Introducing the iPlayer Converter

Andrew Dancy
Posted by Andrew Dancy
Blog General › Introducing the iPlayer Converter
Andrew Dancy by Andrew Dancy

I was browsing through my regular blog selection, when I came across this article from the BBC Radio Labs blog. It's all about a new XML feed for audio on demand content that the Beeb have been working on and have now released to the world.

This got me thinking. Increasingly in this modern world the easy availability of data is becoming key to producing innovative and useful new services. Too often organisations try to protect 'their' data, either by restricting the terms of use, or by charging prohibative licensing fees. More forward-thinking organisations realise that it's much better to open up the data and encourage other people to do clever things with it. Not only do you build up brand loyalty among the users of the data, but more often than not someone will come up with a really clever idea that will have you thinking "why didn't I think of that?"

Enter the BBC. Despite their fairly cosy image, good old Auntie has been at the forefront of technological development in the UK. From seeing the potential in the Internet and the importance of websites, to efforts to open up 70 years of archive content to the public, the Beeb stand out as a shining example of a traditional organisation that 'gets it' when it comes to technology and data. That's not to say they don't make mistakes. The abhorrance that is the Kontiki iPlayer client, or the frankly insane decision to close Kingswood Warren both come to mind as major blunders in the technological field, but in general these are outweighed by the good they have done, and the benefits this brings to the UK as a whole.

By making available all sorts of data feeds, the BBC have empowered a whole generation to experiment and tinker with the data, creating mashups that range from traffic maps to weather applets. Our humble contribution to these efforts is the iPlayer Converter, which presents BBC radio schedule data in a format suitable for mobile phones and Internet radios. Extremely useful if your device doesn't support the new Flash-based iPlayer. Do have a play, and if you have any suggestions don't hesitate to post a comment.

Comments (2)

Gravatar William

I found the iPlayer Converter site and it was just what I needed for my Nokia E71. It's great! But when I actually tried to listen to any clips on the RealPlayer client on my phone I found that the sound came and went with muting for 7 or 8 seconds every minute or so. This happened over wifi broadband that runs Youtube fine, and I've tried tweaking the buffering settings. Oddly, the programme continues, so after the muting, the programme does not resume where it left off, but several seconds further on. Any ideas?

Gravatar Andrew

Thanks for the positive feedback! Unfortunately I think the CPU in the Nokia devices just isn't quite up to the task - I find my N95 pausing whilst doing anything processor intensive such as listening to audio streams or browsing complex websites.

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