DENIEDWhile on in IRC Friday one of the channel members suggested I do a review of South African Radio Streaming services. I decided it was a smashing idea.

Why no review then?

It does not work with Linux

The long and short of it, radio streaming for South African Radio Stations do not work with Linux. You need to be using Windows Media Player to listen to live radio streaming of these stations. Some of the stations do work with some fiddling with Rhythmbox, or even with VLC.

I am not interested in the black arts of snarfing the proper url for the radio station and then convincing VLC or Rhythmbox to play them. I want to use these services just as easily as I would under Windows.

Note: For two of these stations the advertisement (a piggs peak add) plays perfectly, but the moment you get to the streaming there is nothing.

(And yes I have Ubuntu restricted extras installed.)

They work with With Windows

These streaming media services work well with Windows and Media Player. I booted into Windows 7 to give them a try. All of them work. Streaming works fine, audio is great and I can listen to my favourite Radio show on my computer.

Now to the crux of where it fails.

As far as I can determine the audio streams are served using the WMA streaming codec. I am not 100% sure of this. All of the audio streaming for the most popular South African radio stations are provided by Antfarm.

Windows Media PlayerThis company has an impressive list of radio stations that use their streaming services. Also, on their website is a proudly displayed “Windows Media Service Provider” logo. I have mailed them to enquire about their streaming services and why it does not work with Linux.


This was a short little writeup. I was initially prepared for a long and proper review of radio streaming services in South Africa, but what I ended up was with a single service that excludes a large group of listeners from it. Look, I don’t want to slam Antfarm. On Windows the service works fine. I just want to use their service on Linux. I want my wife, my mom and my kids to be able to listen to a radio show online when they want. And you know what? All of them have only Linux on their computers, no Windows, so no service.

If you want to petition Antfarm to make their service more friendly to the thousands of people out there using Linux, you can mail them at the contact details available at this link: Antfarm Contact Form

Related posts:

  1. South African Radio Streaming – Antfarm Comes to the Party