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BBC Audio Factory internet radio saga continues with glimmers of hope

Amidst continuing complaints about recent changes to the BBC's internet radio streams, the BBC's Head of Media Services has joined in the discussion to explain the the background to the unpopular changes.

Henry Webster, who leads the engineering effort IP based audio and video services to iPlayer and iPlayer Radio,  also confirmed the latest developments regarding internet radios for the blind and partially sighted and BBC Radio 3 "HD" following the deployment of the BBC's Audio Factory delivery platform.

Responding to comments from the blind and partially sighted community, who have found that some internet radios designed for them now don't work, he said:
 "It is particularly unfortunate that some devices targeted specifically at blind users have been affected by these changes. We did approach a number of the device manufacturers and software providers in this sector to advise them of the changes, but are conscious that this information did not reach all the necessary groups. We are now trying to contact these groups afresh to offer what assistance we can to get some of these devices back up and running."

For the first time since the changes, there was a distinct change of tact offering some glimmers of hope for internet stream users: He confirmed that the BBC was investigating ways of restoring a separate UK SHOUTcast stream for BBC Radio 5 Live and 5 Live Sports Extra, to allow UK listeners to listen to sports coverage, currently blanked out on the international feed.

There was also an acknowledgement that there where buffering problems on some of the new streams - a516digital has had a few complaints in the mailbox regarding streaming problems on BBC Radio in the last few days.

For Squeezebox users, there was some good news: it appears that Logitech and the vocal members of the Squeezebox community are on the way to establishing access to the highest quality internet streams, including BBC Radio 3 "HD".

Of other users missing the high quality version of BBC Radio 3, Mr Webster said:
"Many though will be able to switch across to the new formats either immediately or in the coming months as the manufacturers and aggregators roll-out updates."

With complaints from disgruntled users still flooding in, it's unlikely this is the end of the matter. Fortunately for the BBC, it appears most Daily Mail listeners don't listen to internet radio, so it has (so far) avoided a front page bashing on the matter.

Previous articles:
Apology issued over BBC internet radio change (12/02/2015)
BBC internet radio changes complete by Wednesday (09/02/2015)


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