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Introducing BBC iPlayer Radio

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Andrew Scott Andrew Scott | 13:11 UK time, Monday, 8 October 2012

Hello, I am Andrew Scott, Head of Radio and Music and Audience Facing Services here at BBC Future Media. Today we announced the launch of BBC iPlayer Radio, previously known as the Radio and Music Product, and I'm delighted to tell you more about this new dedicated home for BBC radio across PC, mobile and tablet.

With iPlayer Radio, BBC radio is available whenever and wherever you want it, thanks to:

  • A new smartphone app, enabling you to wake up to your favourite BBC station and listen on the move
  • New radio station websites across PC, mobile and tablet, offering easy multi-platform access to the full breadth of BBC content
  • Improved catch-up and access to on-demand content, clips, videos and downloads

We have been working on this release for a while now, going through a number of iterations from our first release on bbc.co.uk/radio about a year ago and our beta this summer, bringing in more features each time. Our Executive Product Manager, Chris Kimber, has been posting updates throughout the process as the product has matured.

Let's take a look at some of the things that are new:

New smartphone app



We are really excited about the smartphone application. We've worked hard on the user experience, and believe that we've built an application which people will find fun and easy to use, and which we hope is just a great way of listening to the radio. The key features include:

  • A touchscreen dial that beautifully shows the breadth of our radio, allowing easy access to all 57 BBC radio stations and their live streams.
  • An alarm clock to let you wake up to your favourite BBC Radio station.
  • From programme pages you can enjoy catch-up content, video clips, access to our podcasts, and for music shows the details of the tracklist.
  • You can set programmes alerts to tell you when specific favourite shows are on.
  • You can favourite tracks and share them with friends via email and Twitter.

We designed and built native applications for both Android and iOS, intending to release them both at the same time. Today we've released the iOS version, Android will come soon. Learn more about the work we've been doing to support Android here. Until the Android app is released, Android users can continue to use iPlayer Radio on the mobile web. As part of this project we've also made live streams available for iOS devices for all stations. We are also keen to make the on-demand content available for the World Service, Nations and English Local radio stations and have a project in planning to do the necessary infrastructure work.

Radio station homepages

Screenshot from iPlayer Radio Homepage for BBC Radio 6 Music

The new BBC Radio 6 Music Homepage

We have launched new homepages for nearly all of our stations, which beautifully reflect the personality of the networks and make it easy for our users to listen live and on-demand. These sites have been exposed to the public as a beta for most of the summer. We've spent that time carefully measuring and working with our editorial partners under Mark Friend to analyse how our users engage with these sites.

We've also updated the mobile websites, usage of which has been increasing steadily: now mobile represents about 18% of our overall usage, with events like Radio 1 Hackney Weekend seeing over 30% of their traffic from mobile devices.

Now we have a platform which allows flexibility and personality for each network, but also encourages users to move between the different network sites. I look forward to building even more on this platform.

New BBC radio homepage

Our new product landing page at www.bbc.co.uk/radio is a deliberately bold move to radical simplicity. We carefully researched the way people use our sites and determined that most visitors to /radio are very task-focused - in other words, they know what they want to achieve and just want the simplest way of achieving that.

So we took these user needs and made them as simple as possible on this page.

  • Stations takes me through to the network homepage for each station where I can see what is on live and listen live with a single click.
  • Categories takes me through to the radio categories where I can browse for content.
  • Schedule lets me go through to the full schedule, or the detailed page for the current and next programmes.
  • Favourites lets me quickly find my favourite shows, a feature that we are looking to build out further over time to make this page more and more valuable for our users.

These features are so important that we have also made them available on every page of the product through our navigation bar. We are really excited to launch this simple entry point into the amazing richness of the BBC's radio content, and we are looking forward to making this ever more useful for our audiences.

This page is also our first foray into responsive design, where a single response works across all devices. This approach has been pioneered by other parts of the BBC (iPlayer, News) and brings benefits to the users, such as consistent experiences, as well as the development team, in terms of fewer lines of code to write, test and maintain. We plan to explore this further as we move forward, but are really pleased with this first step.

Summary

Altogether we are delighted to be delivering the first version of BBC iPlayer Radio, and look forward to your thoughts and comments so that we can continue to make the product better and better.

Andrew Scott is Head of Radio and Music & Audience Facing Services, BBC Future Media

The new desktop BBC iPlayer Radio sites will roll out over of the course of this afternoon, and we anticipate the iPhone app will be available to download for free from the App Store by Tuesday morning.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    I looked at the new Iplayer Radio page.

    My favourites list was empty -- is there no transfer of radio programmes from the Iplayer?

    If not, I cannot find a way to add to the favourites list. Do I have to wait for a complete migration of the service?

    Richard

  • Comment number 2.

    The new radio home page is awful in my opinion compared to the previous beta radio home page. I personally quite liked being able to see at a glance what was on, and get to the radio stations with a single click, and not have to first click on the 'stations' button. Also now the beta radio station pages no longer load by default, just hope this means they're about to come out of beta.

  • Comment number 3.

    Will you be able to download programmes direct from the mobile app as you can do with TV programmes? It's a brilliant, valuable feature for TV programmes on iPlayer but you can't do it for radio programmes where it would be really useful.

  • Comment number 4.

    Sounds great. So where is it?!

  • Comment number 5.

    This really good news, but there is a need to clarify if it will be possible to download radio programmes for listening offline, as we can with the iPlayer for TV. Without that so much of Radio 4 is unavailable offline.

    Oh and Android coming soon is good.

  • Comment number 6.

    The new radio homepage definitely seems like a downgrade.
    Everything else looks good though.

  • Comment number 7.

    App looks like the emperors clothes.
    Nothing is there. A very cheap app to develop.

  • Comment number 8.

    The new radio station pages are a nice improvement overall. Though I'm not too keen on the contrast on the local station pages such as http://www.bbc.co.uk/radiocambridgeshire/ possibly due to the white boxes (ie. Facebook, twitter) currently being empty.

  • Comment number 9.

    As LUFCRACE wrote in 4 above - where is the link to the iPhone App on the App Store?

  • Comment number 10.

    The radio homepage would perhaps be better with the "stations" tab already open.

  • Comment number 11.

    The introduction video for the iOS application is utterly cringeworthy.

    For me, this confirms one and for all that the BBC has been hijacked by fashion-driven buzzword-spouting Mac-owning Nathan Barley-esque "interaction designers" who are out of touch with ordinary people.

    Look at our custom designed UI widget with sexy animation and it's fun and funky and has personality therefore it must be easy to use! Oh dear.

    I hope everybody involved in this monstrosity feels ashamed and takes a long hard look at themselves.

    You can bet the Android UX wouldn't be so horrific if a single one of them used an Android device on a day-to-day basis.

  • Comment number 12.

    Yet again the BBC favours Apple over Android. Please look up current sales of iOs vs Android, you are favouring a minority.

    Will Android suffer lower quality audio than the Apple version, as it is with the iPlayer (video)? The pessimist in me is starting to wonder if Apple have persuaded the BBC to make the quality of the Apple offerings better.

  • Comment number 13.

    @Keith: you can see what's on across all the stations from the new product homepage - just click the Schedules button. You can then go direct to each station schedule, or the "live tab" of each station, or the upcoming programme page. Simple as that.

  • Comment number 14.

    Will an app be developed for Windows Phone users?

  • Comment number 15.

    "We designed and built native applications for both Android and iOS, intending to release them both at the same time. Today we've released the iOS version, Android will come soon. "

    So, what went wrong?

    Also, will the Android app be capable of having the screen turnes off while playing the radio, or will it be another pointless Air based disaster? (and yes, it's one or the other)

  • Comment number 16.

    Oh, crap, I've just seen the website. Embarassing. Out of touch.

    You do realise that the overwhelming majority of people use low-resolution displays and use a mouse, right? So giant buttons are bad for them? Yes, everyone in your design department owns an iPads and has a retina Macbook and so needs ridiculously sized buttons. You are not representative of ordinary people. Contrary to popular belief, Fitts' law has deminishing returns with accurate pointing devices because it forces you to scroll instead.

    Oh, and you do realise it's good UI design make buttons stand out? Flat buttons are terrible UI design. This is pretty fundamental.

    Oh, but your "interaction designers" have never actually read a book on interaction design and it looks sexy so who cares? Besides, Apple do it in Mac OS X, so it must be good! *sigh*

  • Comment number 17.

    I am disappointed that the new website still requires users to install a third party proprietary browser plugin. I am reluctant to install Flash for various reasons (including security) and am therefore still unable to listen to BBC radio online.

  • Comment number 18.

    What is the obsession to always focus on iOS over Android. Android now has the largest market share in the UK (Smartphone usage). Get a grip BBC and do your impartial job correctly...your also big enough to release both platforms.
    As for the new android BBC media player...I can no longer watch iplayer live stream on ICS 4.0.3 on my Galaxy note. It jutters about as if i have poor bandwidth...which i do not of course. Playback video is fine. It played perfectly before on Gingerbread both live and catch-up. Please fix.

  • Comment number 19.

    So I only had to read down 75% of the article before discovering it was once again currently iOS only for now. Since you refered us back to that awful excuse filled post on the Android Air based Media player I gues some time 2013 like Mobile down loads for Android.

    yawns and continues to work round the BBC

  • Comment number 20.

    I'm not a massive fan of the new Radio homepage - it's a step or two back from what was previously there. On the old version you could see who and what was broadcasting on my favourite stations, now I have to click on several buttons.
    Also where has the Album of the Day feature gone from the 6 Music homepage? I mentioned this when the you released the beta version, but yet it still isn't there. This is a very important part of the station and yet it has disappeared from their homepage.

  • Comment number 21.

    For those asking where it is read the small print once again iOS only for an unspecified length of time, (you do have to read a long way down and carefully to discover this once again the BBC don't highlight it up front).

    How does the article you refer us too explain your inability to develop worth while Android products in a timley manor as every other developer on google play does.

  • Comment number 22.

    Same problem as Richard Wright (13:29). Sigh! I have to reinput all my favourite programmes. Bigger sigh! there is no clear way to add anything to favourites, so favourites remains empty. So I looked for something saying it was still in Beta. Couldn't find that either. Then read Keith's comment that the beta site actually worked better...

  • Comment number 23.

    Here's hoping that the new Android radio iPlayer app will actually let you listen to audio without needing to keep the screen on! BBC radio is great, but the current app is unusable because of the unnecessary battery drain.

  • Comment number 24.

    This is brilliant. Can't wait for the Android app. I'm sure it's really close behind. As long as it supports playing all radio with the screen off and integrates with the headphone remote, I don't care what technology it uses behind the scenes.

  • Comment number 25.

    The iPhone App looks good and you say it has been released but it is not available either via your own website nor via the iTunes store

  • Comment number 26.

    From the BBC News Article on iPplayer Radio:-
    "The BBC's Daniel Danker, general manager for programmes and on-demand, blamed complications with Flash for the delay in the Android app, but added that discussions are ongoing to resolve the problems."

    By "Flash" I assume Danker means Adobe Air, (as Flash is no longer supported on Android) and, by inference, the BBC Media Player.

    I assume the "complications" he is speaking of relate to the inability to run Flash or Air based apps with the screen off? Any mobile player that needs the screen on while playing is, obviously, about as useful as a chocolate teapot.

    If this is the case then there is going to be a long wait. The inability to present radio streams with the screen off has persisted (in iPlayer for Android) since its release 20 months ago, and continues in the new Media Player. This is due to a core limitation in Flash based technology and I doubt it will be overcome without some major changes to Adobe's product.

    I also not that Danker states:-
    "other mobile platforms, such as Windows Phone and Blackberry, were not having apps developed."

    So, yet again, its Apple first, followed by what will undoubtedly be (based on the disaster areas that are the Android iPlayer app and the Android Media Player app) a half-baked, substandard effort for Android, and nothing for anyone else.

    More Apple bias from the BBC? Now who'd have thought it?

  • Comment number 27.

    I have had to visit the page for each of my favourite programmes and re-add to favourites. They have now added to the list on the Radio iPlayer.

    Richard

  • Comment number 28.

    So given you say the Android version is a native application what has prevented the release? Given that the article you point to is the one with excuses about why the BBC Media player on Android will be a dreadful Adobe Air based mess it doesn't seem to divectly relate.

    Anyway good luck to the iBBC in their dealings with Apple and the user base of their products the rest of us will continue to get our media elsewhere.

  • Comment number 29.

    @28 eConundrum

    Well, it will be a "native" app in so much as they have embedded Adobe Air into the APK. This won't address the limitations of Flash technologies, particularly the fact that it is, from the core, a visual presentation runtime.

    Hence the won't-work-with-the-screen-off issue.

  • Comment number 30.

    Ah I see so when they say native app it's still Adobe Air based, no wonder we have to wait for another dreadful 4th rate solution to be delivered delived.

  • Comment number 31.

    Have search iTunes App Store and not found an app called 'iPlayer Radio', also have searched for exact same on iPhone and not found anything. Anyone else found it?

  • Comment number 32.

    So once again us mere mortals who chose high end Symbian Nokia's, like the N8 are being left in the cold. I only got it because it was supported by the BBC - which of course it isn't now. I listen to a great deal of Radio 4 extra on my phone as DAB radios don't work in my flat.

    As others mention above it would be nice to have a radio app that didn't think the screen going into 'powersave' mode meant that the app could take the rest of the day off. It would also be useful if the podcast service was linked in (if it isn't already). With TV I can download many programmes and that's clearly indicated on the programme page. On radio I can listen to a programme by streaming but have to leave iPlayer and go elsewhere on the BBC website to download it where it's available as a podcast. Hopefully by the time I get a new phone the BBC will have decided which systems it's in love week this year and stick with them for more than a year after a phone goes on sale.

  • Comment number 33.

    @angrymartin "As long as it supports playing all radio with the screen off and integrates with the headphone remote, I don't care what technology it uses behind the scenes."

    Up to a point, neither does anyone else, but those of us that understand the technology know that it's not going to do what you want, and we know that the BBC's bone-headed desperate adherence to Flash is responsible. It's worth understanding why it sucks, as well as the fact that it does. It won't make you any less angry though.

  • Comment number 34.

    Surely, the only reason to separate from iPlayerTV would be to offer a different level of functionality: the most obvious and important being able to deliver radio with the screen off.

    But as the app is still Flash/Air based that's clearly not going to happen. The only difference I can see here is the "station wheel" (which I imagine will be in iPlayerTV soon after...) and that dowloads (for offline viewing/listening) are offered for TV but not radio! Absurd!

  • Comment number 35.

    Wonderful. Less than 3 weeks since the much heralded but little lauded BBC Media Player for Android launch mess, you repeat the entire thing with iPlayer Radio. I'd accuse of being gluttons for punishment with regard to your (lack of) Android support but suspect your iOS settings probably just ignore any comment that includes a reference to Android.

    Looks like I'll be sticking with near perfect TuneIn Radio app for the foreseeable future despite the pro-iOS skew to your viewer/listener metrics that that probably engenders.

  • Comment number 36.

    So again Android support is only coming "soon". With no time scales offered for "soon" with regard to iplayer downloads another "soon" time scale doesn't give much hope.

  • Comment number 37.

    When can we have a download feature. I spend 2 hours every day on the tube where the lack of Internet makes this app as useful as a chocolate teapot.

  • Comment number 38.

    And as for the iPlayerRadio website: first impressions are that it is very difficult to browse.

    I tried to look at the "comedy" category: 5 episodes. I imagine there are more, so try a "sub-genre": still only 5. But with an extra click at the bottom of the page, I can see "All Comedy: Satire (9)". I had thought that is what I was already doing, but now at least I have 9 episodes.

    OK, so how about looking at just Radio 4 episodes? Nope - can't filter by station. All right, how about changing to "Comedy: Sitcoms"? Nope - you have to go back to the "Comedy" page first.

    This is a UI disaster! How can you offer an index of programmes without filters?! What if I only want programmes in the last day? Just one station? New episodes of programmes I have listened to before? And what on earth is the list under "Browse all formats" supposed to achieve?

  • Comment number 39.

    I currently use the iPlayer almost solely for radio use (and it's great, I love it) and have a lot of programmes stored as favourites. It wasn't mentioned anywhere, but I can import them to the new app, right? I won't have to write them all down, search for them while hoping they're not a series that's not currently on air, add them to favourites again, make a note to search again later for the ones not currently available, add *them*...

  • Comment number 40.

    How many new apps are we going to have released as iOS-only before we start seeing some decent Android ones from the BBC? Very disappointing - although given how Apple-esque the promo video for it everyone involved seem to be iSheep! Please get this sorted and release some decent native Android apps ASAP.

  • Comment number 41.

    Basicly everything will be chocolate fireguard useless (BBC Media Player), or iPhone only until at least mid 2013 is what I'm getting here; iPlayer FAQ for instance says sometime 2013 for mobile downloads on Android.

    There are good media apps with wider compatability on Android but unfortunatley the BBC want to carry on with flash streams to keep costs down so we are stuck with substandard service.

    I don't know why I bother reading these blog posts it's always about the BBC's latest iPhone development, though that's seldom mentioned up front. From a BBC perspecitve I feel that iPhone is the only mobile platform that get's their best efforts.

  • Comment number 42.

    If it takes longer to get to what you want it is clear that the design is bad. I disagree with the many complaints about the "fashionable" design, because it is not fashionable, it is bad, kitschy, done not by designers, but by developers. There is a reason for actual graphic designers - they are VISUAL, unlike developers.

  • Comment number 43.

    The name iPlayer is apt, because you only fully support Apple devices.

    Please do not use Air as that forces the screen to remain on the whole time, which is bad.

  • Comment number 44.

    It's sad, but it comes as absolutely no suprise that us Android users are again second-class citizens as opposed to those magical individuals who own fruity iDevices from Cupertino, and even when Android ownership outstrips that of iOS.

    If it turns out that your new Android solution (when it's finally released) turns out to be based on Adobe Air I will be seriously annoyed. Until then, I'll stick with TuneIn Pro - it may not have the most appealing UI, but at least it can play the Radio 4 AAC stream without having to keep the screen alive.

  • Comment number 45.

    This news proves to me that 'media types' think we all have an iPhone, when it's got less than a quarter of the market share (a similar number to Blackberry, which isn't going to be supported)

    I'd like to know the reason for the change as it's not really explained. When I use the current mobile iPlayer site on my phone I'm only interested in listen to the radio. If I wanted pictures, clips and videos I'd be watching TV!
    Nothing will change that no matter how many times you tell us how 'beautifully' it looks!

  • Comment number 46.

    Why is this another 'iPlayer'? I thought the idea was to have 'TV & iPlayer' and 'Radio & Music' sections to the site? The TV and Radio iPlayers have completely different structures (you listen to radio shows in the show pages, this has been removed from TV in the excellent GEL rebrands) so why the same name?

    Also, does this mean we'll have a GEL iPlayer soon? And I've made this point before, but wouldn't Microsoft pay the BBC to develop apps for Windows Phone? Is this allowed?

  • Comment number 47.

    A couple of points of feedback:

    * Why, after such an extensive period of testing a new Radio homepage (that acted more like a dashboard to all activity across BBC Radio) has the site launched with something radically different? I admire the simplicity, but it seems odd that this design wasn't trailed as part of that beta process.

    * There's a visual disconnect between the individual radio home pages and the programme/schedule pages they link to. Are there any plans to make these different pages work more seamlessly together?

    * The dark bar above each station (with Stations/Categories/Programmes/Schedule/Favourites links) looks at first to be navigation that is consistent across all BBC Radio sites, so I was surprised when I clicked on these items to be shown only items relevant to each station.

    * The radio station sites are only responsive to a point; will these be updated to be more fluid, so that they can work across a variety of different screen sizes?

    * BUG: On the main radio homepage, the pan-BBC navigation isn't responsive. Compare with that used on the BBC TV websites, i.e. http://bbc.co.uk/bbcone/

  • Comment number 48.

    "The alarm clock needs to keep your device 'awake'"

    Wow. What a waste of time. How many man hours were spent adding this feature? And as you can only queue up live radio (rather than a playlist of iPlayer streams) why anyone would use this over one of the many Alarm apps is beyond me.

    On the plus side, the "wheel" is very slick and a nice addition.

  • Comment number 49.

    The addition of podcast downloads direct from the app is also welcome, but a single list of every podcast avaialble is pointless.

    You have all the category/station/etc metadata, so, surely, the podcasts should be more "browsable"?!

  • Comment number 50.

    Excellent! A new iPlayer for radio that's designed for "PC, mobile and tablet."

    The new website interface is bright and clear and makes it easier to find local radio programmes. Except that, when I try and access Listen Again programmes on my smartphone, I get to the correct page, but then when I try and stream the programme I get the message "The media selector request failed."

    OK, so, the webpage doesn't work on my phone, but I guess with the iPlayer for radio "designed for PC, tablet and mobile", this function will be delivered via an App. Oh, no Android App.

    So, a shiny new radio player "designed for mobile" that doesn't actually play radio programmes on my shiny new Galaxy S3. That's pretty poor, I'm afraid.

  • Comment number 51.

    i prefer to hear my streams in winamp...i can get a 128aac+ stream for Radio 2 but not local radio in this player?

  • Comment number 52.

    Just tried the new app on iphone, nice
    Love the wheel
    But on the ipad its, poor and when turned landscape, its flashing the listings on and off at me, so a nice bug there.
    Hope there is a dedicated ipad app soon, running x2 is ok for now.

  • Comment number 53.

  • Comment number 54.

    Great idea. Sound is good, layout is very nice.

    Once suggestion :

    Take a look at 'Black Clock' (free) app and build something as nice into your app, as an alternative 'screen' for the nightstand (or for when I'm cooking and need a nice big clock so that I don't feed my family overcooked mush).

  • Comment number 55.

  • Comment number 56.

    Why are you hiding the bit rate on the audio is it because the audio quality is poor and you are embarrassed? The service I require is still absent? I prefer to use winam,p..why is this not available? I live in the uk!!!!!

  • Comment number 57.

    I really dislike this set up.
    I LOVED being able to see what was playing on each radio station and if I see something I like, with one click I got my radio show. It's also nice to keep track of what is playing on other stations while listening to one show.

    Now I have to keep clicking on each station and go on their webpage to get an idea what is playing.


    Worse design ever.

  • Comment number 58.

    It's very useful to have all radio stations in one place, but not when you've got to skim through two sets of favourites - one on the current radio iplayer and one on the new version launched today. Surely it wouldn't have been too difficult for the boffins at the BBC to enable a seamless transfer of favourites?

  • Comment number 59.

    Hi, I tried downloading the Player for PC from Softpedia... following the links given on BBC and got a file called: BBCRadioService.gg Regretfully my PC (Windows 7) does not recognise this file, so.... crash landing from the get go... What to do?

  • Comment number 60.

    Well what a lot of 'entitled' comments from people who probably aren’t even paying their licence fees. The app is designed to make the huge wealth of BBC radio content more discoverable and in this way it succeeds. - although I can't find a way of favouriting... Oversight?
    And for the legions of poor beleaguered Android users, there's a reason your app is late. The tools and API's to create an an Android app just aren’t up to scratch, so workarounds are having to be used. You may bang on & on about your market share, but unless you're living under a rock, you'd know that developing an app that works consistently on all of the squillions of Android devices out there is a complete nightmare. Most phones are still using Gingerbread - a 2 year OS, because carriers and manufacturers only care about you buying the latest product, and have no incentive to support upgrades of old devices. And 'tho it may be the 'dominant platform' (due to it’s race to the bottom and hence the phones being practically given away), usage stats of app usage, web browsing, wifi use etc show that Android's share is tiny compared to iOS. Android is a testing ground for devs to throw crap at the wall & see what sticks. So complain all you want, there are good reasons why developers don't develop for your platform first, or ever. My advice is get an iphone, old or new, or an iPod Touch, or an iPad and access the apps you need from there. Most devices support the most recent OS, and will run all the apps. Hell my iPhone could run iPlayer in mobile safari - even a video stream's audio running in the background - more than three years ago. If you wonder why your apps are missing, lacking functionality, or are just plain crap, look at the bigger picture, stop moaning and get on board where the momentum really is, not where you think it is.

  • Comment number 61.

    Having played with the new interface on a desktop machine I am disappointed with its multi-click access to the programmes, and especially past programmes. Seems like the baby is being thrown out with the bath-water at present. iPlayer is the go-to place to catch up with recent programmes and I have yet to find a simple way to do that with the new design. Where is the quick link to the past week's programmes? The current version makes it easy and transparent. When I click on the new Schedules button I can only seem to access the current programmes and up-coming shows.

    The actual interface is very dull at present - the 4 magenta rectangles look soul-less and impersonal. Hope that something is done to give them some life. Please don't be tempted down the route that Windows 8 seems to be taking where some colour-blind slot-machine designer has been put in charge.

    It amuses me how the Android moaners are complaining about the IOS release. This is much the same sort of moaning that came from Mac users in the past. Noone likes to be in the second tier of development release but have some bloomin' patience chaps. It'll come along, just as the Mac versions in the past did. These platform wars are so juvenile.

  • Comment number 62.

    "Take BBC Radio with you, whenever, wherever you've got an iPhone"

  • Comment number 63.

    as 95% of the above what a load of rubbish the people who designed!! this need to live in the real world

  • Comment number 64.

    What on earth have you done to MY favourites. They've all been wiped in the new format and I cannot find how on earth I can add new fabourites in the new system foist upon us. It's awful. Truly awful. Do you really know what you're doing or are you just hoping to entirely alienate your established audience?

  • Comment number 65.

    Just to put my mind at ease - can you confirm that this change won't break these current established method of access:

    1. BBC iPlayer plugin on squeezebox devices
    2. The get_iplayer tool in linux
    3. Th "Radio Downloader" tool on windows.

    Most of my radio listening is done timeshifted - using squeezeboxes at home and a usb drive in the car - so hopefully there is no change to this.

  • Comment number 66.

    @slimski: "And for the legions of poor beleaguered Android users, there's a reason your app is late. The tools and API's to create an an Android app just aren’t up to scratch, so workarounds are having to be used."

    Really? Amazing how many other streaming radio and podcast apps seems to get it right on Android and have a single version of the .apk with consistent interfaces and features on all versions of Android from 2.x onwards. It's not the platforms fault, it's just that dear old Auntie decided to nail her colours to the mast of Flash and now finds herself stuck with AIR.

  • Comment number 67.

    @60 slimski
    "And for the legions of poor beleaguered Android users, there's a reason your app is late. The tools and API's to create an an Android app just aren’t up to scratch, so workarounds are having to be used."

    Complete garbage. It is the insane insistence of the BBC / "Rights holders" in the use of Flash to protect their content that is causing the problem. It is Flash / Air that is not up to the job, not the Android API. As someone who has developed for both Android (since 1.5) and iOS, I can assure you there is little to choose between the two.

    Your post reads like it is regurgitating a lot of the "fragmentation" garbage spewed by the uninformed on a lot of iOS fan sites.

    @61 polymorf

    "These platform wars are so juvenile"
    This has absolutely nothing to do with "platform wars". The annoyance Android users feel towards the BBC is because it is easy to produce an app to play BBC radio streams in the background using the native Android API, and a 3rd party app which did just that (BeebPlayer) was written by one person in his own time over three years ago.

    This is to do with the fact that the BBC killed off that 3rd party app that did what they still cannot, or will not, do themselves. We know it is possible because it has already been done.

  • Comment number 68.

    BBC loves Apple.
    Android get lost.
    We get the message.
    Just tell us straight out and stop stringing us along with vague promises.

  • Comment number 69.

    @sanity @techieboy ok. Thanks for putting me straight

  • Comment number 70.

    This is essentially a mobile app ONLY, isn't it? With that I associate poor quality. Is there anything being done to improve BBC bit rate for streaming via PC?

  • Comment number 71.

    Well, isn't that the craziest thing.

    For weeks we've all been using the Beta page and sending in comments on it. Indeed it changed to a rather slinky black background only a short while back. I'd got rather used to it and liked the instant visual representation of what was on now and next on my chosen stations.

    And today, it inexplicably changes to something utterly different in every way imaginable. It's not the first time this kind of thing has happened and it really is bizarre.

    Accepting the fact that it's not going to change back to the very usable Beta, can I suggest the following:

    First, the schedule should open to reveal only the stations chosen in the stations section. The rest are superfluous and annoying.

    Second, favourites should transfer over from the iPlayer page.

    Third, to save a click, it would be useful if you could set the page to land with either stations or schedule already open as desired.

    Finally, if the buttons were not so vast then it might be possible for your range of chosen stations in the schedule section to all be visible on the page without having to scroll down.

    In short, a good Beta page changed without warning or reason into a final version requiring several clicks and scrolling. Just weird.

    :-0

  • Comment number 72.

    If the BBC is to be taken seriously in efforts such as this, it really must start including meaningful hardware providers such as Logitech (with its UE Radio - was Squeezebox Radio).

  • Comment number 73.

    @67 Eponymous Cowherd

    I understand your frustration and point but my comment referred to those who shout about the BBC loving Apple, or slag off Mac users via backhanded comments about the BBC. There may be less of this in this particular thread than other similar threads which debate Android / IOS development but they are there (11 & 12 being examples).

  • Comment number 74.

    I am a little confused. Since I listen to the radio via PC, do I need to download something to be able to get my favorites and visual image of what is playing on each station on my favorites? If so, BBC does not make this easy.

    What I am worried about it the fact that I am not from Britain. Therefore, am I now going to be denied access?

  • Comment number 75.

    and one last thing. Why on the main page can I only have two local radio stations on my favourite?

    I do believe this whole things is a mess.

  • Comment number 76.

    @61 You can see the schedule for days in the past by clicking on the calendar date for the day you want to see from the schedule screen. This goes back further than a week and you can then play some of the programmes from weeks ago, those that are no longer available take you to the programme detail page so you can see details of what the programmme was.

  • Comment number 77.

    Not available from the US?

  • Comment number 78.

  • Comment number 79.

    Oh goody! I just rushed off to Listen to Mr Everette and Captain Thingamy boblette, but which ever programme I played, I got Round the Horn!

    So, not working then.....

  • Comment number 80.

    I don't like this at all. It doesn't work very well with my accessibility software and I don't like the visual impact. The high contrast between the background and the brightly coloured pictures dominates the screen making focussing on the text difficult.

    Some of the text disappears altogether when I adjust the colourways on my assistive software.

    Come on, BBC, not all of us have brilliant eyesight and cope with bright pictures, some of us want easy access with words that don't disappear when we change the colours to provide a more readable contrast. BBC Ouch managed to get this right, why can't you? Why is it beyond most of the BBC to have any regard whatsoever for those of us with less than perfect sight, and why is it beyond the BBC to have a format that works with one setting so I don't have to keep making exceptions to exceptions in my software just so that I can view all the bits of the BBC I want to?

    I am fed up with the BBC pages/sites becoming more and more inaccessible as time goes by. And please don't point me in the direction of your accessibility info because it doesn't address the problems with this new radio thing at all.

  • Comment number 81.

    @75 You can have 19 stations total (strange number but there you go...), the number of local stations is not further restricted - you can have 19 local stations on the list (and no others) for example.

    @67 And you don't believe fragmentation wasn't part of the reason Adobe abandoned Flash for Android? I seem to recall certifying Flash for each device was one of the reasons given at the time. No doubt some will blame this on Adobe's poor programming... At least no-one can complain about the pictures and sound being out of sync in the radio player!

    It is disappointing that the Android solutions so far provided are technically poorer than those on iOS and take longer to deliver. It seems a common theme for Android with examples such as Facebook and Netflix coming to mind.

  • Comment number 82.

    I'm reading this article on an iPhone. There's a big "hole" in the middle of the article. I'm just guessing, but have you made a video which can't be displayed on an iPhone, with the intention of explaining an iPhone app?

  • Comment number 83.

    First up - great to see an app that allows legit access to nations' radio stations - which have previously been inaccessible on Apple devices unless through non-BBC apps.

    However ... the programme search feature doesn't return any nations programmes (eg, Radio Ulster's Inside Politics or Newsmakers). And when I find these in the schedule, past episodes are not available to stream on-demand, whereas network radio shows are available to stream.

    Why was this app launched if the full back end functionality wasn't yet working? Yet again, content from the nations is less available than network content - forgetting that Radio Ulster as a station is more listened to in NI than all the other BBC radio stations put together (and then some).

  • Comment number 84.

    Can someone explain why I can use the new I-Player easily when using Firefox but when I use Google Chrome, my preferred browser, I have to download a file and then play it using Realplayer?

  • Comment number 85.

    Hi,

    slim has already linked to this, but it's worth drawing attention to it again.

    People interested in how the BBC approaches Android can read this interview with Daniel Danker which appeared yesterday in Crave.

    Quotes from Daniel:

    "We've spent more cycles thinking about Android than any other platform lately." "Obviously we treat the platform with superbly high priority or we wouldn't have done the work to get where we have got, but there are very real challenges."

    Obviously we treat the platform with superbly high priority or we wouldn't have done the work to get where we have got, but there are very real challenges."

    You can comment on the Crave article as well.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 86.

    Oops - sorry about he double quote above.

    Thanks

  • Comment number 87.

    Please, please can someone tell me how to add Favourites on the new iPlayerRadio on my iPhone. I can read the instructions "To add a programme, side swipe or select the 'Add to Favourites' link next to each programme, either in the schedule list or on the individual programme page" but side swiping shows me nothing and I can't see anything in the other two places. Please help!!

  • Comment number 88.

    Favourites gone, so have to start again. There is no 'add to favourites' button on the station listings, so you have to click/click/click and even then there isn't always a favourites button anywhere on the screen. Please make a quick click on the schedule page like before.

  • Comment number 89.

    Having complained about not knowing how to add Favourites, I guiltitly watched the little promotion movie above this thread, thinking I would find my answer – but no mention there either . . . weird or what??

  • Comment number 90.

    Running the app on the iphone 3gs and ipad2 and Windows 7

    On iphone/ipad there is no volume control, please put it back
    Can we have some help in the app, took me an age to work out the alarm and which banner notifications to set.
    The ipad2 does not display the schedule very well, it keeps refreshing all the time.
    Hope there will be an ipad app soon too.

    As for the desktop, sorry don't like that, hate those weird purple buttons.
    Much preferred the old way with suggestions etc. I just feel with this i am dropped into a black 'purple' hole and not sure why I am there and have now lost the ability to see upcoming shows and current shows etc.
    The schedule is poor, why cant it just show your own station selection and why does it only show the now and next prog. I don't want to scan through hundreds of stations. Would prefer the schedule to look and feel like the iplayer TV one, thats nice.

  • Comment number 91.

    Please reinstate the 'now playing' link from the webpage (e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/on-air) as it needs to be refreshed to show the song currently being played and this is a major annoyance. Yes I know this is shown on the pop-up iPlayer window but I imagine most people like me tend to keep this minimised.

  • Comment number 92.

    Just tweeted by @BBCiPlayerRadio:

    "Availability of an Android app? Its developed but we need to resolve playback issues bbc.in/SNNKLL"

    The links gives "a few months" as the expected delivery timing...

  • Comment number 93.

    Quite disappointed with the new Radio home page - and I agree with Oliver (#16), think the design works great for youngsters surfing on their iPads but for the bulk of us using regular PCs it's really not very user friendly.

    On the plus side, the new smartphone app is great - my nephew gave me a quick demo. Too bad he's not much of a radio fan!

  • Comment number 94.

    How many more posts are needed before "Andrew Scott, Head of Radio and Music and Audience Facing Services here at BBC Future Media" replies? Which audience is he facing today? Not this one, it seems . . .

  • Comment number 95.

    @81 DBOne

    There is a huge difference between developing a single app for Android, using the the built-in features for taking into account different screen sizes and device capabilities and trying to get a desktop runtime (Flash / Air) to run on in the same environment. Flash does not have the features to cope reliably with the differences between Android devices, and it cannot have those features without breaking its compatibility with its desktop version.

    By contrast, developing a "native" (well, Dalvik) application that will take into account the different devices it will run on is quite straightforward.

    @85 Nick Reynolds.

    I'm afraid I can't take anything Danker says seriously. The problem isn't with Android fragmentation, frankly that is just a lame excuse (as explained above).

    The problem is, soundly, this absurd fixation on using Flash technologies. It is the limitations in Flash/Air that are causing the problems. A media player is a pretty straightforward app for Android and is little impacted by "fragmentation". This is even more true for an audio player.

    The fact is the BBC have been working on Android iPlayer for over two years now, and still haven't got it right. That does not sound like they are treating the platform with "superbly high priority" to me. The fact the Android iPlayer has only had one, single, update in almost two years also suggests a lack of interest in the platform.

    We all know that the core issue is the insistence on the use of Flash to provide "content protection". This insistence on using a desktop presentation layer on a mobile device is like trying to bang the proverbial square peg into a round hole.

    One last point. The BBC iPlayer and Media Player apps are the lowest rated apps on my phone. The authors (many of them sole developers / "bedroom coders") of all of the other apps, be they games, media players, tools or utilities seem to have little issue with "fragmentation" and manage to produce a quality product and provide regular updates. Why is the BBC, with all of the resources at its disposal, incapable of doing this, too?

  • Comment number 96.

    Even the BBC hasn’t yet stooped to blaming different screen size for their lack of Android support, technically that's trivial to work round programmatically, I assure you.

    EC is right by the way at present the last thing any pirate is likely to do is muck around with mobile applications to get BBC content when there are much, much easier ways.

    My analogy for the BBCs current DRM is that they are worrying that the doors on their vault are not secure enough, while ignoring the fact it doesn’t have any walls.

    Adobe Air tells me all I need to know about how serious the BBC are about offering good support on Android, I think it will be a long, long time before we see any parity in popular platform support from the BBC.

    I don’t have BBC Media player installed any longer, Mobile iPlayer was never much use to me without mobile download so until they can be bothered to add that it’s a waste of space on my phone.

  • Comment number 97.

    The thing is Nick, that we have read that and the technically profficient among us don't understand how the BBC have decided Adobe Air is the best platform we've seen the reasoning but don't accept it as valid.

    You spent a long time to make a very bad choice that is giving you and Android users endless grief. The article on crave does little but prove what a bad choice Adobe Air really was for BBC Media Player, fragmentation by the way is another issue actually made worse in some ways by use of Adobe Air.

    I seriously will be shocked if we have mobile downloads and a working radio app that plays in the background on Android by the end of next year. I'll be Astounded if we get mobile downloads this year from various blogs and articles it seems you can't give a time table because you are no where near a working solution.

  • Comment number 98.

    Alas, the iPlayer Radio isn't supported in the USA. Bloody shame...and the only way I found that out was to launch the BBC World Service URL in my iPhone's Safari browser. Seems like a disjointed rollout if you're heralding a service that I can see from my laptop PC but I can't use from my smartphone.

  • Comment number 99.

    @96 eConundrum:-

    "Even the BBC hasn’t yet stooped to blaming different screen size for their lack of Android support"

    It seems they have (from the C|Net article):-

    "Danker explains that one of those challenges is fragmentation -- the issue that Android devices come with a range of screen resolutions, processors and software versions."

    As you say, catering for different screen sizes is straightforward in Android. Whether this is the case in Flash is another matter.

    Processors is no concern as the BBC only caters for ARMv7 based devices and, in any case, if they stuck to Android / Dalvik then there would be no issue at all. Some 80% of apps on Google Play run perfectly well on Intel based Android devices with no modification or concern for the underlying architecture.

    Literally all a radio or iPlayer app for Android needs to do is allow the user to browse for the stream and pass its address to the built-in media player or one of the excellent 3rd party players. In the words of a certain well known herpestid "simples". You can easily code this for API 8 and reasonably expect it to work on higher levels.

  • Comment number 100.

    My concerns that I wouldn't be able to import my list of favourite programmes appears to be moot as there's only an option for 'Favourite Tracks', as far as I can tell. This would only seem to be appropriate for listeners to music radio and not relevant to, say, Radio 4 at all.

    A favourite programme facility would seem like a useful and obvious thing to have to me; assuming you eventually add one, can you make sure it'll import from iPlayer proper, please?

    Also, how on earth do I have a look at the schedule for forthcoming programmes? I can't find it anywhere, so either it's not there or the navigation is really bad.

    This app doesn't seem to have anything like as much functionality as the original iPlayer - I want to like it as I'm a heavy radio user, both live and catch-up, but I can't for the life of me see why I would use it as it just isn't anywhere near as good as what it's presumably meant to replace.

 

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