updated 02:23 pm EDT, Mon October 8, 2012
UK broadcaster puts entire 57 radio station roster into app
Shortly after revealing two new YouTube content channels, the BBC has announced a radio app for iPhone users in the UK. The iPlayer Radio [Free, UK App Store only] functions as a standalone app from its highly-praised iPlayer service, allowing users to listen to the corporation's live radio programming and on-demand content from an iOS device. An Android version of the app is currently in development.
The app allows for access to all 57 BBC radio stations and their live streams, as well as individual program pages offering extra information about the show and future broadcast schedules. Video clips from the shows, along with previous episodes on-demand and podcasts, can be viewed or listened to at any time. An alarm function is also built into the app, letting the iPhone effectively turn into a radio alarm clock, something that many radio listeners in the UK use on a daily basis.
It could be suggested that the app is one way for the BBC to sidestep the issues of switching its UK listener base to digital radio. The UK government has said it will switch off FM broadcasts when the majority of listeners use digital services instead of the analog service. Aside from buying a DAB digital radio in order to listen to broadcasts, listeners will be able to use dedicated satellite channels and Internet streams when the government decides to pull FM broadcasts. Considering the number of smartphones with an FM radio function that would then cease to function, the iPlayer Radio app would be a more than adequate substitute, though users could be paying for data to use the app rather than pulling from an FM antenna for free. [via BBC Internet Blog]