KEXP Has Retired Real Audio Format

As with all things, so go once great Titans into the golden times of yesteryear. In that vein, we are retiring our Real Audio live and archived audio streams from

This choice was the result of very low usage by our total audience, as well as to make way for the new MP3 live and archived streams that are replacing it. Additionally, the hardware we use to create and stream Real Audio is out of warranty, and as we are moving to multiple MP3 streams, it made little sense to replace it.

Let us know your thoughts as we move on to greater and better things, and stay tuned for new developments with our live and archived streams.

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  1. Cliff Wells
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    What? I live near “High Point” between Lynnwood and Everett and Realplayer is/has been the only way to hear KEXP up here. I even bought the RealPlayer Premium player to improve my “reception”. The other players have not worked as well, though you seemed to have a “skip” on your Sunday broadcasts.

    When was this decided to retire the Real feed? Is it possible the low traffic was because of this skip? It certainly was beautiful to listen to on Saturday when I hear Mind Over Matters.

  2. Katerina
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I am speechless. I listen to multiple KEXP archived shows throughout the week. I hope they come back. I love KEXP. You bring much joy to my life.

  3. john welsh
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Just looking at Teenage Fanclub from 2005, has 5 tracks listed under “Windows Media Streams” but only opens in Real Player at 96kbps. Is there an issue here or is this as it should be?

  4. Rex
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    The RealAudio format was necessary for my current Linux-based setup when i wanted to hear something from the Streaming Archive. MP3 format works great for the live broadcast. But for Streaming Archives, Silverlight isn’t available in Linux yet, and the Windows Media format doesn’t work correctly (always plays audioasis instead of say Sonic Reducer).

  5. jayme
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    i have no other way to listen to kexp at work. this is terrible news.

  6. JR
    Posted March 12, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Yes, like the above listeners, I am sad to hear this as Real Player was the only way I could get KEXP.

  7. Chuck Cyclone
    Posted March 15, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Please reconsider!

  8. Sheryl
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Real Player was the best format for me as well :( Sad news!!!

  9. Tom
    Posted March 19, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I only usually listen to KEXP on archives. I downloaded Silverlight and it is NOT an improvement. Every 20 seconds or so, the stream stops. Realplayer was dependable. Not all your listeners have 20 mbps internet service.

  10. Angela
    Posted March 21, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    It’s not that I loved Real or anything but I definitely resent that the other 2 links require Windows Media Player. Who the hell has a PC anymore? Why are you punishing Mac users like this??????? Please don’t make me install that fugly program to listen to your archived shows. It makes no sense to stream everything live through iTunes but then require all archived shows to be played exclusively through WMP. Please give Mac users an option.

  11. Posted March 21, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    As a mac user, I’m not sure what my option is? Bummed.

  12. Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Hi, Fitz. Both mp3 and Windows Media can be stream just fine on Macs with the VLC Player. You can find out more here:

  13. Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Hello, Angela. You can stream both mp3 streams with iTunes natively on Macs. And we’re most certainly wouldn’t dream of punishing Mac users! I’m a Mac user myself, but we have listeners that use all platforms, Windows, Mac, Linux, et cetera. Our new archive, doesn’t require a player on any platform. Give that a try and let us know. Thanks!

  14. Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Hi Tom. I hear you. Our new archive, has three quality options so you should be able to find a speed that works for you. Give it a try and let us know!

  15. Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Hi, JR. What type of computer do you have? Check out our streaming page at as well as the links above. We have something that will work for you!

  16. Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Hi, Chuck. Real really was seeing extremely low usage, and believe us we put a lot of thought into it!

  17. Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Hi Rex. Give our beta streaming archive a try here: It’s HTML5 based, and should work for you on Linux. Let us know if you have any troubles!

  18. Posted March 22, 2013 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    You’ll still be able to listen to all of our archived live performances Katerina, don’t worry! All the Windows Media archived performances can be accessed on nearly any platform using the free, open source VLC Player. You can find more information here: Let us know if you have any problems.

  19. Posted March 22, 2013 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Hi, John. They play fine for me using Windows Media Player on Windows and the VLC Player on Mac, both using Firefox. Give either of those a try and let us know.

  20. Dana Berner
    Posted March 24, 2013 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad you are evolving to a better and better station. I love listening to KEXP, though I have been living in the Bay Area for the last 2.5 years. Especially the Positive Vibrations show.
    I’ve been using ‘Real’ to stream the music. What method do you recommend for listening to the show through the computer? Also, what is the best way to stream it on my iphone?

    Thank you so much for your help,
    Dana B

    ps, maybe it would be good to add the suggestion to the link you have on the home page. the one that says ‘where is Real?’ It was super informative, i was just left wondering what to do next? Thanks, and I apologize for my ignorance

  21. Thomas J. Brown
    Posted March 27, 2013 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    RealPlayer jumped the shark years ago and should be long dead by now. And yet, it somehow continues to exist. I’m pleased to see KEXP is taking a firm step in the right direction—away from RealNetworks.

  22. Steven
    Posted April 2, 2013 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Im veru disapoint kexp. Non of your live streeming plays on my andriod, and the link you supplied for andriod users is not compatable with my phone. I dont get your radio signal anymore and my phone is the only way I can listen “live” to your amazing programs.
    Please help,

  23. Sid
    Posted April 10, 2013 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Are there any plans to upgrade the sound quality of the archived Windows Media streams? For archived stuff more recent than 2008, the Real Audio files used to be at 192Kbps. The highest sound quality for Windows Media streams seems to be 128Kbps (with the exception of stuff posted since March 2013). The 128Kbps Windows Media streams don’t sound nearly as good. Any chance that the “greater and better things” that you mention in the original post include replacing the 128Kbps files with higher bit rate files? Please let me know.

    Thanks for your help!

  24. Chris
    Posted April 12, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I hate to say this but if you don’t replace the system soon and with something I can use at work you will lose my annual donation. I don’t live in Seattle (don’t even live in WA) so this was the only way I can enjoy the station. I hope it all works out.

  25. Mark Sullo
    Posted April 15, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    I just tried to listen to the Roadhouse on the 2 other audio formats offered and bothe were “not available” – hope this is temporary….

  26. Adam
    Posted April 17, 2013 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    All I remember about Real Player is the annoying pop-ups and advertisements. People complaining will soon find that there are other ways to listen. Tune-In app on Android has KEXP

  27. Victor
    Posted April 28, 2013 at 5:00 am | Permalink

    Real Audio was the scourge of my early internet years over one decade ago, where many sites only used this format for streaming. I ever wondered why it survived up until now despite its closed format and gruesome proprietary player.

    Good decision to dump it. Please consider adding the ogg vorbis format instead.

  28. john gaines
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    I click on the Windows Media stream link and My Real Player plays it. Odd

  29. john gaines
    Posted June 30, 2013 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Can’t you guys figure out how to stream these shows using any number of different players, like iTunes or WMP?

  30. Fatimie
    Posted October 11, 2013 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    Welp, now I wil never be able to watch Modest Mouse perform on kexp DDD:

  31. Jenny
    Posted October 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I wish you would reconsider. This podcast by Viva Voce would be a God Send to so many people.

  32. Phil
    Posted October 19, 2013 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I live in DC and stream all the time–live/archived etc. I have had no problem with the new formats.

  33. Dan
    Posted November 1, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know seems like the free living linux folks are being excluded for big corp microsoft.

  34. David Nolt
    Posted November 15, 2013 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    So you can’t listen to your In Studio performances anymore if you’re using a Mac?

  35. Shane Neph
    Posted February 22, 2014 at 1:10 am | Permalink

    Guys, Microsoft really isn’t the only show on the interweb. Come on, now. Many of us use Linux, BSD, etc.

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