Why can't I get audio or video to work on my Android device?

Last Updated: Oct 24, 2013 10:45AM EDT

As we continue to work on updating our audio and video players to keep up with the ever-changing mobile technology field, we will from time to time experience an unexpected glitch that causes some functionalities of our mobile players to temporarily stop working properly. This is particularly true of Android devices, as there are so many possible combinations of OS and hardware on the market today. For example, our sites see over 250 unique combinations of Android OS versions and phone/tablet models daily, and it would be impossible for us to own and constantly test all of these different setups. As such, we're happy to offer general guides on Android usage of our mobile sites, but we cannot guarantee that every Android device on the market will be compatible with all aspects of our site.

 
Recent changes in Google's own policies mean that devices running Android 4.1 (JellyBean) or higher no longer support Adobe Flash, the media platform on which our previous player was built. Our newest player attempts to rectify this situation by also incorporating an HTML5-based platform for these devices, while continuing to offer Flash for earlier devices. We have successfully tested this configuration on all of our in-house devices, and we feel confident that the vast majority of our Android users will also meet with success. If you are one of those who still has trouble accessing the audio or video in your phone's browser, we offer the following suggestions:
 

  1. Make sure that your device's operating system and firmware are completely up to date. The method for doing this can vary greatly from device to device, but typically you will find it under Menu > System Settings > About Phone > System Update. If your device varies from this path, please contact the manufacturer for additional guidance.

 

  1. If you have Android 2.3 or older and the player is not working at all, make sure you have Adobe Flash installed on your device. Unfortunately, Google no longer makes Flash available in the Google Play Store due to their lack of support for the platform, but it can still be installed manually. You might search the Adobe Flash user forums for more information on this possible solution, though since it is an "after-market" solution, we cannot offer any direct advice. Android 4.0 and higher should be fully compatible with HTML5, so installation of Flash should not be necessary.

 

  1. If you're not having success in one browser, you might try another. Individual browser specifications change constantly, so if you're having success in the default Android browser one day but not the next, you might try switching to another browser such as Chrome, Firefox or Dolphin. Free versions of all these browsers and more are available for download from the Google Play Store, so experimenting with which one works best for you won't cost anything. 

 

  1. Contact your device's manufacturer or mobile carrier to see if they have any suggestions on optimizing for Flash and HTML5 streaming services. They may have suggestions for your specific model that we're unaware of.

 

  1. If streaming via the custom player absolutely won't work for you after trying the above suggestions, you can also try downloading the mp3s directly to your device. Again, for some devices this will work, for others it won't - it all depends on your device's specific configuration and limitations.

 
We acknowledge that these answers are incomplete, and that some people's phones and tablets will still not be compatible with our mobile players. However, we believe that these suggestions will work for the vast majority of our listeners, and we strive to continue updating our systems to bring the best possible listening experience to the largest number of Android users.

If these suggestions don't work for you, please contact us with the following specific details about your Android device. We can't guarantee we can offer you a fix, but we can at least pass the details on to our development team so that they can investigate as they continue to refine the system.

Please provide:
1. Phone model and manufacturer
2. Android OS version
3. The specific webpage/episode you're trying to access when you encounter an error
4. The specific nature of the error, and any corresponding error messages you may receive

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