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BBC Sounds App

Discussion in 'audio' started by raysablade, May 10, 2019.

  1. raysablade

    raysablade pfm Member

    When the BBC Sounds app was released I; downloaded it, had a look around, found it to be a confused mess, went back to the iPlayer radio app and forget about it.

    The wife was away this week and, in passing, told me how much she loves it, especially for downloads to listen to when she is travelling. It prompted me to give it another try and I’m finding it perfectly lovely. Have they changed it? I’ve been advising anyone who cared to listen not to even bother trying it and now I’m feeling rather stupid.
  2. I’ve been using it for a few months. It’s fine for playing what’s on currently but I found the I Player App better for catching up. Sound quality wise I have no idea as I use it in the car or via Bluetooth earphones, couldn’t detect any difference on change over.

    Cheers BB
  3. Rack Kit

    Rack Kit pfm Member

    You can alter the quality levels on the old iPlayer App, can't find an settings for the Sounds App but the quality seems decent enough though I tend to use it either in the car using the iPhone into a Sony USB DAC then out via 3.5mm into the Aux socket or airplay into HomePod speakers dotted around the house.
  4. cjyosemite

    cjyosemite pfm Member

    I also found the BBC Sound App to be difficult to navigate on my i-pod as it seemed to change each time I used it. I do not know why there are both the Sound App & the i-player as they seem to have the same objective. I bought myself an i-pad & found it better to use because its bigger screen makes it easier to navigate, however I do not use it very often as I prefer independent radio Apps which I find more listenable.
  5. Rack Kit

    Rack Kit pfm Member

    I've kept both Apps and use one for BBC6 Music and the other for BBC5 Live to save scrolling through the different stations. I know, I'm lazy!
  6. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    You can? For replay?

    I can only find a quality setting for downloads - I had assumed that the iPlayer always streamed at the highest available quality, i.e. normally 320kbps for Radio 3.

    I don't use a BBC app for downloads, but prefer get_iplayer because it (as long as you do the grabbing within the 30-day window) delivers a file which is not time-limited. It defaults to the highest available bitrate of 320kbps, which is used in the background by the BBC even if the original broadcast is at a lower bitrate - I have grabbed a file for a R6 broadcast at 320kbps.
  7. Whatsisnaim

    Whatsisnaim pfm Member

    I use iPlayer extensively to download stuff to listen to while travelling. I persisted with Sounds for some time, thinking that I probably hated it just because it was new and unfamiliar, but no, I find navigating it to be a PITA and I like the choice of download quality on iPlayer. I’ll have another look at Sounds at some point to see if it’s improved, but for now, I’m not going to bother. Sooner or later iPlayer will be unsupported and won’t work, so then we’ll have no choice.
  8. Dave-L

    Dave-L pfm Member

    The new app is no good to me without Chromecast Audio support.
    JTWzen and marshanp like this.
  9. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    Still? Sheesh...

    They got it right with iPlayer. Then along comes Sounds... :rolleyes:
    Dave-L likes this.
  10. Dave-L

    Dave-L pfm Member

    Yep, it's good to know that the BBC is using our license fee wisely. If they wanted to rebrand it they could have just changed the logo on the old app.
  11. RichardH

    RichardH Bodging pleb

    What bugs me about the Sounds app is that you can't read the programme info when listening to the live stream. Such a simple thing.
    Snufkin and Rack Kit like this.
  12. raysablade

    raysablade pfm Member

    Thinking about it I’ve been using it with the Auralic Aires as an endpoint from an iPad. The lack of chromecast audio support is unforgivable. I used to use the iPlayer radio app that way.

    I like that I keeps my subscriptions in one place and offers me new stuff that I’m surprised to be interested in.
  13. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    I've mainly noticed that "BBC Zounds!" seems to have confused some radio programme producers. In a few cases you now can't get a 320k aac version from the standard iPlayer (or get-iplayer), only an mp3. More often, there are inconsistencies in what iPlayer / get-iplayer provide. Sometimes an 'extended podcast' version, sometimes not.

    Thus far the only time this has seemed a benefit is that currently using get-iplayer has been providing the extended podcast version of "Rutherford and Fry" as 320k aac, which I quite like.

    Overall, though, I regard the entire "Zounds!" as being a PITA caused by the BBC's urge to "Get down wiz da yoof". Basically, the iPlayer can work superbly, so someone wants to change it just to show they can!
    Rack Kit likes this.
  14. Rack Kit

    Rack Kit pfm Member

    Just checked and you’re correct, it’s for downloads only. Sorry for the confusion.

    I didn’t know you could keep download for as long as you wanted, assumed it was time limited to 30 days?
    cctaylor likes this.
  15. zippy

    zippy pfm Member

    Agree with some above - why exactly did they think we needed a new app, and why did they then make it less usable than the existing I-Player ?
  16. Hip-Priest

    Hip-Priest Not hip. Not a priest.

    To me the Sounds app is the quintessential answer to a question nobody asked. Spotify, but for radio, sez the kids! Impossible to use, says me!
  17. marshanp

    marshanp ellipsis addict

    get_iplayer gets round that limitation :)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 11, 2019
    Rack Kit likes this.
  18. Woodface

    Woodface pfm Member

    I like that it has grouped everything together but lack of chrome cast kills it for me
  19. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    For the sake of clarification: get-iplayer isn't a BBC method. It will fetch the programme files for you and there is no 'time out auto-destruct'. The BBC do not condone or support its use. But haven't blocked it, either. (At least as yet.)*

    However I also found that if I went to one of the 'normal' BBC iPlayer pages for a radio programme which had a 'download podcast' button it would *also* simply give me a flie that has no enforced expiry after 30 days. The snag being that it tends to be 128k mp3. Whereas get-iplayer usually will get 320k aac for the radio stations. Thus in nominal quality terms, get-iplayer wins.

    *TBH I know people at the BBC use it. So my guess is that provided it doesn't have too high a profile they simply adopt the Nelsonian approach to its use by people within the UK.
  20. Jim Audiomisc

    Jim Audiomisc pfm Member

    To me, it makes sense for some programs to have an 'extended' version available via iplayer as it bypasses the shedule limits of conventional radio broadcasting and timeslots. But the iPlayer can easily be used for this if the BBC chose. So "Zounds!" only makes sense in terms of trying to be 'trendy'... which the BBC generally is pretty clueless about, alas. Hence it would be better IMHO if they stuck with what they ae good at.

    I wish they'd spend the money on flac, not !Zounds, particularly having just got my copy of the 2019 Proms Guide. :)

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