio.com/ClassicFM
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, 213.177.255.60 (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.

34 responses to “Classic FM and overseas listeners”

Showing comments 1 to 10

  1. Jeff

    Jonathan,

    Thank you very much for all the info. It is a pleasure to be able to listen to Classic FM again. It’s like having an old friend back again.

    Jeff

  2. John FJ

    I am so grateful! I read your help and within a minute I had got Classic FM back again! I thought it had gone for ever, and I was as heartbroken as the dozens of other overseas listeners. It is indeed like an old friend, and it has brought the colour back to my life. (I am a UK citizen and live in Germany)

  3. Peter

    Dear Jonathan,
    Thankfully, I just discovered your articles and the subsequent correspondence on the Classsic FM difficulty, with a hopeful Google search. I was shocked and dismayed after recently finding the reference to overseas streaming on the Classic FM website! I am a New Zealander, about to repatriate, and I was looking forward to tuning in to Classic FM when I get home, having become “addicted” to the station over the past two years. I am encouraged by the developments recorded in your newsletter. Presumably, the same techniques described will work in NZ? I would be grateful for anyone’s experience on the NZ situation regarding Classic FM

  4. John Shannon

    Hi Jonathan

    You helped me to listen to Classic FM for a few more weeks. Today when I clicked on the http://gcap5.planetwideradio.com/ClassicFM address I got an immediate white page with the nfollowing message:

    The page cannot be displayed
    Explanation: The Web server connection was closed.

    Try the following:

    * Refresh page: Search for the page again by clicking the Refresh button. The timeout may have occurred due to Internet congestion.
    * Check spelling: Check that you typed the Web page address correctly. The address may have been mistyped.
    * Access from a link: If there is a link to the page you are looking for, try accessing the page from that link.
    * Contact website: You may want to contact the website administrator to make sure the Web page still exists. You can do this by using the e-mail address or phone number listed on the website home page.

    Technical Information (for support personnel)

    * Error Code 64: Host not available
    * Background: The connection to the Web server was lost.

    Something tells me the game is really up this time. What a pity.

    John

  5. Lori

    Hi Jonathan,
    I live in Fort Myers Florida and a friend in Wales suggested I listen to Classic FM (UK) about 2 years ago. Ever since, I have LOVED having their station on my computer all day! I cannot connect anymore either. DAMN!
    I have all my exotic birds listening to it too. We sure will miss it.
    DO YOU HEAR US, CLASSIC FM EXECUTIVES????

  6. Jonathan

    This week, the “planetwideradio” server appears to have been taken offline. The following URLs can be used instead (you should be able to open them directly in your media player):
    http://mediasrv-the.musicradio.com/ClassicFM
    http://mediasrv-sov.musicradio.com/ClassicFM
    These reportedly work outside the UK too.

  7. Ed

    I ran into the same problem starting on October 2nd (I live in the states). Yesterday, I tried the REAL RADIO web url (http://audio.musicradio.com/classicFM.asx) and it worked. Good Luck!

  8. John C

    Jonathon,

    The post code option finally failed for me in the last few days – I could no longer get through to a field to put in a postcode. Fortunately, both of the links you put up on 4 October work for me in Dublin.

    Thanks, John C 24 October.

    PS I can get Classicfm on my radio when driving near the border with Northern Ireland. Should I contact Classicfm to see if I owe them royalties??? 🙂

  9. Grace

    hi,
    So I’ve tried the link to Classic FM, but seems sometimes my internet is poor. Anyways, thanks!

    Cheers,
    grace

  10. Yigal

    Hi Jonathan,

    I live in Israel. I used to live in London. Ever since, I have LOVED having KISS 100 fm on my computer all day! I cannot connect anymore either.

    THEIR WEB SITE IS http://WWW.TOTALKISS.COM

    Clearly, I don’t have a British IP

    Please……..Help

    Many thanks

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