Audio-only mode for DVR users


#1

It would be neat if Channels had an audio-only mode available to users with a transcoding DVR -- either built into the Channels iOS app or as a separate app.

Some channel types (news, sports, fm radio audio-only cable channels, Music Choice) are especially suitable for audio-only consumption. CNN and Fox News, for example, are already available in an audio-only format on Sirius XM.

In addition to conserving bandwidth, an audio-only mode would allow listening while the Channels app is backgrounded. It would even allow listening in the car (especially if a basic CarPlay interface was offered) or over in-flight wifi.


#2

I second this, there are many times I want to listen to a news or sports channel while walking, and have to keep my phone screen on to do it. Would be nice to have audio only.


#3

We'd like to add something like this too, but its complicated because to get background audio you have to use the system audio player.

One thing you can do in the meantime is to use the web UI. You can right click copy url on the Watch Now button, then change the url to add ?vcodec=none&acodec=mp3 at the end. So something like http://xxx.channelsdvr.net:8089/devices/ANY/channels/123/hls?vcodec=none&acodec=mp3. Open that in safari and it will start playing and audio-only stream from channel 123.


#4

@tmm1 this is awesome and will definitely come in handy!

I know you probably have enough more important stuff on your plate, but here are two enhancement requests:

  • Add a "Listen Now" button next to the "Watch Now" button in the web UI that opens the mp3 stream you mentioned.
  • Make the DVR server support generating an RSS feed for a Pass. The user could choose format options (video bitrate, audio-only, etc) for the RSS URL. The RSS URL could have an auth token parameter so it would work in podcast clients that use a server to fetch feeds.

#5

Nifty hack. I'll have to try that.

I wonder if a separate app would simplify things ("Channels Audio")? It would show just the guide and recorded shows (for DVR users) for audio streaming.