I’ve written before that you can’t receive the national BBC radio stations on your iPhone, because it doesn’t play Flash. The workaround is to use the fantastic BBCStreams service, which transcodes the radio signal into a format that the free FStream app can play. I’ve used this service for a while, and it works pretty well, even over the mobile network.
And they’ve been busy: BBCStreams has just announced that you can now listen to all 45 BBC local radio stations, plus BBC Radio Russia and BBC Radio Arabic. They also have plans for an iPhone app that will allow you to listen to the Beeb’s radio ouput, including when you’re overseas. But they need your support.
There have been rumours recently that Apple is planning an app that will enable the FM reception capability of the chip within the iPhone 3GS and 3rd generation iPod Touch, much like the FM radio on the latest iPod Nano. While this is good news, it doesn’t do anything for owners of earlier versions of the iPod Touch and iPhone. So the news that I will be able to listen to more BBC radio is very welcome.
Here’s what the BBCStreams app will offer:
- A dedicated app for playing all BBC radio stations (including regional stations), internationally
- Play other independent UK radio stations, again internationally
- Eliminate the need for inputting long stream URLs in FStream
The iPhone application will be free, and will not have any built-in advertising. The anticipated release date is 1st December 2009.
What’s the catch?
There’s always a catch, isn’t there? The problem is that streaming all this radio and developing the app costs money, and they need £370 to keep things going. So, if you’d like to see the service continue, and the app be built, then you’ll have to cough up. BBCStreams have also said that:
“Everybody who donates will be mentioned in the credits of the application if they would like, with a link to their company or web address if they would like that too!”
If you don’t have an iPhone, this doesn’t leave you out – BBCStreams broadcast in Windows Media (.asx) format, so you can receive it on newer Nokia N series phones, or any phone that can install Coreplayer Mobile.
So if you’re interested, the donate link is here:
They need to hit their target by October 27th, when their hosting bill is due.
This service is especially useful given that the BBC are removing their Real Media streams, which will reduce the ability of people to access their stations. Yes, of course, the Beeb should be doing streaming all this themselves in more accessible formats, but until they do, this is a service worth supporting.
Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with BBCStreams.com in any way.