CBC Radio Stream URLs

Recently CBC revamped its music streams again and the old URLs don’t work. Why would they do this? Well, they want people to listen using the website or official app, or via platforms they have agreements with, like Google Home and Alexa.

Personally, I think this is bullshit. I like listening to music while on the computer, but I’m not opening a whole-ass modern web browser, on top of whatever else I have open, for a simple audio stream. And if I’m using headphones with my phone or an actual physical radio, how am I supposed to hear sounds on my computer? So, after some helpful tips from more techy folks on Mastodon, I threw together this playlist with all the local CBC Radio 1 and CBC Music streams available at CBC Listen. Details below the fold.

How to use it:

  • Save the raw file to your computer.
  • Optionally, first open the file in a text editor and delete the stations you don’t want.
  • Open the file with your preferred web radio application of choice, like VLC.
  • Pick your preferred radio station. “CBC Music” is, of course, what used to be Radio 2.

Personally, I like VLC’s ncurses interface, so I added this to my .bash_aliases file: alias cbcradio='vlc -I ncurses ~/Music/cbc.m3u'. Typing cbcradio into my terminal app results in this:

A playlist opened in VLC's text-based interface.
It’s lightweight. Shut up.

To do:

I don’t know how to get the proper streaming URL for individual shows/podcasts and playlists. If anyone does, please let me know!

11 thoughts on “CBC Radio Stream URLs”

  1. Hi Neville, I tried a couple of the links in Logitech Media Server, to try to reestablish CBC playability on my Squeezebox, but all I get is 10sec of silence from the stream, then it stops. VLC just crashes right away. [MacOS Mojave, latest]. Any suggestions? Thanks, John

    1. Hi! I’m afraid don’t know anything about LMS/Squeezebox, but you may need to install extra stuff to enable support for HLS format streams. Here’s a couple of threads that might help.

      1. Hi, I have already succeeded in configuring LMS to play HLS streams from BBC, so I think that isn’t it. However, I did manage to play CBC through the TuneIn Radio app within LMS – no account required either. The CBC app does not work. For anyone else trying this, just search within TuneIn for “CBC Radio One” to obtain a fairly clean list of stations, instead of having to wade through every program ever streamed by CBC. Straightforward then, to add streams to Favourites. So all is good, I can now listen when FM signals are poor. Cheers, John

      2. Update. I just found that iTunes now pulls CBC Radio from TuneIn. All of the Live Radio streams are there (just search for “CBC Radio” in the Browse tab), and all of the podcasts too (have to go to Podcasts instead of Music at top-left dropdown). For those of us on Macs, this will all change with the update to Mojave (Podcasts & Music are separate apps), and who knows the fate of iTunes on Windows ….
        Good luck!

  2. Thanks much for your work on this. I’m with you, if I want to hear the World at 6 why the sam hill do I need to fire up a web browser to listen? I’m going to use this with mplayer and scripts for a crude internet radio player.

    Thanks again!

  3. Neville, Like you I stream audio from CBC.ca or its French counterpart Radio-Canada.ca (R-C) in the background while on my PC. I like VLC because I can tweak sound with its equalizer, and can make the interface invisible with its “-I dummy” option. CBC and R-C cut their URLs at the end of July 2019, and R-C did it again a few days ago. I’m guessing it’s just a matter of time before CBC follows suit. I’ve been with CBC since 1969 so this hits me hard. Anyway I found how to fetch stream URLs. I use Pale Moon browser. Instructions:
    – navigate to a CBC or R-C stream, start the stream
    – when the stream is running, hit Ctrl-Shift-Q to bring up the “Developer/Network” pane
    – top left you’ll see 2 URLs. They repeat every few seconds
    – Click on the URL that doesn’t change. Its details are then displayed in the right pane
    – Right-click on the URL at the top of the right-hand pane, select “select all”
    – Right-click again on the URL at the top of the right-hand pane, select “copy”

    You have copied the URL for this stream. It works in VLC

    You will have something like this
    CBC (English) streams all terminate with “/index_96_a-p.m3u8?sd=10&rebase=on”
    Cut what follows m3u8 so you have
    Optionally you can replace “index_96_a-p” with “master”, so you have
    which akso works. For now anyway.


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