Listen Live: Frequently Asked Questions 
Why can't I connect to WNCW's stream?
Why is the stream cutting out and rebuffering?
When I click on the links to listen, my media player doesn't launch.  What should I do? 
How do I launch the stream with a different media player?
What do I do if I get a message that says "save to disk" or "open from location"?
I'm having trouble listening at work.  What do I do? 
Which media player should I use?
I have received an error message from my media player.  What should I do?
What is Ibiblio?
Can I download and save programs I hear on WNCW?
How can I make WNCW's Web stream better?

Why can't I connect to your stream?

Many types of interruptions between your computer, your player, your computer's operating system, your local network, your internet service provider and WNCW's streaming server can exist and cause trouble. Some of these reasons could be:

  • First, check the volume setting on your computer and on your computer's speakers.
  • Next, make sure your player(s) are installed correctly. If you have recently upgraded your Web browser (Explorer, Netscape, Firefox) you may also need to reinstall or upgrade your media player.  Installing the latest media player software solves most online audio or video problems. 
  • Double check that you are not attempting to connect to our stream using an old bookmarked location.  You will need to use one of our new streaming links:
  • When you select one of these, it may automatically open the stream in your preferred media player.  If it does not, you can manually launch the stream
  • Also, if you're listening at work, you may be behind a firewall
  • There may be a temporary interruption due to limited bandwidth on WNCW's streaming server. Please try to connect a few times at different times of the day, if possible.

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Why is the stream cutting out and rebuffering?
If your computer is not receiving the stream data fast enough, you will experience drop-outs and rebuffering. The rebuffering occurs when your computer tries to catch up with missed data. Many times this is caused by Internet congestion or insufficient bandwidth. It can also happen when you try to connect to a stream that has a bit rate that is too high for your modem or connection speed.

  • If you're having a problem with rebuffering, make sure you are using the stream that is best for your modem or way of connecting to the Internet. The 24kbps stream is recommended for 28k modems or faster. The 128k stream is recommended for cable modems, ISDN, DSL, and T1 connections.  If you believe you should be able to stream the 128K stereo stream, it may be a problem of insufficient bandwidth or internet congestion and not a problem of your system, per say.  Consider connecting at the 24K speed stream. 
  • You can also try increasing your player's buffering setting, closing other applications deleting temporary files, clearing memory cache, and/or rebooting your computer.  Or try the stream again later, during off peak times.
  • Local congestion: local bandwidth (on your computer or local network) is shared between all open applications and the player. Closing applications may reduce buffering. To see what proportion of your available bandwidth you're using, right-click on the Microsoft Windows Media Player status bar and view statistics.
  • Internet congestion can slow down the delivery of the stream, make it difficult for you to connect or cause buffering. We suggest you keep trying or try again later. If you repeatedly have difficulty connecting, please notify your ISP -- there are often quick fixes they can make when they learn about your issue.


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When I click on the links to listen, my player doesn't launch. What should I do?

Whether or not your player launches automatically depends on how you have configured your personal system and whether or not you have designated a default MP3 player.

  • In Windows Media Player, select the File menu and choose the Open URL option.  Type or paste in the appropriate stream file (found below) for your internet connection.
  • In iTunes, click on "Advanced" and choose "Open Stream".  Type one of the URLs below in the  "Open Stream" dialog box and click "OK".
  • In Winamp you can type one of the following URL's into the location window to play a stream.
  • In RealPlayer, go to the File menu and choose Open. You can then type in the URL you want to use.


Each of these media players may prompt you to select it as the default media player.  Once selected, it may launch immediately in the future when you select the link to our stream.

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How do I launching the stream in a different media player?
When you install a media player, you will often see pop-up windows asking you to make this player your "default player" (which simply means the player "claims" certain media types and will automatically launch in the future when music or videos of those types are played). Typically, the most recently installed media player will be the default player on your computer for most media types unless you set it up NOT to be.  To launch a stream in a different media player, follow these instructions.  Once the new media player is open, use the help index to find out how to set the open program as your default media player.       

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What do I do if I get a message that asks me if I want to "save to disk" or "open file from location?"
Choose "open file from location."  

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I want to listen at work and may be behind a firewall. What should I do?
Strict firewalls are configured to deny inbound traffic and may block access to an MP3 stream.  Some firewalls are sent out on varying ports.  Ask your system administrator or IT department to open port 80 and port 8000 which support audio and video streaming.    

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Which media player should I use?   
MP3 streams can be played using ITunes, RealAudio™, Windows Media™ Player, and other media players. Other media players include: QuickTime, Winamp, MusicMatch, Xaudio, freeAMP, MacAmp or MacAmp Lite, Xaudio and mpg123. This list is not complete. Many players exist, so you have the option to use any player you prefer; however, because there are so many options, we are not able to test them all. If your preferred player doesn't work, we suggest you do a Google search or install a different player. All players function optimally when the newest version has been installed.     

iTunes is now compatible with both Macintosh and Windows. Click here to go to the Apple site's iTunes download page. This page has information about system requirements.  For additional assistance, please refer to the iTunes support section or choose the help menu in your iTunes player.  

Click here to go to the RealPlayer® download page. This page has downloads for free players for various operating systems. Once you click on the link for your operating system, the player should start to download automatically. If it does not, go to http://service.real.com/faq/downloadfaqs/rap00907v.html for detailed instructions.  

Windows Media Player 
Click here to go to the Windows Media Player download page. Once you click on the download link, the player should start to download automatically. If it does not, go to http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsmedia/knowledgecenter/faq.aspx for detailed instructions.  For additional assistance, please visit the Microsoft Windows Media Support Site or choose the help menu in your Windows Media Player.    

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I have received an error message from my media player.  What should I do?
If you are receiving an error message about the file not being found or if it suggests that if your computer is not connected to the internet that you should connect, this is most likely an instance in which our streaming server is at capacity for bandwidth usage.  Instances of this type of error are unpredictable.   WNCW.org has roughly 400 listeners at a time. With this volume of listening and the relatively limited amount of bandwidth available to us it can sometimes be difficult for everyone who wants to stream WNCW to be able to do so.   We have now determined that what we're experiencing a physical bandwidth limitation at the network hardware level.  

If you want to stream WNCW and have received this message, it is advisable to try again. We are requesting that listeners modify their streaming by selecting 24K (instead of 128K) to reduce bandwidth usage and increase the overall number of listeners WNCW can have online at once.   If you're not sure whether this is your problem and think that it may be a user-error resulting in your inability to stream WNCW, follow the instructions and hints in the "I can't listen" section of this page.

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What is Ibiblio?
Ibiblio is a collaboration of the Center for Public Domain and the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.  It is an online collection of freely available information, including music, software, literature, art, history, science, politics and cultural studies.     

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Can I download and save programs?
This is a live web stream, so you cannot save specific songs or programs (which is also illegal), but you can bookmark the stream in your player.  To add the stream to your list of favorites, go to File -> Add To Media Library.  You can, however, find specific programs, including Our Southern Community, features like artists interviews and Metaphysical Matters, Blue Ridge Outdoors, and more as podcasts.  Podcasts are programs available for download...explanation.

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How can I make WNCW's stream better?
You can improve the reliability of WNCW's stream for all listeners by disconnecting from the stream and closing your media player when you're finishing listening.  This will help limit the amount of bandwidth being used by our streaming server and help us reduce bandwidth usage costs.  Also, consider making a contribution to WNCW or sponsoring WNCW's Web stream