BBC Programmes: new features

Following the launch of the BBC’s Programmes website in October we’ve just launched a few new features – Radio Player calls to action and tags.

iPlayer Radio calls to action on episode pages

Radio Player CTAs

You can now launch the ‘iPlayer Radio’ to listen to our radio programmes from episode pages and see how long you’ve got left to listen from the various aggregation pages.
Passive CTAs


We are piloting the use of tags with Radio 4 programmes. We want to help people ‘browse by meaning’ to find programmes by topics, people, places related to the programmes they are interested in. So if you look at most of the Radio 4 episode pages you will find a set of tags – selecting a tag will take you to a page with all programmes with that tag.


DAB digital radio prototype

The BBC’s Audio and Music’s R&D team are are currently working with Shulze & Webb to prototype Olinda. Olinda is a DAB Radio that as Matt Webb says:

  • “Radios can look better than the regular ‘kitchen radio’ devices. Radios can have novel interfaces that make the whole life-cycle of listening easier. At short runs, wood is more economic as plastic, so we’re using a strong bamboo ply. And forget preset buttons: Olinda monitors your listening habits so switching between two stations is the simplest possible action, with no configuration step.
  • This can be radio for the Facebook generation. Built-in wifi connects to the internet and uses a social ‘now listening’ site the BBC already have built. Now a small number of your friends are represented on the device: A light comes on, your friend is listening; press a button and you tune in to listen to the same programme.
  • If an API works to make websites adaptive, participative with the developer community, and have more appropriate interfaces, a hardware API should work just as well. Modular hardware is achievable, so the friends functionality will be its own component operating through a documented, open, hardware API running over serial.”

The physical radio is being designed and developed by Matt and Jack Schulze. However, clearly to deliver on these objectives there also needs to be a central repository to coordinate the network of friends and their listening behaviour. And this is being delivered by Radio Pop another prototype developed by Tristan and Chris which as Chris explains is:

“At its core is a database which stores radio listening, upon which we can build various views. By introducing friends lists, schedule information and the ability to simply bookmark, or ‘pop’, a particular point in time, Radio Pop generates a great deal of information about listening habits. We purposefully kept the database very simple and specified an input and output API so that the repository could be accessed using web and desktop widgets as well as through the Radio Pop web site.”

Radio Pop

Check out Tristan blog to find out more about Radio Pop and its development :).

10 Percent Time

10 Percent Time logoBit like Google’s 20% time and 3M’s Bootlegging Time (that resulted in the design of the Post-it note) we in the Technology and Design team at Audio and Music interactive have started ’10 Percent Time’.

The idea is to foster creativity by letting everybody spend 10% of their time developing their own ideas, as long as its got something to do with our work.

At last weeks kick-off meeting there were some really interesting ideas, as Tristan said we “… talk(ed) about websites for the Wii, accessibility – radio for the deaf and navigation for the blind – music recommendations and monkeys.”