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WMBR Recommends Using VLC to Listen to Our Streams and Audio Archives on Macintosh Computers.
What is VLC?
VLC is a free, cross-platform, open source media player that works on Macintosh OSX. It supports a variety of audio and video formats including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX, MP3, Ogg Vorbis, etc.) as well as DVDs, VCDs, and various streaming protocols.
You can get more information on the VLC Website.
Why Not Use iTunes?
You are more than welcome to use iTunes, or any other software that you like to listen to our streams and audio archives. However, there are a number of reasons that we dislike iTunes. The two main ones are listed below:
1. No Support for Random Access of Archives
If you try to listen to one of our archived programs on iTunes, iTunes will start playing it. However, iTunes does not let you rewind, or skip ahead in the archive that you're listening to. Even if you just want to pause the playback while you answer the phone or go make yourself a sandwich, iTunes cannot do it without stopping and starting over from the beginning. VLC lets you pause, rewind, or skip ahead in our archives quite easily. We think this makes listening to the programs much more enjoyable!
2. iTunes is Big and Slow
iTunes is a fairly big program that takes a long time to startup. When it's running it takes up a lot of system resources (memory, CPU time, etc.). VLC is considerably smaller and starts up nice and quickly.
How to install VLC on your Macintosh Computer
Step 1. Download the .dmg file:
You can download the latest version of VLC for Mac OS X here:
If you have an older version of Mac OS X, or if you'd like to download a different version, or a version for a different operating system, please visit the VLC Website.
Step 2. Install the VLC Application:
When you download the above link, you will end up with a file called something like vlc-0.9.8a.dmg. If it has not automatically opened, double-click it, or drop it on the application Disk Copy.
An icon for a mounted drive named VLC will now appear on your Desktop, next to your other drive icon(s).
Open it and drag the VLC application from the resulting window to the place where you want to install it. Most often this is the Applications directory on your main hard drive. VLC is now installed.
Step 3. Configure Your System to Use VLC to Open M3U Files:
The links to WMBR's archive files and streams are "m3u" files. To enable VLC to open m3u files easily, download the following m3u file to your desktop. (Do this in Safari by clicking the link while holding down the control key and choosing "Download Linked File As". Do it in Firefox by by clicking the link while holding down the control key and choosing "Save Link As".)
If you double-click this "sample.m3u" file, it will probalby open iTunes. To change this, in the Finder, click this file once to select it, and then choose "Get Info" from the File menu (or type command-I). Click the gray triangle next to the words "Open with" to show the options for opening the file. Then choose VLC as the application to use to open the file (iTunes will probably be the default). Then click the button that says "Change All..." to set your system to automatically open all M3U files with VLC.
Now your "sample.m3u" file should have a picture of an orange cone on it and when you double-click it, it should launch VLC.
Safari should now open m3u links with VLC. Try it out. Go to our Archives Page and try clicking on one of the archive links.
Getting Firefox to open m3u links with VLC can be a little trickier.
Step 4. Configure Firefox to Use VLC to Open M3U Files:
Please note: the following instructions will work best if you are using Firefox version 2.0 or higher. We recommend that you upgrade to the latest version of Firefox if you have not done so already.
Launch Firefox and choose "Preferences..." from the "Firefox" menu. Click the "Content" icon at the top of the window. Then, next to "Configure how Firefox handles certain types of files", click the "Manage..." button.
(If you are using an older version of Firefox, you might instead need to click on the "Downloads" tab instead of the "Content" tab, and then click "View & Edit Actions...".)
From the list of file types, choose "M3U Audio Playlist" (or something similar), which should be associated with the "M3U" extension. Click the "Change Action..." button. Then select the button next to "Open them with this type of application" and click the "Browse..." button to find the VLC application wherever you installed it (such as in the Applications folder).
Uh... you say there is no "MPU Audio Playlist" file type listed in the Download Actions window? Firefox doesn't let you add more file types, so go on to step 5...
Step 5. Configure Firefox to Let You Add New File Types:
Firefox does not have any way for a user to add new file types to the configuration panel in Step 4 above. Fortunately, there is a third-party Firefox add-on called "Mime Edit" that will let you do this pretty easily. Go to the following page and click the "Install Now" button to install the MIME Edit Add-On:
Once you install the add-on, you will need to restart Firefox. If it worked, you should have a menu choice "MIME Edit..." under the "Tools" menu in Firefox. Choose this menu option, then click on the "Edit" tab in the MIME Edit Preferences. Then click the "New Type..." button. Enter the following information:
MIME Type: audio/x-mpegurl
Description: M3U Audio Playlist
Extension: m3u

Select the button next to "Open it with:" and click the "Choose..." button to find the VLC application wherever you installed it (such as in the Applications folder).
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