Problem reconnecting iPhone with Wi-Fi audio streaming

I put my iPhone 12 Pro Max to sleep when I go to bed—don’t shut it down completely. When I get up in the morning one of the first things I want to do is start streaming an NPR radio news broadcast to my bluetooth hearing aids. More often than not, though my phone displays a 3-bar connection to my 5G WiFi router a few feet away and otherwise works normally, after I push the Play button on the station’s interface. it fails to connect and displays a message saying the audio stream could not be played.

No matter how many times I try this, even choosing a different station, it fails. But if I power the phone completely off and restart it first, the streaming button works fine—every time.

This only happens first thing in the morning—never any other time during the day. And it doesn’t happen every morning.

Any ideas?

What if, instead of restarting the whole iPhone, you go into the Control Center and turn WiFi off then back on, does that also fix it? If not, what if you turn Airplane mode on then off, so both WiFi and cell data are toggled?

Alternately, what if you do something else as the first act of using the Internet of the day before that app, does it also fail? If not, does your first attempt at using the NPR app also work?

I always do something else first.

I have noticed that NPR feeds via the can be temperamental. Are you using the Music app or an NPR app or a Station app to stream? For the music app, if I stream a non-NPR station, (say Classic Rock) and then switch back, I can usually get the NPR feed working again.

I’m using the station app.


My guess is that the station app isn’t releasing its knowledge of what the stream was before. I think what happens in these kinds of apps is that when you hit “play”, the app sends a message to the streaming server and asks for a stream. The server sends back a “sure, and here is your stream ID”. And streaming happens. However, when you go to bed, the streaming server says, “hey, I haven’t heard your ID in a while so I will kill that connection”. Your app the next morning goes knocking on the streaming server’s door with, “Yo, it is me, see my ID?” and the server say, “don’t know you, get outa here”.

Perhaps if you tried just crashing the app rather than reboot, the app may ask for a new stream instead of asking for the old one.

Looks like you were right in suspecting it was the station app’s fault. We have two NPR stations here: KNKX and KUOW. I usually listen to KNKX for “Morning Edition,” but it’s the one that’s been balking. Today when it wouldn’t connect I tried KUOW’s app instead and it began playing immediately.

Paul Brians

Hey, you are in my 'hood. Those are the stations I am a member of. Yeah, just crash the KPLU (blah “new” call letters) app and the stream will probably come back.
In case you don’t know how to crash an app, swipe half-way up the screen and you will see all your recent apps as cards off to the left. Remove your finger for a moment. Then quickly swipe the app you want to crash (in your case, KPLU) off the top. It will probably be a thin sliver of the app window on the right. To get out of that, tap on a app (fast switch) or tap on the bottom for the Home Screen.

Early - half-swipe up to reveal recent apps.
I’ve been trying to find how to do that - thank you for providing.


An easy way to get the app on or top of the stack is to make it the active app just before you display the card stack. It will then be at the top of stack.

I just tried this. It worked! Many thanks!


I don’t feel any nostalgia for the old KPLU name because it reminds me of how Pacific Lutheran tried to sell the station off to KUOW without notifying the station’s employees.

I listen to Morning Edition on KNKX and All Things Considered on KUOW, contributing to both. That way I don’t hear the same local stories twice and I can do without the frequent afternoon traffic reports of KNKX which bear little interest on Bainbridge where we live where the traffic in our neighborhood often involves deer crossing the lawn.

You can see some of my photos, mostly of Bainbridge, at

Thanks again,
Paul Brians