Old 17th July 2007, 21:40   #1
Greg_E
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iTunes and pls or asx files

I know iTunes will open a .pls, but I have another question (which may not have an answer). We have two streams, one an AAC+ stream, the other MP3 stream. With Winamp I can put both streams into the playlist, and if the first (AAC+) is full, it will roll over to the second (MP3). The only reason to have the MP3 stream is so that WMP and itunes (L)users can connect and not have to download any codecs or software.

So here comes the question (and yes I have searched a little, but might need to do more searching)... Is there a way to write the pls file so that iTunes can be directed to play the second stream (MP3) when the first does not work? Would this also work for WMP?

Can I do this with an .asx file for either of these players?

I'm trying to make something that is "user proof" so that iTunes and WMP users will be able to clearly and easily find a link that works on our (finally!) up coming web page. So if I can put some intelligence into an asx or pls file to handle errors, that might get the job done most easily.

Any good in depth links that deal with writing pls and asx files would be welcome. Thanks.
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Old 17th July 2007, 21:53   #2
Greg_E
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OK, solved it for WMP.

I just put the second stream in the asx file right under the first. An error box comes up asking if I want to try and play the first stream, when it can't WMP goes to the second stream and plays fine. Now if only iTunes was so smart.

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 17th July 2007, 21:54   #3
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I would assume if iTunes have a playlist file, and it didn't support the format of the first link it would move to the second, but that is assuming a lot from Apple. And I don't think iTunes supports ASX either.

Playlist files are just a list of things to be played, nothing more. They are dumb, you can't add any logic to it.

probably the easiest way is to creat thee sepereate playlists and put it on your page.

Listen Live:
Winamp, Windows Media Player, iTues.

Winamp has the PLS file with AAC+ and MP3, Windows Media is the ASX file and iTunes is the PLS with just the MP3 stream.

| Brought to you by ^V ^C | The one... the original... no seriously!
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Old 17th July 2007, 22:22   #4
Greg_E
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It actually works pretty well for WMP with the .asx file (didn't try it with the pls file associated to WMP). Here's what it can look like:

code:

<ASX version="3">
<Entry>
<ref href="icyx://supermix.sunyocc.edu:8000" />
<ref href="http://supermix.sunyocc.edu:8002" />
</Entry>
</ASX>


If you are using Windows, make sure to uninstall the Orban plug-in to see what happens.

iTunes can read both pls and asx, but it hangs when it hits the AAC+ stream. If you select the second stream and push the play button, it is happy again. Since Windows at least handles the problem with some amount of grace, I have to applaud, that's one up on APPLE!

BTW I'm using the newest incarnation of iTunes, downloaded last week to see if anything changed... It still sucks, but it's popular.

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 18th July 2007, 03:43   #5
Greg_E
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Finally found some good info on .asx files:
http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa385262.aspx

(mostly a place holder so I can print this stuff at work)

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 18th July 2007, 16:56   #6
Greg_E
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BTW, the information at the above link is really very good. The only downside is the method to get that information. Printing the pages takes hours this way, and now I have to read everything.

Light at the end of the tunnel, there may be a way to make WMP handle the two streams without the error message. That way if the Orban plug-in isn't installed, it automatically goes to the second mp3 stream. I'm hoping that iTunes is smart enough to do the same.

#2 BTW, the .asx files are based on a loose form of XML, so it could be possible to do a lot of cool things with them.

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 19th July 2007, 14:08   #7
OCSDRadio
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Thanks for these resources Greg, I finally got a good WMP link up from the asx code you supplied, much appreciated.
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Old 19th July 2007, 17:02   #8
Greg_E
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Did you check out all the cool graphics and stuff you can put up with it? You can (possibly) put up some real good station "image" stuff with WMP. The orban plug-in may allow a few more options too.

Linking album art and a buy it now button on a web page is just a small step away, and for a commercial station it could provide some decent revenue. For the non profit stations it might help to keep you going. It would also show the real value of net radio to the bean counters at RIAA, since it would show exactly how much money can be sent their way through album sales (not through licensing fees).

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 19th July 2007, 17:21   #9
OCSDRadio
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greg_E
Did you check out all the cool graphics and stuff you can put up with it? You can (possibly) put up some real good station "image" stuff with WMP. The orban plug-in may allow a few more options too.

Linking album art and a buy it now button on a web page is just a small step away, and for a commercial station it could provide some decent revenue. For the non profit stations it might help to keep you going. It would also show the real value of net radio to the bean counters at RIAA, since it would show exactly how much money can be sent their way through album sales (not through licensing fees).
Where can I find out how to customize the link? I did a little searching today at work and was able to add in a couple extra lines to the .asx file like "Author" and some other tags. I love how my station sounds through WMP, for some reason it sounds better then ever on 96k.
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Old 19th July 2007, 19:00   #10
Greg_E
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If you have the time, wade through that link on the MSDN above. It literally took me somewhere between 2 and 3 hours to get the stuff that I have, which is most of the .asx info.

I did send feedback to MSDN about the difficulty of gaining the information that I wanted, a single complete PDF of the WMP SDK would have been better, then I could have printed the chapters that I needed. The information above is very clear and concise it just takes forever to wade through. If you want to link to the store, you will have to read the next few chapters concerning the store, not a project that I long to do. There must be a nice printed book somewhere that goes through all this stuff, maybe I'll have to write one.

Wonder if there is something similar for iTunes, I'll have to check.

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 19th July 2007, 19:33   #11
OCSDRadio
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Quote:
Originally posted by Greg_E
If you have the time, wade through that link on the MSDN above. It literally took me somewhere between 2 and 3 hours to get the stuff that I have, which is most of the .asx info.

I did send feedback to MSDN about the difficulty of gaining the information that I wanted, a single complete PDF of the WMP SDK would have been better, then I could have printed the chapters that I needed. The information above is very clear and concise it just takes forever to wade through. If you want to link to the store, you will have to read the next few chapters concerning the store, not a project that I long to do. There must be a nice printed book somewhere that goes through all this stuff, maybe I'll have to write one.

Wonder if there is something similar for iTunes, I'll have to check.
Thanks for all the information, I was having alot of problems creating .asx files until I came to this thread so thanks for clearing all this up for me. I'll skim through those docs even though they do look like a long read.
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Old 19th July 2007, 21:14   #12
Greg_E
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The read isn't too long, just the interface to get to the information. Even the pages were loading super slow for me, which is odd coming from a Microsoft server. There were also several server mini-crashes during that time, so that might explain the speed.

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 5th May 2009, 17:49   #13
Greg_E
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Not sure what happened to it, but my prints of this stuff are now gone.. What a drag!

Your mileage may vary!
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Old 19th July 2011, 15:33   #14
piloro
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Hi Greg_E, hi everybody,
I realized that this was long time ago but.. Did you find a solution to this?
I'm in the same situation: I created a playlist with 2 streaming links, but with Itunes the player just stops when the first stream stops, even if the second stream is on.

I don't know the behaviour of other players than itunes, winamp and vlc. The problematic one seems to be itunes.

If the solution lies in the playlist type, which is at the end the best one?
asx, pls... m3u?
Or.. the trick is in the way the list inside is written?

Any help?
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