How to Correct Radio Station Streaming Problems

By Ethan Pendleton

Listening to online radio stations is a lot of fun because you have a great deal of variety and can listen to stations from all over the world. Unfortunately, the technology is not yet perfect, and you will likely experience problems at one time or another. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to keep your multimedia programs running and the tunes blaring. The next time your stream stops for no reason, try to fix it instead of simply feeling frustrated.

Verify the basics. It sounds silly, but plenty of people have struggled for hours to solve a computer problem, only to discover that their wireless Internet connection (or even their computer) was switched off. So make sure the computer is running properly. Check that your Internet connection is working. Double-check that you clicked on the correct radio station. Taking a couple minutes to check the boring basics is well-worth the effort.

Ensure that you selected the correct bandwidth at which to stream the radio station and fix it if necessary. As All Streaming Media points out, streaming requires you to balance the connection between your computer, ISP and the communications company. If you've accidentally told the streaming radio site that you have a 56k connection and you really have a T1, you might run into problems.

Download plug-ins that you may not have. A lot of streaming audio is channeled through browser plug-ins that serve as the interface for the radio station. Adobe Flash is a popular one of these. Your browser will often alert you when you are missing a plug-in. Simply download it, install it and resume bopping to the music. Additionally, you may need to download updated versions of Flash or Shockwave that you already have in order to listen to your desired site.

Knock down firewalls that are blocking you from streaming. Syracuse University's Whitman School of Management notes that some networks automatically block audio streaming for a number of concerns. If you don't have administrative control, you might be out of luck. If you're working on your personal PC, simply disengage your firewall or reduce the security settings until streaming capability is resumed.

Try a different browser or audio player. Sometimes, if a computer program is working, it's not worth trying to fight with it all night. If the radio station allows you to choose between listening with Windows Media Player and RealPlayer, simply switch to the other. The same goes for browsers. If Firefox won't let you stream for some reason, try the same thing through Internet Explorer.