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 1 to 20

  1. Jeff


    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.


  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 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.


  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.

  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):
    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 ( and it worked. Good Luck!

  8. John C


    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

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


  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.


    Clearly, I don’t have a British IP


    Many thanks

  11. Ken

    Has anyone been able to listen to either of these addresses with a Audiotron player?



  12. Eileen

    I have tried all over the ‘net (including leaving a messge on the Classic FM website!) to get this URL address for my music system – I’d not before have believed how difficult it is to get this sort of inofrmation! I am very grateful to you for supplying the address I needed! Many thanks!

  13. Eileen

    I’ve just read Ken’s message – I am now sucessfully (thanks to this site!) playing Classic FM through my Sonos system (could be similar to the Audiotron) using Don’t know if this helps!

  14. Del Dickson

    Thank you very, very much for helping me re-connect to classicfm here in sunny California. I had to play around with your instructions for awhile, but finally got the following combination to work.

    I opened up my Windows Media Player preferences (I have a Mac) and using the list of UK proxy settings you provided a handy link to, I set the proxy and port settings to:

    port: 3127

    With that, your classicfm player url address worked like a charm:

    Thank you again. You really did a great public service for those of us who enjoy listening to classicfm.

  15. Del Dickson

    Update: The connection is somewhat unstable and usually drops after a half hour or more. I can reconnect a couple of times and then I am usually blocked from listening. Changing to a new proxy address lets me back in.

    Currently I am alternating between and .243, both using port 3127. It is easy to alternate between these two settings, but it is mildly irritating to have to go through these gymnastics every couple of days.

    If anyone comes up with a more stable solution I would be happy to hear about it. Likewise, if I figure out something that works better I will post it here.

  16. Peter

    Not sure what player you use. If it’s Windows media just go File -> open URL and enter

    If you use Winamp enter making sure WMA has been added in the Winamp preferences as a recognice file extension.


  17. Del Dickson

    Peter– Thank you for the help. Your addresses don’t work for me unless I use a UK proxy server, so the instability I noted above remains the problem. But thank you for the suggestions– much appreciated.

    I did see that Classic FM is now offering a pay-for-play service through Real Media for listeners outside the UK, but it looks like it only works for PC users, not Mac users, so that isn’t an option for me yet.

  18. Richard

    Thank you! I’ve been trying to figure out how to listen to my favourite London radio station ever since I moved to the US. I knew it was possible via a proxy server, but wasn’t able to find one which worked until now – the btopenworld one works well.


  19. Mat

    Richard Said on21 February 2007 at 5:44 am :
    I’ve been trying to figure out how to listen to my favourite London radio station ever since I moved to the US. …

    Thank you to all contributors here in this blog.
    Heart 106,2 is my favourite radio station, too.
    But I tried nearly all UK-based Proxies
    and all the links of the routing-services.

    Nothing ever worked. 🙁

    So, my only sad solution to this silly “licencing thing” is:
    Forget your UK-based webradio when you’re situated outside the UK.

    Listen to all the other cool webradio stations around the world, instead.

    When you loved to listen to Heart 106,2 FM in the UK, try for example one of the stations of

    I loved to listen to the Heart 106,2, when I was cruising around London and Southend-on-sea. If the UK music industry doesn’t want their music to be spread around the world via the internet, something seems wrong.

  20. Mike

    Jonathan – you are brilliant!

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