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BBC Radio Explorer

Thursday 31 July 2014, 09:20

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BBC Radio has launched a new way to help audiences discover radio - Radio Explorer.

Radio Explorer - Landing Radio Explorer - Landing

It's not always been easy to find BBC Programmes programmes about the things you love – but now Radio Explorer allows you to search BBC Radio using keywords and topics.

Your passion might be Reggae, Game of Thrones or baking. Once you enter a topic Radio Explorer will create a playlist related to your topic, with programmes and clips from Radio 3, Radio 4 and 5 live.

Radio Explorer - Search Radio Explorer - Search

The BBC Radio Explorer was an idea that came about from a Radio 4 Hackday which brought together programme makers, producers, software engineers, web developers and web designers from different areas of the BBC to collaborate on ideas focused on Radio 4's output and looking at intersting digital offers that could be done to showcase network's incredibly diverse range of content.

Jason Williams, a Web Developer within the Radio & Music team at the BBC (who have also developed Playlister), came up with the idea:

"I was in the car listening to shows like The News Quiz or The Now Show and thought there must be an easier way to find out if there was more comedy on offer from BBC Radio.

I then decided to look online to see if i could find any more using BBC and other search engines, I then realised this could be simplified if I could search exactly for what I want within the BBC and have those clips or episode available to me instantly.

This concept worked even better for more specific searches, such as politician’s names, stories of the week or topical subjects."

Radio Explorer is currently pulling clips and programmes from Radio 4, Radio 4 Extra, Radio 5 Live, Radio 5 live Sports Extra and Radio 3.

Radio Explorer is currently in Beta - which means it's a work in progress. Please let us know what you think of it and we'd welcome suggestions on how we could improve it.

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    Comment number 1.

    It's pretty literal, so not brilliantly effective. If I want programmes on 'careers', I get lots clips on the careers of Frescobaldi from composer of the week, or a line written in jest about someone who's 'not planning a musical career just yet'. Programmes on 'stamps' gets me items about Gavin Stamp, Terence Stamp, and people wanting to 'stamp' things out. Even something as obvious as 'cycling' gets me clips about a Mussorgsky song 'cycle' before programmes I'm likely to be looking for. Searching for BBC cycling in a search engine seems far more likely to bring up more relevant results at the moment.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Agree with Tom (message 1) and can’t see what this is offering compared with one of the well known search engines. Surely part of the pleasure of listening to the radio is rotating one’s tuning capacitor (or varicap via one’s potentiometer) and discovering something interesting? Sorry to sound gloomy, but the nails in the radio coffin for me commenced with the death of R4’s ‘A World in Your Ear’. The World Service was a principal recruitment sergeant for me as a youngster and I feel this would be more useful if applied to the WS.

    I’ve just typed in ‘Nikki Beddi’ ‘Matty Groves’ and received the message: ‘No items returned from the search’. There must have been thousands of R4 listeners throughout the land uttering: ‘splaghhhhh, splarge, bwlair……and bet 50p with their mates that Ms. Beddi wouldn’t know the intro lyrics to ‘Matty Groves’ (on recent ‘Loose Ends’)……….and all these boys and girls are now 50p worse off! If one also considers the speed with which Mr. Thopmson launched into MG, then I think this should be included in the new device? Defo the basis for a future ‘A’ level R4 question.

    If there’s money available for this, then surely there’s a few pence available for Ingrid to type the ‘In Our Time’ Newsletter?

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    Comment number 3.

    We are so disappointed no longer able to listen to radio on iPlayer via my TV. I miss the sound quality on my iPad when catching up with the Proms. it may be not be cost effective but radio listeners also pay the licence fee. I have met so many people who are making the same complaint. We had no say in it either, removing radio from the iPlayer on TV was decided by men in striped suits who only look at £-signs and know little about the value of radio to thousands of people who sometimes only have small tablets or phones as their internet source. I now had to buy new earphones to get at least some enjoyment from listening to radio on my MacBook but it cannot be shared by the rest of the family. The earphones cost nearly as much a yearly TV licence!


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