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Listening Online FAQs

What hardware do I need to listen to KUOW online?

To listen to the KUOW stream, you need Internet access, a sound card and either speakers or headphones.

What are the recommended players to listen to KUOW's live stream?

Use KUOW's Web player by clicking the Listen Live button in the top right corner of our website and choose a stream. A player will pop-up in a new browser window or tab.

If the Web player isn't working in your preferred browser, you can try another browser, or paste the stream URL from this page into one of the following native players: Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, or iTunes.

How do I download audio from your website?

Right-click on the play button, or control-click if you're a Mac user, and choose "save link as," or "save target as." Then save the MP3 to your desktop; you can transfer the file to a portable MP3 player if you prefer. For an automated service, you are welcome to subscribe to KUOW-produced podcasts which offer the most recent programs delivered to your podcast aggregator on a regular basis.

What should I do if I get an error message when I try to listen?

Make sure you have the latest version of the audio player. Earlier versions often become incompatible as our server is upgraded. Please test other sites to verify that your player is working properly. If everything checks out on your end, the problem may be due to a server malfunction or a problem on our end. Please email and give as many details as possible including the error message or problem, your operating system and audio player version.

Why can I only hear the sponsorship message when I connect to a stream?

A few listeners, particularly those using Windows Media Player, are only able to hear the preroll (the sponsorship message that plays on initial connection to KUOW streams). Clearing the WMP cache should alleviate this problem, otherwise upgrade your player.

If you are listening via a mobile device and keep hearing the sponsor message, please see the suggestions below on troubleshooting for mobile devices.

Why is the stream cutting out or buffering?

You will experience dropouts and buffering if your computer is not receiving data from the stream fast enough. Your computer will try to catch up with the missed data by halting operation and collecting it in a buffer. Internet congestion or insufficient bandwidth is often the cause of this issue. This can also happen if you connect to a stream that has a higher bit rate than your modem or connection speed can accommodate.


  • If you experience frequent buffering, make sure your Internet connection speed can handle the bit rate of the stream you are trying to listen to. Our low stream (32kbps) is recommended for 56k dial-up modems or faster. Our high stream (96kbps) is recommended for use with DSL, ISDN, cable modems and T1 connections. If you believe the higher bandwidth streams should work for you, insufficient bandwidth or Internet congestion might be the problem instead of a problem with your system. Consider connecting to our MP3 low stream. Links to our streams can be found on our Listen Live page.
  • You can also try closing other applications, deleting temporary files, clearing memory cache, increasing your media player's buffering settings and/or rebooting your computer.
  • Bandwidth on your computer or local network is shared between all open applications and media players that use the Internet. Buffering may be reduced by closing applications. If you use Microsoft Windows Media Player you can right-click on the Windows Media Player status bar and select "View" then click "Statistics" to see how much bandwidth a stream is using.
  • Internet congestion can slow down the delivery of the stream, make it difficult for you to connect or cause buffering. If you repeatedly have difficulty connecting, please notify your ISP (Internet Service Provider) — there are often quick fixes they can make when they learn about your issue.

How can I troubleshoot streaming on my mobile device via cell network?

Streaming via cell networks can be hit and miss, especially if you're on the move and being disconnected and reconnected to different towers. Another interruption may be caused if your provider starts to throttle your bandwidth down as you near your data plan's monthly quota. Possible solutions:

  • Contact your cellular service provider to see if your service plan can support 32kbps MP3 stream on the go.
  • Use the KUOW App to stream KUOW on your mobile device.
  • Podcast and download KUOW content to your desktop or laptop and transfer the audio to your mobile device to listen to on the go.

Other issues that might interfere with connection are the number of apps running on your mobile device in the background, particularly apps configured to give you push notifications, or when an incoming call or text message is attempted. Contact the phone manufacturer for help controlling app settings.
How can I troubleshoot streaming on my mobile device via Wi-Fi?

  • Are you able to stream audio or video consistently from other services? If not, make sure that your Wi-Fi router is compatible with your device. Some routers prevent streams from playing due to security settings; try testing the stream using a different router like one at a coffee shop.
  • Wi-Fi routers might disconnect devices after too many connections and many public routers reset all connections after a certain time period. Try resetting your home Wi-Fi (turn it off and on again) or research whether your router settings are ideal for your mobile device. Here is an article on recommended settings for routers serving iOS and OS X devices:
  • Make sure that your Internet service provider is able to provide at least 128kbps for the stream. Keep in mind that other devices in your home, and programs running on those devices, are all competing for broadband, so interruptions may occur when another device or program is started elsewhere in the household. Contact your service provider if this is a regularly occurring issue.
  • For heavy Internet usage times of day, or limited data plans for home Internet service, your provider could throttle down your bandwidth which might interrupt the stream. Contact your service provider if this is a regularly occurring issue.

The KUOW app seems "buggy," what can I do?

If you can no longer launch the KUOW app and it’s not launching, try deleting and reinstalling the app. Also make sure that your device is updated with the latest operating system and you are using the newest version of the KUOW app.

More questions?

Email if you don't see your question here.