THE BBC has launched its latest app as it attempts to widen the appeal of its audio offerings to the Spotify generation.
BBC Sounds will eventually replace BBC iPlayer Radio as well as returning some of the functionality lost when the BBC Music app closed last year.
The aim is to offer a one-stop service for live radio, listen again/catchup, the growing archive of complete radio series, specially made podcasts, as well as live performances and such.
It's all aimed at trying to capture the listening habits of today's "yoof" who expect more than just a linear service. The dial to "tune" into the radio stations has been transferred from the iPlayer Radio app, and it's joined by options to go to a personalised list of content or search from the myriad available.
Auntie Beeb has confirmed that this is a preview, not designed to be seen as finished or bug-free, but has been released as is in order to allow users to feedback over the summer ahead of a hard launch later in the year.
The app uses the BBC's single-login to flit between devices, so you can start listening to a podcast on your laptop and then switch to BBC Sounds from where you left off. It also allows the BBC to create personalised suggestions for you something that it has been promising for some time. Yes. No. Yes. Very Strong.
Dan Taylor-Watt, head, BBC iPlayer & BBC Sounds explains: "Every user's experience of BBC Sounds will be unique as it's designed to learn from your listening habits, providing one-tap access to the latest episodes of your favourite BBC podcasts and radio shows and introducing you to new audio you wouldn't otherwise have discovered from the 80,000 (yes, really) hours available."
One notable feature missing, for example, is the ability to download programmes to listen later, and the iPlayer Radio app will keep working in tandem until all such functionality is duplicated.
The BBC Sounds preview is available on iOS, Android and Amazon (for Fire tablets) from now - it's free, but as with all BBC apps, you now need a login, although there are no geo-restrictions on audio - almost all content, save for rights issues will be available to all. μ
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