Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

BBC Radio Player and Linux

13th November 2007

It’s been a while since I mentioned anything that might be aurally related and then this rears its head. The Xine plugin beloved by the instance of Firefox on my Ubuntu box simply refuses to play ball with the BBC’s Listen Again feature; 6Music shows are what I am trying to catch later. RealPlayer is on the system, but Firefox simply refuses to locate it. On its own, it plays live radio from the BBC and Ireland’s Today FM but, unless I need to do some digging, that’s not much use for Listen Again. It may be some hard-wiring done by Canonical as part of their packaging of Firefox: might be related to their preference for Free Software. If I can be bothered, I might replace it with the usual version to see if RealPlayer can be picked up: I do seem to remember reading somewhere that this was a possibility…

Yes, I could use one of my Windows VM’s but I have found another way courtesy of openSUSE 10.3. No, I haven’t changed distro but the reason that openSUSE has made a sudden appearance on this blog in recent times has got to do with my acquiring a copy of the latest issue of Linux Magazine. It came emblazoned with a DVD containing both 32-bit and 64-bit variants of openSUSE’s latest version and, wanting to take a look at how KDE appears these days, I knocked up a VM and installed the 32-bit variant thereupon.

Unexpectedly, that has afforded a Linux solution to my BBC Radio Player conundrum. openSUSE’s Firefox instance can find RealPlayer once you have it installed. That process involves a spot more work than if it was Free Software: you need to add an extra software repository to YaST (openSUSE’s configuration utility). The breadcrumb trail is YaST -> Software -> Software Repositories and hitting the Add button fires up a wizard that needs the following settings to set things up as needed:

Protocol: http

Server Name:

Directory on server: /distribution/10.3/repo/non-oss/suse/

Authentication: anonymous

Once the new repository was set up (I named it Non-OSS), I found the RPM and YaST took care of the rest. So, what started out as an exercise in curiosity has now found a use. Network traffic may cause playback to stutter but I have what I want without once starting up Windows. Sorting out Ubuntu may happen but it is a lesser priority and I don’t want to disrupt my computing environment in any event.

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