Classic FM streaming update

Digital Radio; photo by Stephen Martin, used under terms of a Creative Commons licenceEver since Classic FM’s owners made half-hearted attempts to stop overseas listeners from listening online a few years ago, people around the world have been listening quite happily to internet streams of the station. If the streams are accessed directly by URL, for example using a media player, there is no check of the listener’s location. However, even if they use the official player on the website, overseas residents need only to enter a valid UK postcode in order to listen, and those are not exactly top-secret.

In recent weeks, Classic FM has been advertising its website player, referring to it as “Radioplayer”. What is not obvious from those adverts is that Radioplayer is actually a collaboration by all the major national British radio stations – both the BBC and commercial stations – that allows them all to be accessed from a single site. I can only assume Classic FM don’t advertise this fact because they don’t want people to listen to other stations, although in that case, why did Global Radio participate in the project at all?

It appears that as part of the move to the Radioplayer platform, Classic FM’s internet streams have moved to new URLs, meaning that the links people have used for a long time no longer function. It is still possible for people around the world to listen online using Radioplayer. Some people have reported that this asks for a postode, but that should be easy enough to find.

However, many people find it more convenient to use a stream URL directly, rather than having to keep a browser window open in order to listen. This is still possible, as various streams still exist. In fact, far from trying to hide these away, Global Radio have a page, albeit not a particularly public-facing one, that lists streams for their stations. There are three different streams for Classic FM, of different bitrates and formats. Each is also available either as a direct link to the raw stream, or as a playlist, meaning nine URLs in total: more than a little confusing!

The highest quality stream available is a 128kb/s MP3 stream. This will probably give better sound than the old streams. However, the higher bitrate means that overseas listeners may find the broadcast is interrupted as their connection struggles to keep up. This isn’t a case of Global Radio trying to stop foreign listerners from using it, but simply the fact that internet traffic is more likely to be delayed when it is travelling further. Some overseas listeners have already reported problems with this stream stopping after a few minutes, but in the UK I can listen to it without interruption for hours.

There are then two streams that use a lower bitrate of 48kb/s. These are likely to work better as they require less bandwidth. One stream is in AAC format and the other is MP3. The AAC stream should give higher quality sound as AAC uses more efficient compression than MP3. Therfore I only recommend people use the 48kb/s MP3 if they are unable to play the AAC stream or find it unreliable.

To summarise, in order of highest to lowest sound quality, the streams available are:

It is important to note that these link directly to raw streams, which your browser may try to download if you click on them. Such a download may never complete as the stream should continue indefinitely! You can open them in a media player, though, by choosing “Open URL” or similar from the player’s menu.

For access from a web browser, each stream has a corresponding playlist URL. This should tell your PC that it needs to use a media player in order to open the actual stream. Two playlist formats are available: M3U and XSPF. It is easy to form URLs for these playlists. Simply add .m3u or .xspf to the above. So for the highest quality MP3 stream, the M3U URL is

and the M3U URL for the AAC stream, which is probably the best bet for overseas listeners, is:

I’m sure you have the idea by now, if you require a different format.

For completeness, there is one further set of streams available, although these are probably of limited use to the average listener. They are the streams used by Radioplayer. They use a protocol called RTMP, which most media players don’t support: RTMP is the protocol used by the Flash plugin. However, if you have a media player that does support this protocol, it may provide a more robust stream than using the HTTP streams above. The RTMP URLs are in the format:

  • rtmp://

That will give the AAC stream, but as before you can add “MP3” or “MP3LOW” to the end to obtain the other stream formats.

I hope this information will be of some use to Classic FM listeners from around the world, and will enable them to enjoy their favourite station from the comfort of their computers. Everything should also apply equally to the other stations listed on Global Radio’s page. Please leave comments below to let everyone know whether the streams work for you, and to ask for further help if needed.

39 responses to “Classic FM streaming update”

Showing comments 21 to 39

  1. Jonathan Rawle

    Thiru, try the following URL:

    This actually gives an AAC stream, so your receiver will need to handle that. Try it from your PC first (with “File > Open URL” in Media Player or similar), and if it works, try it on your wifi radio.

    There are suggestions online that the OXX Vantage supports AAC, but then I guess this is your comment:
    in which case you have already found your radio doesn’t support it. I have tried various file extensions on that URL and they all stream the same AAC data, so if you can’t play that I’m afraid you are out of luck.

  2. Bill

    Thank you Jonathan – I use a Mac and a free programme called FStream – which now works beautifully for Classic FM with .
    Happy New Year.

  3. Liz

    Plays fine through VLC media Player on Ubuntu.
    The RTMP stream is best by far, rtmp://

  4. Mandy

    Is there anyway of recording Listen Again shows within the 7 days they are available, on Classic FM. They had a Mozart Monday last this week and the programmes were all excellent. I would like to treasure two or three of the days shows but cannot find a way of recording them on my PC.

  5. Jonathan Rawle

    Your best bet is probably to capture the output from your PC’s sound card. This article has a few suggestions:

    Saving the Listen Again streams directly wouldn’t be trivial as they use some sort of chunked delivery.

    I should also add that the Listen Again programmes are, sadly, at rather a low bit-rate, so won’t sound as good as the live broadcast. It’s better to record the live programme if you can, although that doesn’t help after the event when you’ve heard an excellent show.

  6. Stephen P Dickey

    Classic FM Christmas can now be heard at

  7. Jonathan Rawle

    Thanks for that, Stephen. There’s too much Christmas music on the main Classic FM at the moment, ever since the start of the month. Why do they assume everyone wants to listen to Christmas music for the whole of December? A dedicated channel is a much better idea.

  8. Chris Pearton


    I could not agree more with your comment.

    If anyone knows of an avowedly Christmas-free broadcaster (apart, I suppose from CeltCast) I would love to hear about it.

    À propos Classic FM, I now find the adverts so irritating that I no longer listen to the station at all; is now my preferred background-music choice.

    Thank you, Jonathan, for a marvellous and enlightening blog.

  9. Ken

    Thank you
    This works perfect on Android with “MR Recorder”.
    This App can play and record Internet stations for free
    Now i can listen and record classisfm Tracks.
    Best regards

  10. Mark

    hi , this page helped me – almost eight years after you published.
    Thanks chap!

  11. Kursat Pekun

    links for Classic FM is much appreciated, we listen to this station from Turkey, Gallipoli. I was wondering have you got a similar m3u link for magic? I have the heart and smooth but cannot find the magic?

  12. Jonathan Rawle

    The MP3 stream for Magic is:

    If you need an M3U file specifically, you can use the one provided by RadioFeeds:

    EDIT: actually, that’s the London version of Magic. If you want the national version, change “1054” in the above to “national”.

  13. salter

    Thank you from a very happy listener from across the pond. Took us days to get back the ClassicFM stream after it ‘disappeared’ from the player we were using and for whatever reason the radioplayer will not work.

  14. Wolfgang

    …and big thanks from another very happy listener from The Continent. Obviously the stream is no longer available on sonos players (TuneIn), but direct input of the streaming URL fixed that.

  15. Ann

    I had been listening to Clasic FM on my Bose Soundtouch for years then it disappeared in December 2019. On contacting the station I was just told that it was a technical problem and they were working on it. TuneIn told me that the station was restricting access outside of the UK. Major sadness until I happened on this page today and with the correct streaming URL I have been able to link the station to my Bose as a custom station. Happiness!

    Ann in Canada

  16. George

    I live in France and I have listened to Classic FM on my Philips Streamium radio for over ten years. But now, although the logo appears, nothing happens. Classic FM has given me no help. I can listen to all BBC radio stations and other radio stations around the world. It is the radio that seeks the stream over which I seem not have any control. Can anyone help me? Thank you

  17. Dan

    Amazing. Im one of few UK peeps that prefers the direct stream link to play in my chosen player.

  18. duncan

    Thanks for this information….just writing an Android radio player app with my favourite stations. Very lightweight and simple…but missed my Classic Fm. used the 128 bit stream as of today 01/12/2022 and it is still working

  19. Tasha

    2023 and this page is still valuable. Thank you very much. Our old direct link stopped working and my device has an issue with the global player. Love the stream direct link.

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