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If you’ve used the BBC’s iPlayer catch-up service in the UK for TV and radio, you’ll know that TV shows can be downloaded to watch offline, but radio shows can’t – only podcasts. That’s changing though. The BBC Trust has approved plans to make BBC radio shows available for download through iPlayer, with listeners able to store shows on devices for 30 days, and then seven days to listen after opening them. The BBC says it will now start work on implementing the changes in its iPlayer apps, and expects them to be available in 2014. The radio show downloads will be protected by DRM, and available through the iPlayer Radio mobile app. In a letter to the BBC Trust giving its views, communications regulator Ofcom suggests that music shows will be popular under the new system – partly because a number of the Beeb’s speech-based shows are already available to download as podcasts. Ofcom adds that it’s not concerned about negative impacts on sales of recorded music, although it acknowledges that there may be a small impact for users of services like Spotify who are “passive listeners who choose to rely heavily on recommended playlists”.

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