Chumby HowTo: Playing internet radio from Bee.fm

Bee.fm is an internet radio station that allows to stream custom playlists or individual albums. It is similar to pandora.com, but with full manual control over the playlist.

It uses open streaming that can be listened to from iTunes as well as from its own flash player. It can be also listened to with Chumby‘s btplay command.

To get Chumby to stream the Bee.fm’s radio, you need to get the URL for the playlist you are interested in. The URL is in plain text form inside the .m3u file you receive after clicking on larger play button. Normally this file is opened with iTunes or other streaming music player.

The streaming URL can file can be extracted by looking at the entry in iTunes and clicking Get Info, Edit URL. Alternatively, the .m3u file can be opened in a plain text editor.

The URL will be quite long and look like http://77.91.228.2:80/play/46df15a1e4f1 … f/66……

To play it, connect to Chumby via ssh and run btplay URL or btplay URL & ; the later if you planing to do other tasks in the shell. On Windows, if using putty, the URL can be pasted into the shell with right mouse button.

Enjoy!

P.s. Warning: sometimes after btplay is stopped, it does not want to start again, complaining about missing /tmp files and unhappy ALSA device. This may specifically happen if btplay is run in a background and kill command is used. Restarting Chumby fixes the problem. I am not aware of other fixes at this point.