One has to laugh

I needed a few things at Boots today, so went into Yagnub on my own and pottered around.  I’ve so got out of the habit of doing that, it doesn’t come naturally any more.  But I had a £25 voucher and I stocked up on various odds and ends, bought some glasses in a charity shop, considered going to the dress shop but didn’t, and went home again.  As I said yesterday, we’ve relaxed for the weekend and that’s that – though I’ve got a 3 hour drive tomorrow, so I do need to be on the ball for that.

For the last few years, I’ve been using the iPlayer radio app to listen to BBC radio, and it’s pretty good.  I can mark programmes I want to listen to or download, and they come to the top of the list when there’s a new episode, so I can check through the list and see what I want to download.  It’s not perfect – I’d like not to have to ferret through, to see things I might be interested in, and I’d like new episodes to download automatically.  But it’s pretty good.  A week or two ago, I was notified that there was a new app called BBC Sounds, so I downloaded it.  It’s clearly aimed at younger people listening mostly to music, but that isn’t the problem.  What is, is that every single thing I’ve bookmarked is listed in random order, with no indication of whether there’s anything new since I last listened, nor whether the programme can still be listened to – a lot of them vanish after a month.  I keep the bookmarks – let’s say that there’s a programme which has a new series every year.  I get the notification that the new one has started, as long as I haven’t removed the bookmark.  But this new app is not in chronological order at all.  Apparently, it will suggest new programmes based on what you’ve listened to before, which is just what I want.  But I can’t do the massive amount of work involved in setting the whole thing up.  It seems that they’re going to withdraw iPlayer, on the grounds that not enough young people listen through it, and they’re interested in the under 35 audience, and are willing to spend 10 million pounds promoting it.  No idea if that’ll work, but it seems that they don’t care about losing me.  Audiobooks, here I come.

I’m listening to Charlotte Bronte’s Shirley at present, in some haste as it only has a couple of days to go.  I evidently haven’t read it, which surprises me, but I didn’t know the plot at all.  It’s done very well and I’ll miss the BBC.  But they have to get the app right before junking the old one, if they want to keep their old listeners as well as possibly gaining new ones.  I don’t think they should worry about it, myself.  Just be good and people will follow you.

I’m going off to laugh or cry now.

4 comments on “One has to laugh

  1. Alan

    I use the iPlayer Radio app a lot too, and had exactly the same experience with Sounds. I didn’t however realise that they are going to withdraw iPlayer, which seems like a very big mistake given that sounds has a virtually unusable UI. Then again I suppose it’s not like the modern BBC to make a bad decision is it.

    1. Z Post author

      There was an article about it in yesterday’s Times. They’re promoting the new app frantically- Lord knows why they’re so keen, but it’s all about attracting younger people. And it says iPlayer is soon to be wound down. Sounds has awful reviews on the App Store – I’ve added my own, comparing it unfavourably to iTunes.

  2. Rog

    It was designed by “Perfect Curve” of W1A.
    The radio player app is one of the best things on my phone and Sounds is absolutely the worst – you couldn’t make it up 😥

  3. Z Post author

    When I said ‘yesterday’s’, I meant Friday’s – the day before I wrote the post.

    It seems that no one who considered what was wanted in the app actually uses iPlayer, nor talked to anyone who does. It’s a shambles.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.