What do all of these words mean?

Not sure what a word or phrase means on the BBC Sounds help site? Have a look through our list of popular terms and meanings.




Term Meaning
Android Android is an operating system designed by Google for mobiles, tablets, and other handheld devices.
Bandwidth Bandwidth measures the amount of data that can transfer through a communications channel over a given period of time.
Beta A beta application or website is one which is open for testing before it becomes available as the standard version to the public. Providing feedback on beta versions helps developers find out what to fix or improve before making that version standard.
Bitrate This is the speed at which information in a file is read by hardware. A high bitrate file will contain more detailed data, so it will take longer to be processed.
Browser The browser is the software on your device that you use to open websites. Examples of browsers are Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer.
Cache Your browser saves information from websites to help them load more quickly next time you visit them. This information is saved to the cache.
Cookies A cookie is a piece of data saved on your browser to remember the settings you've saved on websites you've visited. 
Device A device is the piece of equipment you're using to access BBC Sounds. For example, a mobile, computer or tablet.
Download When you download something, you take it from the internet and save it on your device so that you can listen to it when you're not connected to the internet. 
DRM DRM means Digital Rights Management. It's a way of controlling how different types of files are used.


Term Meaning
FAQ FAQ means Frequently Asked Question.
Hardware Hardware is what we call the physical components of a piece of technology. For example, a hard drive, mouse, keyboard, monitor, or laptop can all be considered pieces of hardware. 
HTML HTML means HyperText Markup Language. This is a universal type of computer code used for making websites and controlling how they are displayed.


Term Meaning
Install / uninstall Installing means adding a piece of software to your device. For example, you can install the BBC Sounds app onto your mobile. Uninstalling means removing this piece of software from your device.
Internet Service Provider (ISP) Your internet service provider is who supplies your internet connection. 
iOS iOS is an operating system designed by Apple for their handheld products, for example, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
IP address Your IP address is what websites use to determine where in the world you are accessing the internet from. IP addresses can be manipulated though, especially if you're using a VPN, so it might not always accurately reflect where you are geographically. 


Term Meaning
Mobile data Mobile data, also known as 3G or 4G, is a way to access the internet from your mobile or tablet device. Most people will use their mobile data when they don't have access to WiFi. How much data you have access to is usually determined by your mobile network provider.
On demand An on-demand programme is one that has already been broadcast on the radio and that you can listen to whenever you want -- on demand. 
Online / offline Something can be described as online if it's connected to the internet. If something is offline, it's not connected to the internet. For example, you can listen to programmes online if your device is connected to the internet. When you download a programme, you can listen to it when your device isn't connected to the internet, and is offline.
Operating System (OS) The operating system is the system your computer, mobile or tablet runs in order to function. The OS enables your device to run applications and perform tasks. It's the interface between you and your computer.
PC PC means Personal Computer. This is usually a laptop or a desktop computer with a separate hard drive, monitor, mouse and keyboard.
PIN PIN means Personal Identification Number. We'll ask you for a PIN if you set up a parental guidance lock.
Platform This is a combination of hardware and software which software can run on. For example, our BBC Sounds software can run on mobiles, tablets and computers, which are all platforms.
Podcast A podcast is an edited piece of content which can be a complete radio programme, an edited extract or highlights from a programme, or completely unique content with a particular theme made to be subscribed and listened to as a series.
Programme A programme is a full radio production that you can listen to from beginning to end. It might only have one episode, or it might have several episodes. These episodes could be split into multiple series.


Term Meaning
Register Registering means signing up for a service by providing some details, such as your name or email address.
RSS RSS means Really Simple Syndication. RSS feeds are lists of information taken from a website or service and updated in real-time with any new information added to that website. They allow you to stay updated when something new, like a podcast, becomes available.
Software Software is what we call the components of technology which are coded into the computer, and not physical. Applications, programs and operating systems which tell the computer what to do are considered software. For example, our BBC Sounds app for mobiles and tablets is a piece of software.
Stream Streaming is listening to something online. You can stream by finding what you want to listen to on the website or app and simply pressing play.
Subscribe Subscribing on BBC Sounds means you'll be kept up to date when there are new episodes of that programme or podcast. You won't have to search for new episodes because they'll be added to your Latest list in My Sounds when they're available. 
Troubleshooting Troubleshooting is the process of following some steps to try to figure out what's going wrong if something is broken. You can also try troubleshooting steps to resolve the problem.


Term Meaning
URL URL means Uniform Resource Locator and it's another way of referring to a website address. This is what you type into the address bar to go to a website. For example, "www.bbc.co.uk/sounds" is a URL which will take you to the BBC Sounds website.
Username This is a name which identifies you when you sign in to a service. You can choose it yourself and it doesn't need to be your name.