Saturday, May 02, 2009

Tutorial Part I: How to play Internet radio on your PocketPC

I have been searching for a way to play internet radio on my Windows Pocket PC for sometime now. After trying out some of the popular commercial players like Resco Pocket Radio, Pocket Tunes, Kinoma player etc.), I have finally settled on a free software called GSPlayer (short for Green Software Player). The problem with GSPlayer though, is that it does not have any documentation. It took me a lot of trial and error and scouring through multiple user forums to finally figure a way to efficiently listen to internet radio stations. The two that helped a little were Bloggerbase and mobilitySite.

I have created this blog to help simplify this for you. There are three steps to it

  1. Installing GSPlayer on your Pocket PC
  2. Getting the Internet Radio Stations of your choice from the web
  3. Creating a playlist of these radio stations on your GSPlayer

1. Installing GSPlayer on your Pocket PC

Installing GSPlayer on your PocketPC is the easiest of the three steps. Here is the Link to get the latest Player. The zip file is available to download (separate for touch-screen and non-touchscreen windows mobiles) and contains both a .CAB file that can be installed directly to your PPC and an .EXE file that you can use to install through your desktop and ActiveSync.

2. Getting the Internet Radio Stations from the web

There are multiple ways to do this. You can either get the exact URL of the radio stream from the publisher or download the playlist (.pls extension). I have tried the following two sites

  • PDA Tuner - Requires you to subscribe to their site for full access. It has PDA friendly version of their site and some of the streams will play through native Windows Media Player on your PPC
  • ShoutCast - Does not require registration and seem to have a bigger collection of free radio stations. Though, I could not find a PDA friendly version of the site and found the desktop version very cumbersome to select and navigate through various genres.

For GSPlayer, the following steps describe how to import an internet radio astation from ShoutCast. The GSPlayer should have been already installed on your PPC with appropriate 'Options' (to be covered in Part-II of the tutorial).

  1. Step 1- Go to ShoutCast from your PocketPC browser.
  2. Step 2- Browse the genre or search to narrow down on the station you want to listen to
  3. Step 3- Click on the 'Tune In' button
  4. Step 4- A new browser window will open with the default, in-browser ShoutCast player at the top left in this window. Based on your browser, the ShoutCast player may not be visible in your PPC. Opera or IE will not show the player but you should be able to see it in SkyFire browser. Regardless of your browser, you should be able to see the option to "Listen in Winamp or OtherPlayer" below the ShoutCast player place. Click on that button
  5. Step 5- In the new browser window that opens, select the second option, "Play in your Default Media Player" and click on "Save".
  6. Step 6 - Go back to the station you wanted to play. Now clicking on the 'Tune In' button will download a .pls file that should play in your GSPlayer by default.

3. Creating a playlist of radio stations on your GSPlayer

I will cover this in part II of this tutorial; in a separate blog.


Unknown said...

Superb - I tried and failed before I learnt the trick from you. Don't think much of Skyfire sadly though. Top stuff!

surendramuddu said...

you are really great
kudos keep it up