Online Listening

Listen to any of IPR’s online streams – IPR News, IPR Classical, and IPR Studio One – using your computer’s browser or any of your preferred streaming devices. Whether you listen to our News, Classical, or Studio One programming, we’re available where you are.

A General Note on Listening Platforms
We strongly recommend you use one of our listening platforms or methods listed below whenever possible. When you do this, you interact with our stream in listening platforms that we control and are able to readily troubleshoot, which means these are the platforms we can best guarantee will work reliably for you.

When you stream us through another service – such as TuneIn, the Public Radio Player, or other, we can’t control that experience, and when there is an issue, we reach out to that service provider on your behalf. We’re happy to do this, but when this happens, it often takes us a minimum of two weeks, and sometimes as much as two months, to resolve the issue for you.

Let’s Get Started
For help finding, setting up, and troubleshooting online listening issues, please select the appropriate section below:

Click Play above to listen now
The fastest and easiest way to listen from your computer is with the player built right into http://www.iowapublicradio.org at the top of this browser page (it’s the big gray bar with the play button). Click the down arrow on the audio player to select the stream you want. We call it the Persistent Player – it will keep playing as you navigate iowapublicradio.org. Or you can leave it open in a browser tab while you visit other sites.

Troubleshooting the Persistent Player:
Here are some quick troubleshooting steps and reasons why you might be having issues playing our streams through the persistent player:

Issue: All I see is “Loading…” and the player doesn’t give me a play option
Step 1: Do you have ad-blocking activated in your browser? If so, turn off your ad-blocking, refresh the page with http://www.iowapublicradio.org/?clear, then try to play the stream. Because we display dynamic (changing) content in the player, we require cookies, which many browser ad blockers block, which prevents the content from loading. If you want to continue to block ads, set our website, http://www.iowapublicradio.org, as an excluded site from your ad blocking list in the browser.

An additional note: If you use have installed and use the DuckDuckGo privacy app, our persistent player will not work in any circumstances. To use the persistent player, you will need to uninstall or deactivate DuckDuckGo.

Step 2: What browser are you using? Is the browser up to date? If the browser isn’t up-to-date, if you’re able to, update it – this is better for your own security and is the next best way to ensure the player loads and works properly. NOTE: If you are using Safari, we do not support the player in that browser – Apple has reduced its support for the browser, and so we no longer test on that platform. Instead, try using Chrome or Firefox.

Step 3: In some extreme cases, businesses or Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will block certain content, typically due to bandwidth usage or other security concerns. Our streams are safe to listen to, and we’ve worked to make sure they provide a quality sound with as little bandwidth usage as possible. If you’ve checked the methods above, the next step is to see if you can play the streams at all. Here are the direct links to test:
     News: https://news-stream.iowapublicradio.org/News.mp3
     Classical: https://classical-stream.iowapublicradio.org/Classical.mp3
     Studio One: https://studioone-stream.iowapublicradio.org/StudioOne.mp3
If the streams still don’t work but you know you have an internet connection, it may be time to talk with your IT rep (if you’re in the office) or your ISP (if the issue is at your house).

Issue: The stream starts and stops frequently. What’s going on and can it be fixed?
There are a lot of possibilities for what could be going on here. We’ll try to run through the most common ones

Step 1: Do you know your internet connection speed? Is it generally reliable? Are you using WIFI to stream us? Do you have other devices streaming content (video, audio) at the same time where you are? If you have a low connection package (10 Mb or less), you have reliability issues with your internet (it drops out a lot), or you have multiple devices streaming content at the same time, the start/stop could be because you don’t have enough bandwidth reliably available. Additionally, if you’re listening wirelessly (WIFI), your connection is subject to more bandwidth fluctuation. A wired connection will always provide more reliable bandwidth.

Step 2: Do you notice bandwidth changes during certain times of day? For example, is it always around 4 – 6 pm in the afternoon (say, when your family and neighbors get home from work/school)? You could be experiencing higher bandwidth usage throughout the house and neighborhood, which could impact your connection speed and ability. As an interesting aside, bandwidth can be pooled across multiple houses, so that if everyone in the neighborhood is buying an (up to – you’re not guaranteed that bandwidth) 50 Mb package, and the total available bandwidth in that cluster is 300 Mb, you could regularly be receiving far less than 50 Mb, particularly if your neighbors are heavy video (or videogame) streamers.

Step 3: Are you traveling and using phone (or car) data to stream us? Cell signals aren’t 100% reliable, and there are parts of Iowa (and the country) where the signal is weak – you may have to wait to reconnect once your cell coverage improves.

We’ve tried our best to offer continued listening options when your bandwidth is less reliable or fluctuating. Our default stream bitrate (the amount of data carried in the stream – the higher the bitrate, the better the audio quality) is 128 Kbps. But we also offer a lower option – 64 Kbps, which handles those fluctuations much better. If you find yourself with playback issues, try one of these stream URLs instead:
     News: https://news-stream.iowapublicradio.org/NewsLow.mp3
     Classical: https://classical-stream.iowapublicradio.org/ClassicalLow.mp3
     Studio One: https://studioone-stream.iowapublicradio.org/StudioOneLow.mp3

Issue: I want to see the song that was playing, but it’s not listed in the persistent player anymore.
We’ve provided direct links to our Classical and Studio One playlists in the navigation bar – labeled “Playlists.” You can select by show or by day and time to look at the playlists. However, not all shows provide us with playlists. If we can’t provide the playlist directly, you may need to reach out to us or to the show directly to track down the song you heard. If you contact us, be sure to provide the day and time you were listening – and be as exact as possible.

Issue: I don’t see a link to the song I’m listening to right now. Will it only be there when it’s an IPR-produced show?
Not necessarily. We receive playlist information for both our locally produced and the nationally broadcast shows. Similarly, we are not able to provide playlists for all of our locally produced shows (such as Symphonies of Iowa) or the nationally broadcast shows (such as From the Top). The best way to know for sure whether we have the song in a playlist is to go to check the playlist page.

Issue: I don’t want to go to the website every time to start the player. Is there another way to listen to the streams directly?
Yes. Our streams can be played in media players compatible with streaming MP3, such as VLC Media Player or iTunes. These links will work in your browser:
     News: https://news-stream.iowapublicradio.org/News.mp3
     Classical: https://classical-stream.iowapublicradio.org/Classical.mp3
     Studio One: https://studioone-stream.iowapublicradio.org/StudioOne.mp3
And these stream links will work in alternative players:
     News – Windows Media Player – Alternate Players
     Classical – Windows Media Player – Alternate Players
     Studio One – Windows Media Player – Alternate Players

Apps & Mobile Listening
Use one of our app options to listen to our online streams and listen to podcast episodes.
     IPR iPhone & iPad App | IPR Google (Android) App
If you’re wondering about other public radio apps to download, we recommend a few NPR apps as well:
     NPR iPhone & iPad App | NPR Google (Android) App
     NPR One for iPhone & iPad | NPR One for Google (Android) App

Don’t limit yourself to just listening through our app – we also offer quick access to the latest news stories from around Iowa and around the country to read and listen to. This way, wherever you are, you can stay up-to-date on what’s going on.

If you want to stream through our website on your phone or tablet, you can do that too – it’s the same address: http://www.iowapublicradio.org.

Troubleshooting the app:
Issue: The app won’t play the stream. What can I do?
First, are you connected to the internet or using your data plan? If not, connect and then try to play the audio. If you are and the stream isn’t loading, double-check that you actually have internet and you aren’t showing a WIFI connection but there’s no internet in that connection – that would prevent any content from updating. To check this, you’ll need to check your modem or router. Once you’ve confirmed that you have an internet or data connection, completely close and restart the app.

Issue: I’m worried about the amount of data I’m using through the app. Any suggestions?
If you’re at home or work in an office that offers employee internet, join the WIFI network. If you’re unable to join a WIFI network, the amount of data that the app will use is very low. If you want to know the exact amount, clear your device’s recent data usage history and start tracking with just the app open.

Issue: I’m worried that you’ll access other information on my device. Is that true?
No. We do not access other information on your device. While we may send you push notifications around news or other events, we do not access any information on your phone. For additional information around this and information we collect about you, please review our Terms of Service and our Privacy Policy.

Issue: My device is running really slowly. I think it’s because your app is open. Why is that?
It’s not necessarily because our app (or JUST) our app is open. Your mobile device is very similar to a desktop computer or laptop – it needs to be restarted every now and then. Give it a restart first. That will force all of your open apps closed, stopping all processes they might be running. You should notice your device is working better once it restarts. If it’s still slow, think about how old your device is – if it’s more than 3 – 4 years old, it could be slow because the apps that you’ve installed are built using more computing power, meaning your device can’t handle those processes as well. We hate to say it – but in this instance, you may need to think about purchasing a new device. If it truly is isolated to just when you have our app open and you’ve completed a restart, Contact Us and we’ll investigate further.

Smart Speakers
One of the easiest ways to listen to IPR is using voice commands with your “smart speaker.” It’s easy to start listening. Here’s what you say:

Amazon Alexa

Google Home

Apple HomePod

“Alexa, play Iowa Public Radio News”

“OK Google, play Iowa Public Radio News”

“Hey Siri, play the station NPR News – IPR News”

“Alexa, play Iowa Public Radio Classical”

“OK Google, play Iowa Public Radio Classical”

NA – our Classical stream isn’t available on the HomePod

“Alexa, play Iowa Public Radio Studio One”

“OK Google, play Iowa Public Radio Studio One”

NA – our Studio One stream isn’t available on the HomePod

And, if you want to listen to our podcasts on your smart speakers, try these commands:

Amazon Alexa

Google Home

Apple HomePod

“Alexa, play the latest episode of River to River podcast”

“OK Google, play the latest episode of River to River podcast”

“Hey Siri, play the latest River to River podcast”

“Alexa, play the latest episode of Talk of Iowa podcast”

“OK Google, play the latest episode of Talk of Iowa podcast”

“Alexa, play the latest Talk of Iowa podcast”

“Alexa, play the latest episode of Under the Golden Dome podcast”

“OK Google, play the latest episode of Under the Golden Dome podcast”

Coming Soon

Troubleshooting your smart speakers:
Issue: Why does my smart speaker waking up when it hears someone say Alexa, OK Google, or Hey Siri.
Your smart speakers are constantly listening, and their voice recognition is broadly set to be listening for any command of “Alexa, “OK (or Hey) Google,” or “Hey Siri.” If they hear those commands from any audio source (others in your house, on the TV, or on the radio), that could trigger them to wake up or attempt to follow a command. We’ve tried our hardest to avoid saying any of the start commands on-air because we know this is frustrating and can cause you issues. While it occasionally may happen, we continue to be diligent about minimizing these instances.

Issue: Will you offer other skills?
We continue to look into improving our smart speaker skills and offer the most useful option for you to listen through yours. If you have suggestions for improvements, please e-mail us and let us know!

Issue: Why can’t I play IPR Classical or IPR Studio One in my HomePod?
We currently aren’t able to offer IPR Classical or IPR Studio One through Apple Music. If we were able to offer them, you’d be able to listen through your HomePod.

Internet Radios, Home Speaker Devices, and Third-Party Stream Hosting Services
First, to be clear, we do not EVER directly submit our stream URLs to internet radio manufacturers, home speaker manufacturers, or third-party stream hosting services. If you own an internet radio or speaker device manufactured by Sonos, Onkyo, or other, OR listen through the TuneIn app or in some way rely on TuneIn or iHeartMedia to listen to us, we cannot control your listening experience.

That said, we encourage you to listen to us through those devices and platforms, and will do our best to troubleshoot any issues you might have. BUT, it may take us longer to find the solution, since we’ll have to collect more information from you to find and contact the proper manufacturer or service provider.

Troubleshooting your internet radio, home speaker system, or third-party stream hosting service:
Issue: I have an internet radio/home speaker system and the stream is not working anymore.
Double-check that you still have internet. If you do, refresh your list of options and re-search for Iowa Public Radio News, Iowa Public Radio Classical, or Iowa Public Radio Studio One. You can also try searching by call letters. Alternatively, depending on your device, you can also try manually typing in the stream information, as follows:
     News: https://news-stream.iowapublicradio.org/News.mp3
     Classical: https://classical-stream.iowapublicradio.org/Classical.mp3
     Studio One: https://studioone-stream.iowapublicradio.org/StudioOne.mp3
If this doesn’t work, try entering the stream URL, changing HTTPS to HTTP.

Older internet radio/home speaker devices are not always able to play secured streams. If none of this works, e-mail us. When you do, provide the make and model of your internet radio. We may need to reach out to them or the stream provider they work with to troubleshoot the issue further.

Other questions, feedback, and suggestions for improvements
If you have online listening questions that we haven’t addressed here, e-mail us at streaming@iowapublicradio.org. We try to respond within 24 - 48 business hours with a starting set of troubleshooting steps.

If you have feedback or suggestions for improvements, e-mail us at streaming@iowapublicradio.org as well. We want to hear from you – your feedback and input helps us improve this page and our online listening options generally. We’re also appreciate criticism – as long as it’s constructive and can help us improve our services.

If you have issues listening on your over-the-air radio (AM, FM) or HD radio, please visit our Radio & HD Listening page for troubleshooting support.

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