In the context of apps for listening to radios from other countries, we note BBC Sounds, which for about a year has replaced Iplayer, which has been retired. BBC Sounds allow you to listen to all radio stations of the British Broadcasting Corporation, the British broadcaster, including various regional radios. The app is all in English but is perfectly manageable with voiceover.
You must register and create your account on the BBC website to use it. If we open, from a PC or mobile device, the BBC homepage using our favorite browser and scroll down the page; we will find the “sign in” item in fourth place: this is a link where it is possible to enter. As new users, we don’t have a BBC account, so we have to create one if we want to use sounds. Then we will press the register button, which opens a registration form. The first question is whether we are more or less 16 years old: it is a radio button, and we choose to declare more than 16.
Pressing the following key, we are asked for the expected birth date, day, month, and year, then there is a CBO that indicates the country we come from, India. Once this is done, we arrive at the critical step: entering the username and password. We can indicate an email address and enter a password at will, which will be good to keep somewhere because we will need it when we open the app on our device.
The password must be at least eight characters long and contain letters, numbers, and punctuation marks, such as an at the sign. Suppose the site does not raise concerns about our data. The game is done. At this point, we have to download the app from the AppStore, install it, and when starting to go to the sign-in item there, we will enter our credentials which will remain there forever.
What We Can Do With BBC Sounds
The program is divided into five panels:
The first two items we find in the home are the most interesting: listening live and station schedule. Listen live is a drop-down menu with a button that you can flick from bottom to top or vice versa. In this way, we can select which of the national stations we want to listen to:
- Radio1, disco music
- Radio2, light entertainment
- Radio3, classical, ethnic, and jazz music
- radio4, information, and cultural programs
- radio4extra, dramas, and comedies
- 5live, news, talk shows, and sports
- Radio6: light music;
- Asian network, programs aimed at the Asian community
- World Service, information, and programs aimed at the world.
Then there are the primary regional radios: Scotland, Wales, and Ulster radios, as well as broadcasters that speak in Gaelic. Stations schedule, on the other hand, informs us about the schedule of the day in each of the different networks: two taps will allow us to see the programming of the station we have chosen, for example, World Service, but we can also scroll through a drop-down menu and find out what regional radios are operating in England broadcasts, such as Radio Berkshire or Radio Bristol, to name just the first two in alphabetical order.
The Other Option
Returning to the panels, we can select, with two taps, podcasts. Here, we will find programs aired on the radio and broadcasts made to be listened to only with sounds: a long list is presented in which, with two taps, we can select what we want to hear: there are documentaries and much more.
The fifth panel is dedicated to searching: if we choose to search with two taps, we can enter the name of a program we want to listen to in an editing space. Naturally, we can also enter a single word: for example, Africa, and the software will provide us with the titles of the programs that contain the word Africa: Focus on Africa, Africa live, Africa 360.We can choose which programs to listen to and provide a list of the latest broadcasts aired with the date and audio duration. We can also select the subscribe item, so by activating my sounds panel, we will find the podcasts of the programs we have subscribed to duly updated.
I have said everything about this app we like: two final remarks.
- some podcasts are for UK residents only;
- Live commentary of football or cricket matches, there are those too, reserved for British listeners only for copyright reasons: however Saturday and Sunday, the World Service broadcasts commentary of significant sporting events. For those who know English or want to improve it, this app is essential: they will enter a world, the BBC one, which offers a lot in terms of culture, information, and music. Contribution by Pierluigi Giacomoni