Here are the most common questions we hear about how to listen to RIPR online, and also some troubleshooting help!
(If you need help tuning in our FM broadcasts, click here!)
- With the iPhone app, I get odd warning messages about "this app will soon expire", what's the deal with that?
- How do I listen to the live webcast/stream online?
- I'm having trouble with the website's streaming audio player!
- I can listen fine via the app on cellphone data, but not on wifi. Why?
- I'm listening via a mobile device/smartphone, but it disconnects a lot - please help!
- I have an Amazon Echo / Alexa, how do I listen to RIPR?
- I have a Google Home and it won't play RIPR's webcast?
- I have a wifi radio, how do I listen to RIPR?
- What about those Sonos home wifi "radios"?
- I have another means of listening, but I need the direct URL of the stream!
- What are the tech specs of the RIPR webcast?
- How do I view the SnowCAM/SummerCAM?
- What's the difference between "listening in iTunes" vs "listening to iTunesRadio"?
- How do I listen to RIPR's podcasts?
- What's the deal with NPR One?
With the iPhone app, I'm getting weird error messages about the app expiring, or how it might slow down my iPhone. What's up with that?
Our old iPhone app was the very first public radio app, way back in 2008! But that means it's a 32-bit app, and Apple is ending all support of 32-bit apps with the release of iOS 11, slated for release later in summer 2017.
RIPR now has a new 64-bit iPhone app, and a custom Android app, too! Go get it today at the App Store or Google Play.
Don't like apps? You can always go to our website ripr.org using Safari (or whatever your preferred iPhone browser app is) and play the webcast straight from the website, too. Although you often can't "listen while the app is in the background" the way you can with our new app.
How do I listen to the live webcast/stream online?
- Desktop/laptop computer: every page at ripr.org has a horizontal blue-gray bar near the top of the page. Tap the triangular "play" button to listen.
- iPhone or Android phones: download our free app. Once installed, open the app and tap the PLAY button. You can listen while the app is "in the background" too!
- Windows phone: download the free TuneIn app, available in the Windows Marketplace. Once installed, open the app and search for "ripr". Tap our logo to listen.
I'm having trouble with the website's streaming audio player!
- We use StreamGuys to host our webcast, using the SGplayer.
- They have an excellent FAQ with links to several testing pages you can try for troubleshooting.
- Disable any AdBlock software on your browser, or at least whitelist the domains ripr.org and streamguys.com
- The SGplayer is HTML5-based, so your browser must be HTML5 compatible. You can test that here.
- And even though it is HTML5-based, updating your Flash may help with some problems. (make sure you uncheck any "optional" offers, like McAfee Security Scan, before you download the Flash update)
I can listen fine via the app on cellphone data, but not on wifi. Why?
It's possible that your wifi access point's firewall is blocking streaming on the port our webcasts use. Try this link instead, it streams on port 80 which is always open.
If it works, that's probably the reason. You can just use this stream from now on, or you can try and change the settings in the firewall to allow traffic on port 5590.
I'm listening via a mobile device/smartphone, but it disconnects a lot - please help!
- If you are using a smartphone, but are connected over wifi, turn wifi off. Or...
- ...if you're not on wifi, turn it on so you're connected using 3G/4G.
- The idea is to force the mobile device to use a different method of connecting to the internet, and see if that makes your streaming more/less reliable.
- If the streaming drops out much less, or much more, then you know whatever the problem is, it's related to your internet service.
- For example: let's say you're at home, and you've got Cox Cablemodem internet with wifi. And you're listening to RIPR via our app on an iPhone, but your iPhone has wifi turned ON. (a sensible decision!) If you happen to be standing in a part of the house that is physically far away from the Cox gateway (wifi access point), then your wifi signal might be weak, and that means poor internet. Poor enough that it might not be able to reliably deliver a streaming audio service like RIPR's webcast. To test this: turn wifi off and force the iPhone to use 3G or 4G (or 4G LTE) for its internet connection. If the streaming is then a lot more reliable on 3G/4G, then you know the wifi was the problem; you might need to only listen closer to the gateway. Or move the gateway to a more central location. Or purchase a wifi extender.
I have an Amazon Echo / Alexa, how do I listen to RIPR?
- The best way is to enable the RIPR Alexa Skill. This will make it easier to listen both to our live webcast, as well as our hourly local newscast, and podcasts of other shows like Political Roundtable or Scott MacKay's Commentary.
- To enable the skill, go to: alexa.ripr.org
- Sign in to your Amazon account associated with your Echo or Echo Dot, and click ENABLE.
- Then just speak the command: "Alexa, open Rhode Island Public Radio" and follow the voice prompts from there. More details are available in The Engineer's Corner.
I have a Google Home and it won't play RIPR's webcast?
- There is a known issue where Google Home will just mysteriously refuse to play certain live webcasts, especially those indexed via TuneIn (like RIPR, unfortunately). More info is here, here and here. Sometimes it will work for weeks or months, then stop. There is, as of this writing (6/22/17) no known fix.
- However, you can experiment with the voice commands to see if there's a specific phrase that works. Here's some suggestions: Start with "OK Google, play..."
- "...Rhode Island Public Radio"
- "...Eighty-eight point one F-M in Providence."
- "...One-oh-two point seven F-M in Narragansett."
- "...N-P-R in Rhode Island."
Update May 14, 2018: there seems to be a fresh round of RIPR listeners being affected by this, and a unifying theme is that their Google Home will open Latino Public Radio's webcast instead of RIPR's. We've drawn up a new Engineer's Corner on this with some specific vocal triggers you can try.
I have a WIFI RADIO, how do I listen to RIPR?
- Most have some sort of built-in search engine for finding webcasts: try searching on keywords "wrni" or "ripr", or maybe "rhode island".
- If that doesn't work, but your radio allows you to directly enter a URL, use this link: http://amber.streamguys.com:5590/riprdeskweb
- If neither of those works, and assuming you can successfully tune to other stations' webcasts, you may have an older generation wifi radio. Many of those relied on an online database from Reciva, which we have attempted to keep updated - but not every radio has the ability to receive updates. Put simply, your wifi radio might just not be able to receive the RIPR webcast, no matter what.
What about those Sonos home wifi "Radios"?
- Generally speaking we can't formally recommend a specific make/model of radio, wifi or otherwise. But we have heard from several listeners that the Sonos wifi radios work pretty well and are easy to use. In particular, the PLAY:3 for standalone listening, or CONNECT to be used as part of your existing stereo setup.
- Sonos gear works with TuneIN so search on keyword "RIPR" to find our stream. Or you can manually enter the direct URL (see below).
- Please note that RIPR cannot provide support for Sonos products (or any wifi radio). We don't even have one here so we can't directly vouch for them; only suggest them as a possibility.
I have another means of listening, but I need the direct URL of the stream.
- The main webcast is: http://amber.streamguys.com:5590/riprdeskweb
- The port 80 webcast is http://ripr-ice.streamguys1.com/riprdeskweb
- Or try the emergency backup webcast, too: http://220.127.116.11:8000/listen.pls
What are the tech specs of the RIPR webcast?
- We use a Telos Z/IP Stream R/1 to encode a two simultaneous 256 kbps mono feeds: one in Icecast MP3, the other in AAC-LC.
- Our webcast host, StreamGuys, transcodes the 256k stream into a 64kbps mono stream as well. Most of our webcasts play that; but iTunesRadio requires a 256kbps stream, too. There's no real difference in audio fidelity between the two.
- Your player will automatically detect and use the appropriate feed: AAC or MP3.
- The Z/IP Stream R/1 also brings Telos/Omnia's legendary audio processing into the unit, making our webcast sound quite good at a relatively low bitrate.
How do I view the SnowCAM/SummerCAM?
- Click this link: http://ripr.org/post/ripr-snow-cam
- The cam uses Wowza streaming technology, which should work on most computers and mobile devices.
- Usually the cam is aimed out the window of our newsroom/offices overlooking Kennedy Plaza in downtown Providence, but we may move it as circumstances change.
What's the difference between "listening in iTunes" vs. "listening to iTunesRadio"?
- Listening in iTunes: You can use iTunes to play music on your desktop/laptop computer, and even to play webcasts like RIPR's live stream, too. Press CTRL+U (CMD+U on Macs) and type in http://amber.streamguys.com:5590/riprdeskweb then press enter. Our stream will start playing after a few seconds of buffering.
- Listening to iTunesRadio: iTunesRadio is a specific service available in recent versions (Windows ver 18.104.22.168 or newer) of the iTunes software. Open iTunes and look along the center-top of the window for button that says RADIO. Click it, then click the big PLUS + sign to add your favorite station. Search on keyword "RIPR", and you'll see "NPR News - RIPR Rhode Island" will appear. Click it to add RIPR to your "My Stations". Then just click the RINPR logo in "My Stations" to start the webcast at any time after that.
- The Apple HomePod also makes use of iTunesRadio.
How do I listen to RIPR's podcasts?
- Podcasts let you automatically download audio files as soon as they're available, and then you can listen to them whenever you want!
- Go here to get the podcast links: http://ripr.org/rss
- Copy the appropriate link into your podcast aggregator (aka "podcatcher", like iTunes) to get the podcast.
- Our local podcasts include:
- Hourly Local Newscasts (updated 15 times daily between 5:30am and 6pm).
- Political Roundtable and Bonus Q&A (every Friday) with Ian Donnis, Scott MacKay & Maureen Moakley.
- Scott MacKay's Commentary (every Friday).
- This I Believe: RI (most Tuesdays) hosted by Frederic Reamer.
- Bill Gale's Performing Arts reviews (varies).
What's the deal with NPR One?
- Rhode Island Public Radio is no longer participating in the NPR One app.
- After working with NPR One for 18 months, the number of listeners using the app was too small to justify the time it took for RIPR staff to provide content for the app.