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About a month ago, fellow stacker MsBrenda brought the Pinstack community into the loop of ... Smartphone Reviews forum

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    RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

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    About a month ago, fellow stacker MsBrenda brought the Pinstack community into the loop of a new program that was has been released called RadioBee. (RadioBee)


    UPDATE: BEST BUFFER SETTINGS YET!
    Thanks to Kayos72!

    chunck size 1024
    buffer size 250000
    debug level 1
    min play 45000
    timeout 1 32
    timeout 2 128
    buffer type basic
    all other thingys are set at no


    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Click The Above Link For Stations Tested And PROVEN To Work On RadioBee
    ---------------------------------------------------------------

    Click Here For Video Demonstration of
    RadioBee Running On A BlackBerry 8100 Pearl


    --------------------------------------------------------

    At the time, a few of us loaded it, tried it, couldn't get it to work to our likings and thus deleted. However, I tried to give the program another shot over the last few days.

    For those of you who aren't aware what RadioBee is, it's website can pretty much sum it up:



    "This is a small program for cell phones. If you install it on your cell phone, you can listen to any mp3 internet radio through the cell phone speaker. Cool idea, isn’t it? Just imagine, you are in France on the street and would like to check what's going on at Windy City! Just open your cell phone, power up RadioBee, choose the Chicago internet radio station and you are good to go!"

    Even though the RadioBee program is still under development, the program does in fact work, even though there are a few flaws.

    All the current review information is based off of an 8100 Pearl. There are still issues getting it to stream correctly with other devices, such as an 8700, however, more and more people are testing it and hopefully soon we will be able to break the news that it works on the 8700.

    The first thing you obviously need to do is download the application onto your device.

    There is an initial beta version (1.1) and alpha version (1.1M). I tried both of them and found that the beta version actually works better than the alpha version (Atleast on my BlackBerry).

    Beta Version: www.radiobee.com/rba.jar
    Alpha Version: www.radiobee.com/rb.jar

    After loading the program onto your device, the icon for the application is pretty basic. It will be labeled as mRadioMidlet.

    Sometimes, it takes the program a minute to load, other times it boots right away, but eventually it will bring up the TTR Radio Bee Playlist.

    The playlist are 7 preloaded stations on the application. I tried all of them however, and was only able to get 2 to play, The Iron Bell and Virgin Radio.

    Other preloaded stations include: Edge Radio, Radio Krishna, Mega Rock, Virgin Radio Extreme and Darik Radio from Bulgaria.

    Since only 2 actually work, and you probably don't want to listen to music from Bulgaria (Although Virigin Radio is from the UK and they play really good music), you will probably be like "well why would I want this then?".

    Simple: You can add stations. However, here is where the fun begins.

    For some reason, I have not found a way to ADD a new station per say.

    However, you can edit the existing preloaded stations and redirect/rename them to a different station, as mentioned by Pinstack Member Swoop

    "I was able to add a station but ONLY by editing an existing one and replacing the URL with my own. To get a URL that worked, I had to open a stream from shoutcast (groove salad 24k) and then get its orporties from Winamp using ALT+3. The skipping is almost gone but the settings still need work."

    Low and behold, that worked!

    Now I was able to add stations, however, its still going to be hit and miss, as some stations you may find either do not stream in MP3 format, or they have removed their streaming feature from their website.

    Screen Shots

    http://

    Now, lets talk about the quality of the stream. Not too shabby to be honest with you. I have walked around stores and the lot over the last 2 days, and the stream is fine.

    Last night I tested it on my drive home. I pulled up ESPN radio out of Indianapolis and started on my way home. I initially started off in EDGE coverage, no problem. Hit the interstate, driving 70mph, still, no problem what so ever. Even when I got into GPRS coverage, I had no problems streaming until I was down to one bar. Then the buffers seemed to overlap one and other until they finally dropped after they emptied themselves out about 30 seconds after I lost signal coverage.

    That may not make sense to some of you, about them emptying themselves out, so lets touch on how the RadioBee program actually works for a second:

    Pretty much what the program does is it opens 2 streams of the audio: One that plays what is already downloaded and one that continuously downloads. For that reason, if you are in spotty coverage, there is a greater chance of the station "skipping" backward or getting choppy. This can also be helped a little by playing with the buffer settings, in the settings from the main menu. I have found, and people have reported, that the best streaming is avaliable when buffer size settings are set between 150,000 and 200,000. I also have my buffer type set at Double rather than basic, and that seems to help some.

    Let's talk about the big positive of this program: You are able to browse the web, send email, use your device as normal, and it will still stream. WOO HOO!

    But, lets also talk about some of the negatives.

    First off, there is no way to control volume at this time. However, you will find that the volume that it plays at is very good indeed if you are using a headset. Not too loud. Not too soft. Just right.

    Next, this is still in the developing stages, so there are errors. Sometimes the program will lock your device up and you will need to do a reset. Sometimes, the program will just stop responding.

    If you try and ADD a station without editing an existing station instead, then from what I have experienced you will get a java error of some type (they always seem to vary) and it won't connect.

    That's pretty much the scoop on RadioBee.

    Now, some people may say "Yeah, well, that's great, but what's it really mean for us?".

    First off, it provides us with a program that can't necessarily rival an XM stream on our devices (as of right now), however, it does allow us to listen to radio stations from all over the world. If you are like me, you have visited cities before and found a radio station you really like, and wish you could listen to it while you were in the car, at the store, at home, etc.

    Next, it proves to other developers that it IS possible to stream LIVE audio onto a BlackBerry and other JAVA based devices, thus opening the door for developers to make different versions of this program, which hopefully means streaming video will be in our future also.

    Okay, well that's enough for now. I am sure others will chime in on their experiences with this program, and the posts will be updated accordingly as new information flows in.

    Visit www.radiobee.com for more information, and check out their forums regarding Tips/Tricks/Reports/Stations/Etc at http://www.radiobee.com/phpBB2/
    Last edited by N8DBB; 11-21-2006 at 04:51 PM.

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    From The RadioBee FAQ Section:



    Q: Is my cell phone compatible with radioBee?
    A: just try to download and start radioBee. You will see an error message if something is wrong. Otherwise, you should be OK. Check our forum for the latest updated list of confirmed working phones.

    Q: Is it a free program?
    A: Yes, so far. However you still need to have full data/internet service on your cell phone and your carriers will charge you for this one. You are the only one responsible for this plan and corresponding expences. Make sure that you have a flat rate internet plan on your phone, to avoid suprises. You can contribute the project with your feedback or through paypal, if you want to.

    Q: Do you provide support?
    A: The best way to share your experience and to ask questions is to use our forum. You can, also, send a feedback to support AT radiobee.com. Response is not guranteed. Please make sure that you mention your phone manufacturer, model, data plan. Again, the best way for communication is the forum.

    Q: What kind of radio stations I can listen on my phone?
    A: so far radioBee can catch almost every internet radiostation broadcasting in mp3 format with shoutcast server.

    Q: How I can put the radiostation address in radioBee?
    A:
    First, make sure that the desired internet radio is compatible (i.e. mp3 broadcast). Then use your desktop computer, open the radiostation in your browser there and check the url address of the mp3stream (usually from file info -> properties). Should be something like orbitel.fm:8000/retro . Then , open your cell phone, power-up radioBee and use "Add new" option wizard from the radioBee menu. It will ask you for the url - enter the same address there (DO NOT enter http://). The wizard will try to connect to your station and to get the information about the broadcasted media. Save it, play it - if everything is OK with the station - you will hear the sound after few seconds.

    Important note: help us and other users - share the addresses of your working and favorite radiostations in the forum... Thanks!

    Q: It plays the stations, but it breakes from time to time
    A: Internet radios use different stream rate to broadcast their content... The higher rate means better quality, but also means you need a fast connection to catch it. Generally, if you have a regular gprs service and are trying to listen internet radio with 16-20kbps stream, you should be OK most of the time. If they broadcast at 24kbps or more, you probably need EDGE or even 3G data service on your phone. If the radioserver is overloaded, obviously there might be a delay. If you move or drive with the cell phone through areas with bad cellular data coverage, this also will reflect the radiosound quality. The good news is that 3G is coming sooner or later :-)

    Q: It plays the stations, but i see a text "time out value" and a changing number - what is this?
    A: Generally this number act like a real-time indicator for the connection quality. Lower means better, 0 - 1 means very good connection.

    Q: I can not listen any sound!
    A: current version of radioBee use the integrated cell phone mp3 player. Some phones have mp3 players, but they are not available to the java programs... other phones support mp3 sound only through your headset or only through the speaker. Check you phone and try your headset. Sometimes also you have to restart radioBee and try it again at better location. When you choose to play a station, it take few seconds (up to 10 seconds some times)

    Q: I can not control the volume!

    A: Some cell phones allow you to use the volume buttons, most don't. We are working on this challenge, check our next version.

    Q: I have t-zone plan from t-mobile but can not download/ can not connect to the radio stations!
    A: Unfortunatelly, T-zone (and any other limited data plan) will not work in the most cases, because your carrier just block the corresponding communication port. If this is the case, you need a full data plan. Ask your carrier for details.

    Q: I have internet access on my phone and I can browse, but radioBee says there is Internet connectivity error!
    A: Most of the phones have different profiles (settings, access points, ...) for internet/data connection for your phone browser and for your java programs. You have to set-up the java internet connection profile the right way. Please, contact your carrier for specific details and check our forum. It is very annoying, we know...

    Q: I am trying ro install/run radioBee and it gave me a security exception/invalid certificate
    A: Your cell phone has a java security settings, generally you have to grant permisiions to the java programs on your phone (and more specifically, radioBee) to use the internet connection and to use your mp3 player. Check your phone manual, ask your carrier and check our forum. Sometimes, if you have a branded phone, your carrier "lock" your phone to make sure that you can run only approved applications there. Currently we are developing agreements with different carriers for radioBee. If you have "unlocked" , i.e. non-restricted phone, you can use radioBee right away.

    Q: Is my carrier supported?
    A: Please, check our forum and share your experience.

    Q: Is my cell phone supported?
    A: Please, check our forum and share your experience.

    Q: I am entering the radio address and it is not working!
    A:
    First, please make sure that you are entering the correct url address and the radiostation is compatible. Some times the existing radioservers are down. Please also check our forum for list of compatible shared radiostations and checl our site for our next version - radioBee will support more phones and more radioservers in the near future.

    Q: Man, this set-up sounds so complicated.. internet connection, mp3 player , unlocked phone... Is there any fastest way just to press the button and listen my music!
    A: Unfortunatelly there is no a magic button yet... but we really try to make the miracle easy enough for you :-). Read the FAQ, read the forum, share your experince. Shake your brain ;-)

    Q: What are these settings in the menu?
    A: You can go ahead and modify/play with them - sometimes you can reach better sound quality on specific phones. Share you experience in the forum :-).

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
    Awesome program Nate! Thanks!

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    Were you finally able to test it there Doob?

    ESPN Radio out of Indy, if you are interested, streams very well....

    Find one of the stations you don't want, scroll to it, then click the menu button and go down to edit.

    For ESPN radio, the URL is: 64.202.98.51:7010

    You can also go up and change the name from whatever radio station it was to ESPN radio or whatnot.

    I also found a site that streams NYPD radio communications in Manhattan. Thats kind of interesting to log in and listen to it.

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    Thank you N8, once I get a compatible BB I will definitely get this.

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    I keep getting some sort over jave.null...tunnel...i don't know, going to try and delete and reinstall. What did you say for the bitrate setting 150,000?
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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    150,000-250,000

    I think I have mine set at 200,000.

    That's something else I recommended to the developers:

    There needs to be an ability to be able to change the buffer size settings for each station.

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    N8 - Great review. My only comment regards the adding of new stations. I'm using this on my 7130c and it only plays for 2 seconds (more if I change the buffer), but I have no problem adding new stations. For example, I just added the ESPN 950 link by selecting add new from the main menu, typing in the URL and selecting autoload. I've added other stations the same way.

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    I am wondering...What are your settings?

    Whenever I go to add, I get an error...usually its a "updating station: network details: Null".

    If it's not that error, its a different one. I really wish I could get that to work...

    Which version are you using, the 1.1 or the 1.1M?

    Here are my settings:
    Chunck Size: 1024
    Buffer Size: 250000
    DebugLevel 1
    Min Play 8000
    Timeout 1 1000
    Timeout 2 1000
    Buffer Type: Double
    Keep Sock: no
    Keep Out: No
    Keep In: No
    Close Out: No
    Flush Out: No

    What's everyone elses, and how are they working for you?

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    This was a VERY helpful post! I can now listen to news radio on my BB Pearl. Just another suggestion, you can also save the link to the internet radio station (atleast on the radio station I did) on your computer. If you rename the .pls file to text and edit it via text editor, you can see the url and port number a lot easier than loading up winamp and viewing it there.

    BReady

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    Unfortunately, I still have not been able to get WLS to stream, and that sucks because thats the main station I want.

    Anyone had any success?

    www.wls890am.com

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    Updated with ScreenShots.

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    No luck with my 8700c. I have tried for an hour with all sorts of different settings. :cry:

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~ Great post N8! I have enjoyed Listening to the 80's and my fave station to Work to: groove salad. Thanks again for the great post and screens!

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    Re: RadioBee: A New Buzz In The BlackBerry World

    Swoop,

    Thanks to you for helping test this to get it running on the devices!

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