BBC Radio on the iPhone

p>Yea, I don’t know how to do it yet either…

BBC Radio has about 80 different channels of content, from the big dozen or so national feeds to zillions of local feeds across the UK. Unfortunately, the BBC is tied up heavily with Real Audio and has recently done (a heavily criticized) deal with Windows for their content.

What this means is that iPhone users, who can handle streaming mp3 content, are currently out of luck for BBC streaming radio on their iPhone.

This is really quite annoying. Granted mp3 is technically a proprietary format as well, but it’s a standard that works on Real and Windows media players (not to mention Winamp, Shoutcast, VLC and nearly all other audio software programs). That the BBC (and NPR and other public radio stations) continue to utilize these locked up formats is a considerable pain, especially as more and more devices and mobile phones have improved playback for mp3 streams.

The BBC has their podcasts in mp3, and they have built a version of the iPlayer that works with the iPhone (alas US people cannot access the videos though). I think it is only a matter of time before the Beeb comes out with an application to put their content on the iPhone and iPod touch.

But wait! There might be hope. Some folks have found a way to create a BBC 1 relay that converts the stream to an mp3 stream.

Unfortunately I just tested it and it doesn’t seem to be working at the moment.

We’ll keep monitoring this one.