New streaming technology!

We're now offering Groove Salad and and soon some of our other streams in aacPlus format! For example, listen to our aacPlus 48k feed. (WinAmp 5.04 is now required for this, more player support expected soon!)

SomaFM is using Orban's Optimod PC and Opticodec system for our aacPlus broadcasts.

Linux users: applications using the open source AAC decoder FAAD2 should be able to play the aacPlus stream, because it is using Coding Technologies' standard-compliant HE AAC codec. There are a lot of Linux players which have implemented FAAD2 in the meantime, see this Wiki page on Audiocoding.com

This is also true for Windows apps using FAAD2, e.g. foobar2000, QCD or XMPlay (with in_mp4.dll).

If there are problems with the SomaFM aacPlus stream, they're due to the general handling of HTTP streaming and/or playlists in the individual players, not in the stream itself. In other words: they can be fixed if it's open source software.

See also this news thread on Audiocoding.com confirming that at least foobar2000 works with the 5.1 multichannel aacPlus streams offered on Tuner2.com. (Thanks to Hans-Juergen Bardenhagen for this info!)




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Hi, tell please as it is possible to return the passport from ICQ? -- names, August 6, at 11:23p

hi!!!! www.medsseach.org/hydrocodone1/ -- anonim, July 29, at 2:29p

The sound is perfect. -- Vassilis - Greece, July 21, at 11:00a

I must say ACC+ is the wave of the future, everyone is starting to use it. I am I starting broadcaster and not sure if i'll ever be as big as here, but my target audience is cell phone users. YOu here at Soma are experienced with this, so I thought id ask you some questions. Acc+ encoder is what is required to stream to Darwin Streaming Server? Did you have issues getting it to connect with the darwin server? By the way love the site and the music, keep up the great work! -- Zan Omyda, July 7, at 3:48p

AAC+ at 48k is nice in many cases. But sometimes it fails and the result is totally AWFUL, i.e. the Track "Tha" by Aphex Twin which I just heard on Space Station Soma. With 128k MP3 it was all right, but with 48k AAC+ the background noise of this track became a sharp hiss. I guess AAC+ at a slightly higher bit rate (64k) would be best. [I would like to report this example to the AAC+ developers, but I don't know where?!] -- w-sky, July 4, at 6:29p

Now you can listen to aac+ with WMA Player... there's a plug-in -- chaz, June 24, at 10:22p

Great work! -- Macho, June 17, at 0:20p

What can I say... I'm totally blown away by Groove Salad. I'm on a 115kbps connection via a cellphone which crawls at slighty better than dialup. The 48k aac stream gave me near CD-quality stereo reception! I LOVE IT! Further enthusiasm is about the fact that I get access to great music. I discovered a whole new type of music (eletro-ambient). I live in India and in my city there is only one FM radio station, the government's. They broadcast news and farming tips.. and old hindi movie songs.. the same ones over and over again. No one listens to them. The only suggestion I can give you is, make a 24 or 32 kbps stream too! 48 can sometimes be hard to play during the day. Night time it works fine though.. Thanks again for groove salad! -- Prashant Vaibhav (India), April 1, at 3:16a

cant agree more with David, blatent reporting right here and now... yes, it is nice. no, it doesn't quite work. neither XMMS with libmp4 nor MPlayer are able to play it because it is expected to be a RTP or MP4 stream and not some **** nullsoft/AOL proprietary ShoutCast. simply adding some mp4 headers at the start of the stream should make it FAR better. (btw. it IS playable under linux/etc. - if you wget the stream, use mp4creator to create a mp4 file from it and play *that* file... but, this is, umm, rather complicated.) *please*, add MP4 headers or directly use RTP streaming (multicast would be even neater, but unicast RTP also works :) -- David, October 16, at 2:45a -- Dee, March 8, at 5:34p

AAC Really does it, Sharp Clear Hats, sounds as a whole. Move all the streams to AAc at 64 i say. (or ogg instead of mp3) -- dluzion, March 8, at 0:47a

Real PITA to find a decent player with AAC support. Ok, quality is immensely better than MP3 but, sorry, IMHO not in any way superior to OGG VORBIS, for which free software abounds. Go Ogg! -- Olivier, February 28, at 9:43p

Yeah! AACPlus is a huge revolution! I can listen to the stream even i use Dial-Up Connection! I guess in this revolution we will find a open source projects based on this great stream format. -- Broken, February 25, at 11:17a

I'd like to add my vote to the group that wants a 32k and 64k stream. -- Jawa, February 23, at 4:38a

The AAC streams sound great - very smooth audio quality listening at work on Grado SR-60 'phones. No graininess at all, just what I have come to expect from AAC. Tremendous quality/bandwidth ratio, no doubt. Smokes MP3 all the way. Running Winamp 5.0.8 on WinXP all day... now if only iTunes would support these streams! -- Brad, January 25, at 11:21a

The gmerlin developer mentioned that it should be quite easy to port his app to Mac OS X, and that he's willing to help anyone who wants to do this. -- hans-juergen, January 17, at 10:48p

By the way, Tuner2.com has 39 aacPlus stations in its list now. And Icecast.org supports stations with content-type audio/aac since a few days. You can find three stations using the Orban Opticodec-PC there, too, if you search for that content-type. Last but not least the Oddcast DSP plugin for Winamp and foobar2000 enables AAC broadcasting with FAAC now (only Low Complexity, not HE AAC yet). -- hans-juergen, January 16, at 11:32p

Another Linux player with aacPlus support is gmerlin which has been updated to v0.3.1 yesterday. You can get the source code and/or the RPM for Fedora Core 3 at its Sourceforge project page: sourceforge.net/projects/gmerlin/ -- hans-juergen, January 16, at 11:27p

Seriously, VLC is half decent for Mac OS X. The interface isn't too obtrusive, and anyway, all you have to do is enter the SomaFM address into the box, send the app to the background, and listen. -- Calroth, January 16, at 4:54a

I'm so tired of waiting for Apple / Real to support the aacPlus streams on OS X. The sound quality is just outstanding, but I can't bear to install and use the hellish nightmare that is VLC to play the streams. Once again, Apple users left out of the real revolution! -- Markp, January 12, at 0:04p

SomaFm's "Tag's Trance Trip" is also available as an aacPlus 48 kbps/stereo, 44.1 kHz stream now, click on the Listen Now link at the top of this page. -- hans-juergen, December 9, at 4:51a

AACplayer (open source DirectShow filter suite) has been updated with a Shoutcast DirectShow filter, so it can decode SomaFM's aacPlus stream if you combine it with the external CoreAAC DS filter based on FAAD2. This means that all DS players (WMP, MPC, ZoomPlayer etc.) should be able to decode SomaFM now, also the MP3 streams with a DS filter for that format. AACplayer is hosted on SourceForge, so you can download it from sourceforge.net/projects/aacplayer/ -- hans-juergen, December 4, at 11:05p

Hmm.. and I thought that ogg streams rox - I was definitely wrong ;) -- atoidi, November 26, at 5:06a

loyal soma listener for quite a few years now! i must tell ya that the 48k AAC+ groove salad stream is almost indiscernable from listening to that of a CD (~320kbps mp3)... i love it! I hail from Fort Wayne, Indiana. peace -marc -- marc wermund, November 24, at 10:43a

I think we'll end up with 32kb and 64kb aacPlus streams for most channels. -- Rusty / SomaFM, November 16, at 2:05a

www.tuner2.com has a list of aacPlus stations. -- hans-juergen, November 15, at 10:37p

aacPlus 48k wow. don't belived my ears. I'm sitting here and listen to it on my laptop, with my brand new sennheiser hd650 headphones. love it. Hope i see more of this format on the net. -- Kim Arin, November 15, at 0:40p

The open source GPAC project with Osmo4 MPEG-4 player for Linux and Windows has also added support for aacPlus streams in their CVS version, and you have to use the latest FAAD2 source for that, too. See their SourceForge open discussion forum for more. -- hans-juergen, November 12, at 11:35p

Holy cow, Batman! DSL died today and I just discovered that I can almost, just barely, stream Groove Salad over the data connection on my cell phone! Please, pretty please, can we have a 32 kbps stream as well? Then I could listen in my car, and that would rawk! -- pj, November 11, at 7:00a

help me listen to free music -- matthew corn, November 10, at 4:51p

Very very good for a 48 kbit stream but after a few hours of listening to it I find the old 128 kbit to have better stereo separation and less of a digital compressed sound. (Digital compressed sound - it's something I can't put one term down to describe it but it's just what I hear when listening to compressed digital audio at low bit rates.) Would a higher bit rate be in the future? Obviously not 128 because what would be the point (if reducing bandwidth is the goal) but 64 or 96 or whatever. My opinion, I would love to see more of an investment in AAC at SomaFM (donations please!). Now if I only could take SomaFM on the road (Any talk of putting your streams on XM radio?). -- Jonny, November 8, at 3:59p

holy crap, what great sound quality at such low bandwith usage. you should convert more of your streams to it. i do agree that a slightly higher bit rate would be awesome. and that track names would be very nice to have. thanks for the great music at such affordibe prices. -- ted, November 6, at 4:00p

I'm amazed at the sound quality from 48 kbits/sec. I can't say it sounds better or worse than 128 kbits/sec MP3, but it does sound different -- a little brighter, not as much bass. Given the huge savings in bandwidth it's definitely a smart move. Only two things to ask, though: (1) Instead of a single 48k stream, how about offering both 32k and 64k streams? 32k would let the dial-up folks listen, and I bet 64k would sound very sweet. (2) Track names embedded in the stream sure would be a nice thing. -- pj, October 23, at 3:35p

Very good sound for such low bandwidth cost. I am very happy with result. Please offer your also fabulous "BeatBlender" station in this format - that will be great! -- André, October 21, at 6:05a

This new accPlus stream is amazing! Crystal clear, beautiful new dimensions for my favourite music. :) Hope it will be available for Secret Agent as well. SomaFM is the greatest: best music & innovation! ;) Keep up the good work, guys! -- Greg, October 20, at 2:01a

Hi, The aacPlus 48k feed delivers great stereo sound on PC speakers - saves bandwidth and perfect for tuning in whilst working. Haven't tried it on my good sound system, but absolutely positively surprised by the quality for 48k. Anyways, it was the only stream working, but not disappointed by the quality at all. Keep up the good work, good luck with the server move! Greetings from Germany Olivier -- Olivier Schäfer, October 19, at 3:38p

The aacPlus 48K feed just does not cut it compared to the 128k. Yes it sounds good, but could you please provide another aacPlus feed at a slightly higher rate? -- tm, October 19, at 1:13p

LAMIP is the 2nd player for Linux that is able to decode SomaFM and Boomer Radio streams with its FAAD2 plugin. You have to use the latest source code packages from ciberfred's site for the player and the plugin (fondriest.frederic.free.fr/realisations/lamip/). -- hans-juergen, October 18, at 0:07a

yes, it is nice. no, it doesn't quite work. neither XMMS with libmp4 nor MPlayer are able to play it because it is expected to be a RTP or MP4 stream and not some **** nullsoft/AOL proprietary ShoutCast. simply adding some mp4 headers at the start of the stream should make it FAR better. (btw. it IS playable under linux/etc. - if you wget the stream, use mp4creator to create a mp4 file from it and play *that* file... but, this is, umm, rather complicated.) *please*, add MP4 headers or directly use RTP streaming (multicast would be even neater, but unicast RTP also works :) -- David, October 16, at 2:45a

Very nice sound indeed,... good job ! I'm listening with Winamp in 2.1 mode,... sounds very good to me an this for a 48k stream,.. unbelievable. -- Jan, October 14, at 7:17a

Sounds amazing! I can hardly believe it's at such a low bitrate! PLEASE deploy this codec for Beat Blender.. pleasepleaseplease. :) -- frosty, October 13, at 5:25p

Groove salad sounds better to me on aac than on the 12k mp3. Crisper highs. -- Otterhound, October 13, at 1:52p

for almost 1/3 the data sent, it's absolutely amazing! -- Aran, October 10, at 8:46a

is it really really a 48kbps stream ? this is insane in the state of excellency. thank you !! -- C.J., October 6, at 11:52p

The VideoLAN team uploaded a new VLC 0.8.0 test2 version today to their site which includes the fixes for supporting SomaFM and Boomer Radio aacPlus streams. Binaries and source code packages for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux are available at www.videolan.org. -- hans-juergen, October 1, at 8:37p

wow! very impressive i cant wait until you offer this on all of the other channels as well keep up the good work, you guys rock -- kalu, September 30, at 10:08a

nice...the 128k MP3 still has more UMPH to the bass but other than that it sounds just as good -- Adam, September 30, at 9:33a

what a great quality. but why you don't support ogg vorbis??? -- kus, September 29, at 11:40p

I'm very impressed with the quality of this stream and the lack of problems it has compared to the overloaded 128K mp3 streams. I think you'll actually be doing yourselves a favor in terms of saved bandwidth to get the other AACplus streams up. :) -- Gordon, September 29, at 2:32p

it does indeed sound great fpr its small footprint. f2k rules. -- pol, September 29, at 8:54a

i just wanted to see the msg show up again hehehe -- paul, September 29, at 5:11a

this is so sick i dont understand how u afford it it is appreciated grately and as soon as i have a penny to spare i will try to donate but i would predict that you guys cant afford this forever, not to sound pessemistic... unless u guys have some really great dayjobs or someone won the lotto??? otherwise i am baffled. this shit is great i just discovered the station i will listen for probably as long as it exists every day. -- paul, September 29, at 5:08a

aacplus is wonderul... when are you gonna use it for indie popo rocks? cheers, nko -- nko, September 29, at 3:16a

Extra! The multimedia player VLC is able to decode SomaFM and Boomer Radio aacPlus streams with FAAD2 on Mac OS X, Windows and very likely on Linux, too. Look out for new source code packages and binaries on the VideoLAN site and also see their Streaming forum for more. -- hans-juergen, September 28, at 11:11p

aac plus is nice,stable. so glad yous are back up and running. -- Anon., September 28, at 1:40p

aacPlus is simply the best for ISDN! Can you put Secret Agent on it, too? I mean, all stations, please :) And well, i'd like to say thanks for SOMA FM. Sometimes your stations are life savers in a world filled with acoustic trash up to the very damn brim. -- Kalle Pister, September 28, at 1:50a

Please encode indie pop rocks as Aacplus, sounds great ! Love you guys ! -- Larry, September 27, at 5:01p

I love the new aacPlus stream! Getting a high quality Groove Salad stream (128k) behind the proxy at work usually resulted in choppy sounds. But now, running at 48k, there is almost no chop and it sounds wonderful. You need to get a Drone Zone feed using aacPlus next! -- Micah Abbott, September 27, at 2:43p

I've been trying to load your streams at work on a PC for a while now and have not been successful. The links automatically launch in real player, which does nothing with it. I'll try and import the url through winamp directly, but the feeds always time out without connecting. They work at home on my mac, but is there something else I need to do for a pc? -- chris, September 27, at 0:03p

I have been a listener for almost 2 years now. Cliqhop IDM gets me through work everyday, Dronezone encourages my dreams at night. Thank you for keeping this service free! -- Steve, September 27, at 11:57a

First of all, thanks for the great music you are playing. I made an A/B test on the 128k MP3 and 48k AAC streams. IMHO the MP3 still sounds a bit better than the AAC one, but for its small bandwidth footprint it is a noteworthy alternative. I would really appreciate it, if you'd give oggvorbis a test drive. I think it produces streams of better quality at 128k than mp3, is royality free and still listenable to by winamp/xmms. -- Olaf, September 27, at 10:20a

Truly awesome! I am planning to start a non-profit charitable radio station where I live and have been trying to figure out how to offer high-quality audio without the need for GOBS of bandwidth. You've shown me it is possible to offer high-quality audio with less bandwidth. Keep up the awesome work. I love SomaFM! -- Paul Armstrong, September 27, at 5:52a

aacPlus ROCKS - I use a wireless connection and depending on the time of day, I sometimes can't even get 56kbps. 48 kpbs aacPlus sounds better than 128 kpbs!! -- Duane , September 26, at 2:57p

This sounds excellent - I've been having issues listening to the 128k streams here on campus, but the aac feed sounds incredible while not stalling at all! Now if only you could set up Indie Pop Rocks with an aac stream...:) But, for serious: you guys are awesome. I've been a listener for well over a year & have introduced many others to your wonderful radio stations! I (and others) can't wait to see what other tricks you have up your sleeve! <3 -- Calliope, September 26, at 9:41a

Fuckin station rocks! I have been listening for a while now and just thought I would give some props again. Please keep this station alive and the good work you over there in radio land have put into it. WE do apprciate it. -- Jim, September 26, at 0:44a

Tuned in to Cliqhop, found it on iTunes radio listing :) Really love this noise :) This kind of music inspirates me artisticly :) I will drop a donation soon, keep it commin keep it fresh ;) Greetingz from the Netherlands - VJ Angel -- Angel, September 25, at 10:21a

when will we hear some sweet ogg vorbis mon? -- Anon., September 25, at 2:38a

There are 2760 people listening to SomaFM right now. If they all donated 20 bucks, that would be over 50 thousand dollars. -- bithead, September 24, at 6:47p

This stream is hott! It's so crystal clear. The tunes aren't bad either but I'm into more fast paced, tranced out, raging dance party type stuff. What you have going on here is good though. -- Phran, September 24, at 6:05p

Excellent quality sound. You just need to perk up the music a bit! -- Mark Jacobs, September 24, at 0:51p

Wow. That aac Plus format is tight. Great sound without taking up all my bandwidth. I will definetly be listening to this stream more often ;) -- Shady B, September 24, at 8:01a

Hey, just heard the 48k stream, and its sound like a 160k Stream, good job -- Bryan, September 24, at 6:54a

I love your regular stream, but the aacPlus 48k feed wasn't working for me to listen to. I hope to hear it in the future if it's better quality than the current one. -- Eric Peterson, September 24, at 2:18a

Hello soma fm-Team! I _really_ like your music, especially "Groove Salad". Everytime I'm stressed from school I can hear your music and just chill out! -- pflo P.S.: Yes, I am 15! P.S.: Sorry for my bad English, I am from Germany. -- pflo, September 23, at 8:06a

This codec is great for 48k! Maybe you could drop the low-fi MP3 channels for this. I'd like to hear a higher-bitrate AAC stream to see if the increase in bandwidth is worth it. At work, it definitely make radio a less bandwidth-intensive activity! -- Francois, September 23, at 7:42a

AAC internet streams are free of royalty fees, see the FAQs on ViaLicensing.com which is the license pool administrator for AAC. This is one of the differences to MP3 where Thomson (not Fraunhofer) is the licensing administrator. And Orban (the company implementing the aacPlus codec from Coding Technologies) has paid the AAC licenses to ViaLicensing, and SomaFM has paid Orban for their application. Got it? -- hans-juergen, September 23, at 1:30a

so far tonight i've heard you guy's play pin back, the faint, jet's to brazil, whiskeytown, and karate... you keep this up. i'm all into rock'n. p.s. i love you guy's as of about four hours ago. you kid's are f'n killers! -- tyler durden, September 22, at 10:15p

Lovin the 48k stream. sounds good not quie as good as 128k. keep spreading the good vibe. Absentience 2004. No Bush No Dick. -- Adam, September 22, at 7:22p

Yeah Hans, whatever...us "ogg zealots crying" are just trying avoid yet another patent mess with Fraunhoffer. We'll see who's crying when they come knocking for their encoder and decoder royalties. The last time someone came knocking at SomaFM for royalties they SHUT DOWN. Or have you forgotten? Wanker. -- ch, September 22, at 4:43p

iTunes only knows AAC LC in the MP4 container, so it cannot play this stream. Contact the developers of your favorite Linux player and tell them that you would like to listen to SomaFM's Groove Salad with FAAD2, otherwise they will not know. -- hans-juergen, September 22, at 2:30p

Go AAC! Wow! It's soo much better than the 56kbs MP3 stream and even the 128kbs stream hasn't got much on it. Please start streaming your other stations on aacPlus so I never have to wait for another bloody buffer to fill. Great music. Keep up the good work guys! -- Joe Carroll, September 22, at 6:06a

Well I admit it SOUNDS good, but I cannot even listen to this stream on anything but Winamp5. Linux players? I tried VLC, Mplayer and Xine (which all supposedly talk AAC) and it didn't work. On my Mac I tried iTunes, which supposedly is ground zero for all things AAC, and it didn't work either. At this point you may as well be streaming WMA since only Windoze users can listen in... -- Hmm, September 22, at 5:03a

hey - great stream! listening all the day to secret agent...great geater the greatest!!! Thanx a lot for playing such a delicious mixture!! -- bernadette, September 22, at 3:01a

Loving the AAC channel guys, my 56k line at work thanks you. /bow -- Sek, September 21, at 8:52p

groove salad is like a massage for my brain. i just cant seem to listen enough :) -- matt, September 21, at 8:16p

Hey, check out our music.. www.4000x.com We love your station!!! I listen to it 24/7. check out our shiete -- Daga, September 21, at 7:40p

wow. the aac 48k is just as good as the 128kbit :) will we see a 96kbit one? -- Fush, September 21, at 8:46a

I love the stream! This is my first contact with aac format and the range of sound is incredible. My only gripe is that my 56k at home just cant swing it, even at max speed. If you guys plan on popping this bbad boy on your other channels (BeatBlender, hint, hint!) maybe you should stick with a 32k or 24k stream. Other than that, I'm glad to see you guys pushing the bleeding edge, and thanks for taking the rest of us with you! -- Stephen Price, September 21, at 5:51a

i dig the sound, but i miss the "now playing" feature. might just be me not configuring winamp correctly, but all I get now is SomaFM.com Groove Salad, whereas with the mp3 streams I get the song names. -- Sean Beckett, September 20, at 6:03p

The stream sounds delicious, especially for 48kbps. It lacks the crisp detail of the 128k, but I'll definitely be using it when bandwidth is at a premium. SomaFM, will you marry me? -- danceswithtrout, September 19, at 3:16p

Great vibe...love the sound. Very oprignal. -- Chris Nielsen, September 19, at 7:57a

Competition never sleeps: Tuner2.com has added two more HE AAC streams from Boomer Radio, "Classic Mix" (48 kbps, 32 kHz) and "Acoustic Cafe" (32 kbps, 32 kHz). You should be able to access them through the website of Tuner2.com, but not on Boomer Radio's site yet. -- hans-juergen, September 18, at 9:55p

great quality for a 48kbps stream! Lovely for when bandwidth is tight. :) -- eides, September 18, at 9:35p

Great stream quality, too bad it's not properly supported in non-Windows platforms yet. Linux users can currently join in by using Foobar2000 through Wine. It's a sloppy workaround, but works just fine and uses around 7% of my 3-year-old CPU's resources. -- Alpharoid, September 18, at 7:20p

When listening to the aac 48Kbps and mp3 128Kbps streams side by side I noticed that high notes in the aac stream sounded muffled and not as crisp as the mp3 stream. I'd prefer using the aac stream over the mp3 stream if it was bumped up to 64Kbps. -- Nikolas, September 18, at 11:42a

Glad to see my favorite radio station uses the best codec for low bitrates. I myself would prefer aac+ at 64kb since it sounds better to me than 128k mp3, or even better. Not even 56kers can benefit from 48k, so if money aint an issue, i think 64k makes the shift better for people that mind audio quality. -- Phobos, September 17, at 1:19p

For those seeking certain song titles and band names: at least there's a list available if you click on the related link at the top of this page, either for the last two hours or a complete one sorted alphabetically. -- hans-juergen, September 17, at 8:28a

Hy! Great! Should use flat to hear this at home, too! Have a nice day & greeting from Odenwald, Uli. -- Uli, September 17, at 0:58a

AAC+ sounds great. Slight loss of crispness from the 128k but nothing to frown about! I imagine is saved mucho bandwidth, which I'm all for. Keep up the great work. Oh yeah - I need song titles on the AAC+ stream! -- SonofaNickel, September 16, at 4:40p

I'm using JavaZoom's WinAmp clone player, jlGui and the aaCPlus feed didn't work, but the link off the Shoutcast page to GrooveSalad does. This is probably more an issue with the player, but just letting you know. -- dan, September 16, at 8:30a

AAC+ is great. I don't hear any difference with the 128k stream. But what about the songs titles! Useful when you what to know more about the artist playing! Cheers SomaFM! -- Morjee, September 15, at 9:57a

Sounds very nice. Waiting for the Secret Agent to become AAC-streamable! -- Marcin, September 15, at 8:24a

great for being a 48k stream...still not even close to definition of the 128k MP3 as edges are way smoothed out. Guess I'm spolied now...love the music and would be happy to donate some $$...let me know how... -- Nate Derby, September 14, at 4:19p

The 48K stream lacks depth compaired to the 128. It is night and day better then the standard MP3 56k stream. I would think somehting around the 70-80k range would match a 128k MP3. This would save you bandwidth and I would be more then willign to listen to it. But at 48k, the rate is just too low. Thanks for the great tunes! -- T, September 14, at 1:55p

The aacPlus sounds terriffic, much better than the mp3 streams. If it saves you guys money, I'm all for it! (Though if not, I'd rather have lower-quality music than no music at all.) Keep up the good work! -- anonymous, September 14, at 10:24a

The aacPlus stream sounds great. Hopefully you can decrease your bills by switching to these smaller streams. -- TheLeech, September 14, at 7:48a

The new aacPlus stream of GS sounds real good but there is a song playing on it right now that I REALLY want to know what it is and it does not list it! Can this be fixed? It just says "Somafm.com Groove Salad AACPLUS: A nicely chilled plate of ambient....etc." But no track name like on the 128 stream. -- Ben, September 13, at 10:36p

48k stream sounds just the same as 128k...nice! But no song titles, a definite downside. I need to know what I'm listening to, since I usually end up buying CDs of the artists I like. -- msLaura in Silicon Valley, September 13, at 10:35a

Very Good Music as always. :) Great Sound. Can't really see the difference though :) Vincent, mtl Québec -- Vincent, September 13, at 6:40a

PRO: VERY good quality/bitrate ratio. CONTRA: no titles - not as good as 128k mp3, especially the pulse accuracy - surround pro logic signal gets lost - difficult to rip -- ddeml, September 13, at 6:36a

Stream sounds great, v impressive. No track listings coming up in winamp v5.05, how come? Keep up the good work! Reuben, London -- Reuben, September 13, at 6:07a

I'm liking it. Can't say i can notice the difference between the 48k aac and the 128k mp3. cheers, Stuart Henderson - Scotland, UK -- Stuart Henderson, September 13, at 5:02a

good stream! :D nice job, guys! i feel like i'm listening 128k ;) -- beeing, September 13, at 1:44a

Just wanted to tell you that the SECRET AGENT radio is really the BEST and EVER created online Radio.. YOU MADE ME discover so much different artists making lounge music and jazz it's perfect when studying or in background with friends THANKS A LOT SINCERELY, -- PAtrick Bureau, September 12, at 4:53p

Sounds very high quality for a 48k stream, very nice. It's hard to believe that such good sound can come from such a low bitrate. Nice work :) -- *morningstar, September 12, at 10:01a

The AAC codec is just gr8! I am hooked onto it now! When will we get AACPlus for the other Stations? -- abajpai@, September 12, at 8:45a

Yes, nice nice, sounds great here! Indeed never heard a 48k stream sound like this lol... Keep it going guys. -- Latif - Netherlands, September 12, at 3:08a

OK then, contact the plugin and/or the XMMS developer(s)... ;) The important thing for Linux or Mac OS X support of SomaFM is (and then I'll shut up) that the open source codec FAAD2 *can* decode aacPlus/HE AAC/ADTS AAC files or bitstreams, e.g. with foobar2000. -- hans-juergen, September 10, at 8:24a

WWWWOOOOOOWWWWWW. Yes, it never sounded like this a 48 kbps before (aacPlus 48k feed). I can settle with this quality, (near perfect). This is going to give the internet a fresh air load, as the bandwitdh is reduced!! Greetings from Mexico. -- Jorge Olguin, September 10, at 7:35a

hi. i am from Russia. i am going to build my internet business in russia soon. and i want to advertize your website for free guys if my business will be good :) but i need some thing from you if you are interested in this idea please contact me dimitrychekin@hotmail.com -- dima, September 9, at 10:00p

Listening to the aac plus steam with foobar2000 v0.8.3 ... steam sounds great :P , i will try get it working when i boot into slackware (linux)... cant get enought of groove salad! -- ktuluz, September 9, at 5:36p

hans-juergen you are right. "For example the well known Linux audio player XMMS can play *.aac, *.mp4 and *.m4a files with its latest MP4 plugin now, and other apps like Music Player Demon (mpd) or gmerlin can do this, too." but _ONLY_ files not streams, so you can listen local aac files (downloaded from Internet) but you CAN'T listen SomaFM. -- morte, September 9, at 11:04a

It would be really cool if SomaFM supported IPv6. IPv6 has many advantages over IPv4. Perhaps most important is the possibility to run without NAT and to use MULTICASTING. With multicasting, SomaFM could provide a 128Kbit stream to millions of users without needing more bandiwith than 128Kbit (plus some overhead etc)! In other words, SomaFM could provide higher quality streams to more listeners without having a huge bandwidth bill. :) ps. btw, the email address works. -- SpamX, September 9, at 9:03a

Very nice...almost as good as 128k. -- B. F., September 9, at 8:08a

hi! my feedback about the AAC codec is... GREAT!!! yeah ;-) jm -- jmarc, September 9, at 4:10a

FAAD2 supports many kinds of file formats including ADTS AAC. In fact it started as an ADTS AAC decoder, and MP4 support came much later. For example the well known Linux audio player XMMS can play *.aac, *.mp4 and *.m4a files with its latest MP4 plugin now, and other apps like Music Player Demon (mpd) or gmerlin can do this, too. See the Wiki page on Audiocoding.com. If Mplayer only decodes the MP4 variant of AAC, you should contact the developers, because they are not using the full potential of FAAD2 then. -- hans-juergen, September 8, at 10:32p

This sounds incredible! Just as good as 128k, or even better! -- Pete, September 8, at 2:23p

The above is *incorrect*. Lots of linux players do *not* implement ADTS AAC, which is required for this stream. Mplayer, by far the most 'compatible player', doesn't support ADTS AAC, only MP4 AAC. -- Scott Dier, September 8, at 0:25p

Very good quality feed! Excellent choice - well done! -- patrikG, September 8, at 8:14a

It is definately better then the 56k feed, and thus with the reduction in bandwith it is most certainly better than that feed. I also hear that the new aacplus feed is flatter then the 128kb feed. I personately like the 128kb better, but it might be just that I'm accustomed to that sound and if I'd swich over i would get used to hearing that and my perception of nice would turn around too. -- marco, September 8, at 6:35a

Wow sounds very good. I couldn't get it to work at work but at home it sounds amazing. Very nice. -- Tomas, September 7, at 7:05p

Dear SomaFM The listen with AAC, is very good , but with WinAmp5.4 I don't see the title's song. Title that is possible to see with 128k Mp3. I must do something ?. Best regards -- giovanni, September 7, at 3:50p

The feed is very good considering the reduction in bandwidth. If anything I would say the sound is slightly flatter in the midrange than the 128kb feed but not unpleasantly so. Good job guys and girls, keep it up. -- Rob, September 7, at 8:40a

About the occasional dropouts that some people are experiencing: HE AAC needs much more CPU resources than MP3, so it might happen that with older computer and/or lots of applications running at the same time the CPU cannot decode the HE AAC in real-time anymore. In Winamp there's a slider in the preferences where you could adjust the amount of CPU cycles available for audio decoding. I don't know if RealPlayer 10 has a similar setting somewhere. -- hans-juergen, September 7, at 6:28a

Hello, I just tried your new stream, it is lovely. Very nice. -- Sarah, September 6, at 10:24a

hi!!! i´m from chile. your radio station is the best i found since i installed itunes on my computer. great music. is may favorite and only on-line radio i already know boards of canada, but tosca, maenad triola was reali great too!!! thaks for that. i´m sorry. i cant give a donation because i haven´t a credit card. i´m a art student, no very much money in that area, but you must go on... -- alvaro, September 6, at 9:26a

Cheers! That aacPlus 48k feed is quite amazing guys! It is, as you note, at least equal with the 128k mp3 stream; I might even go as far as to say that the aacPlus sounds better than the 128 mp3 stream. I'd also like to take a moment to note how great somafm is, which of course reflects on the amazing people that run it. If it weren't for you guys, I'd be stuck listening to mass produced RIAA crap. You are one of the last bastions of free (as in speech) music! Keep on rockin' in the free world! -Grey -- Grey, September 6, at 9:26a

Steve, you have to go in and configure the *normal* input plugin for MP3, then it will work. The support for AAC Plus is built in and should work straight off. You don't need Optimod unless you're planning to stream stuff out yourself ;-) -- Ken Moren, September 5, at 4:46p

Wow that sounds really great, Rusty! You're right... I've never heard 48K sound so good. Great stuff... -- Ken Moren, September 5, at 4:42p

the quality is very good, only slightly worse than your 128k stream, but in fact it's hard to hear the difference. I really enjoy it! Will you stream other stations with this codec? -- Piotr, September 5, at 11:19a

I have downloaded optimod and installed it. But when I try and play aacplus 48k feed, winamp opens up and says 'buffering'.That's as far as it gets. I am running winamp 5.05, maaybe this is the problem! Love goove salad, and all those chilled tunes, not sure about robot voice pr, but keep up the good work. You have lots of fans here in England. Regs. Steve -- Didgesteve, September 5, at 8:49a

an 128k mp3 stream sounds definitely better, maybe a 56k aac-stream sounds better. Have you thought of ogg-vorbis streaming? -- Wijnand Modderman, September 5, at 4:15a

Sounds great and works very well with Winamp 5.04 over a 56k modem connection!(except for a few dropouts from time to time, depending mainly on the ISP used). BTW folks, it is a well-known fact that mp3 is not optimized for low bitrates. -- Gopher, September 4, at 4:38p

Sounds good, and thanks for your great service, but have you checked the non-commercial codecs also? -- Steve, September 4, at 4:21p

It sounds really good. But as you can see from other repliers, there's very few number of software can play it. And only on Windows platform, AFAIK. Guys, you really shoul check out Ogg Vorbis streaming. It's patent free, so you won't need to pay anybodey for using it. Just check out Vorbis-related section on Hydrogenaudio.org forums, to see, that Vorbis development is evolving. -- SecTa, September 4, at 8:29a

realy good!!!! i use 5.1 speakers on stereo output - but realy sound good on this codec! -- David, September 4, at 7:42a

WOW! This aacPlus sounds AWESOME. Absolfrickinglutely incredible. At this bitrate I've never heard cymbals sound this good! -- jippers, September 3, at 10:06p

SOUNDS GREAT WHY ARENT THE OTHER CHANNELS WITH IT... -- LIO, September 3, at 5:07p

New codec... i can't test it, because linux music players don't support it. I don't have windows, so I must use old mp3 stream. But there is an alternative. There is a very good codec called ogg/vorbis. It is supported from winamp 2.x and it is free and open, so in the open source world almost everything can use it. (if you want to send me an email, remove first dot from the address) -- Tomasz Melcer, September 3, at 1:57p

Soma FM it's my best radio, i'm locked on it each days !! Groove Salad Rock'S ! lol About aacPlus 48k, sound great but not the equal to 128k normal stream. We lost the deepness rich quality of the high frequencies produce with hier bitrate. I can heard the difference with 192kb. i hope a day that you stream à 192k ... or 256 loll By the way. aacPlus offer a good way to offer the best chill radio on the net to the poor acess. In middle of nowhere ! EzE -- Ezequiel, September 3, at 6:59a

SomaFM on sirius would be fantastic, there "chill" stream is decent, but its no where near as good as groove salad! By the way, ACC sounds great, but is there any title support via winamp? -- Alex, September 2, at 11:35p

Ok Rusty, I scrolled down...you DO have one good argument for AAC, trying to get XM and/or Sirius to pick you up. I'm all for Soma's continued existance, and being able to receive it over the airwaves would be reason alone for me to get an digital receiver. I personally don't like AAC because I don't like Fraunhoffer's ironclad lock on the format...I just wish there was a way we could all be happy. :( But yes, continue by all means. Wish I could tune it in. :( -- Oh come on..., September 2, at 6:59p

I _have_ heard a 48k stream sound so good, it's called Ogg Vorbis. And it's free, and isn't layered with patents requiring royalties to Fraunhoffer. I don't understand why you're supporting Fraunhoffer and making it even harder for free software users to listen in. In case you haven't noticed, there's no AAC codec for XMMS or any other free software receiver. Every player out there supports Ogg, most by default. AAC is still fringe by comparison. And they sound exactly the same at the same bitrate. You've never disappointed me before Soma, but this...this disappoints me greatly. -- Oh come on..., September 2, at 6:52p

I think it sounds great. Better than mp3Pro at the same bitrate! -- Sir Nigel, September 2, at 2:50p

I definately think that the new codec has some awesome posibilities. but I'd be dissapointed if a 44kb aacPlus replaced the 128k MP3. The 128 MP3 feels much richer. I'd LOVE to hear a 128 aacPlus!!! How awesome would that be? Why not offer higher wuality accross the board? So broadband users will have a sound so clean you could eat off of it. (You guys are THE BEST streaming music on the web. Let's see you take over XM radio!) -- Dawson, September 2, at 4:28a

Me again... been listening to Groove on the new aacPlus for a few nights now, and I want SecretAgent and DroneZone to have the same option! Way to contribute to the increased efficiency of the net... Bravo! -- Quagmire, September 2, at 2:07a

aacPlus is great - fast load of buffer, good quality with only 48kbps, but there is only one thing why I am still listening to mp3 stream - song titles. -- pedro, September 2, at 1:40a

Sounds OK, but why don't you offer better quality - for example ogg with 128kbps? To my ears ogg's best. -- christian, September 1, at 10:33a

Sounds better than 56K mp3, which is what I normally listen to at work to avoid starving the buffer. Not quite as much dynamic range as 128k mp3 but very close, and heck, its nearly a third the bandwidth. Good stuff. -- hose, September 1, at 9:10a

Top ! Thanks for the many hours of fine lounge tunes! The AAC+ feed is absolutely brillant! Keep it going, put out on the secret agent feed as well. Thats my fave channel! Once again, you guys do a great service to the world. Let the world be CHILLED ! -- joe lee, September 1, at 4:43a

Sounds great and no rebuffer. -- claus, September 1, at 4:31a

No day without soma fm in Paris -- jeff, September 1, at 2:54a

Switching to new codecs is generally a good idea since mp3 is really outdated. But why are you using a commercial codec like aacplus and not the free and open ogg vorbis codec? Its way more supported by soft and hardware-decoders. Furthermore I found a lot of reports which discovered that the ogg vorbis codec sounds best at low bit-rates. Just try it. Last but not least I'd like to thank you guys. I'm listening to BeatBlender and Secret Agent since years. Hopefully I'll find a solution to listen to you (live!) while driving my car... :-) Regards, Carsten -- Carsten Bartels, September 1, at 1:10a

real great sound. this is really welcome since i'm on limited bandwidth and i can finally get some high quality sound in my speakers :). keep up the good work and start streaming aacPlus for the other stations too, not just groove salad -- Radu, September 1, at 0:17a

this kicks ass! Add support for this for all of the channels!:D -- Mousey, September 1, at 0:10a

Crystal! -- Jeffo , August 31, at 3:40a

Hey... the new Groove Salad aacPlus stream is every bit as high-quality as the old 128k standard MP3. Keep up the good work with both the content and the technology! Soma's been my internet radio station of choice for over 2 years strong! -- Quagmire, August 31, at 1:29a

sounds good. nice and clear. Good ranges, with no popping or anything. Using winamp 5.05 pro. -- Jason in Portland, August 30, at 9:37p

seem to work really well, and i like the idea thats its only half the fat ^_^ -- Dr VonDrake, August 30, at 11:15a

!!!! -- Anon., August 29, at 8:16p

Sounds great! -- Chris, August 29, at 6:55p

I keep listenign to cliqhop and its really beautiful. I stopped looking for music but its great cos I recognise a third of what you play and the rest is a delight for the ears to discover. Thanks, for the hope! Eve x -- eve, August 29, at 5:30p

The AACPlus sounds great---am ready for you to take out to the other SOMA channels. Thanks for the great music! -- B chan, August 29, at 8:10a

Hi there was listening to your stream and they sound shit hot sorry to ask but what stuff would i need to get my streams to sound that good, cash is no issue -- Thomas McConnell, August 29, at 7:40a

You should be able to relay aacplus streams. They are served by Shoutcast. I have tested this on my own machine, running Shoutcast DNAS 1.9.4/win32, and it picks up the original stream without any problems! I'm listening to the relay on localhost as I write this! One thing to note: if you don't have the aacplus decoder, you will get that mushy sound like listening to MP3Pro without the proper decoder. -- Bradley Chapman, August 28, at 11:19p

Now THIS sounds GOOD!! Forget RealPlayer... This aacplus is AWESOME! -- Bradley Chapman, August 28, at 11:09p

Amazing!!! I was conviced that MP3Pro was the best compression codec out there, and was amazed by the 96kb sound quality. A year has passed and now I can get the same quality with 48kb using aacPlus... Where will we be 10 years from now? Now we just need rippers, encoders and portable devices to support this very promising format. By the way - I love your music... At the end that's what it's all about!!! - A devoted listener -- Philip, August 28, at 8:39p

Tried the 48Kbps aac stream - sounds very good though it perhaps is missing or clipping some high and low-end range. Definately the right approach - keep up the good work. -- Mohan Kartha, August 28, at 7:04p

great quality-that's the direction to go! -- phaze, August 28, at 3:43a

After few hours listening to the aacPlus and comparing it to the standard 128k mp3, I can say that the sound of the aacPlus is better. Really a great new technology, saves bandwidth and the ears :-) No digital noise when playing noisy sounds as snares, hihats, wind and other effects. Very nice sound. Looking forward to hear all the streams in the new format! -- Brano, August 27, at 1:56p

About relaying: aacPlus streams can be relayed with standard Shoutcast servers, so have your ISP contact us and we'll hook them up to relay it! -- Rusty / SomaFM, August 27, at 10:21a

Wow, the quality is unbelievable! All the snares and noises sound really good, no artifacts like with wma or low rate mp3. Yes, it is comparable with 128k mp3 high quality encoding. Really nice, thanks ! -- nuwp, August 27, at 10:19a

sounds grooovy ! -- paola, August 27, at 7:47a

I would love to hear the new aac stream, but unfortunately it isnt working for me. I downloaded the winamp 5,04 for this. When I click on the aac strem link, the player starts buffering, but then nothing happens, exept that the mouse pointer keeps freezing every two seconds. Any ideas whats wrong? Thanks... Tamas -- Tamas, August 27, at 6:34a

Yeah.. sound is very clean, I love Salad ! -- phil, August 27, at 4:44a

Dood.. that stream is sick like jelly!!! put some secret agent sounds in that aacplus b/c i don't hear the high pitched chatter at all! high pitch chatter kills my vodka tonic buzz. -- Grant, August 26, at 7:37p

wow the 48k stream is sweet -- Anon., August 26, at 6:37p

Wow... ok apone payday a donation ye shall receive@! .. i found myself tangled in headphonesa cords but still the stream was pumping.. with the clear sound i would expect from a MUCH larger bitrate. a sign of things to come yes? :) i hope so this is great!@ will be good too see the sort of sound a 32kbps will bring -- ktuluz, August 26, at 4:52p

I'll say... the aacPlus stream is just excellent! -- Vegard, August 26, at 8:53a

SofaKing AWESOME! LOL @ 48 KHZ Love the GrooveSalad station... The other are good to but hard to pry from Salad especially at theis sound quality. LESS BANDWIDTH!!! -- Chris Gountanis, August 26, at 8:19a

Sounds incredible! I can't believe this is streaming at only 48kb. I think it's BETTER than 128 kbps MP3. CD-quality. Thanks! -- Patrick, August 26, at 7:51a

must add, i think the aac streams sound is much cleaner!@! after switching listening to howie B allergy, the crispness in the aac steam is got my mouth watering, would like to know if there are ways to relay aac ? as my isp relays the 128 stream :/ -- ktuluz, August 26, at 4:01a

Nice... i am down here in .au and the sound qual is nice i am having a lil bit of a droping out prob but that could be my dodgy adsl provider sounds sooo so sweet on these sennheisers!!! -- ktuluz, August 26, at 3:49a

we've got firewall nazis at work, can you stream on port 80? please =) -- cezar, August 26, at 2:55a

Dont work ? -- James, August 26, at 0:17a

I think the 48kb stream sounds amazingly clear, very full sound. I think its sounds just as good if not better than the 128 stream... Good work on hooking this up! -- Michael Kaechele, August 25, at 6:06p

greate site i would like something more elettronica -- giacomo, August 25, at 4:15p

OMFG this is soo awesome! Arguably better than mp3!!! the only thing i ask for is a 64k aacPlus stream, if you can deliver that, i swear ill donate like so much money!!! -- Todd Oakes, August 25, at 3:50p

This is the greatest thing going. Fresh, clear, high bandwidth streams. I just donated $5. I donate some more when I get paid. -- John Bailo, August 25, at 3:01p

Soma fm is the greates and the new format compatable with winamp 5 sounds magnificent. Keep up the good work and programing. -- Tyler Durden, August 25, at 2:16p

why not take a chance on ogg vorbis ??? -- Anon., August 25, at 11:28a

I've been switching back and forth between the 128 kbps mp3 stream and the 48 kbps aac stream, listening to Resonant's R Earth, through some pretty loud THX-certified speakers... and I'll be Diffendoofered if I can tell the difference. And yet... I have this prejudice that I can't shake. I *know* that 48 kbps can't possibly deliver an adequate number of bits, and so I can't accept that I can't tell the difference. There IS one glaringly-apparent difference: the aac stream seems to be more stable. Maybe because there's less of it. Oh, and P.S.: f*ck Real Networks and their scumware. WinAmp works fine. Thanks! -- Hawkins, August 25, at 11:23a

Having just moved from DSL to a 50k dialup, this sounds great -- even better than I remember 128k sounding! (in spite of the occasional buffer underruns due to the high 48k data rate...) If you offer this AAC at dialup-compatible speeds (ideally more than one) it'd have a huge benefit for those of us who can't handle the 56k and 128k feeds. -- Mugwort, August 25, at 10:51a

Could You please use Ogg Vorbis instead of AAC-HE. AAC is a proprietary format. Vorbis is completely open and patent-free, also it's supported on more platforms then AAC-HE. I've try to listen SomaFM in XMMS but FAAD2 XMMS plugin dosen't support streaming, yet :( -- morte, August 25, at 10:13a

the qualitity is amazing ! -- mich, August 25, at 8:51a

I really like the songs from Millenia Nova (I'M Dead) and Ike Don (Ataman). Where can I buy this music. And do these artist have web sites so I can go and check them out. -- Brent , August 25, at 7:13a

for 48 kbit/sec the sound ist great. But on my Headphones its a big difference between 128k mp3 and 48k aac, Its okay, but its not really good (128k mp3 is also not really good, but better than 48k aac. Maybe 96k aac is the perfect solution?). -- POilf, August 23, at 1:22p

Not XMMS compatibe -- shit! -- no, August 23, at 8:23a

Sounds great! Can't tell the difference between the 48k aac and the 128k mp3! -- Gerry, August 23, at 8:00a

I just found your site and spent the day yesterday enjoying secret agent music. Now I can't seem to get the music back on. Help -- lori dodge, August 22, at 2:19p

soundq is great, less bandwidth -- sllywhtboy, August 22, at 2:16p

richmond district approves! This stream is damn good for 48k I am impressed. What does 64K, 128K sound like? -- eriku, August 22, at 1:48p

Excellent Music. I made a tiny pledge at Amazon - sorry I cannot do more at this time. I listen to Drone Zone almost every night, and I listen to Groove Salad on weekends. I can't find a copy of Mendocino - Sidetracked anywhere on the net. I heard it yesterday afternoon on Groove Salad, and it just lew me away. Any idea where I can buy it? Thanks for the excellent music! Jim -- Jim Fulton, August 22, at 1:16p

So, is there a way to listen to this stream on other non-winamp supported platforms? -- Scott Dier, August 22, at 0:05p

Do you think that it might be feasible to replace your MP3 streams with these new AAC ones at the same bitrate. 48Kbps is great, but no replacement for 128Kbps MP3s. Ideally, I suppose you could replace the 128Kbps MP3 with a 96 or 128Kbps AAC. This would be really great. Thanks. -- D, August 22, at 4:08a

Great ! -- Bernd Tester, August 21, at 6:15p

This is an awesome stream! I think it sounds much much MUCH better than the 128k MP3 streams, and it has a real nice beat to it! Nice for mind numbing work too! -- Michelle "Washi", August 21, at 6:09p

This new stream plays really well. Love the sound quality! Definately changing my bookmarks. -- Dave Holiday, August 21, at 5:23p

I think your new 48Khz stream is great! Thank you for this amazing space music! Keep going on guys - friendly from Bulgaria! -- Plamen Bogdanov, August 21, at 8:34a

This sounds great! p.s. Play more R o 7 0. Great stuff, and impossible to find. :/ -- Phill, August 20, at 9:55p

Me likee :) Worked instantly with Winamp - sounds just like 128 stream. -- Brian Smith, August 20, at 9:10p

You guys might wanna synch the streams so its easier to compare with the 128 stream. -- Anon., August 20, at 3:13p (Rusty says: the streams will be sync'ed next week.)

This is quite nice, much gooder than the 56K stream by far. This stream is replacing my usual groove salad bookmark. -- m rautenkranz, August 20, at 11:17a

Works like a charm, sounds like 128 MP3 :) And streams without interruptions right up to Portugal. amazing sound, thanks a bunch! -- Bruno Lopes, August 20, at 10:41a

i am 100% impressed with this 48kbps stream. now that it just loads automatically into the default winamp install, i want more! -- Charles Latham, August 20, at 7:38a

after aac format which we tried few days ago, i must admit that this is another great stuff.. quality is near perfect for such low bitrate. thanks :) -- Cem Caglar, August 20, at 0:43a

Wow this is nice. Its got so much more richness and power in it then the 128kmp3. But winamp doesnt show any song information, but that doesnt really matter, i'm do busy doing other things, like work or play! haha But right now I'm in windows, so kinda wondering if it will work in Linux. -- David, August 19, at 1:20p

This can't be only 48k! It sounds more like 128.. awesome. The only way I can get Groove at work is to proxy it through my server at home. Upload rates on ADSL meant that i needed to keep listening to mp3 casts at 24k, with aweful sound quality. This makes my listening experience so much better! Thank you Soma!! :) -- BakedBeans, August 19, at 11:22a

First, the aacplus is without comparison for the bitrate. However: Why isn't the aacplus stream playing the same audio as the regular stream, so you can compare them? Also it doesn't appear that there is title/meta data coming down the aacplus stream. Perhaps this is just Winamp 5.04? -- Thomas Dorr, August 19, at 10:06a (Rusty says: we needed to test it in the lab for a few days before putting it on the main stream server. And the title display is coming soon.)

The greatest internet radio. Purely, the greatest. -- Mike Kaso, August 19, at 7:50a

woh... that is pretty good for 48kb !!!! -- Antonio Broughton, August 18, at 8:59p

Wow! I really did look twice to make sure it actualy said 48/48 outstanding! -- Blaise Bloomer, August 18, at 4:59p

Doesnt sound that bad, and I have always been a 128k mp3 person. I'll have to hook up some better speakers later tonight and see what I think then. One things for sure, there seems to be more Ooomf in the sound (like over all power/volume) and that does improve the sound qulity. -- Alex, August 18, at 3:26p

Woah. This is 48k? Naw.... It sounds as good as 128k. Maybe even better? It could be the track. Impressive. -- Jon Gardner, August 18, at 3:10p

great feed! kudos to tha krewe! you've heard it B4 but ogg-stream is my request. btw, i'm listening via satelite-internet from int'l waters; yr gettin out! -- GeeBee, August 16, at 9:23a

FYI, The new just released Winamp, now supports aacPlus format. Maybe Rusty and the guys will be able to use the Winamp player as well. The current player works well but many people have issues with Real Player. Either way GREAT JOB to the somafm crew. -- Steven P, August 12, at 10:09a

aacPlus? Why not go with the much wider supported, Open Source, outstanding sounding "Ogg Vorbis" format? Makes far more sense than aacPlus, and already has a great deal of software support available. Icecast is pretty reliable these days, so don't be put off! How about the ultimate test - supply both and see which is more popular. I think especially among the geek contingent, you'd see your OGG streams become even more popular than your MP3 streams. Come on, lead the way! :-D -- Dave Silvester, August 11, at 3:26p

Yeah, I don't think Sirius is going to switch -- there is too much installed base *and* the improvements they've made on the encoder have helped a ton. At least they brought back a mostly-trance station. -- Scott Dier, August 11, at 10:50a

Hey it has quite neat sound... Does that mean that 128kbps AAC is similar to, let's say, 198kbps VBR? Or more maybe? -- Crolug, August 11, at 3:50a

Many on this board think Sirius uses AAC, they do not. Sirius uses PAC v4 from ibiquity. -- Scott Dier, August 10, at 6:14p (Rusty says: You're right, I've mistakenly said that myself. There were rumors that Sirius was going to switch, but so far they haven't.)

Could you use an open sound formats like OGG/Vorbis? I'm not that keen on switching one patent ridden format to another :-/ -- APz, August 10, at 5:51p (Rusty says: we are NOT switching from MP3, only providing an alternative.)

Works great for me. No interruptions. Keep up the hard work. -- danielle, August 10, at 1:56p

heva been using mymp3pro4 from steinberg for a long time. this player has a very good sound. however, the stream was unstable for some month. now, it´s simply impossible to get the stream, no matter which bandwith. would be happy if xmms for unix stays well supported, it´s extremely stable (no single dropout for days and days) and: commercial free! real player is not. -- Anon., August 9, at 10:42a

Really, a 48kbit MPEG-4 AAC is not better than a properly encoded MPEG-1 Layer-3 audio stream. Also I keep reading that SomaFM claims the stream to be open standards. However, the playlist file is a Real Audio Media file (.ram). It would be better to use a .pls, .m3u or a direct link to the stream. -- Gatak, August 6, at 9:47a (Rusty says: aacplus is HE-AAC, not plain old MPEG4 AAC, and the link is a .ram file right now because RealPlayer 10 is the only player that supports RTSP streamed HE-AAC now.)

sounds great! i have been using this feed from work because the regular feed keeps dropping on me. not sure why that started happening, but this feed is steady and clear. long live the salad! -- deb, August 6, at 7:08a

i want to have sex with this feed. could we arrange this? i live in the richmond district. -- de citi, August 5, at 6:57p

Using RealPlayer 10.5, sounds clear, good separation, depth, overall high quality. Stream is mostly stable, a little ragged but doesn't affect the audio. I'm sorry that you had trouble with streaming OGG. Peercast has improved. There is also StreamerP2P and P2P-Radio (Java). Icecast2 has worked well for me. I am streaming my home collection using Winamp 5.04 or Foobar 0.8.3 with oddcast DSP V2 and Icecast2 2.0.1. ProgRock is using OGG Vorbis exclusively. Thanks, Bob -- Bob Kaiser, August 5, at 1:01p

I can't hardly tell any difference. If it weren't for the fact that I knew it was different, I wouldn't have been able to tell any difference at all. If you guys have to switch to this, I'll definately keep listening. -- Ryan, August 5, at 0:04a

No complaints from me. Sounds superb, especially considering the bandwidth. Here's my thing on this: I know how insane the bandwidth can be for a listener-supported station. If this sounds almost as good as a feed 3x the bandwidth, and that helps Soma keep going longer and reaching more people, then I'm all for it. I'd have never been exposed to *any* music like this if it wasn't for soma, so the more people who can the better. And if this is one way it can happen, then great! -- Vike, August 4, at 8:31p

Sounds sehr gut on RealPlayer running on Fedora Core 2. Bush lies vote foos! -- K Sorenson, August 4, at 3:58p

been listening for the past 45 minutes. sound quality excellent. no burps skips or pauses. connected via earthlink dsl in sf ... -- jonathan lee, August 4, at 2:53p

Argghh, don't use proprietry RealPlayer / .ram Winamp 5.04 now supports aacPlus streams via Shoutcast. -- Winamp, August 4, at 10:10a (Rusty says: WinAmp only supports aacPlus via HTTP, and we are streaming over RTSP. There is no Shoutcast HTTP aacPlus encoder available to the public yet.)

Finally, a decent sound at a kick-@$$ bitrate. Now I can download Pron that much faster with my pron-pipe (better known as a cable modem!) -- Iguana Man, August 3, at 10:27p

you should use ogg to stream the music. You get the best of both worlds, high compression with high quality. Ogg also supports the direct encoding of artist/album information into the audio file so no more annoying id3 tags. Also its supported on a wide range of platforms, x86, hppa, sparc, mips, arc, ppc, amd64, etc. I've used ogg for music storage for about 2 years now and its never let me down. -- the dude, August 2, at 1:50a

I'm having trouble connecting to the stream using RealPlayer 10b (Mac OsX 10.3). The player responds with a file not found error rtsp://aacplus.streamguys.com/soma48.sdp - I've installed a bunch of pref extensions that tinker with file, mime and protocol associations so it could be a local misconfig. Before I start messin' around with my machine can you confirm the beta stream is still online? -- Edoardo Causarano, August 2, at 0:55a

Is there any charge ? -- declan, August 1, at 0:51p

I love the salad -- Louis Dallara, August 1, at 0:12p

Cannot connect to the server using UDP. RealPlayer requested content using the UDP protocol, and the server did not respond. Connection errors that occur only occasionally or on specific sites are not usually a cause for concern. If traffic is high on the Internet, the site hosting the files is down, or the files have been moved, errors may occur. Connection errors that occur at all sites on a recurring basis may indicate a problem with RealPlayer or your Internet connection. You may need to reconfigure RealPlayer or the connection software of your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to allow RealPlayer to connect. To avoid getting the UDP error message when you stream content, try playing sample files to rule out a problem with the specific file or your Internet connection; second, attempt to connect to the Internet when it is less busy to rule out network congestion; third, reconfigure your RealPlayer to use other protocols. -- Anon., August 1, at 11:19a

Sounds very clear! Fidelity is amazing for 48kbps. Too bad Real 10 has such a lousy interface. You just can't beat Winamp Classic (2.x) for staying the hell out of your way! Real really needs a tiny windowshade mode. But the stream rocks! -- Steve, July 30, at 9:25p

i've been using real 10 for some time and just installed 10.5 beta. i'm quite suprised with the quality. it is perfect for 48bit.. got no complaints but as mentioned earlier, if song titles can be displayed on this one also, it would be great -- cem, July 30, at 0:48a

is there a way you could stream the aacPlus over HTTP so it would work with Winamp 5.04? -- Aero, July 29, at 8:03p

For "only" 48Kbit/s over the realplayer10 it wreally sounds quite good! But I noticed that the quality of the stream 48Kbits/s and the clip info (Songname and Artist) aren't displayed anymore! -- chucky, July 29, at 6:43p

Quiet good for 48, but my audio-ears are not that happy ... Come on, at least, double the bitrate! -- Per Schunnesson, July 29, at 3:27p

Winamp 5.04 has an aacplus plugin with it. It's not on their website yet, but it was released yesterday. It doesn't yet play RTSP streams as far as I could tell. aacPlus is the way technology is going. Face it. Deal with it. To use this old technology, mp3 and OGG, is going to cost stations more money and not be able to provide as good of services as they would like to be able to do. aacPlus is used by XM and Sirius for their satellite operations. it is also commonly used in other forms of audio distrobution such as Satellite TV (encapsulated in MPEG4 or MPEG2 Video). OGG is not the answer.. It sounds good, but it takes way too much processor time, does not have any HARDWARE ENCODING support like mp3 or aacPlus and lacks lots of other things needed for webcasters/broadcasters to use. I don't enjoy RealPlayer either, but I have it installed to test out different things, like this one. Hats off to Rusty for putting out a beta test of the caliber. -- Shon Elliott, July 29, at 5:13a

hello -- ammar, July 29, at 1:11a

You should use ogg, then you wouldn't have to pay anyone for it's use.I think it encrypts better than mp3 too. -- dinezane, July 28, at 9:41p

Wow -- I'm really impressed. 48kbps ought to save you guys a lot of bandwidth, which would be great because you could serve more streams.. And that's good for the world. -- Ken Simpson, July 28, at 2:16p

Sounds good but RealPlayer is eating up 12meg right now. Id like to see an AAC plug-in for winamp. -- mojowrkn, July 28, at 9:08a

Your AAC Stream sounds great in comparison to MP3 at the same bitrate, no doubt. But Real sucks major ass. I think there are alternatives like ogg, mp3pro and others. -- Benjamin Goedereis, July 27, at 8:59a(Rusty says: aacPlus is part of the MPEG4 standard. It's not a Real Networks technology, nor are we paying them to use it.)

plz stop ur engagement with real networx this company should die -- phazer, July 27, at 2:45a (Rusty says: We're not working with Real Networks. However, RealPlayer 10 is currently the only player that supports this now. More players are expected to support it soon.

Realplayer sucks for listeners. Their stream of advertising is reason enough to make sure that I never let their applications on my pc -- EO, July 26, at 1:31a (Rusty says: you don't have to. We're not switching to Real. But lots of people use RealPlayer already, and other people are behind corporate firewalls that only allow RTSP stream protocols.

Realplayer 10? Are you kidding me? I haven't upgraded since version 8, and I don't like that version very much either. Why can't you stream using the "faad2" AAC-HE encoder so that Winamp (and xamp) can decode the contents? I am very excited to see that you are experimenting with low bitrate optimized codecs, and 48k is perfect for me, I use t-mobile's mobile internet service, and it is reliable at that bandwidth - but MP3's sound horrible at anything below 128. I like AAC-HE, and appreciate it, but could use a more friendly wrapper? I'd just as soon install an indonesia phone dialer malware program as install realplayer 10. They suck, and their interface is crap and it screws your computer, making uninstall without OS overhaul impossible. -- Kurt Winter, July 23, at 11:36a (Rusty says: this is the only aac-he (aka aacplus) encoder and server that's currently available. The server is an Apple Darwin Streaming Server. The protocols are all standards (RTSP). However, Real is the first player to support it. We will support other players as the software becomes available.)

Please do not use RealPlayer. Their software is garbage. Stick with the old standards, or find some cheap-as-free streaming technology. -- Bradley C, July 22, at 8:51p

sounds good...I'm pleasantly suprised...love to hear it at 56 or 128 ;0 this is free and great...so groove people...be more like the music and relax... -- nate, July 22, at 4:41p

I think a ton of you are missing the point - the testing is being done to Augment and not Replace other streams - unless i'm mistaken, you will have it as yet another option...you wont lose your precious MP3 streams and if you don't want to use Real - don't... -- jared, July 22, at 4:07p

Soma fm is fun to hear. Thanks for putting this together and sharing. I have an ISDN connection here at work. The stream has good audio quality, but occasionally flutters out of connection (I wouldn't go as far as to call it intermittent). -- T Akrpes, July 22, at 2:28p

I like SomaFM esp. Groove Salad - but if I have to use ANY product from REAL NETWORKS then I will stop being a listener. REAL players are junk, way too intrusive (I hate TKBELL.EXE!!!!) and in my experience they work only about half the time. WinAmp blows anything from Real away, so does Windows Media applet. DON'T SWITCH OVER TO REAL! Just say NO to real! -- Bill, July 22, at 0:36p

I have to agree with the majority on this on, real player has always been a piece of crap. the sound is good, but it will never replace the Greatest Player Ever. WINAMP RULES!!! real player can fornicate itself with an iron stick. thanks for the tunes. -- ted o, July 22, at 10:49a

Using Real Player is a horrible thing. I'm all for upgrading the stability, quality, and reducing server load, but not at the expense of user functionality. I'm sure that you can expect a bunch of unhappy people if the AAC stream doesn't work with Winamp. (Does anyone know if you can do this or if Nullsoft if adding AAC functionality?!?!) Winamp is king. Real Player is evil. -- Michael, July 22, at 9:14a

I would never listen to anything that is RealPlayer only. I dislike its technology, their tech support and overal invasive program. I would rather use a Mac product before using RealPlayer. It is by far the worst software company of all time. -- Joseph, July 22, at 9:00a (Rusty says: this is a standard, other players will support it soon.)

This feed seemed to be working fine on RealPlayer 9. I upgraded to Realplayer 10 and it quit working. I get an error telling me a connection could not be established or cannot receive UDP data packets. It worked fine before I upgraged. While it worked, it sounded great. -- Walter, July 22, at 7:04a

The main Groove Salad main stream is down for me, too...and Live 365 tells me they are no longer broadcasting this station. I hope this will work. I miss Groove Salad!! Heidi in NH -- Heidi Smith, July 21, at 11:23a

Well actually I dislike RealPlayer. It's a very large, slow, instable and hard to configure player with too much features. Also the possible equalizer settings are very limited. Winamp has great pre-sets for it's great equalizer so I prefer Winamp! (I use the Lite version, 5.03) Peace. -- Bas, Delft (the Netherlands), July 21, at 10:29a

I re-listen the stream , after one mounth, and no more , i see the problem with 1 second streaming interruption. You done a good work -- giovanni, July 21, at 1:53a

The main Groove Salad stream is down...ahhh a forced beta test! Surprisingly good...is this really 48kps. Very close to 128 kps normal mp3 stream. Also, very error free with no interuptions. Keep up the good work! -- Kevin Fitzgerald, July 21, at 0:41a

excellent quality (i would expect no less from an AAC stream)...noticably better than the 128k MP3 stream, smoother and richer sound--and without the severe treble attenuation and phase demolition of MP3 compression...all you need now is to transmit the song info to RP so i don't keep having to check the song titles on the website! -- David in Chicago, July 20, at 11:41p

I'll have to say that something needs to be done about the audi constantly cutting out. I don't know what is going on with the aac feed but the streaming MP3 has proven to be much more reliable. -- Anthony Munoz, July 20, at 9:45p

hey, this stream is fucking great! I have been having the worst time trying to listen to anything on my dell laptop, and this is the first thing I've found that runs without all the skipping and hiccuping...! good work, I'll bookmark this page, not to mention tell kids about this....peace, juan c. -- juan carlos, July 20, at 9:33p

Ron Suarez - it's to do with file associations. Try this... Real Player Tools + Prefrences + Media Types + Advanced Set what you want to associate with Real player here. ---------------------------------------- Winaamp 5.03 Options + Prefrences + File Types Set what you want to associate with Winamp here - All, Audio Only, Video Only, None ---------------------------------------- Hope this helps you and other Soma Listeners - Mike Ashley -- Anon., July 20, at 7:28p

Indeed, this sounds great! -- Chris, July 20, at 4:39p

It would be great if someone could provide some general advice or links to info from other folks about how to keep various players from taking over. Today, I am unable to hear anything. Winamp was working great for me, but somehow the Real player took over and then it gave me a message saying it could not open an unsupported document type. -- Ron Suarez, July 20, at 6:59a

GREAT! 48kb sounds terrific! :D -- Riccardo Barbazza, July 20, at 1:39a

Wow, wow, oh my god wow!! Anyone doubting the AMAZING quality of this stream should try the 56k groove salad stream and you'll then see that this 48k aacplus is absolutely incredible. There's no comparison!! Soma you rock!!! -- Linda, July 19, at 3:14a

I'm listeing in China, so anything that will improve the feed would be greatly appreciated! Kind regards Zane -- Zane, July 19, at 2:39a

I'm listening from New Zealand using XP Pro and Real Player 10_Gold 6.0.12.883 for this aacPlus stream - very nice sound and stable too. I can notice a difference to 128 kbps but its minimal and if I was on 56k I would be way more than happy to have this sort of quality. Keep up the good work guys :-) -- Ian Scott, July 18, at 11:43p

I feel 48k aacPlus is about 95% the quality of 128k MP3, which is astonishing. Had a couple of gaps w/RealPlayer. Great alternative for low-bandwidth usage though. -- sh, July 18, at 6:52a

The aacPlus stream is good--much better than other 56k streams. However, it's not on par with the 128k stream I prefer. I use it to write papers and entertain parties at loud volumes on big speakers. The 48k stream is akin to listening to a cd player outputing to tiny travel speakers. -- Robbie Mitchell, July 17, at 9:22p

Sound real nice, works fine with XP, And Realplayer 10. -- Haiko, July 17, at 5:52a

I tried to open the 48k feed,but nothing happened. The RealPlayer window popped up,but nothing started to play. -- Dennis, July 16, at 1:20p

sounds real nice, i just wish winamp had a realplayer input plugin -- brandon, July 16, at 7:47a

I think the sound quality is comparable - but I experience a lot of dropouts with Realplayer. I never get this with the 128K stream through iTunes which seems a bit odd because theoretically there's far less data in the aac stream. I agree with the other guy who said that if you can get the aac happening in iTunes I'm sure we'd be on to a winner! -- Tim B, July 15, at 10:20p

Sounds Great! My employer's firewall somehow started blocking the regular feed, so I tried the new one. Sounds much better. -- Walter Hopkins, July 15, at 6:32a

Stream sounds great to me. What's up with Secret Agent right now, by the way? -- Bellview (www.bellviewmovies.com), July 15, at 5:47a

was not able to connect...real player couldnt find stream -- gary, July 13, at 3:09p

I tried connecting this morning and I'm not getting anything. Anyone else not able to connect? -- Colin, July 13, at 9:10a

I did a side by side on the two (48k aac / 128k mp3) and could BARELY hear any difference. Only alightly in the high end... but it's deceiving. If you have winamp handy and switch between the two blindly, it's hard to tell the difference. -- Randy, July 12, at 6:08p

Thank you for Real Stream, its the only way I can listen to SOMAFM.com at work. -- Colin, July 12, at 10:35a

Sounds great. Just needs a playlist. -- Alan, July 12, at 9:05a

I always thought Waveform Transmission was produced in Detroit by Hood & Mills. Like you'r site e-tronik -- e-tronik, July 11, at 9:14p

humm.... will something like "real alternative" found on sourceforge work for this? Im not currently at my desktop so i cannot try it out. It might be worth a shot for all you Real haters :) -- Jeff, July 11, at 2:17a

Why does this work in only real player 10? Seeing how apples itunes supports aac will we see it for itunes anytime soon? I (and most computer geeks really hate real) so do us a favor and expand into other players! -- Jeff, July 11, at 2:01a

With regards to your talking about trying to get XM and/or Sirrius to carry groove salad a little while ago, is there anyone to email or write to to help convince them to pick you up? -- Rob D, July 11, at 0:12a

sounds really good. a few drop-outs, but they're infrequent enough not to annoy me (and I suspect my iffy net connection might be to blame for those anyway). -- Angus Glashier, July 10, at 4:17a

much much better sound quaility!! Really solid bass and trebles. Why isn't this more widely adopted? Stay cool, keep up the solid tunes. :) -- darren, July 9, at 11:20a

I lost my connection this week and can't reesablish it. -- Chris, July 9, at 10:59a

Sounds ok-ish (a little bubbly at the top end) but keeps dropping out. Stereo image seems expanded - or is this the program content? Please can you sync up the 128k MP3 & aacplus streams so we can so a-b tests? Stats reveal about 0.5% to 1.2% loss with no successful retransmissions. Given how many people are reporting drop-outs I wonder if this is network or server related ? I've turned off Turbo Play (in preferences/connection) and increased the buffer times but still get occasional drop-outs. Long live 128k MP3 - which (generally) works 100% -- Chris - UK, July 9, at 1:43a

How can I listen music on your site? -- chazot, July 9, at 1:05a

I just fired it up on my laptop in a cafe and it sounds much better than the elevator music they've got playing. And it sounds fine. -- Todd, July 8, at 2:53p

Sounds good .. but with my home theater hooked up to the computer ... the mp3 sounds deeper and more pronounced ... where as the aacplus sounds more tingy. Never the less great sound at such a low stream! Keep up the awesome sounds! -- gamepike dot com, July 7, at 2:46p

Been listening for about 3 hours now. Sounds great and only a couple of hiccups. All it needs is a playlist and a link to Secret Agent! -- Susan in Atlanta, July 7, at 8:23a

I don't know if it was the track I listened to or my memory, but there certainly were quite a few drops and fade outs. The regular set up worked better in my opinion 1:19am --Tom -- Tom , July 6, at 10:17p

...my stream to a tasty plate of ambient beats and grooves will not connect..this has happened before. came thru this morning (am-est)but now the only thing i can get is "drone zone". that's fine but i would prefer to listen to my first choice of "ambient beats and grooves"...a very cool station. using the winamp stream (latest version). anything i should pass on to my (IT) guy? thanks in advance! -- ajene, July 6, at 0:30p

The Server seems to be very busy or its the general problem with you today... but the music sounds as if there isn't enough bandwidth on the server... its shreddered -- Timo, July 6, at 8:10a

Next step in streaming.Very very nice sounding.No crashes at all.Real 9 here.Waited just for the updates, and its running very well.Cheers from Brazil! -- Erico, July 5, at 8:33p

Hi guys! Love the station! Do you have a playlist for this aacPlus stream? The aacPlus signal does stop for a moment every now and then. But I'm just thrilled that my cable connection finally works. Now I can listen all day. I'm so excited and I just can't hide it... Happy 7/5, -MarkS -- Mark Sasahara, July 5, at 0:55p

realplayer crashed with some dull system message...anyway, i think you shoul definitely broadcast through realaudio, even on higher quality, becouse for many users its only way how to listen to internet radio. please :) -- ninique, July 5, at 8:52a

great -- SK, July 4, at 3:13p

Hey! It was stoping for a sec for me.. every 3-4 secs... -- Andrew, July 3, at 11:35p

Hello, i'm discovering great music thanks to you. About AACPlus, quality is amazing for such a tiny bitrate. Ok, but i can clearly listen to the difference : AAC Plus, at this bitrate, sounds mean or artificially 'wide'. My computer is directly linked to my Hi-Fi system and the difference is very audible. Thanks a lot again. Nico. Paris. -- Nico, July 3, at 4:56p

A couple of bumps and pauses. Have been listening for about 30 secnds and sounds reasonably good. Clear, trebly sound. -- Bru, July 3, at 4:55p

RealOne Player v2 build 6.xxx up and running with ease after a little bit of a wait to install decoders. Stream sounds spiffy here in Belgium. KiM -- KiM, July 3, at 0:23a

Wheres the playlist? This stuff takes me away. Thanks for it guys. -- rob, July 2, at 9:06p

Sounds fine here in Toronto, few interruptions in 1/2 hr, then it got lost. -- Rob, July 2, at 7:39p

Just got the Realplayer 10 for mac update and it sounds real nice on my shit slot-loading imacSE with the bootsy wireless connection. This is real cool guys. Make the switch asap so I can hear my favorite feed, Secret Agent with acc. -- ghosttoaster, July 2, at 7:01p

Sounds good, would say its indeed the same quality as 128k. Listening here in Luxembourg, Europe with a 256k DSL line. -- Elzo, July 2, at 3:22p

Thank you for offering alternate types of streams! I too am no big fan of RealPlayer but lets face it, lots of us listen at work where our choice of player (be it WinAmp or whatever) is chosen for us by our IT admin or department (only the admins can add software to the machines we use). I'm glad you are trying to support more standard players and at lower bandwidths! Yay for Soma! And BTW, on this machine using RP10, this accplus stream sounds better than the 128 MP3 stream, fuller sound and better bass (less tinny). However, I'm sure on a more l33t mp3 player the 128 stream might sound better. -- Trent, July 2, at 10:53a

128 Bit Stream would it be still available? i would cry if not! -- Anon., July 1, at 9:10a

Excellent! Sounds good to me. Congrats on the Chronicle piece. -- groovetronica dot com, June 30, at 1:34p

Groove Salad is it! I have replaced KCRW with SOMAFM. right on... -- Stef, June 30, at 1:13p

sounds really good! -- Anon., June 30, at 11:53a

...given the system that I have it couldn't be better. Surprise me -- al, June 30, at 10:37a

Maybe with enough requests WinAmp would make a plug-in to support aacPlus -- Steve, June 30, at 10:27a

No question the 128mp3 is BETTER on Broadband, but not everyone has it... -- Haven't figured an easy way to "rip" the RA so I hope the 128 stays.. -- Nice piece on SFGate.com (SF Chronicle)about Rusty and SOMA today.. keep up the good fight -- Steve, June 30, at 8:22a

aac is definitely giving off better sound than the 128 mp3 -- fl00, June 29, at 11:34p

Welp, I have to say that 128k mp3 sounds a lot better on my laptop than the aac stream. -- Jesse, June 29, at 0:30p

Great, aacPlus is the combination of MPEG AAC and Coding Technologies' SBR (Spectral Band Replication) technology and it´s a Swedish invention ! Is it possible to listen with my 3G cellphone SonyEricsson P900 ? John from Stockholm Sweden -- Janne, June 29, at 8:26a

Near 128kbps sound on a 48kbps stream. Not a bad comprimise for those with bandwidth constraints. -- Chris, June 28, at 0:28p

this is really cool but what does Arizona Association of Chicanos for Higher Education have to do with streaming radio? -- martinX, June 27, at 10:32p

we love groovy salade; it hits the spot! Keep up the good work guys!!! Donation soon - hopefully! -- Sarah Smith, June 26, at 4:10a

Sounds great! I can listen as if it's 128kbps without the bandwidth problems/hogging. Cheers guys, I love your radio station! Joe Braidwood, London, UK -- Joe Braidwood, June 25, at 2:00p

"lots more versatile" sorry about the typing errors... -- should have adder, and that was one MP3 CD, you could burn it to WMA format, if you have a player.. or even to a std. CD to play in any player... too, -- Steve , June 25, at 11:37a

Don't know exactly what you are asking about "free-radio" but with WinAmp and StreamRipper..you can "save" a constant "stream" of the music on SOMA, to a file, it will be dated, the songs listed and seperated, and "incompletes" when you start and stop will be seperate.. One CD will hold about 125-140 songs at 128k, which is about 10hours... Its bulkier than a Ipod but a lost more versital So it is the "next-best-thing" to having a "radio" -- Steve , June 25, at 11:32a

IT rules! this is the best I just sit and zone out at work all day. The music comes though clear and cool. -- Mike Trapp, June 25, at 11:13a

hwo can i get freee radio -- joey, June 25, at 5:24a

Sounds about the same as 64K WMA stream... Definitely worse than 128K stream, but pretty nice otherwise. -- anon, June 24, at 9:47p

Wondering if you folks that are getting such good sound have a broad-band or dial-up.. -- I admit, I have a 3000 cable, and the 128k is FANTASTIC, i rip it to CD and listen to it on my IRiver 550..with Koss Titanium headphones... -- I haven't really compared the two, but my first impression was the same or LESS qaulity than the 128k.. But that might not work to well on a 56K dial-up.. -- Steve, June 24, at 1:43p

Sounds great, lets get more stations, more selections, more grooves. Forget testing; its proved to be awesome!!!! -- Kimber, June 24, at 10:44a

Man! That sounds real good! Miss the clip info though ;) Keep up the great work. SOMAFM is soo awesome...which geeash...I need to send you guys some support soon... -- Michael Krolczyk, June 24, at 10:33a

The sound is awsome.How did you do that?!I'm really amazed .Greetings from Greece. -- Elena , June 24, at 8:14a

Surprised me! I tried the aacPlus stream in the unadulterated stereo and 6.1 (monkeyed around with by my SB Audigy card and with various effects) on both RP10 and QT6.5.1 and compared each to the 128K stream. The two streams were playing different stuff but to me the aacPlus sounded a little better in all cases. The 128K stream sounds more muffled, less dynamic. I am sure that someone can give a more technical appraisal than that but I know what sounds good to me. Are there any differences between the streams other than encoding? Also, I found the QT player a more stable the RP10 which suffered from occasional short dead spots but otherwise no difference. Love your music! -- Gary Byatt, June 24, at 7:08a

I hear a clear and precise sound. I think that is a good tecnology Some time the sound stop for 1 second. Best regard -- giovanni casorerio, June 24, at 1:50a

firewall issue. somehow make it work over http. -- Anon., June 23, at 10:26a

Hello from Ireland! Given the bandwidth constraints you've put on the stream, the quality is fantastic. The only problem is the less-than-a-second break in the sound every few minutes. Other than that, well done. Good music too, of course. -- Cian, June 22, at 6:08a

Tired of poor quality streams. If you want me to listen give me at least 160KBS and maybe oog. -- Norman, June 22, at 5:20a

The stream works almost perfect in RP10...... Just a little bit glitches that the stream sounds unstable.....and somewhat variable bit rate type..... -- mattForce5, June 22, at 3:26a

While you can connect with Quicktime, you'll only get a AAC stream, with out the aacPlus enhancements. aacPlus sounds even better than plain old AAC. (aacPlus is also known as AAC HE in the MPEG4 standard). We're putting the pressure on Apple to include aacPlus in iTunes, and we're working with Orban to get a WinAmp-compatible server. -- Rusty / SomaFM, June 21, at 11:39p

anybody got running it with winamp? i tried some plugin but it doesnt work... -- Anon., June 21, at 3:11p

No prob with MacOSX.3.4, QT 6.5.1 thnx for the tip & probs to SOMA -- Hans, June 21, at 10:24a

stream plays perfectly!! the music's fantastic too. keep it up, party on! -- Kyle, June 21, at 7:10a

Hmm, this stream plays perfectly using Quicktime. I connected to the URL specified in the .ram-file, namely "rtsp://aacplus.streamguys.com/soma48.sdp". AAC is an open standard, RealPlayer isn't needed, Quicktime saves the day, hooray! ;D -- Nevyn, June 20, at 9:35a

Use AdAware AND Spybot Search & Destroy.. to get rid of the RP spyware...(and anything else you might have) There are others, but these are quick, lo resource, effective and easy to use... -- Steve Marusic, June 20, at 8:18a

Odd.. I have RP 6.0.11.053 (cuz u have to have it to listen to some junk..) "there is no software update to play this media" ..and it did the UD, in two steps... and only did the plug-in... But like the other poster says, go to RP and adios... I have software to capture ANY RP stream.. but it is a pain.. and I refuse to patronize those money grubbing a......... "aacPlus = HE-AAC. This is a MPEG standard, which means that the technology _is_ open " And while this is true, IF you use RP to listen to it, and if RP is streaming it, it is THEIRS>. and Illegal to capture... Even Music Match is joing the Digital Mill screw you bunch.. WinAmp/Streamripper is about the only one left -- Steve Marusic, June 20, at 8:15a

"there is no software update to play this media" ......This was the message from update of Real Player.. "Real Junk Player" -- Anon., June 20, at 8:01a

I love SOMA, however, if you ever convert to Real Player, I have to say goodbye to my long time relationship with SOMA. Don't do it SOMA, you are better that this... No to Real Player , no to spywares..... -- soma lover realplayer hater, June 20, at 7:56a (We're not converting, just offering more choices. Some people actually prefer Real Player, although admittedly not me.)

To clarify, the aacPlus is RP10 'plug-in' and will work in earlier versions.. Again, no capture with RP -- Steve Marusic, June 20, at 7:43a

Be aware, that IF they go to REAL PLAYER, you cannot capture the MP3 stream without an ILLEGAL capture software... -- Steve Marusic, June 20, at 7:36a (Rusty Says: we're not switching to Real Player. We want to offer more of our low bitrate streams in codecs that sound much better than MP3. And you can legally record Real streams with a product like Total Recorder.)

You don't need RP10, just use at least RP6 and click on the stream, it will tell you to download some more components, just let it.. with a fast connection it took about 8sec... RP10 SUCKS big time... -- Steve Marusic, June 20, at 7:34a

Just to clear up some confusion, aacPlus = HE-AAC. This is a MPEG standard, which means that the technology _is_ open. There even exist a GPL'ed decoder (FAAD2), and hence it can be played back by Winamp (with FAAD2) plugin, foobar2000, and XMMS should support it as well. There are no royalties due on the distribution of audio encoded in the (HE)AAC format. -- Garf, June 19, at 2:29p

Rusty dude! I thought you had learned your lesson last year with the failed WMA trial. Why why why would you go this route again!!! Don't tell me the RIAA has you by the gonads??? You're going to ruin your mojo by trying to cram proprietary crap at us. You know as well as we all that ACC would give control (through its built-in DRM) back to the music monopolists over what the consumers can do with their content. I don't want some hollywood schmuck controlling any part of my computer. And you shouldn't have to pay a royalty just to listen use a codec either. You do some great programming here. If you want to expand your universe, try to think of more innovative ways to do it. Think Ogg Vorbis. Think p2p. Think XM or Sirrus (yes, I would seriously consider them if there was a SOMA channel) As for the actual trial, I did listen to it and the Groove Salad 128k stream and by comparison, the acc-48 seemed muddied in the upper range. Of course it would be nice if we could compare the same content on the different streams. The ACC content was different than Groove Salad 128. As for RP10, for some reason, I don't seem to have the problems others seem with it. Since I avoid Windows Media as much as possible, RP is my current default player. -- Charles in Chicago, June 19, at 6:01a (Rusty Says: AAC does not use DRM. There are DRM systems that use AAC as their codec, but AAC and AAC-HE - aka aacplus - are open standards and part of MPEG4. And XM and Sirius use 80kb aacPlus streams by the way. And we're trying to get Sirius and XM to carry us.)

Good on you for trialling AAC-HE, I look forward to the Winamp plugin. If only Microsoft would add it to Media Player! I notice you are gearing the trial to compare MP3 @ 128kbps to AAC-HE at 48kbps. While AAC-HE is pretty impressive, I think you will better help promote AAC-HE by streaming it at 64kbps. It's a much fairer comparison and still only half the bit rate. -- Aaron - Rebel FM, June 18, at 5:06p

please i want the best music to work in my office is the most fine in the world so, help me to enjoy your music free -- Hèctor Abascal Osorio, June 18, at 0:21p

I'm going to have to agree with Grimnir -- unless you've figured out some way to use AAC for free. Ogg might be a very viable alternative. -- Charles Latham, June 18, at 10:44a (Rusty says: OGG requires an icecast server, and we've had reliability issues with icecast in the past. Perhaps it has improved recently, but the platform wasn't too well supported.)

Hi, why dont you cut the needed bandwidth by using peercast? -- Florian, June 18, at 9:18a (Rusty says: we tried Peercast for months, but we couldn't keep it running reliably at 128k, and there was minimal interest in the 56k stream.)

I'm perplexed as to why you'd support something like AAC when it's even more proprietary than WMA. Not that I want to hear WMA streams either--they're both a bad idea. I thought I read on slashdot that you were at one time considering Ogg streams? Why haven't you tested this? I'd be interested to know--is it a technical issue? Icecast2 is very good, and low-bandwidth ogg sounds every bit as good as low-bandwidth AAC. On top of it, there are no nasty licensing issues, which can't be said of AAC (isn't Soma paying enough to the RIAA as it is?) Just about every player supports ogg now, unlike AAC. Heck, even Unreal Tournament 2004 supports ogg playback! The 48k feed sounds okay, but I'm getting a lot of rebuffering. RP10 is pure junk, and the fact that this is the only program that does AAC+ says something right there. :( -- Grimnir, June 18, at 5:28a

Hmmm, interesting that for this bit rate, I have problems with communication, for me it is slover then 128 bit rate normal mp3, and I dont know if I have some problems with the decosing of aac but the sound jumps from enhanced treble to bass and back ( using real player 10), and even if it sonds like it is everithing OK then the sound isn't so full and clear as 128 mp3. thatfor I will continue to listen groovesalad at 128 mp3. (I realy dont know if I have a problem with my software or hardware, but it has not the quality of 128 stream) -- Daniel M, June 18, at 1:55a

Realplayer 10 is not yet ported to Mac os-X.. :-( -- Huby SEA, June 17, at 11:43p

So far, it sounds surprisingly good, although I have to agree with a previous poster that the treble seems somewhat 'lacking'. While I prefer more open formats such as MP3 and I definitely prefer using Windamp 5 over Real Player, I don't mind using Real Player either. I feel that it has improved quite a bit (and Real in general). I definitely understand the bandwith problem you are having and if it comes down to making a choice between WMA or aacPlus, then make it the latter. The main downside I see to using aacPlus is that it may not be available for as many platforms as MP3 and that there may be issues when it comes to archiving Soma FM streams, which works just fine using MP3. -- Anon., June 17, at 6:28p

It's suprisingly good. Perhaps with some higher bitrate AACPlus streams like 64kb in conjunction with a Winamp plugin you could cut the MP3s almost entirely. I am very impressed by this though. Never thought you could get such high quality audio for such a low bit rate. One question, are there any tools avaiable for encoding in this format? -- Daniel, June 17, at 5:32p

Um, honestly I find it hard to believe that's a 48k stream. It's clearer than the 128k feed. Much better, not a fan of Real* but hey, when it works it works. I'm playing through a DS3 too, so that helps :-) -- Judd, June 17, at 1:41p

Excellent sound for a low-quality bandwidth. You're missing all the delicious high-end from this stream, though, so it's not quite as tempting as 128k. 128k has the headroom, but warbles a bit on sibilance, which this AAC stream solves -- but only by cutting it out entirely. Actually, it reminds me of Normal bias tapes played with Dolby-B noise reduction on. Not bad at all! -- Parker, June 17, at 1:25p

We will not be pulling the plug on our MP3 streams, at least not until aacPlus format players are as popular as MP3 players. (And at that point we'll still continue to offer as many MP3 streams as we can afford to for people with older hardware players like the Audiotron, etc.) We expect to have a WinAmp aacPlus plugin in the next few months, as well as an iTunes plugin. We do not want to force people to use RealPlayer if they don't want to! This is goiing to be a great solution for people on lower bitrates, and it will allow us to stream to even more people. -- Rusty / SomaFM, June 17, at 10:39a

Please keep us away from RealPlayer in particular, and all RealMedia stuff's in general! Anyway I won't ever pollute my pc with these products... Even if the price is to stop listening the fantastic secret agent radio. -- Los, June 17, at 10:02a

It won't play through my company firewall. RP/Win2k gives me firewall / proxy generic reset setting message. Would love to play GrooveSalad through windows media. Firewall/proxy mp3 mismatch s^*&t...Thanks JC -- JC, June 17, at 9:43a

so far so good.128kbps sounds better though. -- andres, June 17, at 8:30a

been listening for roughly 22 minutes and it's been sounding great but now it's getting really choppy. i don't think it's my connection since i (successfully) tried the 128kbps stream. while typing this, it seems to have stopped breaking up and continue on it's happy way. so far so good, guys .. on a personal note, i really dislike realplayer so the only way you're going to get me to use this is with a winamp plugin. -- Charles Latham, June 17, at 7:52a

I'll take this 48kb stream in place of the 128kb if that helps y'all's bandwidth bill, but is there an aac plugin for winamp? Also, is it choppy or is it me? Streaming the 128 shoutcast sounds fine, but I get some clips on this aac stream. -- Nat P, June 17, at 1:48a

It's pretty good, but and maybe this is all Tastes Great/Less Filling, but I still think that the 128 mp3 sounds a bit better. However, considering the bandwidth tradeoff (which isn't an issue for me, but maybe for some), it's probably mustard. -- Anon., June 16, at 9:29p

It sounds good, but are there any other players besides Real 10? -- Ron Blume, June 16, at 8:31p

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