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The Curious Case of Clear Channel

Playing Clear Channel stations can be a problem. There are a number of different reasons for this.

The fundamental problem is that Clear Channel impose a number of checks at their end before allowing direct streaming to an internet radio. If you are located outside the USA then the stream will NOT play.

The official way in is via a URL in this form:

[WWW]http://www.620kpoj.com/cc-common/ondemand/player.html?world=st

The station provides the host name - then it links to a set of standard Clear Channel pieces (starting from cc-common).
When the URL is accessed the Clear Channel code performs a check to see where you are trying to connect from (GeoIP lookup).
For most stations - typically the regular broadcast channels - if you are not in USA then you will be blocked.

The same sequence happens when an internet radio tries to connect.

The connection process then changes depending on what you are using to connect:

If you use a regular web browser then you will be taken to a Flash-based player.
If you are using a Reciva radio then the station should start playing - because of some integration that has been done in the background between Reciva and Clear Channel.

This special integration is only triggered if the station comes from the Reciva database (via the regular database access or via "My Stations".

If you try to add the stream URL to "My Streams" then it will probably not work - because it will not trigger the special code.

If the ClearChannel streaming conditions aren't met (i.e. you aren't in the US, or your radio firmware is too old) then the stations will simply not appear in the menu.

In theory at least, if you are being offered those stations then they ought to be playable. Then, any radio will work so long as it is running v257-a-865-a-xx or newer firmware.

Notes:

Many US based radio owners who have experienced issues with Clear Channel Stations, have had success after making a configuration change to their firewalls. In essence, this requires the removal of the 'MMS' block rule on the Application Layer Gateway in the router firewall. This is often not as scary as it sounds and generally will be nothing more than ticking a box marked 'MMS' on the Application Layer Gateway screen. As not all firewalls are configured the same you should read the screen and set MMS accordingly. If the screen is a list of allowed protocols, then the item should be ticked. If the screen is a list of blocked protocols, the item should be unticked.

Not all firewalls will have this option, but it would appear that many USA-based users who have issues listening to Clear Channel stations, do.

However, before making changes to your firewall you need to check that the firewall is the most likely culprit. You should try and play several Clear Channel stations. EG KIIS, KOST, KFI, WIHT, WFLA . If they all fail then, assuming you are in the USA and are not being geoblocked (go to the stations website and try to play using the Listen Live option to find out), you should consider your firewall as the most likely reason for your problems.

On a more general note, if your router/firewall maintains logs then it is always worth checking them for an indication as to what the problem may be.

There are ways and means to obtain a working CC radio url via other third-party systems. If you obtain one of these working urls, please DO NOT attempt to add the stream to the official Reciva database. This probably will duplicate an existing 'official' stream and will cause problems if the alternative stream ceases to work. Alternative CC streams should be added to your personal My Streams list.

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