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BBC iPlayer Radio replaced by BBC Sounds


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The web version of the BBC’s iPlayer Radio is being shut down and will be replaced by the BBC Sounds app which rolls radio, music and podcasts in a single location. There is also a web version of BBC Sounds.

As is now compulsory with any brand change, new @BBCSounds Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts have been created.

Dan Taylor-Watt, the head of BBC iPlayer & BBC Sounds, has also published a lengthy blog outlining the changes. “[W]e’re deliberately taking an iterative approach to developing BBC Sounds, enabling us to improve the product in response to your feedback and how you use it,” he writes. “Whilst well-established as best-practice in software development, this approach is an adjustment for some people using the app.” He adds that a user survey based around the first incarnation of the BBC Sounds app found that downloads and schedules were the two most requested features. Downloads were added in September and now they are joined by schedules. Taylor-Watt adds that further changes to the app and web version are planned but these have not yet been confirmed.

Eamonn Forde

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22 responses
  • BBC radio iPlayer is brilliant much more user friendly than BBC sounds app please do not mess with it. and keep BBC iPlayer radio for more discerning followers

  • Anne R says:

    Only just found out about this. I love the radio iPlayer, use it all the time. Particularly like the Your Radio option where I can quickly refer and find something that suits my mood. Have just downloaded Sounds and don’t like the initial impact of it. Not immediately useable. I guess that will fade as I work out how to use it. But why is Sounds needed? Presently feeling irritated because it’s frustrating when something that seems to work incredibly well and I use daily is going to disappear. Maybe, eventually, I’ll see the benefits. Ever hopeful…

  • Nick Row says:

    How do I continue to listen to BBC Radio on my 2nd generation iPad, version 3.5.4, if iPlayer radio is being switched off.

  • Y craze says:

    How can you close BBC radio iPlayer it is brilliant and I listen to radio 4x a lot And with BBC radio iPlayer can catch up on plays and entertainment programmes at a later date will I be Abel to do with BBC sounds I thought it is music based and not so versatile.

  • pippa bowden says:

    Please please do not abandon us to BBC Sounds, the BBC radio iPlayer is much more straightforward and enables listeners to find what they are looking for much more easily. Many of us do not want to be deluged with an app’s so-called recommendations, especially when it comes in a system that makes it much harder to access what you ARE looking for!

  • Alexsndra Childs says:

    Present app is perfect for my needs. New one is gross. Looks like itv in its early days. Crass and unnecessary and nowhere near as clear. suppose someone at the BBC wants to leave a legacy in the footsteps of our PM’s.

  • Jeanie French says:

    Horrified to hear on the Today programme that iPlayer will not exist in a fortnight – with NO warning on the app at all.
    The absolute essential Sounds is missing is listing downloads IN ORDER OF EXPIRY.

  • I who live in France. I can’t use the BBC Sounds app but I can use the iPlayer Radio. I really enjoy listening to Zoe Ball on the bus in the morning.

  • Harrison Jane says:

    I too am horrified, if something works why change it? I live in Slovenia, and from what I understand bbc sounds will only be available for listeners in uk. Does this mean I won’t have bbc radio any more?

  • Julie Oakley says:

    I am so disappointed. I rely on radio 4 to wake me up every morning and now the alarm feature has gone.

  • Christa Kaula says:

    Bah humbug. Why do I have to sign in every time I use it?

  • As a stroke survivor I find iPlayer Radio PERFECT for my needs.
    Especially having the Menu feature. In my radio are all the series that I listen too. Not just for entertainment but for assisting me to sleep. I’ve been able to use it in other countries, including the USA, which makes it completely invaluable.
    Will Sounds continue this?
    Will they save My Radio for me (transfer it over)? OR will I have the excruciating task of writing them all down then try to find them all over again?
    Like others, who have commented before me, and more to follow,
    IT IS NOT EASILY NAVIGATABLE.

  • James says:

    I love the BBC radio player. Fantastic user interface design by people who knew what they were doing and nods to the rotary era of radio.. the radio player is my virtual radio. Please don’t remove my radio from my life and force th rubbish BBC sounds on us. Learn from.google. do a-b testing. Let your users make the decision.

    The sounds player feels like it’s thrown together using some standard widgets without any thought to UI design and how users actually used the radio app.

    Someone at BBC is more intetested at pushing their project and too much of a hippo to admit they are wrong. Millions of users will suffer because their ego won’t permit both apps to coexist.

  • Judith says:

    Please don’t replace the wonderful bbc iplayer radio with sounds. I have an older iPad which doesn’t support bbc sounds so will have to replace my iPad. Is there any way to update my older iPad which doesn’t have ios11? Thankyou

  • Arthur Mees says:

    Very upset and disappointed at loss of BBC iplayer. Why on earth did you change a very good system and go to a poor alternative?

  • Gill Flinn says:

    I am on Adroid 3 on my phone and have many downloaded programs which I was saving to listen to again. Now I am trying to back up the phone files so I can upgrade to Android 5 so I can use BBC sounds, but the download files seem to have been deleted – not by me. Why?

  • Andrew Mercer says:

    BBC I player radio was user friendly,not so sounds.
    It ignores the traditional older listener and by withdrawing it for sounds makes my iPad obsolete.
    Where is backwards compatibility.
    Is BBC really care!
    PS I can remember when you could play and record both
    Radio and Television on one app.
    Is it uphold its charter,by excluding part of the public.

  • Jane says:

    So disappointed with BBC Sounds I just love the BbBC Radio app it is so easy to use in comparison to Sounds. What have you done.

  • Ian Baird says:

    Sounds has replaced iPlayer now and I’ve been forced to use this clapped out roller skate instead of the Rolls Royce. It’s excrement!
    They brag about a forthcoming dark mode, unnecessary in the black screened iPlayer. Multi-directional scrolling which sticks makes it clunky and several features of iPlayer are missing. The fonts are small, the categories are surrounded by black and grey photos and commands that were easy to see are in the More menus. The homepage Listen is unchanging and boring and schedules page never remembers where you were but always starts with Radio 1. There’s nothing good about this disaster, but remember, if you’re over 25 it’s not meant for you; your part of the dying-off audience. Well done BBC, you’re killing off the over 25 audience.
    How I wish I lived abroad; not because of Brexit, but so that I could use iPlayer Worldwide.

  • K Felton says:

    BBC Sounds is a very poor replacement. How was this complete mess of an app ever signed off within the BBC. I presume the signees had never tried it for any rational person would have rejected this piece of nonsense. It is slow, complicated, fussy, ineffective, and appears to be an attempt to. Lose down the facility as less and less people will use it.

  • M Jordan says:

    My wife is technlogically illiterate. She has a favourite regional radio programme that has now for some godforsaken reason moved to midnight on a sunday – who listens then? so i thought, I know, i can sort it so she has a bookmark for the i-player and I will make it as easy as possible for her to pick it up from there – hello? No i-player, welcome to the sh1t that is BBC Sounds. I couldnt find my own way into it, let alone make it simple so that she could use it. What are you playing at – I use the term playing advisedly, because, compared to i-player, this is like some children have been given computers and told to “discover” what the little darlings can “create”, without any form of rational adult oversight. Not at all impressed…..

  • JD says:

    For someone who listened to Radio 5 on bbc radio iplayer using my iphone at night, it was simple to use and one of the best functions was the clock feature that could be dimmed so my phone doubled as both a radio and clock and took just a couple of touches of the screen to set. Such a simple idea but really effective and clearly whoever developed the app had thought this through . Please please replicate this simple feature in the clunky BBC Sounds app asap…

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