[Icecast-dev] iPhone patches question

oddsock oddsock at oddsock.org
Mon Mar 16 18:16:27 PDT 2009

As of right now, you are out of luck in terms of instream metadata with the
embedded quicktime player that's distributed with the iphone OS.  As
Christopher says, there are many ways to get the same effect, but they ALL
require you to build custom iPhone apps.  There are a whole mess of radio
apps out there, and they are all pretty similar, and NONE of them use the
embedded quicktime object.
The icecast patch that I wrote (and Christopher extended) just worked at a
HTTP header/response level to pretty much "pretend" to be a "progressive
download" server, which is the only type of streaming supported by the
iphone quicktime object.  It works great for certain cases, but falls a bit
short in others.

Another nice thing (NOT) about the quicktime object is that it's fullscreen
and doesn't work in anything but, which means that you can't use the
technique Christopher suggests about having an AJAX "poller" for the
metadata because if you are using the quicktime object, it takes up the
entire screen and you have no ability to change it or change any of the text
that it displays.  Thank you Apple!

On Mon, Mar 16, 2009 at 2:11 PM, Christopher Zenzel <czenzel at me.com> wrote:

> Hi Bob,
> I am thinking that metadata could be streamed to the iPhone with some
> additonal work. There are some possible methods including wrapping a custom
> interface (either a Web App or iPhone SDK App) to check with a server script
> to grab metadata and display it as its streaming the Icecast MP3 Format.
> For example:
> There would be two domains such as icecast.server and metadata.server on
> the Internet. The icecast.server runs the latest Icecast release version
> with the iPhone patches. The metadata.server would run a script that can
> check for metadata either from a database or the Icecast server to display
> in a XML format.
> Then a display page such as web.server/display.php/htm would contact the
> metadata server and display its information and have an embeeded CoreMedia
> or Quicktime Player to play the stream from the actual icecast server.
> With the use of AJAX or automated checking in the page, you could check the
> metadata server's script every 3-25 seconds to return XML to be displayed
> such as:
> <metadata><title>Stream Title</title><song>A Song</song><artist>An
> Artist</artist></metadata>
> and display it with the XMLHTTPRequest object that both the iPhone and
> Desktop Safari provides...
> The built in Safari and Quicktime Player may be limited by certain things
> to prevent it from showing metadata on screen. The goals of the patches that
> I posted allow direct streaming on the iPhone without any additonal
> applications. You would need to point the browser or quicktime player
> directly to the stream (icecast.server/stream.mp3).
> There are some players such as WunderRadio on the App Store that allow
> custom URLs and support metadata without modification of the Icecast or
> Windows Media servers to support the iPhone. The WunderRadio app costs about
> 5-6 dollars.
> Thanks,
> Christopher Zenzel
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