iTunes Radio is broken - error message

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    Posted: 11 September 2012 07:24 PM

    What’s the deal with iTunes radio not working? Error message says Error occurred while contacting radio tuning service, check internet connection or try again later.
    Burns me up. There is no fix I can find on the web except for stupid workarounds requiring individual station URLS - something not accessible with broken iTunes radio. I haven’t upgraded from iTunes 8.1.1 and never will as it works fine and the problem isn’t client side - I run Tiger 10.4.11 on a G5 w/6 gigs RAM thru 6MBS DSL. I understand this is all Apple’s fault. Anybody have a definitive easy fix for this embarrassing Apple screw-up?

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  • Posted: 13 September 2012 07:10 PM #1

    I fired up an old iBook I’ve still got hanging around running Tiger 10.4.11, but it has iTunes 9.  That iTunes didn’t have a problem getting a radio list from Apple.

    You indicated the radio didn’t work and that this kept you from using URLs for the stations.  Does that mean you can’t click a station URL in Safari and get iTunes to stream it?  If that doesn’t work, I suspect the problem is on your computer and not with Apple’s servers.

    A quick way to check that is to go to a site with links to stream.  I’d just go here for a list of MP3 links to test:

    http://www.181.fm/index.php?p=mp3links

    If you click on one of those links in Safari, does iTunes start streaming the station?  Or do you still get the error?

    If that now works, I suppose it is possible that Apple is now sending out their list of stations in a format that your old version of iTunes doesn’t support.  If that is the case and iTunes 9.x on does support the list they are sending I would suspect a) the change is intentional (perhaps related to changes in the shortly to be revised current iTunes) and that b) Apple is unlikely to “fix” it. 

    Apple does not tend to worry much about backwards compatibility, and certainly at this point they’d treat iTunes 8 on a PowerPC running Tiger as way past their interest in supporting or implementing a “fix” for.  It may not be fair, but it’s a fact of life. 

    That said, if you can stream using Safari to launch iTunes you’ll just need to search using Google for the mp3 stream for the stations you’ve previously listened to.  As well, I believe those streams may still be in your iTunes library, so you could search your library to find them.

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2012 12:42 AM #2

    EdZ - 13 September 2012 07:10 PM

    I fired up an old iBook I’ve still got hanging around running Tiger 10.4.11, but it has iTunes 9.  That iTunes didn’t have a problem getting a radio list from Apple.

    You indicated the radio didn’t work and that this kept you from using URLs for the stations.  Does that mean you can’t click a station URL in Safari and get iTunes to stream it?  If that doesn’t work, I suspect the problem is on your computer and not with Apple’s servers.

    A quick way to check that is to go to a site with links to stream.  I’d just go here for a list of MP3 links to test:

    http://www.181.fm/index.php?p=mp3links

    If you click on one of those links in Safari, does iTunes start streaming the station?  Or do you still get the error?

    If that now works, I suppose it is possible that Apple is now sending out their list of stations in a format that your old version of iTunes doesn’t support.  If that is the case and iTunes 9.x on does support the list they are sending I would suspect a) the change is intentional (perhaps related to changes in the shortly to be revised current iTunes) and that b) Apple is unlikely to “fix” it. 

    Apple does not tend to worry much about backwards compatibility, and certainly at this point they’d treat iTunes 8 on a PowerPC running Tiger as way past their interest in supporting or implementing a “fix” for.  It may not be fair, but it’s a fact of life. 

    That said, if you can stream using Safari to launch iTunes you’ll just need to search using Google for the mp3 stream for the stations you’ve previously listened to.  As well, I believe those streams may still be in your iTunes library, so you could search your library to find them.

    Uhhh, I don’t use Safari, I use Firefox and I don’t know why that has to do with anything. I can stream all day long - even HD movies - it ain’t me babe. Like I said, it’s server side - it’s Apple fault and they aren’t even acknowledging the hundreds of complaints on the web. Very bad. I used to click on a station in iTunes/Radio and bam it would play - NEVER a mention of an URL in ANY window in iTunes.
    I’d surf many many stations - now the LINKS are dead. I didn’t do anything, I know people who’ve downloaded the latest iTunes(suckers) and the radio is STILL dead. I know people with newer AND older Mac OS’s than Tiger that have iTunes broken AND some of them say it’s fine. I fear it’s typical of what will happen with this Cloud baloney, isn’t iTunes free radio competing with the soon to be Music Service? Thank you for your input though….I need a fix, not theories.

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  • Posted: 15 September 2012 10:28 AM #3

    I doubt you’ll find a solution here if that is what you are looking for.  It wasn’t clear from your first post if this was an error where all links had an issue or, what I now suspect, you are merely complaining that the radio listing is hit or miss.

    If it’s the latter, that’s been true since iTunes radio listings first appeared.  Reality is that all that list represents is the equivalent of the old, original Yahoo index of web content, directed at MP3 and AAC radio streams.  Those sites and streams are maintained by totally unrelated third parties and all Apple is doing is giving you a link inside iTunes.

    That is, this isn’t a radio service like, say, SiriusXM’s online streaming option or iHeart Radio from Clear Channel.  It’s rather a directory to such services.

    Unfortunately such streams come and go daily—so dead links are going to be in there until someone from Apple goes in and pulls them.  Other links will go dead temporarily, due to server issues with the hosting site or due to limits imposed on the number of listeners for the stream.  And, over the years, a number of radio streams have swapped from MP3 in order to get users to have to go to their website.

    The radio listings have been an afterthought in iTunes since they first showed up.  Certainly Apple has not devoted much time or effort to either publicizing the option or insuring that it “just works” in any sense.  And it certainly hasn’t been significantly changed over the years—it still looks the same in ITunes 10.7 as it does in the first Mac version I used on a G4.

    I’ve always treated iTunes as a player only and rarely use the Radio list—it’s too limited and not well maintained.  I normally find streams on the web and, if they have an MP3 or AAC stream, go ahead and let the browser launch iTunes.  Once that happens I then place the station in a playlist in iTunes—not the best solution, but at least I have some control.  But even there I can’t control for when a station changes the stream—in those cases it’s back to website to get the new, updated stream.

    As I stated, this isn’t going to be the likely forum to create a solution to the issue you are seeing, if that solution has to be implemented in iTunes.  Fixing the Apple curated list would have to come from Apple.

         
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    Posted: 15 September 2012 04:36 PM #4

    EdZ - 15 September 2012 10:28 AM

    I doubt you’ll find a solution here if that is what you are looking for.  It wasn’t clear from your first post if this was an error where all links had an issue or, what I now suspect, you are merely complaining that the radio listing is hit or miss.

    Thanx for your reply, it is slowly revealing what may be happening. 
    ALL of the hundreds of stations listed in the many categories are dead. ALL of them give the dumb error message about the Radio Tuning Service “contact” problem. Actually I can not even open up the GENRES i.e. Classical. Classic Rock etc. w/o the message!!
    I disagree with your assessment of the Radio in iTunes - it had Hundreds of useful stations all just a click away and I have NO CLUE as to where they’d be “on the web” - I can find Beatles-O-Rama, but what about the 30 or so Blues, Jazz, Prog stations I would hit all the time? I have no clue what their URL’s would be to go to the “source” if that’s what you are implying. But really, why is my radio list broken, and some people’s aren’t?? That’s what’s killing me, no definitive answer. Can I repair permissions??  Something changed overnight, and I didn’t make any changes on my G5 Tower so I’m kinda miffed that I lost a cool bunch of free radio.

     

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