Audio Help

WBUR offers audio in a variety of formats.   If you are new to listening online, here are a few points to help you get started.

1. Get a Player

To play audio on a computer you need a media player installed.  Check your computer to see if you have one of the media players below.  If not select one of the players below or another of the dozens of players freely available on the Web and follow the instructions it gives you to install it on your computer.

Firewalls and Networking issues:   Our shoutcast stream is your best bet if listening from work (it uses port 80, the same port used for web surfing).

2. Our Streams

WBUR streams its signal over the internet in three different formats or “codecs”:

  1. Mp3 stream – Our simple, no frills mp3 medium-quality stream.  We recommend that you use this stream only if you are having trouble with our media player.
  2. AAC (iOS/iTunes) – This is a higher quality AAC stream which works especially well on Apple devices.  This is also the stream that you hear when you listen via our media player.
  3. Ogg Vorbis – the open source codec. Help with using Ogg Vorbis

You may have noticed that we have several buttons listed below each streaming option (m3u, pls, xspf, and wax).    Depending on the software player you use (winamp, itunes, vlc, quicktime, etc), you may need to try one or more files.   Once you find one that works, you can simply bookmark it for the future.

(See our Ways to Listen page for more ways to listen.)

3. Podcasting Basics

To podcast you need podcasting software on your computer.  You’ll set that software up to check for new audio from your favorite sources each time you turn your computer on.  If there’s something new from, say, On Point, the software will download it to your computer.  You can then play it on your computer when you feel like it, of plug your mp3 player into your computer and download the audio to your player.

So… what software do I need? Try Apple iTunes or search for one on

4. iPhone Apps and Tools

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