[Bug 34175] Broken internet radio playlist handling

Gabriel Bauman gbauman at gmail.com
Thu Mar 9 04:11:47 GMT 2006

Public bug reported:

Affects: rhythmbox (Ubuntu)
       Severity: Normal
       Priority: (none set)
         Status: Unconfirmed

This is an upstream problem affecting rhythmbox package

Right now, when a user clicks on a URL linked to a radio station's PLS
or M3U playlist file, the playlist appears to get downloaded by the
browser, and opened by Rhythmbox. Rhythmbox then makes an entry in its
Radio screen FOR EACH ENTRY in the playlist. This results in several
entries for the same radio station in Rhythmbox. Worse, radio stations
update their playlists to point to different streaming servers over
time, so all those entries get stale and stop working.

For a demonstration, click the following link and open it in Rhythmbox:
http://somafm.com/groovesalad.pls . You will get something like six entries in the station list for the same SomaFM station, all linked to different IPs. This is clearly wrong, since the IPs used by those entries may change in the future and the playlist is the only way to find out about such changes.

You can also see this problem if you use Music->New Internet Radio
Station. If you enter the URL of a .pls or .m3u file, you again get
multiple entries for radio stations that will expire over time.

The only way to get Rhythmbox to handle things properly is to
right click an existing internet radio station, select Properties,
Details tab, and change the Location to the URL of the playlist. This
appears to force Rhythmbox to reload the playlist on play, then pick the
first available stream, which ought to be the standard behaviour.

So, Rhythmbox needs to receive the URL of the playlist when a .PLS or
.M3U link is clicked, then associate that URL with a single entry in the
Radio screen. It should never keep the contents of a playlist cached
between listening sessions.

Another note: I mentioned this in #rhythmbox on GimpNet, and got the following response...
<neiras> Man... I really find the Internet Radio directory in annoying. Create a new Internet Radio feed, feed it a .pls location, and BOOM - six entries for different streams offered by the radio station
<neiras> There should be one entry for a station. IPs in PLS files can change, often.
<moch> anyway, yes, there are various annoyances in how we handle playlist files at the moment.  what we really need is to change the way stations are stored so we can handle multiple stream urls, but that would be quite difficult.
<neiras> Even if the multiple URLs aren't stored? The PLS file should really be downloaded every time the user goes to play the station, and the first working stream URL should be selected.
<neiras> You really only need to store the PLS url
<moch> there's some reason we stopped doing that, but I can't remember what it is.
<neiras> ayee
<moch> doctau might remember, but he seems to have vanished.

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