I’m a fan of BBC iPlayer, and I noticed recently that if you sign up for BBC iPlayer Labs, you can now get radio via:
New high quality AAC+ streaming, plays back in our Flash player, no need to install Real Player.
Sweet! No need for Real Player! Wait a minute though – Flash? That means there’s no additional iPhone joy. So here’s a way around it (and it’s not one of those jailbroken iPhone-only hints). And it’s currently the closest thing to a native BBC Radio iPhone app.
This is dead simple.
(1) Grab a copy of the excellent FStream from the App Store (also available for the Mac at SourceMac). It’s the only iPhone app I’m aware of that will play .asx (Windows Media) streams.
(2) Pop over to BBC Streams. They provide unofficial transcodings of the official BBC national streams (it’s only available in the UK, I’m afraid). Just decide which stations you want, then follow their tutorial for FStream.
It works well over both Wifi and 3G, not so over GPRS. If you get any problems, check the FAQ. Plus, FStream has a record function, and recordings can be downloaded through its web interface. Brilliant! Now if only Apple would include an FM receiver…