How do I listen to a New Zealand radio station across the internet?
- Date added:
- Thursday, 21 August 2008
- Last revised:
There are a number of ways that you can listen to audio streams. Before starting, it's probably important that you have the latest version of QuickTime installed as well as the free plugin for QuickTime on a Mac called Flip4Mac now licensed by Microsoft. This plugin replaces the Windows media Player that has been killed off on the Mac. Whilst there are some other formats that radios are streamed in, most will be in in QuickTime or Windows Media format. This 'Quick Tip' does not cover radio stations that stream their audio in Real Player format.
The following approaches are in order of the easiest/most effective to the more complex.
Approach 1 - The NZMac.com Radio Widget
Not to put too fine a point on it, but the easiest way to listen to streamed radio stations on your Mac is with the cool new NZMac.com Radio Widget, which you can download right here . Just download, unzip and install (just keep double-clicking on whatever file you see on your Mac until it asks you if you want to install the widget) and select the radio station you want to listen to from the pop-up menu. Help for the widget can be accessed from the back of the widget.
Approach 2 - Listen via their website
The second option is to use your web browser to listen to the radio station's audio stream. Let's use Safari and the Radio New Zealand website as an example. All you need to do with the Radio New Zealand website (www.radionnz.co.nz) is go to the site and look for the streaming audio icon.
When you click this section of the Radio New Zealand site, a small window pops up, letting you choose which channel to listen to. In the image below, you can see that we are clicking on the "National Radio" channel.
Provided you have QuickTime and the Flip4Mac plugin installed, Safari should load the radio station and begin to play it.
Approach 3 - Listen using VLC
VLC is a free cross-platform (Mac, Windows etc) multimedia player that can play the streams of many radio stations. The first thing you need to do is go to their website (www.videolan.org) and download and install the software.
Before you go any further, we need to take a step back to the last approach. Remember in the second suggested approach you ended up with the stream playing in your Safari web browser? Well, do that process again and this time, select the final URL (web address) that appears in the web browser (as shown in the last image of Approach 2) and copy the address. Now launch the VLC player and go to the "File" menu and select "Open Network..." In the window that appears, paste the URL mentioned earlier into the "URL" text area as you can see in the image below and click "OK".
You should find that VLC then starts to stream the radio station when you press the 'Play' button for you as you can see in the image below (don't be concerned if the web address displayed is slightly different to the one you entered).
Approach 4 - Movies for iTunes
All the approaches mentioned on this page came about through a discussion in the discussion forum. The NZMac.com Radio Widget is an attempt to making streaming radio for NZ Mac users as simple as possible, but one of the first topics of discussion was how to get radio stations listed in iTunes. The following process is perhaps the least easy of the recommended approaches. The short answer is that you can't have NZ radio stations listed in iTunes. But we discovered a workaround that allows you to make small reference movie files, which you can then drag into iTunes and play.
Although these movie files will not be listed in the radio section of iTunes they will be listed in the play area. By selecting one of the movies files (which we supply 4 files/stations for you) you should be able to listen to one of the stations within iTunes. If you want to have access to a different station, have a read of the discussion forum conversation, as it explains (via a link to another site) how to create these reference files. First, you need to download and unzip this file, which was kindly supplied by NZMac.com forum user Macron1. Once you unzip the files, you need to have iTunes open. Select all 4 files and drag these onto iTunes to have them imported into iTunes (note, you may need to set iTunes to import songs automatically for this to happen). They should now appear in iTunes, listed in the music section. You can see National Radio's reference movie in the image below.
By click on this station listing in your playlist and then pressing the 'Play' button in iTunes, the radio station should stream through iTunes.
If you want to make sure that on other occasions when you are listening to music, that iTunes doesn't suddenly start playing a radio station, just untick the track in the playlist screen as you see here below.