HTML5 – what you need to know

Streaming used to be painful. There were 100 different types of players – some needed special applications or plugins, some only worked on some types of computers, some required special decoders that required breaking patent rights.

In 2016, 2/3rds of streaming is now on mobile devices – laptops, tablets, smart phones and the like. The incompatibilities were a major problem.

The solution is HTML5, which is now built into all current browsers. The technical details of how a stream starts is handled by a negotiation between the browser and the streaming service.

There is only one of the big streaming providers that does not have an HTML5 implementation – Securenet Systems. I told them about a year ago that I could no longer recommend them to a radio station owner because of the lack of an Html5 solution. They provide mobile support (only if the station pays for it) by creating custom made apps with one station per app. That’s unworkable. People are not going to load 30 radio apps on their smartphone.

Iheart is an exception – while it requires downloading an app, that one app has over 1,000 US based radio stations, not just those owned by iHeartmedia.

Shortly, I will start removing support for non-HTML5 compatible streams. I had already made that the semi official position.

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7 Responses to HTML5 – what you need to know

  1. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    I believe iHeart is the only legitimate place where you can listen to Rush Limbaugh podcasts without a paid subscription on Rush’s website. There are some “pirate” sites that record talk radio shows and offer them with commercials as podcasts but these may or may not have the permission of the content owner. iHeart likely does have permission. As I posted this week, iHeart also carries a couple dozen non-commercial college and NPR stations.

    There are other phone apps for talk radio, NPR and single stations. Tunein has an app but I recommend avoiding it – it is loaded with pre-stream commercials and popups and user fees – in my opinion, it is bad news.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Without a doubt, those sites are unauthorized. Art Bell and Phil Hendrie made it a full time job to shut fan sites down.

      People who signed on with IHeart (Cumulus comes to mind) realized that between the specialized streaming only channels and promotion of iHeart’s own stations, letting iheartradio do your streaming was basically turning over your P1 listeners for free – in addition to giving Iheart analytics on your listeners. The Dickey brothers are not the sharpest knives in the drawer

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        Sounds like the Dickey brothers got forked. 😉

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        BTW- Those iHeart talk radio “podcasts” on their “podcast” menu do not seem to really be podcasts – I have not figured out a way to download them so I can listen to them at 2x speed with my podcast app and also zap the commercials.

        Instead, these podcasts seem to just be “audio on demand” where you can stream and pause the show as you wish, but need to be connected to the “cloud” (formerly known as the “internet”).

  2. briand75 says:

    Also the latest attempt to standardize browser behavior. We will see if this is worthwhile.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      It also is designed to kill flash animations. Adobe Flash has had one major security flaw after another. Because it is ubiquitous (except on Apple devices), it is a target rich environment for hackers. Flash can’t die fast enough.

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