Clarence's Internet Radio Setup FAQ and how to guide

    set up your PC:

A Beginner's Guide for listening to internet radio
How to set up your PC for internet radio and FAQ

The following are step by step instructions for setting up your PC to listen to internet radio. This includes steps to download a free media player for enjoying music online with Windows Media Player or MP3. Last updated: July 2004

Please listen to Clarence's Cajun radio program in Baton Rouge.
Saturdays 7pm-9pm on WBRH 90.3 FM

View Clarence's Baton Rouge Cajun and Zydeco Schedule. Clarence needs your help - read a message from Clarence here.

If you have never listened to radio on the internet, it is a little confusing at first. The good news is that once you have completed the setup, it is very easy to use. After you go through the following steps, you can find a radio station to listen to by going to the site

The process is not as complicated as it looks. You may want to print out these directions to use as you go through this process. These instructions are geared towards a beginner. As a result, you will find that this documentation is very detailed and has every small step included. If you are knowledgeable about PC's, this may have more detail than you need.

The process consists of these steps:
  1. Download a player (details below)
  2. Install the player (details below)
  3. Click on one of the internet radio station links
  4. Hit the "Click here to listen"
  5. Wait 2-3 minutes for the music to buffer into your system.
  6. If the sound doesn't start, read below or check out the FAQ page on radio station that you are trying to listen to.
  7. A list of radio stations on the internet can be found at the Clarence's Cajun and Zydeco Radio Guide

Below you will find the following sections:
  1. How-to set up internet radio - details
  2. Menu navigation tips - mouse and drop down menus
  3. Downloading "Windows Media Player"
  4. The "Player" is installed - listen to an internet station
  5. The sound keeps stopping, what should I do?
  6. The sound is still cutting out, now what should I do?
  7. Editor's note and Lagniappe
How-to set up internet radio - details:

We will begin with the basics. First, your PC should have either external or built in speakers. Your PC should also have a "soundcard" in it. These are fairly standard in all PC's so your PC will probably have them. If not, you can buy these at most computer stores or order them over the internet.

The first time that you want to listen to internet radio, you will need to download or install a "player". A "player" is a computer program that will take the radio signal from the internet and convert the signal into a sound that you can hear on your PC.

Through the use of a player, you will be able to hear the radio sound through the speakers of your PC. Note that a "player" is not a physical device. Instead, it is a computer program. You can get a player free over the internet. The method that you use to get the player over the internet is called "downloading" the player. "Downloading" means to transfer a computer program from the internet to your PC.

To download a player, you can download one of the two main brand names of players. These are "Windows Media Player" and "Real Audio". The basic versions of each of these brands of players are free.

Prior to downloading a player, you should close out of all programs such as excel, word processors, business applications, etc. You should also be dialed in to your internet connection before you get started.

The only catch with getting the free version is that they will occasionally ask for some basic information like your email address and whether you want to recieve email about updates to their player. The other thing that they may ask is for you to choose whether you want the "free version" or choose to pay for an upgraded version. The internet stations all work well with the "free version".

It may also ask which features that you would like to install. This is usually in the form of "the basic player" or the "added features player". I usually select the basic version since it takes up less memory space on your PC. The additional accessories are often not needed. You can always come back later and add the additional features if you wish to.

Menu navigation tips - mouse and drop down menus:
Here are some tips for the beginner. This is a summary of some techniques that are used in this process. If you are familiar with PC's, you can skip this section.

Here, we discuss the concept of a "drop down" menu. Most download programs will make use of "drop down" menus. A drop-down menu is a way for you to select the type of program that you wish to download.

A drop-down menu can be identified a rectangular box somewhere on the screen of your PC that has a downward arrow at the right end of the box. To use the drop down menu, position your mouse on the downward arrow. Then, click the left mouse button on the downward arrow. This will cause a menu to pop up on your screen. You then can scroll up or down to make your selection. You can either scroll by moving your mouse or by using the up and down arrows on your keyboard.

When your selection is highlighted, either hit the "enter" key on your keyboard, or do a left click on your mouse.

Downloading "Windows Media Player":

Increasing, it seems that most people tend to prefer "Windows Media Player" over "RealAudio". Therefore, we will go into detail about how to download and start using the Windows Media Player.

To download the Windows Media Player click on this link: Window Media Player
When you get to the "Windows Media" site, you will see several drop-down menus.

On the first drop-down menu, select the type of PC system that you have. Most people will select either
a) "Player 7 for Windows 98, Windows 2000, and Windows Me"
b) "Player 6.4 for Windows 95 and NT 4"

On the second drop-down menu, select the language that you are most comfortable with.

Then, click on the "download now" button.

A pop-up window will ask if you want to "Run this program from its current location" or "Save this program to disk". You will want to click on the option to "Save this program to disk". At this point, have a pen and paper ready to write down the name of the file that you are about to download. You will need this later. The name will be something like wmp7.exe. Click "OK".

Another pop-up window will appear. This time it will be a window that says "save as". The window will contain default values. You will usually want to leave the defaults unchanged. The default usually says to save the file in "Desktop". If it says "Desktop", write down "desktop" for later. If you select some place other than "desktop" make sure you write down the path. You will need it later. Then, click on the "save" button. If a pop-up menu says that "the file already exists" and it asks if you want to replace it, click on "yes".

At this time, another pop-up window will show up on your PC. This pop-up window will let you know that it is saving the "player" on your PC. It will say something like "saving xxx.exe". It will also say "estimated time left". Do not worry too much about how much time that it shows as an estimate. It will often say a lot longer than it actually takes. Depending on how fast your internet connection is, it should take about an hour.

You only have to do this time consuming download once. You will not have to wait like this every time you listen to internet radio. Just leave it alone while it is "downloading" or saving to your PC. If you have a REALLY slow connection, start it up at night and finish it the next morning.

When the "player" has finished downloading to your PC, the pop-up window will say "download complete". You can now click on the "close" button.

You now need to decompress the file that has just finished saving to your PC. To do this, go to the place where you "saved" the file. This will be on your Desktop unless you said to save it somewhere else. To get to your "desktop", just close out everything that you have opened by clicking on the "X" in the top right corner of your screen.

On your "desktop", look for the name of the file that downloaded. It will be something like "wmp7.exe". Make sure that everything that you have open is closed. This means that you should close any word processing programs, excel, your browser, etc.

Click your left mouse button twice on the icon for "wmp7.exe". This will extract the "player" from a compressed file to a normal file that can be used. A message will pop up saying "welcome" and that you are about to install the player. It will ask you if you want to continue. Click on "Yes". Then, read the licensing agreement that pops up and click on "Yes" to accept the agreement.

The program will begin extracting itself. This will take about one minute. Then, a series of menus will pop up. Click on "next" to continue. Click on the little box that says "I have read the privacy statement". Then click on the "next" button.

Then a menu will ask you to select either "Upgrade newer components only" or "Reinstall all components". Select "Reinstall all components" and click on "next". You are now finished with downloading the "player".

Once you have downloaded the player, you usually have to find the file or icon that it downloaded and double click on it so that it decompresses (extracts) the file. This will usually take less than 1 minute.

Your player is downloaded and extracted. From now on, the process is simple. You will not need to do this every time you listen to music on an internet music station. This is a one time preparation setup.

The "Player" is installed - listen to an internet station:

We will now walk through an example of listening to an internet station.

For this example, we will select a station from the internet radio guide at

Select Once on the KBON radio site, click on "listen live" on the left side of the screen. It will take about one minute for the page to load. A "windows media" page will show up on your screen. About 2 minutes later, you should start hearing the music from the speakers on your PC.

The sound keeps stopping, what should I do?

If the sound stops, then starts again in one or two minutes, this means that your music is not loading into your PC as fast as it is playing. To correct this, you may need to change your default settings for the "media player".

There are two settings that may need to be changed if your sound is cutting out. Change #1 is to set the buffer larger on the media player. Change #2 is to set the internet connection speed lower on your media player.

Change #1 - Set the buffer larger on the media player so that it holds more music. This will help keep the sound from stopping and starting as often.

To set the buffer larger on your media player, click on "Tools" in the windows media player. Drag your mouse down until it highlights the word "options". Click on "options". Then, click on the "performance" tab. Click on the circle that says "buffer" and type in the largest value possible which is 9999999. It will not accept this value, but that is ok. It will replace the value with the largest value that it accepts.

To see what value it changes to, click on another tab such as the "player" tab. Then click again on the "performance" tab. On my media player, it puts in the value "60" seconds. Click on the "X" in the top right corner of the "options" page to quit changing your settings.

Change #2 - set the internet connection speed lower on your media player. This may also help with the sound from stopping and starting as much.

To change your internet connection speed, click on "Tools" in the windows media player. Drag your mouse down until it highlight the word "options". Click on "options". Then, click on the "performance" tab. Click on the circle that says "my connection speed". Use the drop down box to select a lower "Kbps" number.

The reason that you may need to change this is because default value of the "Kbps" connection speed setting may be incorrect. It is sometimes incorrect when you have a modem that is faster than your old telephone lines can handle.

For example, if you have a 56K modem, the automatic default will select 56K "Kbps". But, the old telephone lines in your neighborhood may not be able to handle more than the 28.8K "Kbps" speed. There is an easy way to see what your speed actually is.

To see what your speed actually is, have your window media player play an internet radio station. While it is playing or the sound is cutting in and out, look at the bottom right hand corner of your screen for an icon symbol that looks like 2 computer screens that are connected by a line.

This is your "internet connection icon". Place your mouse on the icon and left mouse click twice. A message should show up on your screen saying "connected at XX speed". This is the speed that your system is actually performing at.

If you can not find the icon, try the following. Click on "Start", "Programs", "Accessories", "Communications", "Dial-up networking", and you should find icon that looks like 2 computers linked together by a line. Left mouse click twice on this icon to get the speed that you are actually connected at.

The sound is still cutting out, now what should I do?

If the above changes have not corrected that proble there are still a few things that you can try.

First, close out any other browser windows that you may have open. If you are "surfing the web" while you are listening to internet radio, your PC can not download the radio station stream as fast.

Second, if the radio station has "flash" media enabled, close the window where messages are "flashing" across your screen. These "flashes" take up a lot of the speed of your PC. However, leave open the media player itself. The media player with be labeled at the top of your screen as "window media player".

Third, choose a different radio station. Most types of stations will play through your "windows media player" even though the format is realaudio or MP3. Some stations are connected closer to an internet hub than others, so station may be cutting out due to the speed of the connection in the lines in another state. Also, some radio stations get more listeners than the computer server that the radio station has can handle. This usually results in the radio station having to buy more "bandwidth". In simple terms, the radio station may need to buy more powerful computer equipment on their end. Either send them a message or try another station.

Some internet radio stations that broadcast in MP3 will give you a choice of selecting a slower or faster version of MP3. You lose a little sound quality if you select the slower version. But, if your internet connection is slow, you won't get disconnected as often.

If you are trying to listen at work, you may find that your company blocks users from connecting to internet radio stations. Give it a try and realize that it may be a problem.

Also, it is common for many stations that broadcast over the internet to be off the internet airways for a few days or weeks at a time while they upgrade their computer equipment.

You can now go to the site to select a radio station and start listening. Enjoy!

Please listen to Clarence's Cajun radio program in Baton Rouge.
Saturdays 7pm-9pm on WBRH 90.3 FM

View Clarence's Baton Rouge Cajun and Zydeco Schedule. Clarence needs your help - read a message from Clarence here.

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