Radioplayer - all of UK radio in one place

Wednesday 30 March 2011, 11:23

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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Listening to the radio online has a history. The first station in the world to stream radio across the Internet was North Carolina student radio station WXYC in late 1994.

BBC radio programmes have been available on the web for over fifteen years. A 1995 experiment by BBC Radio 3 also included what we've come to know as 'user-generated content' and webcams.

In March 1996, Virgin Radio in London became the first station in the world to be streamed online round-the-clock.

Later in 1996, BBC Radio 1 began streaming live radio regularly.

In 1999, Virgin (which you'll now know as Absolute Radio) scored another first with an 'interactive' online player that provided information about what was playing.

In 2002 the BBC Radio Player was launched and two years later the BBC became the first UK broadcaster to podcast programmes (with In Our Time, now past its 500th episode). It's safe to say that every other British radio station can now be heard online.

But for the whole of this history the UK radio industry has provided no single place to listen to all of your favourite stations - no equivalent to the transistor radio in your kitchen. You had to visit each web site in turn and accustom yourself to a different way of listening at each.

That is now officially history. Radioplayer is a partnership between the BBC and the UK commercial stations to provide a single, consistent interface to UK radio online. To begin with, 157 stations are in the Radioplayer and that will rise to 228 soon when radio stations owned by Bauer and UTV are added.

For BBC radio listeners, Radioplayer upgrades the existing BBC radio console by allowing you to search across all the stations involved and save presets of your favourite stations. We've made it easier to share favourite BBC programmes with your friends and see information about what is now playing.

Watch the video for further information and leave a comment here to let us know what you think of it.

Radioplayer is available on BBC online now. Tomorrow, we'll publish two more blog posts about it - one here on the Radio blog by Tim Davie, Director of Audio & Music at the BBC, and one on the BBC Internet blog by Dave Price, the manager responsible for building Radioplayer (Dave's post will have more technical detail).

Steve Bowbrick, blogs editor

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    Comment number 1.

    I had a quick look today, i have just one niggle.

    When listening back to radio programmes through the older interface 'BBC Media Player' (currently still on iplayer), it was easier to move to an exact time. With the radio player it takes a lot longer as you have to jump about 5 mins ahead.

    Apart from that looks good!

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    The new Radioplayer looks good. Unfortunately, when playing BBC stations, the iPlayer console seems to be slightly larger than the set parameters for the console window. Thus requiring the window to be stretched to see all the console. When the station is changed the window 'reshrinks' to the original radioplayer size.
    I am using a laptop monitor with resolution 1366x768, when stretched out (so that the scroll bars are not visible) the console does not fit onto my screen unless I autohide the taskbar.
    This is only a problem with the BBC stations so I wanted to let you know. If this could be sorted out then the console would be great.

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    Comment number 3.

    BBC stations taking ages to load outside of UK (Sweden). I cannot get onto R4 at all, which pretty much ruins my morning! Commercial stations seem faster and hassle free, but I want my R4 fix!!

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Within the Flash movie on the radio player, I can see a lot of improperly labelled buttons and unlabelled graphics. this is not good for people like me who because of visual impairment have to use screen reading software. We are told the BBC takes accessibility needs seriously. If this really is the case, this must be dealt with very quickly.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Thanks to you all for your feedback. I've passed it to the Radioplayer technical team. Please keep it coming!

    Steve Bowbrick, blogs editor


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