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Inspector Sands13,667 posts since 25 Aug 2004

At risk of going off on wild speculation merging radio and podcasts into BBC Sounds would be of benefit *if* in future due to cost cutting the BBC were to close a digital radio station such as 1Xtra and replace it with daily '1Xtra' branded podcasts.

Yes I suppose so. Its just like how iPlayer has content that has been linearly broadcast alongside content that hasn't... you don't have to go to a different site for BBC Three content
Charlie Wells3,780 posts since 26 Nov 2003 Moderator
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Looks like the BBC Music website in it's current form is getting closer to effectively closing and merging into BBC Sounds website. There's now a "BBC Music is changing. Find out more" message at the top of the main page which links to https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/BHmrZF1Z7JDckzFSZ9cl7l/changes-to-the-bbc-music-website.

They've stated 'My Music' and 'Find a track' will no longer be supported, the artists pages will no longer be available, nor will the 'BBC Music Playlists'. Also in the first half of this year "music audio and video content will have their own, dedicated homes". I'm not sure what of the existing /music website that will actually leave.
"Listen, we've all got something to bring to this conversation, but from now on what I think you should bring is silence." - Rimmer
madmusician877 posts since 2 Jun 2006
Central (West) Midlands Today
I'm not surprised in the slightest that the BBC Music website is being dialled down. A lot of BBC Online initiatives from 2014 are being wound down - notably iWonder. The BBC Playlister (as it was known - now known as 'My Music') was a great idea and I used to use it loads. However, it was very clear that it was being wound down, as it doesn't appear in the Sounds player pages. It also seems like the ability to play a snippet of a song from a Radio programme page is being lost, as this functionality is not in the Sounds player - a shame.

Also a shame to see the Artist pages go - not least because I get the odd credit as a 'featured artist' (following a Songs of Praise recording a few years ago!)
Inspector Sands13,667 posts since 25 Aug 2004
That's a shame, it was very handy for adding songs I'd heard and loved on 6 music into my Spotify account. The BBC music site was one of their best.


In other Sounds news it seems they've caused a bit of a cerfuffle amongst Radio 4 listeners by making one of their podcasts - Fortunately with Fi and Jane - available only via BBC Sounds, reliving it from every other platform including the normal podcast RSS feed.

The main two unexpected consequences of this seem to be that those who listen to it abroad can't any more as the Sounds app is UK only. And those who listen to podcasts while driving can't listen to Fortunately any more... well unless they pull over afterwards to change to a different app.

It's only a trial it seems, but not sure they'll be trying it again
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 21 January 2019 6:53pm
Joe6,527 posts since 9 Oct 2005
Meridian (South) South Today
I’m struggling to think of ways that Sounds is an improvement for me on iPlayer Radio. Personally, I mean. The investment in podcasts is nice – though I’ve not listened to any new ones yet. The branding is okay but really, overall, it’s all just a bit worse than before. I miss the proper track listings with previews, I miss the interface, I miss downloads working properly. The layout seemed a bit more logical. I dunno, it just still, months later, feels like it was rushed out too early.
Inspector Sands13,667 posts since 25 Aug 2004
I assumed it would just be iPlayer Radio but just rebadged. Why bother starting again when a lot of good features already existed.and of course its still there

It reminds me a bit of when they did a day zero relaunch of Google Maps, suddenly lots of nice features just disappeared. Then over the next few years they reappeared, almost as it they were reinventing what they already had
1
Joe gave kudos
Charlie Wells3,780 posts since 26 Nov 2003 Moderator
Anglia (West) Look East (West sub-opt)
Going slightly off-topic (previously mentioned in the BBC Scotland thread) it's interesting to view the archived radio site page listing the radio frequencies http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio/info/frequencies.shtml. It's a useful reference page which arguably would be useful on the BBC Sounds site, or failing that on the About the BBC site.

It's interesting to see that Radio 4 is available on MW in some areas, as is the Asian Network which officially is a digital station (neither of which I was previously aware of). I'm assuming the multiple and varied FM & MW frequencies for the local radio stations is in part due to historic reasons.
"Listen, we've all got something to bring to this conversation, but from now on what I think you should bring is silence." - Rimmer
Inspector Sands13,667 posts since 25 Aug 2004
It's interesting to see that Radio 4 is available on MW in some areas, as is the Asian Network which officially is a digital station (neither of which I was previously aware of). I'm assuming the multiple and varied FM & MW frequencies for the local radio stations is in part due to historic reasons.

Yes, the Asian Network started as a service on the MW frequencies of local radio in the Midlands Leicester and WM as well as opt out programming on a few others. It then became a national station when it launched on DAB


The Radio 4 MWs I think were for areas of poor reception of LW, such as in London where LW doesn't really get into that well. 720 was originally from Lots Road and is now a wire slung from Crystal Palace. They carry the LW service so handy for listening to the cricket
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 25 January 2019 7:55am
Inspector Sands13,667 posts since 25 Aug 2004
I'm going to presume there's was a really good (technical?) reason why Radio 1 and friends is allocated different frequencies throughout the country as opposed to being, say, Radio 1 on 97.9 everywhere like Classic FM is everywhere on 100.1FM?

Classic FM isn't on 100.1 everywhere, it too occupies a 'sub-band' between 99.9–101.9.
https://www.classicfm.com/radio/how-to-listen/how-listen-fm-radio/

The reason they use a range of frequencies is because they are national stations transmitted from lots of transmitter sites across the UK. Adjacent areas cannot have the same frequencies or they'll interfere. It's the same with all radio transmissions, TV multiplexes use a range of about 40 frequencies to cover the country, and mobile phone networks are split into cells to avoid interfering.

There are such things as single frequency networks which are timed so they don't interfere, DAB muxes are as well as some smaller TV relays. The national medium wave networks are also synchronous - all the transmitters on 693MW for 5 Live are timed to each other, and all the 909MW ones are timed to each other for example.Otherwise those on the fringes that get more than one transmitter don't get a mush (I remember TalkSport doing split commentary in London by using their 1089 frequency there... and you could hear their other 1089 transmitters with different content fading in and out behind)

Why it's not done for the national FM networks I'm not sure, I imagine it's part historic and partly because of the scale, its normally only done on a small scale, synchronising hundreds of transmitters from the channel islands to the orkneys would be a challenge I'd have thought

EDIT: you'll notice that Classic has two frequencies for London, one 3Mhz higher than the other. The 4 BBC networks also have this, one is from Wrotham in Kent and the other is a lower powered fill in at Crystal Palace. Even being only 3Mhz away could cause interference problems so there's some system for keeping them timed to avoid this. Here's the R&D if anyone's interested:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/publications/rdreport_1996_06
Last edited by Inspector Sands on 25 January 2019 8:20am - 4 times in total