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Tip: How to listen to radio/shoutcast with your PDA

Recently, my MPIO HD300 MP3 player just hung on me.  It won't display any menus, it won't play music, I can't reset the firmware.  It's technically dead.  So, I was looking to buy a new MP3 player.  I would like a Microsoft Zune, but not available here yet (in Canada).  I decided not to buy a player yet.

Instead, I was looking for a way to listen to music on my iPaq rx1950.  This PDA is running Windows Mobile 5.  It has built-in Wifi, and a SD card slot where I added a 2GB memory stick.  Basically, I have a pretty nice MP3 player.

But I have more needs.  First, since my Wifi connection allows me to connect to the Internet, I wanted to be able to listen to Shoutcast stations.  A quick search and I found the software Pocket Player 3.2, which is really nice.  It supports almost any file formats and streaming.  I installed the demo and in less than 20 seconds I was playing Digitally Imported.  How great is that?

My second problem: since I don't have a build-in radio tuner, I need a way to listen to a FM radio I like (98.5FM, talk radio in Montreal).  On their Web site, there is a flash player to listen through the Internet.  However, the PDA doesn't support flash.  Or does it?  YES!  I found the Macromedia Flash Player 7 for Pocket PC.  Cool, I install it.

Still, the player doesn't show up on my PDA.  What to do?  I must get the direct feed.  A quick look at the source code doesn't quite help.  After some googling, I found (Canada / USA).  This site lists all live Internet feeds for many (most) radio stations.

Unfortunately for me, 98.5FM is not in the list.  However, after looking at the source code, I saw that only a parameter in the URL is needed to specify the ratio station, so I found out the direct feed (here).

Now I can use my PDA as a MP3 player, a streamer and a radio tuner.