When’s the sailing on? Introducing genre schedules…

You might find this helpful – you’ve been able to browse schedules by radio station or TV channel for a while now which is great, but what if you don’t care where the BBC broadcasts your favourite Olympic sport, music genre or SciFi programme?

To help you find programmes, no matter which station or channel they are broadcast on, we’ve started publishing schedules for all our genres (sport, music etc.). These views are being used as part of the BBC’s Olympics coverage – specifically to drive the TV schedule and individual sport pages. But as you might be able to guess a little bit of URL hacking gives you more. All you need to do is add /schedules to the end of any genre aggregation, so for example:

A schedule for your favourite music genre :
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/genres/music/classicpopandrock/schedules

What’s happening on the Olympics:
www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/genres/sport/olympics/schedules

Drama on radio:
www.bbc.co.uk/radio/programmes/genres/drama/schedules

Or science and the environment on Radio 4:
www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/programmes/genres/factual/sciencenatureandenvironment/schedules

And obviously you can get this data both as HTML and as XML, JSON, YAML just by adding .xml .json or .xml to the end of the URL. So the TV coverage for sailing as XML is:

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/genres/sport/sailing/schedules.xml

Hope that helps you find your favorite programme.

UPDATE

As Duncan has previously discussed on the BBC’s Radio Lab blog you can also get this data in your Calendar via iCal – just add .../upcoming.ics to the above URL. For example:

www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/genres/sport/sailing/schedules/upcoming.ics

www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/programmes/genres/factual/sciencenatureandenvironment/schedules/upcoming.ics

QR codes for BBC programmes and some other stuff

We’re on a bit of a roll at the moment with our work on /programmes, so quick on the heals of the work to integrate iPlayer and programme credits onto our episode pages I’m chuffed to announce another batch of new features: QR-Codes, schedules and um calls to inaction.

Torchwood episode page

QR-Codes, if you’ve not come across them before, are a bit like two-dimensional bar codes created by the Japanese company Denso-Wave. But unlike bar codes you can encode any string you fancy (up to 4,296 alphanumeric characters) into an image and this means you can convert a URL into a QR-Code.

You can then print QR-Codes on posters, t-shirts, scarfs, whatever. People can then decode them by taking a picture, using specific software installed on their mobile phone, to read and convert the code back to the URL – so they can easily visit the web site.

Anyway – every BBC programme now has a QR code. You can get it by adding …/qrcode to the end of the URL for any programme page. For example, this is the URL for Platoon:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007mcgw

And this is its QR-Code:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007mcgw/qrcode

QR Code

A more mainstream feature that’s also gone live today are schedule pages for some radio networks. For example:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/programmes/schedules

And because of the way the technology works we also get a bunch of new pages for free:

	http://www.bbc.co.uk/asiannetwork/programmes/genres/music

And finally we’re flagging when episodes are next due to be broadcast, when we don’t have any media and links to the iPlayer so you can download the video.