UPDATE redux (4/1/21 and no, this is not an April Fool prank): Streaming services to Alexa/Echo devices is now restored. For some reason all along, Alexa did not like the link we were sending her to play us natively (which uses TuneIn). Finally, after some internet gymnastics (contortions?) we were able to supply a streaming link which she accepted grudgingly and now is playing us again by saying “Alexa, play WORT”. As before, Alexa can be stubborn, so you may have to say “Alexa play WORT 89.9” or “Alexa play WORT Community Radio” but she’ll get there. If you want to disable the Simple Radio skill set up from the previous update, simply tell her “Alexa disable Simple Radio”.
The WORT Alexa skill should be ready very soon as well so you can enable that and not only listen to the broadcast stream but also be able to listen to our podcasts by name. So “Alexa play Mel and Floyd” or “Alexa play Madison Book Beat” will be a thing. More info as that comes on line.
As always, thanks for listening!
UPDATE (3/18/21): Since this was published, most streaming services are operational again. Lone holdout is Alexa whether via the Alexa app or via the Echo hardware. Amazon is blaming TuneIn and TuneIn is barely responsive with tech service ticket entries.
The good news is that there is a workaround for this.
Enable Simple Radio. You can do this either via the Alexa app by searching for the Simple Radio skill and launching it. Or just tell Alexa “Alexa, enable Simple Radio”.
Then tell Alexa “Alexa, tell Simple Radio to play W-O-R-T Community Radio” and it should work. Make sure you spell out our call letters.
We should soon have our own Alexa skill so we can also eliminate Simple Radio and be direct. It is in the works even as I type this.
Thanks for listening to WORT!
Some of you may have noticed that your favorite streaming device just isn’t finding WORT any longer. Well, that is because of some changes that were made that should not have broken anything but did.
First, the changes and why:
Our streaming server was getting quite old and insecure. It also didn’t support secure internet (think https:// instead of http://) which is becoming required more and more often especially by Google. This is what broke our Listen Live window on the website last August – the streaming server wasn’t able to handle the security configuration.
So after months of planning and reconfiguration, the new server was set to go. This was also important due to some new things coming soon to WORT.
It should have been simple – just tell the internet to point to a new network address when going to stream.wortfm.org. Kinda like a change of address card you submit to the post office when you move.
But it didn’t go exactly as planned.
Some streaming worked great with the change without a hiccup. Our Listen Live window is back to where it used to be. Connecting directly with a browser to, say, https://stream.wortfm.org:8443/high.mp3 works equally as well.
Some streaming services worked after a short time once they got the change sussed.
Others, such as TuneIn (arguably the kingpin in the list) have had some issues. TuneIn is working on a lot of devices. On Android, saying “Okay, Google, play WORT” works great and it uses TuneIn. Echo/Alexa devices, however, seem to still be problematic.
One thing we found is that some streaming services were still using the old domain of wort-fm.org (with a dash in there). Once that was realized and the domain was altered to point to the new servers, most other streaming apps started working. Apps such as mytuner, simple radio and internet radio. vTuner, an app that was embedded in sound systems is now working.
Sonos and Echo/Alexa still seem to be the holdouts. Alexa insists that WORT cannot be found yet. Sonos also seems to be hardware that doesn’t recognize https:// connections.
A change was made today that should help fix that.
But, then, I am eternal optimist.
If you continue to have issues, please keep the notices coming to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m tracking them and working on them like whack-a-mole.
HUGE thanks to the Engineering Committee (particularly Jon Miner) for their input and assistance in figuring out what the issues were and how to best resolve them. It is indeed a community we have here.