Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Cannot Access Internet Radio

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Dec 01, 2006

Sent to the CBC this morning...

I went to listen to news about the Liberal leadership today. Since CBC is the only station that would carry coverage, I opted for the CBC internet coverage (I am unable to get radio broadcasts, as I work inside a metal-clad building).

The only way to listen to CBC radio online is to use Windows Media Player, which only runs on Microsoft Windows. Although there are numerous and widely used cross-platform options, the CBC has for some reason decided to use a proprietary system.

It is true that many people use Microsoft Windows, however, I do not, and millions of other people do not use Windows. It is, moreover, my right to be able to listen to information about the leadership convention on Canada's public broadcasting system.

It is time that CBC employed an accessible system to support live internet broadcasts. May I recommend that the developers look at the ShoutCast site, where they will find hundreds of radio stations broadcasting in an accessible manner (indeed, it seems that most other radio stations are there).

I have friends who are able to broadcast an online educational channel (EdTech Talk) in an accessible manner from their basement. Surely Canada's national broadcaster can manage a similar feat.

There is no excuse for running proprietary software on a public radio station. The CBC should switch, and it should switch now.

Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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