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:
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, (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:
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 21 to 34

  1. terry stride

    You will find that Campus FM rebroadcasts cLassic FM most of the day

  2. terry stride

    Better connection

  3. Will

    Is there an mp3, ogg, pls, or m3u stream of Classic FM that can been listened to outside the UK? I have a device that won’t allow Windows Media streams like .asx or .asf. PLEASE HELP!!!

  4. Robert Heitler

    I have been unable to get through to classic fm, even with your ideas. Do you have any new ones? Without out classic fm the only culture and good taste seems to be yoguret with friut in it.

  5. Terry Stride

    I have found that you can listen to all the UK broadcaste via satellite if you are in Europe, all you need is a digibox off ebay and a satellite dish pointing to the Astra Satellite on 28.2, then you are in business, you will find all the Radio listing that you should be able to pick up on just look at free to air. there is also a lot of usful information on the website “digital spy” just look in there forums under satelliite/ freesat hope this helps

  6. Pete Hunt

    I live in Honduras, Central America and have a Honduras ISP and IP address (and no proxy settings). I connected to and did a search for Classic FM. A click on the link and Classic FM was streaming through Windows Media Player. So maybe the restrictions have been lifted ??

  7. Pete Hunt

    An addition to my last post – Heart 106.2 works perfectly too!

  8. Bill & Dorothea King


    You have a great web site. I have bookmarked you and will visit regularly. We have only recently discovered ClassicFM, and for a month have been listening nearly non-stop. Then, today, suddenly……..nothing!

    It looks like they found us! An out of the country IP address (Germany.) I had no idea they worked this way, since their sign-up lists every country in the world in the drop-down menu.

    We find it unbelievable in today’s world of blogcasts, iTunes broadcasts, etc., that we are locked out of listening to the UK’s Classic FM! I can listen to radio stations from all over the world on my computer here. Without your web site’s explanation, it would never have occurred to us that the location of our IP address made ClassicFM no longer available to us.

    Thanks for your help. Keep up the good work! The Kings in Heidelberg

  9. David Treacy

    I have difficulty in getting Classic Fm in my sisters Co Dublin home which is 700 feet above sea leavel. The fm band is so jammed up with junk stations, that it is a nightmare. Reciantly a friend from Belfast told me that The DAB radio service is going to be improved in the next year or so, and that Classic FM, BBC Radio 3 and 4 etc will become available all over Ireland. I fear that this is too good to be true!
    It is great to be able to vote on each piece of Classic Fm music, but a computer with a broad band connection is not very portable.
    David Treacy
    Castletown Co Laois.

  10. Nigel

    I think it’s time for a serious international review of copyright, patent & licence restrictions – Not only are overseas people prevented from listning to UK radio, but I assume I in the UK am prevented from listning to fascinating radio from overseas. (Part of the problem is that copyright is granted for far too long).

    Radio used to be an international medium. Back in the days when mediom wave (AM) was more common, the BBC used to publish the schedule of forighen stations in the “Radio Times” (UK’s main listings mag) – there was an encouragement to listen to overseas radio.

    Then FM came along, with shorter coverage range, but much better quality, and most people only listened to ther local/national stations.

    With the web we (should) have the best of both worlds, international radio (TV too in the future perhaps) with good quality. But as usual it’s the copyright & patent lawyers who have to spoil it all for us.

    I’ve often wondered why copyright extends to 70yrs after the creator’s death but patents only last for 5-20yrs (10years seems enough for both to me)


  11. paul curuthers

    Unable to get classic fm out here in 1930s ireland it breaks up on satellite can get the dear old bbc radio 2 but not classic, the irish are not into classic music or for that matter culture. help.

  12. Terry Stride

    You might try adjusting your sat dish, its may be a little off beam. works fine here in Malta

  13. Ken

    Hi Jonathan,
    I don’t know if you still update this page. Seems a while since anyone added to it but it has been a fave of mine for the past 5 or 6 years.

    Until recently, I have used to acces CFM from all over the world, most recently from China. Until a week ago or so and it suddenly stopped working for me. I can still access it through the website but would rather stream it through windows media player.

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  14. Jonathan

    I have now posted an update on the Classic FM streams as of April 2012. Please post any future comments on that article.

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