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My website is offering a list of links to radio stations streaming audio content hosted on other servers. Many of the audio streams are based on icecast servers There is a big question on what is the better way to link to the streaming audio. The following options are considered:

  • many icecast servers (not all) offer .m3u files. This works in most cases, but not all, particularly on old windows machines, where no player is linked to this type of files
  • linking directly to the streaming content (direct link example): this gives the worst results, because the browsers do not handle the audio as a streaming, but they start downloading endlessly the audio.
  • create a .pls file (pls example) This has a better effect. I also set the MIME type to be correct. But I still got reports from people, particularly using Firefox on Windows 8, that the file gets downloaded but does not start playing

Do you have a better experience on how to link to external streaming content? Any reports on the best way to achieve maximum compatibility with browsers and systems?

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