Breaking Changes in Chrome 80

Chrome 80 will deliver a series of changes aimed at making internet browsing more secure. However in doing so, it will present challenges to radio listeners who rely on a browser experience to listen to the radio. 

Radio stations which currently use older streaming servers but make their Radioplayer web player available on an HTTPS-enabled URL may find that Chrome will no longer play the audio stream without user intervention. 

Many radio broadcasters use older versions of Shoutcast which serve the audio stream over a plain HTTP connection. Previously, the view was that audio streaming did not need to be secured. Some broadcasters have taken steps to upgrade their websites to HTTPS but have left the audio stream as HTTP. 

Chrome 80, due to be released publicly in mid/ late February, will roll out 'mixed content' blocking. 'Mixed content' refers to a web page with some elements loaded over HTTPS (eg. the page and its scripts) and some parts loaded over HTTP. 

In an audio context, if a web player is loaded over HTTPS but the stream is still HTTP, the audio will be deemed insecure and Chrome will block its playback. Users will have to individually override this. 

If a broadcaster still loads all their web content, including the web player, over HTTP and the stream is still an HTTP stream, they will not be affected. Likewise, if a broadcaster has already completed the upgrade to HTTPS for both their stream and the web player hosting, then everything will work normally. 

It is important to note, web consoles loaded over HTTP will not be able to be favourited by users due to Chrome enforcing cross site cookie handling. In order to avoid this, please upgrade your website to HTTPS and update your web console URL in the station control panel

How to tell if you are affected?

A station is most at risk of having their stream blocked if their web player is on an HTTPS URL but the stream is outdated. 

To check if your web player and stream URL is HTTP or HTTPS, you can follow these steps: 

  1. Using Chrome, open your Radioplayer web player from either the link on your homepage or by browsing the A-Z catalogue on the Radioplayer website.
  2. View the URL in the address bar - if it's hiding the http/ https part at the station, double click in a blank area of the address bar to reveal the whole URL.
  3. If the URL starts with 'https' then the page is secure, but you need to check if your stream is also secure. 
  4. If you know your stream URL, check whether is starts with HTTP or HTTPS.
  5. If you are unsure of your stream URL, then if you are using the v4 web player you can check in the Station Control Panel(edit profile -> audio). If you are using the v3.1 web player, then you need to manually determine the URL:
    1. With the web player open, press CTRL+U (Windows) or OPTION+COMMAND+U (Mac) and search for the below section: 
// -- Add your HTML5 supported stream details here
var audioHTML = [{
    audioType: 'http',
    audioUrl: ''

Taking action

If you are affected, you should contact your streaming provider in the first instance and show them this page. Ask them to upgrade their streaming to HTTPS. 

Chrome 80 will automatically 'upgrade' your stream URLs. This means that before it blocks, it will see whether exists and will try playing that. Therefore, ideally your streaming provider should keep the full URL the same and just switch on HTTPS. 

If your streaming provider gives you are new URL, then you will need to re-generate your Radioplayer web player. To do this, log in to the station control panel and follow the same steps as you did when you joined, to generate and download the new player. Upload this to your website and you should find everything works again as normal.

Getting further advice

Since this change affects all audio and video browser-based players, not just Radioplayer, your streaming provider will likely be ready with a solution and they should be your first port of call. However, feel free to drop your the Radioplayer helpdesk a line if you need our help. 

Google is also making changes to how cookies are handled. If you have already upgraded to the v4 version of our web player, we're able to provide fixes centrally to ensure that core sections of the player still work. If you haven't upgraded, you should do so now as this upgrade is mandatory.