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How to Get Streaming Audio in Linux

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Steve Eaton

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Posted: 15 Jun 2005

the problem

I have found numerous sites such as that will not support streaming media to linux by default. For example...

I go to and get all excited to listen to some music. I click on the appropriate links and find myself looking at something that looks like the web equivilent of swiss cheese. No streaming audio to be heard.

The website doesn't work, but in all cases I have found so far, these sites actually do work. It is just a case of "Linux ignorance" by the site administrators. Hopefully this epidemic will soon subside.

Anyway... The method I'll explain isn't quite as easy as "point and click" but it'll fill your ears with what you want to hear.

The only drawback by using the following method is you won't get all of streamaudio's annoying pop up adds. :)

the solution

The application "mplayer" is a fantastic resource for getting audio and video to run in Linux. We'll use it to get the aforementioned website to work.

First, make sure you have the proper applications installed by using YAST.
  1. mplayer
  2. firefox mplayer plug-in
Once they're installed, you're good to go.

To get it to work, simply type in the url in firefox and it will get you any of their streamed local radio stations. To get a different station, simply replace the KJQN (103.5 Jack FM) with the call letters of any other site served up by such as WNNX, or something else.

*Note* - For some reason, won't run in mplayer from the command line.

Additionally I recommend you install every codec you can find for mplayer and then almost any streaming-site will work.

If you run into problems, you can get almost any other site to work in Linux by using mplayer through the command-line. An example is This site won't work unless you type it into the console. To get it to work, type in mplayer mms:// Simply substitute your favorite call letters for your station.

All in all, if you can see the url used by any media player, chances are it will work in Linux also.

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