Old 5th August 2013, 15:39   #1
n2jtx
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HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) Support?

I had been listening to Music Choice through various URL's but recently they had a major makeover and are now using HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) instead of more traditional forms of streaming (this is an example URL: http://arcostream.mpl.miisolutions.n.../playlist.m3u8). I am able to play the URL with VLC and in several iOS based players but Winamp chokes on it. Is there a setting or plugin that supports HLS? Google searches and searching these forums has not come up with any hits.

I have decomposed the URL contents manually and the stream serves three 10 second chunks at a time in AAC format. Those chunks play fine in Winamp so there is no problem with the content, just acquiring the content since HLS requires constant polling of the server to continuously download chunks.

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Old 5th August 2013, 16:14   #2
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Winamp doesn't have support for HLS and i doubt (if it does get supported) it's going to happen any time soon. as you note, once you finally work through the playlists to get at the raw urls, it's limited to 10sec chunks and then we get into a whole load of messiness of how to determine what to play next, how to get it, etc and that's before even trying to get it integrated into how Winamp works.
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Old 6th August 2013, 11:14   #3
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Actually, I don't think it's that difficult to implement, as in theory HLS fully relies on standard-conforming M3U files referencing to other M3U files etc., and a flawless implementation of M3Us including M3Us in M3Us and so on, in combination with gapless playback (which Winamp is capable of) should lead to making HLS work being not that difficult. I'd give +1 for it.
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Old 6th August 2013, 11:29   #4
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the playlist parsing isn't that tricky but its the repeated polling of playlists and then the processing of parts of chunks which is the issue - as our implementation of things doesn't allow for such items to be treated as a contained playlist item which is what is needed to make it viable to work with them.

so parts look and are simple, but the key part of playback isn't setup for doing what's needed to make a HLS stream to appear as a single playlist item.
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Old 6th August 2013, 12:47   #5
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Okay... I think I get it...
(For a first-shot it would already be great if it worked anyhow, it's not that it has to appear as a single entry... messed-up playlist behavior is okay, as long as one could listen to such streams anyhow).

But it's not a top-priority thing... as VLC does fine
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Old 6th August 2013, 17:14   #6
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the parts of the stream are accessed in 10 second blocks so unless you know the next block to get from the next playlist, it can play the first 10 seconds and that's then it.

unless the handling is put in to be able to get the next block and then play that and keep getting / playing the subsequent parts of the stream, it's just not going to work and that's the aspect that Winamp just is not setup to cope with in it's current handling hence it's not a simple thing to add. so even getting the base playlist parsing to work still gives a limited playback experience of 10 seconds.
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Old 7th August 2013, 00:53   #7
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Having used HLS for only a short time, I find that can have reliability problems. There are times even the Music Choice site drops out and you have to press F5 to refresh and bring it back. Frankly I would rather go back to the good old streaming protocols that have worked well for the last dozen years but it seems like someone is always coming up with something new. Even rtmp has been bugging me of late. I would much prefer http, rtsp or mms. They work with just about everything.

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