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Streaming Help

FAQ for listening online

Here are the most common questions we hear about how to listen to The Public's Radio online, and also some troubleshooting help!

(If you need help tuning in our FM broadcasts, click here!)

  1. With the iPhone app, I get odd warning messages about "this app will soon expire", what's the deal with that?
  2. How do I listen to the live webcast/stream online?
  3. I'm having trouble with the website's streaming audio player!
  4. I can listen fine via the app on cellphone data, but not on wifi. Why?
  5. I'm listening via a mobile device/smartphone, but it disconnects a lot - please help!
  6. I have an Amazon Echo / Alexa, how do I listen to The Public's Radio?
  7. I have a Google Home and it won't play your webcast?
  8. I have a wifi radio, how do I listen to The Public's Radio?
  9. What about those Sonos home wifi "radios"?
  10. have another means of listening, but I need the direct URL of the stream!
  11. What are the tech specs of The Public's Radio's webcast?
  12. What's the difference between "listening in iTunes" vs "listening to iTunesRadio"?
  13. How do I listen to The Public's Radio's podcasts?
  14. What's the deal with NPR One?


1: With the iPhone app, I'm getting weird error messages about the app expiring, or how it might slow down my iPhone. What's up with that?

Our old iPhone app was the very first public radio app, way back in 2008! But that means it's a 32-bit app, and Apple is ending all support of 32-bit apps with the release of iOS 11. 

The Public's Radio now has a new 64-bit iPhone app, and a custom Android app, too! Go get it today at the App Store or Google Play.

Don't like apps? You can always go to our website using Safari (or whatever your preferred iPhone browser app is) and play the webcast straight from the website, too. Although you often can't "listen while the app is in the background" the way you can with our new app.


2: How do I listen to the live webcast/stream online?

  • Desktop/laptop computer: every page on our site has a big blue-green triangle icon on the left side of the screen. Tap it to play our webcast.
  • iPhone or Android phones: download our free app. Once installed, open the app and tap the PLAY button. You can listen while the app is "in the background" too!
  • Windows phone: download the free TuneIn app, available in the Windows Marketplace. Once installed, open the app and search for "The Public's Radio" or "WNPN". Tap our logo to listen.  


3: I'm having trouble with the website's streaming audio player!

We use StreamGuys to host our webcast, using the SGplayer. They have an excellent FAQ with links to several testing pages you can try for troubleshooting.

  • Disable any AdBlock software on your browser, or at least whitelist the domains and
  • "AdBlock" includes plugins like Flash Block, Cookie Blockers, NoScript, Pop-Up Blockers, Ghostery, Javascript Blockers, etc. in addition to AdBlock or AdBlock Pro.
  • The SGplayer is HTML5-based, so your browser must be HTML5 compatible. You can test that here.
  • And even though it is HTML5-based, updating your Flash may help with some problems. (make sure you uncheck any "optional" offers, like McAfee Security Scan, before you download the Flash update)


4: I can listen fine via the app on cellphone data, but not on wifi. Why?

It's possible that your wifi access point's firewall is blocking streaming on the port our webcasts use. Try this link instead, it streams on port 80 which is always open:

If it works, that's probably the reason. You can just use this stream from now on, or you can try and change the settings in the firewall to allow traffic on port 5590 (http) and 5595 (https)


5: I'm listening via a mobile device/smartphone, but it disconnects a lot - please help!

  • If you are using a smartphone, but are connected over wifi, turn wifi off. Or...
  • ...if you're not on wifi, turn it on so you're connected using 3G/4G.

The idea is to force the mobile device to use a different method of connecting to the internet, and see if that makes your streaming more/less reliable. If the streaming drops out much less, or much more, then you know whatever the problem is, it's related to your internet service.  

For example: let's say you're at home, and you've got Cox Cablemodem internet with wifi. And you're listening to The Public's Radio via our app on an iPhone, but your iPhone has wifi turned ON. (a sensible decision!) If you happen to be standing in a part of the house that is physically far away from the Cox gateway (wifi access point), then your wifi signal might be weak, and that means poor internet. Poor enough that it might not be able to reliably deliver a streaming audio service like our webcast. To test this: turn wifi off and force the iPhone to use 3G or 4G (or 4G LTE) for its internet connection. If the streaming is then a lot more reliable on 3G/4G, then you know the wifi was the problem; you might need to only listen closer to the gateway. Or move the gateway to a more central location. Or purchase a wifi extender. 


6: I have an Amazon Echo / Alexa, how do I listen to The Public's Radio?

The best way is to enable "The Public's Radio" Alexa Skill. This will make it easier to listen both to our live webcast, as well as our hourly local newscast. (podcasts coming soon!) Please note we have two Skills: one general one that gives you access to everything, and a specialized Skill that works specifically with the Alexa Flash Briefing function to give you quick access to our most recent local newscast.

Note: if you have enabled the Rhode Island Public Radio Skills, you will need to disable them and enable The Public's Radio Skills instead.

To enable the Skills:

  • Sign in to your Amazon account associated with your Echo or Echo Dot, go to the Main Skill page or Flash Briefing Skill page and click ENABLE.
  • Then just speak the command: "Alexa, open The Public's Radio" and follow the voice prompts from there. 


7: I have a Google Home and it won't play your webcast?​

There is a known issue where Google Home will just mysteriously refuse to play certain live webcasts, especially those indexed via TuneIn.  Sometimes it will work for weeks or months, then stop. There isn't a known fix, but since we updated our TuneIn entry from RIPR to The Public's Radio, saying "OK Google, play WNPN" usually works.

However, you can experiment with the voice commands to see if there's a specific phrase that works. Here's some suggestions: Start with "OK Google, play..."


"...The Public's Radio"

"...eighty-nine point three F-M in Rhode Island"


"...Rhode Island Public Radio"

"...Eighty-eight point one F-M in Providence."

"...One-oh-two point seven F-M in Narragansett." 

"...N-P-R in Rhode Island."

Update May 14, 2018: there seems to be a fresh round of listeners being affected by this, and a unifying theme is that their Google Home will open Latino Public Radio's webcast instead of The Public's Radio's. We've drawn up a new Engineer's Corner on this with some specific vocal triggers you can try.


8: I have a WIFI RADIO, how do I listen to RIPR?

  • Most have some sort of built-in search engine for finding webcasts: try searching on keywords "the public's radio", "wnpn" or "ripr", or maybe "rhode island".  
  • If that doesn't work, but your radio allows you to directly enter a URL, use this link:
  • If neither of those works, and assuming you can successfully tune to other stations' webcasts, you may have an older generation wifi radio. Many of those relied on an online database from Reciva, which we have attempted to keep updated - but not every radio has the ability to receive updates.  Put simply, your wifi radio might just not be able to receive the RIPR webcast, no matter what.


9: What about those Sonos home wifi "Radios"?

Generally speaking we can't formally recommend a specific make/model of radio, wifi or otherwise. But we have heard from several listeners that the Sonos wifi radios work pretty well and are easy to use. In particular, the PLAY:3 for standalone listening, or CONNECT to be used as part of your existing stereo setup. Sonos gear works with TuneIN so search on keyword "RIPR" to find our stream. Or you can manually enter the direct URL (see below).

Please note that we cannot provide support for Sonos products (or any wifi radio). We don't even have one here so we can't directly vouch for them; only suggest them as a possibility.

10: I have another means of listening, but I need the direct URL of the stream.

11: What are the tech specs of the webcast?

We use a Telos Z/IP Stream R/1 to encode a two simultaneous 256 kbps mono feeds: one in Icecast MP3, the other in AAC-LC. Our webcast host, StreamGuys, transcodes the 256k stream into a 64kbps mono stream as well. Most of our webcasts play that; but iTunesRadio requires a 256kbps stream, too. There's no real difference in audio fidelity between the two. Your player will automatically detect and use the appropriate feed: AAC or MP3. The Z/IP Stream R/1 also brings Telos/Omnia's legendary audio processing into the unit, making our webcast sound quite good at a relatively low bitrate.


12: What's the difference between "listening in iTunes" vs. "listening to iTunesRadio"?

Listening in iTunes: You can use iTunes to play music on your desktop/laptop computer, and even to play webcasts like The Public's Radio's live stream, too. Press CTRL+U (CMD+U on Macs) and type in then press enter.  Our stream will start playing after a few seconds of buffering.

Listening to iTunesRadio: iTunesRadio is a specific service available in recent versions (Windows ver or newer) of the iTunes software. Open iTunes and look along the center-top of the window for button that says RADIO. Click it, then click the big PLUS + sign to add your favorite station. Search on keyword "RIPR", and you'll see "NPR News - RIPR Rhode Island" will appear. Click it to add The Public's Radio to your "My Stations". Then just click the RINPR logo in "My Stations" to start the webcast at any time after that.

The Apple HomePod also makes use of iTunesRadio.


13: How do I listen to RIPR's podcasts?

Podcasts are currently being updated with a new architecture as part of our new website. Please check back later for details.


14: What's the deal with NPR One?

The Public's Radio is no longer participating in the NPR One app. After working with NPR One for 18 months, the number of listeners using the app was too small to justify the time it took for our staff to provide content for the app.

Streaming Help
Streaming Help