Friday, June 20, 2008

We rolled out iPhone streaming today!

After a lot of testing, we rolled out iPhone streaming tonight. I'm still not completely happy with the look of our iPhone mini-site so you might see some changes in the near future, but rather than wait until everything was perfect, I decided to release it now.

So now when you go to on your iPhone, you get an iPhone-specific site with links for both EDGE (32-56k) and WiFi (128k) streams.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't have an iPhone (I live in Japan), but I do have my Soma FM t-shirt! This has absolutely nothing to do with your post...sorry!

June 24, 2008 3:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe an iföhn is hip, but why do you preserve this mini-site to iföhn-users? What's da url, when i want to use my no-apple-but-also-able-to-surf-and-stream mobile phone?

June 24, 2008 5:35 AM  
Anonymous justinF said...

Thank _you_, Rusty and Tag! I've been looking forward to this since I got my ipod touch. I love GS! Keep up the great work.

June 24, 2008 11:06 AM  
Anonymous stldrum said...

Listening to Drone Zone on my Touch. Just need some graphics instead of the QT logo and I'm in heaven!!


June 26, 2008 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Rusty Hodge said...

The mini-site is iPhone specific. We also have a WAP site and a XML site that gets displayed for the appropriate phones when they connect.

About that graphic for the QT player: there seems to be no way to make the player display a graphic, at least in this version of the iPhone operating system. Perhaps in version 2.0.

June 26, 2008 10:19 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Any chance I can listen to GS on my Blackberry Curve? Show me how and I will send my donation in asap!

A huge fan

June 29, 2008 5:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


do you have a list of "appropriate phones"
I am running Windows Mobile 6, but my media player says "can't play playlist" when I try to connect.

July 3, 2008 10:49 AM  
OpenID said...

This is absolutely awesome, Rusty. Thank you. Trying in the car tomorrow… curious how well EDGE will handle that! :-)

July 3, 2008 7:46 PM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge said...

Try from your Windows Media phone and let me know if that works.

July 4, 2008 9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes! that link for Windows Media worked like a charm - thansk for the help. It seems your new stations (i.e. Lush) aren't there but still fantastic plus,

July 10, 2008 4:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Love the streaming on iPhone!

I hope you have time to see the new AOL Radio and Pandora applications for iPhone 2.0 and get inspired to do something similar for SomaFM. That would allow graphics and other cool features.

July 11, 2008 12:22 AM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge said...

AOL and Pandora have lots of money, and lots of developers. Unfortunately, we don't have those kinds of resources.

One thing our solution offers however: it will background. So you don't have to stop listening to music to check email, SMS, etc. (You can't surf the web while we're playing, however.)

July 11, 2008 12:53 AM  
Anonymous Nick said...


i'm from the uk and your iphone streaming works perfectly via edge network and i also purchased a iphone app from the itunes store call "tuner" and it lists all your stations on there ,the problem is that your stations will not stream via the "tuner" player but work via your website via edge network on iphone and why is this?

July 12, 2008 1:20 PM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge said...

Nick: I tested the iPhone Tuner app as well, and our streams were playing over WiFi. I don't have a 3G phone so couldn't test there, but I don't see why they wouldn't play. Are you using it on WiFi or Edge?

July 12, 2008 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Hi Rusty,

Cool and I have dropped various messages about this on other message boards also...

What i'm doing is trying to connect via edge to your stream with the "tuner" app which i bought from the app store and it will not connect at all via edge but will stream perfect on wifi ,but when I go straight to your site on the iphone and then connect to a station choosing edge and it streams perfectly.

Please note all I can get in the rural area where I am is edge only and of course wifi but it seems to be defeating the object when i'm paying for it but then dropping to wifi.

July 13, 2008 2:33 AM  
Blogger Kris said...

Excellent work Rusty! I've been waiting on this. Some donations coming your. Keep up the great work.


July 13, 2008 6:37 AM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge said...


If you're on EDGE, you'll need to use streams that are generally under 56kb of they won't work. The Tuner app I think defaults to the 128k streams.

So check the directory for the 56k streams (which rarely skip on EDGE) or the 24/32k streams which never skip.

I typically listen to the 56k feeds when I'm on EDGE.

July 14, 2008 11:20 AM  
Anonymous callahan said...

I am considering buying one of the new 3g iphones-- will the somafm site for edge still work?

July 15, 2008 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have yet to buy an iphone, but this functionality has been something I've been dreaming about! Very exciting news!

(just donated, 'bout time I stopped being a mooch ;)

July 15, 2008 10:23 PM  
Anonymous Rusty Hodge said...

Yes, EDGE streams work just fine on 3G phones.

July 16, 2008 12:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

beautiful....many thanks!!!!!

July 17, 2008 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Great!

I realize that all the streams are MP3, is there a chance to get aacplus streamed to the iPhone?

July 22, 2008 10:24 AM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge said...

The iPhone (nor iTunes, or Quicktime for that matter) does not support aacPlus. We're hoping that a third-party player will come out with aacPlus support, and we'll support it when/if it does.

July 22, 2008 11:02 AM  
Blogger DaveFromBrooklyn said...

Hey Rusty,

As a SomaFM donator, I was very excited to find out you guys did me a solid with the streaming.

But dunno...Went to the link listed with my non 3G iPhone and got to the screenie pictured with the list ("Getting Started, EDGE Streams...")
but it seems the only link that went anywhere was "Main Site." All others did nothing but list the address in the address bar and remain static. Sorta feelin like my GrandPa right now.

Any advice?

Thanks in advance,


July 22, 2008 3:29 PM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge said...


Make sure you have Javascript turned on. The behavior you're seeing is what might happen if Javascript is not enabled. go to Settings -> Safari and make sure Javascript it enabled.

That brings up a good point though, we should test to make sure Javascript is enabled, and tell you to turn it on if it's not...

July 22, 2008 4:19 PM  
Blogger DaveFromBrooklyn said...

Javascript now enabled...
Works beautifully.

Many thanks, Rusty.
Say Hey to Big Url for me.

July 22, 2008 6:22 PM  
Blogger Will England said...

For what it's worth, the streams and mobile homepage work great on the Samsung Instinct. Awesome tunes folks.

August 22, 2008 6:45 AM  
Blogger Omer Cohen said...

could you share with us how you enabled shoutcast streaming on the iPhone ?

September 2, 2008 8:11 AM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge [SomaFM] said...

Basically, you have to modify the headers sent to the iPhone to trick it into thinking that it's receiving a fixed length MP3 file, which is will play while it's downloading it. You do this by adding a Content-Length: header if an iPhone client connects. You also need to not send the ICY-Name: header when iPhones connect, as they choke on that.

I believe there is a hacked version of Icecast (with source code) going around as well.

September 2, 2008 11:51 AM  
Blogger Omer Cohen said...

mind sharing the code with us?
I'd love to create a page for myself with my favorite local stations


September 2, 2008 7:30 PM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge [SomaFM] said...

Shoutcast isn't open source, so that can't be distributed. I can't give you a hacked binary either for that same reason.

I've heard that there are patches for Icecast floating around that do the same thing...

There was also a ICY protocol proxy going around that runs under PHP5, but that isn't very scalable.

There was also some company that makes a personal streaming solution which works on iPhones... alas I can't remember their name right now.

You're aware of the 2 different streaming radio applications available on the iPhone now? and Visuaradio/allRadio - They're $5-10 each.

September 2, 2008 8:11 PM  
Anonymous PeaceMan said...


Been listening to groove salad on my iphone. First off, thanks for everything. Luv it.

Second, can't receive incoming calls when streaming. Is it suppose to be the case? Or am I missing something?

September 3, 2008 11:01 AM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge [SomaFM] said...

I only have an iPhone 1st generation, and when I'm playing a stream and a call comes in, the stream fades out and the phone starts to ring.

What happens when someone tries to call you when it's streaming? Do they just go to voice mail?

September 3, 2008 11:54 AM  
Anonymous peaceman said...

I am using 1st gen iPhone which is experiencing the mentioned issue. I am playing the EDGE stream. For my phone, when I am streaming, tried calling my phone several times from a landline, all went to voicemail after the normal number of rings. Voicemails were left to test. The voicemails do not show up on the phone until some time delay after I stop streaming. Weird...that I am not having the same experience you got. Been missing calls I needed to take due to my stream of groove salad at those moments.

September 3, 2008 2:24 PM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge [SomaFM] said...

Groove Salad uses a slightly higher bitrate than the other EDGE channels. Try testing with Secret Agent or Indie Pop Rocks and see if the same behavior occurs. It's possible that all the available bandwidth where you are is being used for the stream, and there isn't enough bandwidth to your phone to complete the call. (I'm just guessing here, I don't know enough about how EDGE works to be certain.)

September 3, 2008 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmm. I thought that edge could not be used at concurrently with voice. But now that you mention it, I'm not certain if that applied to outbound only. I can't recall what the behavior was with my 1st gen iPhone. I can tell ya this: iPhone 3g in edge mode while playing a stream will send the call to voice mail. This is with the 2.02 build of the iPhone software. What release are you on rusty?

September 3, 2008 5:09 PM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge [SomaFM] said...

I run 2.02 on a first gen iPhone. I've also tested it on the 1.x software.

But doing some web research seems to point out that some EDGE cells support voice and data at the same time, but older EDGE cells don't. Here in San Francisco, you seem to be able to get calls while using EDGE.

There is a little more discussion about that here:

September 3, 2008 5:50 PM  
Blogger Kris said...

Good find. I guess ATL and Peaceman's neck of the woods can't handle simultaneous Edge voice/data yet.. I wonder, if those type of upgrades will ever occur, now that the push is 3g expansion on the carrier side.

September 3, 2008 6:00 PM  
Anonymous peaceman said...


Just getting back to your questions.

Yes, I tested with other channels like Secret Agent, Drone Zone, etc. and all had the same issue for the incoming calls. My iphone runs the old 1.1.4 software and is operating in Seattle, WA. I guess for now got to go by the thinking of the difference pointed out between the old and new EDGE cells OR move back to SF :)

Thanks. Peace man!

September 4, 2008 10:18 AM  
Blogger bobtheowl2 said...

Thank you so much for this feature!

I've been anticipating the day when I'd be able to listen to GrooveSalad in my car for years now. While my wife and friends were not as excited, it completely made my day/week when I found out.

I have the iPhone 3G and live in a 3G covered area, but the 3G stream drops pretty frequently. A pause/restart fixes it. I'm pretty confident this is just a bandwidth / AT&T problem though. The EDGE stream plays perfect and never drops. And since I'm stuck with a fm transmitter, the quality difference is not really noticeable.

Anyways, thanks for all your continued improvements and streams - they are definitely noticed and appreciated.

September 5, 2008 8:33 PM  
Blogger Rusty Hodge [SomaFM] said...

We are testing Blackberry support right now. We've tested on Blackberry 8330 Pearl so far (not sure of the other models).

Just go to in the default Blackberry web browser, and you'll get a special page with our channel stream links on them.

Let me know if it works for you, and what model you have.

October 6, 2008 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Gordon said...

Works fine on the 8320 (Curve) after upgrading from version 4.2 of the OS to 4.5.

October 9, 2008 1:21 PM  
Blogger Justme said...

It has been my dream to have SomaFM in my car while sitting in traffic and you guys made that dream come true. I cannot thank you enough for this. Awesome, just frickin' awesome.

October 19, 2008 10:28 PM  
Blogger darex said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 20, 2008 9:32 AM  
Blogger Justin Akehurst said...

I love the somafm app, but the audio quality on EDGE compared to Pandora's audio quality is not up to par. I read that Pandora streams in 64kb mono mp3. Any possibility in matching the audio quality with pandora in the future?

September 23, 2009 9:57 AM  
Blogger musiq said...

stldrum is on to somethin! Soma, you guys should team up with an iphone dev to create an app that streams your stations with a visualizer. I love me some soma, but nothing tops soma and the itunes visualizer is in full effect.

May 14, 2010 11:52 AM  

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