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castalla
2015-03-11, 09:06
This thread is a place to continue the discussion about the BBC's ludicrously named 'Audio Factory' debacle, fiasco, etc.

It's an attempt to clear out comments from the technical threads.

Atlantic
2015-03-11, 09:26
This thread is a place to continue the discussion about the BBC's ludicrously named 'Audio Factory' debacle, fiasco, etc.



Not adding anything to the discussion but interesting to see that a UK national newspaper, "The Guardian", had picked up the issue. Most interesting was, I thought, a 'comment' beneath the article, where somebody mentions this forum and goes on to provide a link to the technical discussion that has been taking place here.

Here's the article, available on the newspaper's website:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2015/mar/05/new-internet-radio-listen-bbc-stations

Atlantic

castalla
2015-03-11, 09:49
Here's the link to the now defunct BBC blog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/234a65f0-89c1-489c-b6e9-55d2de932e53?filter=none#comments

majones
2015-03-11, 10:20
Here's the link to the now defunct BBC blog:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/234a65f0-89c1-489c-b6e9-55d2de932e53?filter=none#comments
Rumour has it that it was mention of "Audio Factory" that made Jeremy Clarkson punch the BBC producer.

castalla
2015-03-11, 10:24
Rumour has it that it was mention of "Audio Factory" that made Jeremy Clarkson punch the BBC producer.

.... rumour has it that it was 'Audi Factory'

bpa
2015-03-11, 10:30
IIRC a few years ago the BBC said they would turn off FM in 2015. Imagine that scenario.

pippin
2015-03-11, 10:37
IIRC a few years ago the BBC said they would turn off FM in 2015. Imagine that scenario.

What's this FM-thing you are talking about?

castalla
2015-03-11, 10:46
IIRC a few years ago the BBC said they would turn off FM in 2015. Imagine that scenario.

there's still 9 months left for Radio Product managers to manage that change!

bpa
2015-03-11, 11:02
What's this FM-thing you are talking about?

A format not supported by Apple presumably because you could listen to music for free.

markiii
2015-03-11, 11:07
IIRC a few years ago the BBC said they would turn off FM in 2015. Imagine that scenario.

you jest, but they probably consider that notice, and will pull the plug on December 31st

bpa
2015-03-11, 11:22
you jest

No and it was only stopped by a Govt minister !! see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/media/10520514/Reprieve-for-FM-as-Government-abandons-digital-radio-deadline.html

ian_heys
2015-03-11, 11:42
No and it was only stopped by a Govt minister !! see http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/mediatechnologyandtelecoms/media/10520514/Reprieve-for-FM-as-Government-abandons-digital-radio-deadline.html

Bought one of these on Ebay the other week.

Still in great shape after 40 years

Just in case.

ftlight
2015-03-11, 11:47
The BBC certainly isn't what it was when I worked there (1968-71 in External Services radio at Bush House):

http://tech-ops.co.uk/next/wind-ups/

Not that I was involved in anything like that, of course...

castalla
2015-03-11, 11:58
The BBC certainly isn't what it was when I worked there (1968-71 in External Services radio at Bush House):

http://tech-ops.co.uk/next/wind-ups/

Not that I was involved in anything like that, of course...

and the following year, 1972, I was listening to the BBC World Service in Mauritius (at a small rural health) clinic via the South African relay, I think ... and in those days, the future was bright

pippin
2015-03-11, 13:05
A format not supported by Apple presumably because you could listen to music for free.

Ah. So one of these formats all the people here who are not satisfied with the quality of the 128kbps mp3 streams that are generally available are specifically looking for.

Grumpy Bob
2015-03-11, 13:06
Not adding anything to the discussion but interesting to see that a UK national newspaper, "The Guardian", had picked up the issue. Most interesting was, I thought, a 'comment' beneath the article, where somebody mentions this forum and goes on to provide a link to the technical discussion that has been taking place here.

Here's the article, available on the newspaper's website:

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/askjack/2015/mar/05/new-internet-radio-listen-bbc-stations

Atlantic

Haha, I think that was my comment! I was concerned about linking to a very lengthy thread. Hope it was helpful to Squeezebox using Grauniad readers.

Robert

castalla
2015-03-11, 13:21
I'm feeling rather pessimistic.

I predicted early on in the fiasco that the probable BBC response would be to simply tough it out.

Closing the comments was a touch of brilliance - the head of steam which was accumulating seems to have dissipated as users have been scattered to the 4 winds.

Anybody had any feedback from contacts?

ChipMonk
2015-03-11, 13:52
1972, ... and in those days, the future was bright

Oh yes - we had the 3 day week, power cuts, IMF, streets full of rubbish, IRA bombs, Russian aggression etc to look forward to. But the shirts, flares and minis were nice and bright and we were younger!

For info, I haven't given up yet, I wrote to quite a few politicians, BBC folk and even the press to let off steam yesterday but, like you, I'm not optimistic. We're not going to get Jeremy Clarksonesque support for this one even if we are another bunch of old techno freaks who spend too much time and money playing with computers and old HiFi stuff. Not as sexy as cars and therefore not many votes or emphasisers there! Will report if I hear anything positive.

castalla
2015-03-11, 14:06
Oh yes - we had the 3 day week, power cuts, IMF, streets full of rubbish, IRA bombs, Russian aggression etc to look forward to. But the shirts, flares and minis were nice and bright and we were younger!


Ah, but there was also the end of the Vietnam war, Salvador Allende, Che & Fidel, and some pretty good music ... oops! my sympathies are showing!

ftlight
2015-03-11, 15:37
I emailed Jack at the Guardian yesterday and suggested he should read some of the later comments on his post, also gave him an update on the BBC shutting down their thread after a week of indifference.

castalla
2015-03-11, 15:43
Anything on the Twittersphere ???

castalla
2015-03-12, 02:24
e-petition at change.org:

https://www.change.org/p/the-bbc-trust-and-the-bbc-director-general-restore-aac-audio-and-listen-again-indefinitely-for-internet-radio-devices-2?recruiter=146958580&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

castalla
2015-03-12, 07:29
The Ask Jack comments are now closed .... news blackout?

It#s now a month since the Audio Factory started production .... and yet no manufacturers have responded positively to the changes. The BBC blog is closed ... silence from all quarters.

Hmmm????

ftlight
2015-03-12, 08:31
The Ask Jack comments are now closed .... news blackout?
More likely that as it's a weekly column, comments on each previous post are closed when the new one goes up - which was today.

castalla
2015-03-12, 08:37
More likely that as it's a weekly column, comments on each previous post are closed when the new one goes up - which was today.

Yes ... but what's wrong with a decent conspiracy theory in these days of madness we are living in???!!!

PasTim
2015-03-12, 09:08
I got a response from the BBC today regarding my most recent complaint. They completely ignored my complaint about Listen Again, and gave their standard response:

Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer Support Team.

I understand you are unhappy with decision over Audio format closures.

We thought long and hard before deciding on the direction for Audio Factory. The system replaces, not just the online streaming systems for national radio, but also the systems for the nations and local radio. As such we had to make choices around standardisation.

We have decided to use the http streaming formats HLS, HDS and DASH. We began communicating our plans to internet radio manufacturers over 12 months ago. HLS streams are now available to internet radios and aggregators that wish to use them. We have been working with various manufacturers to help them develop their products where possible to support our new streams. We are actively working on delivering our audio using the non-proprietary DASH delivery format to support other manufacturers and their devices going forward.

The Shoutcast AAC streams we provided for network radio only, relied on very old hardware and unsupported software. They had a very high support overhead. We have kept a single shoutcast stream of every live service to support devices that will never be able to play HLS, HDS or DASH streams. Whist we cannot promise to support shoutcast for more than 1 to 2 years, we will monitor the number of users and the quality of our service and base our decision making on the impact to the audience.

Our new ShoutCast streams are unrestricted which means that we can make them available both in the UK and globally, this significantly simplifies how they are served, but does mean that users whose devices can only receive the ShoutCast stream and not one of the new HTTP streaming formats will hear a version of the stream which will blank sport where the BBC does not hold international rights. The new HTTP streams are available in both UK and international variants, which allows those in the UK to continue to enjoy the Sport that we broadcast as usual. We are investigating to see whether there is anything we can do to return access to the UK streams for those who are affected by this, we are working hard to get this resolved before big occasions like the Country Cricket.

I hope that manufacturers will be able to support our new streams or upgrade existing devices as time goes on, and we will do our best to support them as the technology continues to evolve.

We’ve published a new blog that addresses some of these points and is also worth reading:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/977a1954-658f-4fb2-a23c-71680c49882f#comments

I hope this information helped.

Thanks for contacting us.

Kind regards

Patrick Clyde

BBC Audience Services

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer


There really is no hope for us dealing with such organisations. :(

ChipMonk
2015-03-12, 09:19
e-petition at change.org:

https://www.change.org/p/the-bbc-trust-and-the-bbc-director-general-restore-aac-audio-and-listen-again-indefinitely-for-internet-radio-devices-2?recruiter=146958580&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=share_email_responsive

How to get this petition best publicised by us old non-twitter/facebook types? At least anyone here who has accounts with Sonos, Linn, Naim even Pure etc forums should give it a plug. I'm sure the numbers who would sign worldwide would be high - it's just a question of letting them know about it. At the moment the epetition has a lower profile than even the famous BBC September 2014 blog.

I think we need lots of help from the young bloods on this forum! How to get this thing going viral, well sort of! Now there's a challenge boys and girls.

castalla
2015-03-12, 09:20
Utter clap-trap - the new blog is weeks old!!!

Not one manufacturer has implemented any changes - most have just turned their backs.

castalla
2015-03-12, 09:21
How to get this petition best publicised by us old non-twitter/facebook types? At least anyone here who has accounts with Sonos, Linn, Naim even Pure etc forums should give it a plug. I'm sure the numbers who would sign worldwide would be high - it's just a question of letting them know about it. At the moment the epetition has a lower profile than even the famous BBC September 2014 blog.

I think we need lots of help from the young bloods on this forum! How to get this thing going viral, well sort of! Now there's a challenge boys and girls.

I've linked the e-petition on the ask.sonos.com forum - those poor buggers over there are struggling!

ftlight
2015-03-12, 09:25
Yes ... but what's wrong with a decent conspiracy theory in these days of madness we are living in???!!!

Sadly, the real conspiracies are *much* better hidden.

ModelCitizen
2015-03-12, 11:48
I've just received this in response to my complaint to the BBC:


Dear Mr ModelCitizen

Reference CAS-3187599-0KW5FP

Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer support team.

I understand you're unhappy you can no longer receive BBC Radio on your Logitech Squeezebox device.

We’ve had lots of contact from disgruntled Logitech Squeezebox owners, and we believe that most of the concerns here are about to be addressed thanks to the work of some of the active Squeezebox community and from Logitech who are now talking to us about supporting our Shoutcast streams.

For Squeezebox users in the UK, this should result in them being able to access not just Radio 3 in the highest quality, but also across all 57 of the radio stations currently supported by Audio Factory.

I understand you feel strongly about this so please be assured that we appreciate all feedback received and your comments will be used to inform a report which is sent to the BBC iPlayer team, including the head of BBC iPlayer. These reports help to improve and develop the BBC iPlayer service.

I hope this information will help.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Kind regards

Helen McCrickerd

BBC Audience Services

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

castalla
2015-03-12, 11:53
I've just received this in response to my complaint to the BBC:


Dear Mr ModelCitizen

Reference CAS-3187599-0KW5FP

Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer support team.

I understand you're unhappy you can no longer receive BBC Radio on your Logitech Squeezebox device.

We’ve had lots of contact from disgruntled Logitech Squeezebox owners, and we believe that most of the concerns here are about to be addressed thanks to the work of some of the active Squeezebox community and from Logitech who are now talking to us about supporting our Shoutcast streams.

For Squeezebox users in the UK, this should result in them being able to access not just Radio 3 in the highest quality, but also across all 57 of the radio stations currently supported by Audio Factory.

I understand you feel strongly about this so please be assured that we appreciate all feedback received and your comments will be used to inform a report which is sent to the BBC iPlayer team, including the head of BBC iPlayer. These reports help to improve and develop the BBC iPlayer service.

I hope this information will help.

Thanks again for contacting us.

Kind regards

Helen McCrickerd

BBC Audience Services

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer

In other words, 'It wasn't us, guv'

shoshani
2015-03-12, 13:05
I got a response from the BBC today regarding my most recent complaint. They completely ignored my complaint about Listen Again, and gave their standard response:

Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer Support Team.

...snip....

HLS streams are now available to internet radios and aggregators that wish to use them.

There really is no hope for us dealing with such organisations. :(

The main problem with the BBC's tinned response is that while everyone making internet radios and programming software aggregators wishes to use the HLS streams, only one hardware manufacturer to date is capable of doing so. The rest are still selling hardware that cannot be retrofitted to accommodate the BBC's decision on what constitutes the current state of technology.

There is at least one other European broadcaster whose programming I listen to, that provides their streams in HLS for iPhone, but WMA for wifi receivers. WMA is apparently still very viable despite BBC's protests to the contrary.

Edit: Please excuse the errant '553' title. That was the number on the CAPTCHA screen and I inadvertently entered it in the wrong form field.

bpa
2015-03-12, 17:21
I hope that manufacturers will be able to support our new streams or upgrade existing devices as time goes on

Radio manufacturers loved this news - a sudden burst in sales of latest models.

The Radio manufacturers can say "I'm sorry but it's not our fault blame the BBC. Throw out your old internet radio and buy a new compatible one from us"

castalla
2015-03-12, 17:31
Radio manufacturers loved this news - a sudden burst in sales of latest models.

The Radio manufacturers can say "I'm sorry but it's not our fault blame the BBC. Throw out your old internet radio and buy a new compatible one from us"

I wonder ... maybe so many have had their fingers burnt with this that they'll just say bye-bye to a free-standing device.

When I bought my first SB I had no idea it would turn out to be so flexible. What a pity Logi pulled out of the market!

castalla
2015-03-12, 17:43
Five Live is doing a Tech, help phone-in from 1am today.

Anybody in the UK fancy calling and asking what device can be used to get BBC listen again ?

majones
2015-03-13, 03:34
The BBC's Micro Bit programmable device might be useful counter to Audio Factory. If it can be understood as providing server-based access to internet radio, it might help dispel Audio Factory's view that all they need to care about are iOS/Android apps, web browsers and certain manufacturers' devices (Pure).

castalla
2015-03-13, 03:46
The BBC's Micro Bit programmable device might be useful counter to Audio Factory. If it can be understood as providing server-based access to internet radio, it might help dispel Audio Factory's view that all they need to care about are iOS/Android apps, web browsers and certain manufacturers' devices (Pure).

Maybe they'll limit access to only this bit player?

They're capable of anything these days ...

PasTim
2015-03-13, 03:47
Five Live is doing a Tech, help phone-in from 1am today.

Anybody in the UK fancy calling and asking what device can be used to get BBC listen again ?
A good idea, but I really can't do this. I'm not up to it.

ModelCitizen
2015-03-13, 03:51
Last night was my first sleepless night for a while so I turned to BBC World Service (what the Radio 4 feed becomes in the small hours). Imagine my delight to find that the WMA feed includes 4 hours of BBC Schools programming. Come back Newsday, all is forgiven.


Simon Turner
Barcombe, Lewes

castalla
2015-03-13, 03:54
A good idea, but I really can't do this. I'm not up to it.

I fell asleep listening ... woke up briefly to somebody going on about using smartphones to get BBC radio ... fell asleep again ...

Given up on the Beeb for today ... listening to clear uninterrupted speech (sensible) and good music from SWR1 in Baden-Wurttemburg

ChipMonk
2015-03-13, 04:53
Just received this latest reply

Thank you for your e-mail of 10 March, to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, about BBC radio. I have been asked to reply.
Under the terms of the BBC’s Charter and Agreement, the BBC is operationally independent of Government and there is no provision for the Government to intervene in the Corporation’s day-to-day operations. The BBC is accountable to the license fee payer through the BBC Trust. The Royal Charter is the constitutional basis for the BBC. It sets out the public purposes of the BBC, guarantees its independence, and outlines the duties of the Trust and the Executive Board.
It is still possible to enjoy live radio on Freeview, Freesat and YouView devices. It is also possible to receive live and on demand radio from the BBC iPlayer Radio on computers, tablets and smart phones.
The Government believes it is important that the Corporation is aware of the concerns of viewers and listeners. In the first instance your concerns about bit rates may be raised with BBC Information: email via the website, http://faq.external.bbc.co.uk/questions/contact/comment; or telephone 03700 100 222, or by writing to BBC Information, PO Box 1922, Glasgow, G2 3WT, or by writing directly to the programme area concerned.
Alternatively, if you would like to contact the BBC Trust directly for more information, you may do so by writing to the BBC Trust Unit, 180 Great Portland Street, London, W1W 5QZ, by emailing trust.enquiries@bbc.co.uk or by calling their information line on 03700 103 100.
I hope that this is helpful.
Yours sincerely,
Dempster Marples

So we can only talk to the BBC Trust about all this and the BBC Trust has its fingers in its ears and hands over its eyes and, if it replies at all, sends copies of the "September Diktat".

I'm not suggesting for a moment that this business is on a par with Jimmy Savile, various hospital and care home scandals, Hillsborough, Rotherham child abuse - oh I could go on and on - but, despite being constantly told that "lessons will be learned" the response of our public servants is alarmingly consistent.

Those who can please use Usenet, social media or whatever to publicise the ePetition. We have very few other options to show how many people are affected by all this.

castalla
2015-03-13, 05:20
It's a 21st century rewrite of The Trial & Catch-22 ...

or In The Thick of It meets W1A

ftlight
2015-03-13, 08:33
Last night was my first sleepless night for a while so I turned to BBC World Service (what the Radio 4 feed becomes in the small hours). Imagine my delight to find that the WMA feed includes 4 hours of BBC Schools programming. Come back Newsday, all is forgiven.

Annoying, isn't it! Even more so here in the USA, where I get it five hours earlier at what should still be a reasonable listening time.

castalla
2015-03-13, 08:41
Annoying, isn't it! Even more so here in the USA, where I get it five hours earlier at what should still be a reasonable listening time.

I think that's the R4 LW feed - the FM feed turns into WS

ftlight
2015-03-13, 09:40
I think that's the R4 LW feed - the FM feed turns into WS
I have World Service and R4 on adjacent preset buttons on my bedside Radio, and the WS one that give me the school programming during the night is this URL:
iplayer://live?aac=http://bbcwsen-lh.akamaihd.net/i/WSEIEUK_1@189911/master.m3u8&icon=http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/img/radio/bbc_world_service.gif&radiovis=dab/ce1/ce15/c238/0
It is the same content as R4 FM.

I also have "World Service International" using radiotime, which is this URL:
http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s50646&partnerId=16

I should try that one tonight and see if there's any difference.

When I worked at BBC Bush House we originated World Service and six foreign language networks, all of them 24/7. One of the least desirable jobs was the Multi Control Position, which was an audio monitoring station that automatically switched from one outgoing feed to the next every ten seconds. The operator was tasked with raising the alarm if any of them went silent. Here's a photo (not of me):
http://www.bakerlite.co.uk/pics/Bush%20House/emx-01.jpg

shoshani
2015-03-13, 10:50
When I worked at BBC Bush House we originated World Service and six foreign language networks, all of them 24/7. One of the least desirable jobs was the Multi Control Position, which was an audio monitoring station that automatically switched from one outgoing feed to the next every ten seconds. The operator was tasked with raising the alarm if any of them went silent. Here's a photo (not of me):
http://www.bakerlite.co.uk/pics/Bush%20House/emx-01.jpg

I hope I'll be forgiven for this mild topic digression, but I've always wanted to mention this to *someone* from Bush House.

I had two shortwave receivers at my disposal when I was a teenager in the 1980s; one was mine, a birthday gift, and the other was a large older wooden cabinet table radio that was actually my family's all-band receiver. One evening I decided to tune each one to a different WS frequency, and as the current program was ending, I was flabbergasted with what I heard. The program faded on one radio and the continuity announcer came on, but it continued on the other radio for a bit until it also faded on that frequency. The same continuity announcer then came on on the second radio in sync with the first.

I had always presumed that the programming was uniform across all frequencies, but I learned that evening that this was not the case! Each frequency apparently had its own engineer making transmission decisions, and the continuity announcer was evidently given cues as to when to stop speaking to permit the fading-out of a programme on one frequency while still talking on another.

ftlight
2015-03-13, 12:55
I had always presumed that the programming was uniform across all frequencies, but I learned that evening that this was not the case! Each frequency apparently had its own engineer making transmission decisions, and the continuity announcer was evidently given cues as to when to stop speaking to permit the fading-out of a programme on one frequency while still talking on another.
I was there in the late 1960s, but I suspect nothing much changed for quite a while after that. There was only one stream for World Service and each of the networks, of course, but we had transmitter sites all over the UK and also in remote places like Ascension Island. Once the feeds left us they went to the transmitter sites by landline, submarine cable, or radio relay, and it was then entirely up to the transmitter engineers what to do with them. For the foreign language broadcasts they regularly had to change frequencies and also steer the shortwave antennas to beam the signal in the right direction for the target audience, as each of the six networks had to serve multiple language groups and geographical destinations at different times of the day.
I think most of the timing that you mention was done strictly by the clock; the control room had a precision master clock synchonized to GMT, and all over the building there were subsidiary clocks locked to the master. And of course the presenters, many of whom also ran their own control consoles, were pros at this.

ChipMonk
2015-03-13, 13:56
It's a 21st century rewrite of The Trial & Catch-22 ...

or In The Thick of It meets W1A

What I find particularly worrisome is that the responses from the BBC Management and the BBC Trust are almost identical.

This cannot, or rather should not, be right.

It took some time for me to realise that George Orwell and Franz Kafka were futurology's great optimists.

castalla
2015-03-13, 14:07
What I find particularly worrisome is that the responses from the BBC Management and the BBC Trust are almost identical.

This cannot, or rather should not, be right.

It took some time for me to realise that George Orwell and Franz Kafka were futurology's great optimists.

or as Marie said 'Let them use iThings ...'

ChipMonk
2015-03-13, 14:27
or as Marie said 'Let them use iThings ...'

She was out of her head, in the end. The BBC Heads have only lost the plot.

Rolls eyes!

castalla
2015-03-13, 16:42
here's an interesting titbit :

James Cridland, on the Yahoo UK radio listeners group:

"Silly idea for a petition. You might as well also demand that the BBC also makes all its television programmes available in 405 line black and white, or that their website works properly on Netscape 3.
Technology moves on. "Serve all audiences" is being delivered if you use the BBC website or BBC apps. It's a pointless exercise to insist that it works on some random piece of Chinese rubbish that you bought down in the market for sixty quid in 2009."

Cridland - a former big cheese of the BBC online mob - and a techno-elitist who probably renews to the latest wow-shite gizmo on a monthly basis ...

Despicable but probably representative of the Audio Brewery mob.

Grumpy Bob
2015-03-13, 23:46
here's an interesting titbit :

James Cridland, on the Yahoo UK radio listeners group:

"Silly idea for a petition. You might as well also demand that the BBC also makes all its television programmes available in 405 line black and white, or that their website works properly on Netscape 3.
Technology moves on. "Serve all audiences" is being delivered if you use the BBC website or BBC apps. It's a pointless exercise to insist that it works on some random piece of Chinese rubbish that you bought down in the market for sixty quid in 2009."


Those are asinine comments. What the BBC has done on internet radio is more akin to dropping Freeview SD broadcasts leaving all those with SD TVs unable to watch TV.

Robert

ChipMonk
2015-03-14, 03:41
here's an interesting titbit :

James Cridland - a former big cheese of the BBC online mob - and a techno-elitist who probably renews to the latest wow-shite gizmo on a monthly basis ...

Despicable but probably representative of the Audio Brewery mob.


James Cridland, Former Head of Future Media & Technology for BBC Audio & Music Interactive - speaking in 2008 in that position

"In radio we agree on technology and compete on content. We agree and co-fund with commercial radio RAJAR. Using paper diaries alas. We agree and have co-marketed digital radio. We agree on NICAM, teletext, you name it. We are looking at Radio DNS to look for IP-enabled web services. And other things that the BBC has done in it’s time are … the reason people agree that the Web is a trustworthy source of news is down to BBC News Online. When we say forward slash, that was some BBC steering group which came up with that phrase.
I’d like to stress, in terms of how the BBC operates we have a massive positive effect."

castalla
2015-03-14, 03:54
Cridland's blog states he is a 'Radio Futurologist' (pretentious or what?) and that:

''Since leaving the BBC in 2009, he has worked for a variety of businesses, including the receiver manufacturer Pure ...''

Fancy that!

and ...

''As a consultant, I work with the brightest brains to ensure radio remains relevant.''

http://james.cridland.net

ChipMonk
2015-03-14, 04:31
Cridland's blog states he is a 'Radio Futurologist' (pretentious or what?) and that:

''Since leaving the BBC in 2009, he has worked for a variety of businesses, including the receiver manufacturer Pure ...''

Fancy that!

I think his pretentiousness is only out matched by his modesty, even-handedness and utter lack of complacency. Working with the best brains and in order to lock BBC Internet Radio into the domain of companies with the deepest pockets - Pure genius I'd call it.

Remind me where most Pure and Apple products are manufactured these days, and probably for about 60 quid - but that's not the asking price.

Are you a member of the of Yahoo UK Radio Listeners Forum? I suspect one now has to be a card carrying BBC luvvie in order to gain access into this sacred inner sanctum. Only 155 members and strictly controlled. I'm trying to be No.156.

castalla
2015-03-14, 04:51
I think his pretentiousness is only out matched by his modesty, even-handedness and utter lack of complacency. Working with the best brains and in order to lock BBC Internet Radio into the domain of companies with the deepest pockets - Pure genius I'd call it.

Remind me where most Pure and Apple products are manufactured these days, and probably for about 60 quid - but that's not the asking price.

Are you a member of the of Yahoo UK Radio Listeners Forum? I suspect one now has to be a card carrying BBC luvvie in order to gain access into this sacred inner sanctum. Only 155 members and strictly controlled. I'm trying to be No.156.

Well said!

No - not a member

ChipMonk
2015-03-14, 13:38
Well said!

No - not a member

Well I am now, a right honourable member of uk-radio-listeners forum - but what a horrible forum and format. I can see why Yahoo is heading nowhere. So much for Cridland working with the best brains at the forefront of technology. Only thing clear is that he is "Cock o' the Midden" there. However, I'm not sure that I have the mental strength to try to make sense of it right now - I think that I'll stay stumm in my sty.

Meanwhile, I seem to be in the middle of a fracas with Jim Lesurf in Usenet uk.tech.digital-tv, who writes in Hi Fi News and turns out to be very much a BBC man. That's wearing me out quite enough for now - I'm beginning to think I should just keep my head down, use the fixes from this wonderful forum, as and when needed, get back into my Spring garden - and sod the BBC. There's just too much inertia, vested interest and apathy around - I don't need any more disillusionment.

I've seen the future for BBC Radio and it's an Applesphere iThingy - but it must be able to talk to my RasPi LMS.

Ergo, it would be nice if there was a satisfactory and robust solution for integrating Airplay into LMS on Raspberry Pi's. Can anyone help please?

castalla
2015-03-14, 14:09
Well I am now, a right honourable member of uk-radio-listeners forum - but what a horrible forum and format. I can see why Yahoo is heading nowhere. So much for Cridland working with the best brains at the forefront of technology. Only thing clear is that he is "Cock o' the Midden" there. However, I'm not sure that I have the mental strength to try to make sense of it right now - I think that I'll stay stumm in my sty.

Meanwhile, I seem to be in the middle of a fracas with Jim Lesurf in Usenet uk.tech.digital-tv, who writes in Hi Fi News and turns out to be very much a BBC man. That's wearing me out quite enough for now - I'm beginning to think I should just keep my head down, use the fixes from this wonderful forum, as and when needed, get back into my Spring garden - and sod the BBC. There's just too much inertia, vested interest and apathy around - I don't need any more disillusionment.

I've seen the future for BBC Radio and it's an Applesphere iThingy - but it must be able to talk to my RasPi LMS.

Ergo, it would be nice if there was a satisfactory and robust solution for integrating Airplay into LMS on Raspberry Pi's. Can anyone help please?

That's what they're counting on - inertia. They must all be on that fruity device juice ...

ChipMonk
2015-03-14, 14:47
That's what they're counting on - inertia. They must all be on that fruity device juice ...

BBC Radio 4 just had Kazuo Ishiguro's "The Buried Giant" as Book at Bedtime over the last two weeks. About a mysterious mist which leads to forgetfulness across the land, erasing of all recollection of misdeeds done in the past. All due to a Dragon, can't remember the name...............was it called Querig or perhaps Auntie? I'm really not sure, it's all gone I'm afraid. Oh, and before I forget even more, "Brian Gulliver's Travels", Radio 4 last night (I think) - all about visiting a planet where folks instantly forget nasty things. Well, I think that's what it was about. If you remember, and if it still works, you just might be able to hear some of it again on Listen Again. If that's what it was called.

I have a feeling that the BBC was trying to tell us something, perhaps it's even more sinister than that. But I've forgotten what.

Brave New World.

ftlight
2015-03-14, 14:55
Meanwhile, I seem to be in the middle of a fracas with Jim Lesurf in Usenet uk.tech.digital-tv, who writes in Hi Fi News and turns out to be very much a BBC man. That's wearing me out quite enough for now - I'm beginning to think I should just keep my head down, use the fixes from this wonderful forum, as and when needed, get back into my Spring garden - and sod the BBC. There's just too much inertia, vested interest and apathy around - I don't need any more disillusionment.
I see you're getting some support from a couple of the other posters, but Mr Lesurf is a bit, umm, dogmatic, shall we say...

garym
2015-03-14, 15:11
Ergo, it would be nice if there was a satisfactory and robust solution for integrating Airplay into LMS on Raspberry Pi's. Can anyone help please?

On my Vortexbox (fedora linux) install of LMS, there is a method for installing a plugin that allows airplay to work with LMS and play through squeezeboxes. I have no idea how it works, but I did try it as a test and it did work. Is it some version of something I've seen referred to around here as "shairplay"? A quick search led me to this:

https://github.com/StuartUSA/shairport_plugin

PasTim
2015-03-14, 15:25
The people I feel sorry for are those who just listen to Internet Radio without much knowledge of what's going on, will have lost Listen Again on March 9th, and will lose the replacement mp3 streams sometime sooner rather than later, particularly blind users.

Folk able to get to this forum (or minimstreamer for live radio) and tinker a bit will probably be OK, although some of us may have run out of steam, and swear words, before this current process ends with the withdrawal of the RTMP streams and introduction of DASH, maybe, sometime, who knows?

Meanwhile the BBC will ignore us because have made up their minds. I can't see any way of affecting this. I have sent emails to Hall, Scott & Co, all of which have been ignored. I'm pursuing a complaint but don't honestly expect any positive result.

Back to my music.....

ChipMonk
2015-03-14, 15:27
On my Vortexbox (fedora linux) install of LMS, there is a method for installing a plugin that allows airplay to work with LMS and play through squeezeboxes. I have no idea how it works, but I did try it as a test and it did work. Is it some version of something I've seen referred to around here as "shairplay"? A quick search led me to this:

https://github.com/StuartUSA/shairport_plugin

Thanks garym - I should have said, I've already had a quick go at this but without much success. I couldn't get the plugin to load on my RasPi2 LMS and I got so much incomprehensible perl stuff loading onto my SD card that I ended up dumping it and starting again. . Castella looked at this a few years back, again with only limited success I believe. I think that, faced with the new realities vis a vis the BBC and the major presence of the Applesphere (as I like to call it) it would be nice if there was a new look into doing this right. But I'm afraid, when it comes to issues as technical as this, I'm just a sad old leecher.

PasTim
2015-03-14, 15:31
Thanks garym - I should have said, I've already had a quick go at this but without much success. I couldn't get the plugin to load on my RasPi2 LMS and I got so much incomprehensible perl stuff loading onto my SD card that I ended up dumping it and starting again. . Castella looked at this a few years back, again with only limited success I believe. I think that, faced with the new realities vis a vis the BBC and the major presence of the Applesphere (as I like to call it) it would be nice if there was a new look into doing this right. But I'm afraid, when it comes to issues as technical as this, I'm just a sad old leecher.
One problem I don't have, thank heavens. Home is an i-Free zone (apart from iPlayer!).

ChipMonk
2015-03-14, 15:58
The people I feel sorry for are those who just listen to Internet Radio without much knowledge of what's going on, will have lost Listen Again on March 9th, and will lose the replacement mp3 streams sometime sooner rather than later, particularly blind users.



Yep - that's the banner I've been trying to carry - mainly for "the lost, non-techie souls". But, for probably a variety of reasons, they're just too invisible to give us the momentum we need. I do not enjoy this "rabble rousing" at all and I'm getting fed up of being treated as a Luddite or a daft old fool who "doesn't get it", of beating my head against a wall of indifference.

Our problems, of course, are minor by comparison but when, on an almost daily basis, I hear those folks who tried, over the decades, to raise concerns of serious abuse or injustice or corruption and how they were beaten down, simply ignored or themselves abused by public servants and "the system" well, after six weeks of this, I now understand much better. And when I hear, from Scott and countless others before him, how "lessons will be learned", and they never are, I just want to throw up.

Back to the music? Well, it'll depend on the amount of re-buffering I suppose.

garym
2015-03-14, 15:59
The people I feel sorry for are those who just listen to Internet Radio without much knowledge of what's going on, will have lost Listen Again on March 9th, and will lose the replacement mp3 streams sometime sooner rather than later, particularly blind users.

Folk able to get to this forum (or minimstreamer for live radio) and tinker a bit will probably be OK, although some of us may have run out of steam, and swear words, before this current process ends with the withdrawal of the RTMP streams and introduction of DASH, maybe, sometime, who knows?

Meanwhile the BBC will ignore us because have made up their minds. I can't see any way of affecting this. I have sent emails to Hall, Scott & Co, all of which have been ignored. I'm pursuing a complaint but don't honestly expect any positive result.

Back to my music.....

Speaking more broadly than just the BBC issue, It has always seemed to me that folks that use dedicated network music streamers in their home (squeezeboxes, SONOS, etc.) are in the tiny minority when it comes to users of internet streaming. We all think that is unfortunate of course, as they don't realize what they are missing, but the sheer numbers of people who are perfectly happy with an iThing, a smart phone, or listening through a web browser (through cheap computer speakers) seems to be overwhelming. Occasionally a radio station will change their streaming method, having zero clue how they have disenfranchised me. I had contacts with one station and they simply couldn't understand why I was troubled, because after all, "we have a free app you can download to your iphone, ipad, or android device, and we have a player embedded in our website for your computer....what more could you want." I find with those folks, and even most of my friends and family, the concept that one needs more than those options is just bizarre and I might as well be speaking a foreign language to them when I try to explain.

castalla
2015-03-14, 16:12
One problem I don't have, thank heavens. Home is an i-Free zone (apart from iPlayer!).

I did get airplay working via the the shairport plugin, but it was very hit'n'miss & I gave up in the end. I also got bluetooth working with squeezelite but that was an even hairier experience, and I still don't really know what I did to get it working!

garym
2015-03-14, 16:15
I did get airplay working via the the shairport plugin, but it was very hit'n'miss & I gave up in the end. I also got bluetooth working with squeezelite but that was an even hairier experience, and I still don't really know what I did to get it working!

my short experiment worked fine in terms of streaming and playing from my iphone, but if I recall correctly, I couldn't sync SB players, and lost some other controls. So I just uninstalled the stuff from my vortexbox setup. I really don't want to be streaming from a portable wifi connected device when I have a dedicated, wired music server and mostly ethernet cabled Squeezebox players.

ChipMonk
2015-03-14, 16:18
I might as well be speaking a foreign language to them when I try to explain.

You are absolutely right - we're now the weirdos. When I was young, more than almost anything else that you could do with your clothes on, I wanted near perfect sound reproduction, even though it was unachievable. Nonetheless, I spent a relative fortune trying. Now that it's within anyone's grasp for a relatively small outlay, most folk don't give a damn. When I see folk playing music out of the "speakers" of a smartphone I am absolutely dumbfounded. When folks come into my lounge and see a pair of Quad electrostatics sitting atop a pair of matching Gradient sub-woofers, they are, well, absolutely dumbfounded.

It's a funny old world - but it belongs to them now, not us.

garym
2015-03-14, 16:23
It's a funny old world - but it belongs to them now, not us.

In the 1990s when younger folks I knew found out I had >5,000 CDs their response was always something like, "wow, that's really cool." Now when people find out I have many thousands of CDs and have converted them to lossless digital on my music server, their response is always something like, "wow, that's really pretty stupid. Haven't you heard of Spotify or Pandora?". Of course I simply respond, "get off my lawn!". :cool:

castalla
2015-03-14, 16:32
It's a funny old world - but it belongs to them now, not us.

It belongs to all of us - despite what The Man wants us to believe!

ChipMonk
2015-03-15, 05:29
It belongs to all of us - despite what The Man wants us to believe!

Perhaps I had too much iCider over the weekend!

Nojelc
2015-03-16, 00:27
Like lots of others I have been very confused by all this. While my original BBC4 saved Favorite did stop working with a lovely repeated message that "this shoutcast stream has been discontinued" or some such, I did find another stream which did work, but only sort of. On my Recievers it continually stuttered and rebuffered, on my Radio it worked better.

However as of this morning live BBC4 is now streaming flawlessly again on both Radio and Reciever, so far, crossed fingers, ....

I am using this stream : BBC Radio 4 93.5 (National News) with this url : http://opml.radiotime.com/Tune.ashx?id=s25419&formats=aac,ogg,mp3,wmpro,wma,wmvoice&partnerId=16&serial=69ce8c6fb92d63334a07f7acae44d563

Grumpy Bob
2015-03-16, 09:20
I think Andrew Scott is trying to explain why the BBC did what they did. It's certainly the clearest description, but it's rather unapologetic for rendering so many internet radio devices useless.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/296ac283-54df-4c21-a38f-8cc1fa8731c8

Robert

bonze
2015-03-16, 09:53
I think Andrew Scott is trying to explain why the BBC did what they did. It's certainly the clearest description, but it's rather unapologetic for rendering so many internet radio devices useless.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/296ac283-54df-4c21-a38f-8cc1fa8731c8

Robert

So they will introduce DASH 'alongside' HLS/AAC. Would we be surprised if they don't switch off HLS?

Took me a while to realise the flow chart is upside down :)

JohnB
2015-03-16, 10:44
Andrew Scott's latest blog entry is breathtaking in its chutzpah.

One curious thing is that he clearly states that the on-demand RTMP streams have now been switched off - odd as they are working fine with Radio 3 on-demand.

He also states that all BBC maintained clients have been migrated to the new streams - perhaps I am mistaken (quite likely) but only the live streams seem to by using HLS on the Windows BBC web client.

Having said that the BBC might well switch of the on-demand RTMP streams in the next few hour (or they might not!).

I'm concerned that if anyone replies on the BBC Blog that the RTMP on-demand are still active the BBC might well switch them off immediately.

castalla
2015-03-16, 10:51
Andrew Scott's latest blog entry is breathtaking in its chutzpah.

One curious thing is that he clearly states that the on-demand RTMP streams have now been switched off - odd as they are working fine with Radio 3 on-demand.

He also states that all BBC maintained clients have been migrated to the new streams - perhaps I am mistaken (quite likely) but only the live streams seem to by using HLS on the Windows BBC web client.

Having said that the BBC might well switch of the on-demand RTMP streams in the next few hour (or they might not!).

I'm concerned that if anyone replies on the BBC Blog that the RTMP on-demand are still active the BBC might well switch them off immediately.

Maybe it would be 'better' to let them switch off - then at least we'd all know where we stand in this soggy potage of secret urls, shady links to unnamed aggregators, device manufacturers, etc? And where did BBC R&D suddenly come from ... no mention of their involvement before?

bpa
2015-03-16, 11:37
And where did BBC R&D suddenly come from ... no mention of their involvement before?

R&D have been testing DASH since 2013 !!
Maybe if they didn't have an R&D dept they would stick to AAC and MP3. I think they may be partially responsible for not putting metadata in the stream but in RadioVis etc.

castalla
2015-03-16, 11:42
R&D have been testing DASH since 2013 !!
Maybe if they didn't have an R&D dept they would stick to AAC and MP3. I think they may be partially responsible for not putting metadata in the stream but in RadioVis etc.

So, is R&D part of Audio Factory? Just who is involved in AF?

bpa
2015-03-16, 11:53
So, is R&D part of Audio Factory? Just who is involved in AF?

IIRC R&D are separate and develop and tests out new technologies see http://www.bbc.co.uk/rd/projects . Years ago they "invented" NICAM audio and Ceefax. Nowadays in the internet arena they participate in standards and effectively figure out what is needed for the UK - it can result in compatibility issues by implementing too fast to try to get their version adopted so BBC has DAB but Europe has DAB+. There is a similar issue with Terrestrial Digital TV and the program info.

castalla
2015-03-16, 12:49
James Cridland thinks Scott is wonderful:

http://rainnews.com/james-cridlands-weekly-links-how-to-make-great-radio-and-more/

castalla
2015-03-16, 14:00
Can I just remind people that the BBC saga is not over (even if sb users have 2 methods of accessing the streams). This is wider issue than just SB - there are many out there still struggling, and most are unlikely to get any access in the near future, if ever.

Keep up the pressure at the BBC blog!

ftlight
2015-03-16, 18:21
James Cridland thinks Scott is wonderful:

http://rainnews.com/james-cridlands-weekly-links-how-to-make-great-radio-and-more/

Well done on the comments there! Respectful but firm.

ftlight
2015-03-17, 12:03
I see that the BBC blog is taking its usual sad course:

1. Andrew Scott posts a list of justifications and rationalizations for the BBC's conduct without actually addressing any of the questions left over when previous posts were closed for comments.

2. Generally desperate or frustrated (but polite) listeners request answers to old questions, ask some new questions, point out further manufacturers who have heard nothing useful (or at all) from the BBC, etc.

3. Andrew Scott ignores these comments and questions (although it's only a day so far).

4. More questions and comments arrive.

5. Someone gets annoyed and starts "campaigning".

6. The BBC moderator closes the thread.

castalla
2015-03-17, 12:13
I see that the BBC blog is taking its usual sad course:

1. Andrew Scott posts a list of justifications and rationalizations for the BBC's conduct without actually addressing any of the questions left over when previous posts were closed for comments.

2. Generally desperate or frustrated (but polite) listeners request answers to old questions, ask some new questions, point out further manufacturers who have heard nothing useful (or at all) from the BBC, etc.

3. Andrew Scott ignores these comments and questions (although it's only a day so far).

4. More questions and comments arrive.

5. Someone gets annoyed and starts "campaigning".

6. The BBC moderator closes the thread.

STOP CAMPAIGNING!!! LUDDITES GO HOME!!!

AUDIO FACTORY, LOVE IT or LEAVE IT!

ChipMonk
2015-03-17, 12:56
STOP CAMPAIGNING!!! LUDDITES GO HOME!!!

AUDIO FACTORY, LOVE IT or LEAVE IT!

I really wanted to put a reference to the ePetition in my post but, since I was one of the "campaigners" who brought the wrath of the BBC down on the previous blog, I refrained and spent 15 minutes on the naughty step in penance for having had such bad thoughts.

PasTim
2015-03-17, 13:19
And I'm just despairing. I need to take a break from this.....

castalla
2015-03-17, 13:21
I really wanted to put a reference to the ePetition in my post but, since I was one of the "campaigners" who brought the wrath of the BBC down on the previous blog, I refrained and spent 15 minutes on the naughty step in penance for having had such bad thoughts.

Well, somebody just posted the link .... they'll just shut it down

We need some answers.

bpa
2015-03-17, 13:23
We need some answers.

Why - clearly Andrew Scott's underlings aren't telling him the truth - BBC are still running RTMP stream and HDS live streams a format which he never mentioned.

castalla
2015-03-17, 13:31
Why - clearly Andrew Scott's underlings aren't telling him the truth - BBC are still running RTMP stream and HDS live streams a format which he never mentioned.

I think we should be told the manufacturers who have implemented the changes - I think he means aggregators.

And what is the internal/external status of AF ?

... and more

ChipMonk
2015-03-18, 04:36
I think we should be told the manufacturers who have implemented the changes - I think he means aggregators.

And what is the internal/external status of AF ?

... and more

Just a tiny sign that the BBC is now starting to show some signs of cooperation?

"Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer Support Team.
I understand you are unhappy with the changes to internet radio streams?
We have been working with manufacturers regarding the recent audio format changes. If you could get back in touch using the contact us form on the link below letting us know what equipment you are using we could maybe see what the latest information from the manufacturer is.
Please provide the further details we’ve asked for via the webform below:
http://bbc.in/iplayeremail
Remember to include the case number above (starting CAS) when contacting us again.
We look forward to hearing from you again.
Kind regards
Caoilfhionn Cassidy
BBC Audience Services"

castalla
2015-03-18, 04:48
Just a tiny sign that the BBC is now starting to show some signs of cooperation?

"Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer Support Team.
I understand you are unhappy with the changes to internet radio streams?
We have been working with manufacturers regarding the recent audio format changes. If you could get back in touch using the contact us form on the link below letting us know what equipment you are using we could maybe see what the latest information from the manufacturer is.
Please provide the further details we’ve asked for via the webform below:
http://bbc.in/iplayeremail
Remember to include the case number above (starting CAS) when contacting us again.
We look forward to hearing from you again.
Kind regards
Caoilfhionn Cassidy
BBC Audience Services"

Try it! Let's see what you get back ....

PasTim
2015-03-18, 05:20
Just a tiny sign that the BBC is now starting to show some signs of cooperation?

"Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer Support Team.
I understand you are unhappy with the changes to internet radio streams?
We have been working with manufacturers regarding the recent audio format changes. If you could get back in touch using the contact us form on the link below letting us know what equipment you are using we could maybe see what the latest information from the manufacturer is.
Please provide the further details we’ve asked for via the webform below:
http://bbc.in/iplayeremail
Remember to include the case number above (starting CAS) when contacting us again.
We look forward to hearing from you again.
Kind regards
Caoilfhionn Cassidy
BBC Audience Services"
There's a clue here. When it asks 'How are you accessing BBC iPlayer', how would you respond 'Internet Radio'? The option doesn't even exist!

ChipMonk
2015-03-18, 07:58
There's a clue here. When it asks 'How are you accessing BBC iPlayer', how would you respond 'Internet Radio'? The option doesn't even exist!

Well spotted hence my reply to

Dear Ms Cassidy

You have asked me to input my problem into the BBC web form below. Unfortunately this form does not include any devices such as internet radios or specialised internet radio steaming hardware as produced by world class companies such as Linn, Naim, Cambridge Audio, Sonos, Marantz, Logitech etc.

This would suggest to me that the BBC’s “working with manufacturers” has been completely blind to a whole segment of the Radio Streaming industry and associated listening public. Serious listeners to the best radio broadcasts in the world don’t necessarily listen on phones, tablets or TV’s but on dedicated, high quality audio equipment. The BBC does not seem to be even aware of that possibility.

To address this you need to modify your online form as a matter of urgency, so those affected, like myself, can input their problems in a meaningful way. More importantly, the BBC needs to do some immediate research into the actual number of streaming radio listeners who have been adversely impacted by this poorly implemented dash to DASH etc. The numbers of complaints registered on the BBC blogs and the ongoing ePetition:

https://www.change.org/p/the-bbc-trust-and-the-bbc-director-general-restore-aac-audio-and-listen-again-indefinitely-for-internet-radio-devices-2

reflect this. However, many more less technically able, for example many in the blind community, will still not be sure what has gone wrong with their streaming service let alone have found their way to these rather esoteric websites

I hope you will be able to reply with some indication that the BBC has begun to wake up to just what the problem is for some of its most loyal and committed listeners.

Thank you

__________________

Unfortunately, Ms Cassidy's reply email address is blocked so the above email immediately bounced back. I then spent 10 minutes navigating through the horrible multi-drop-down feedback site and cut down my reply to fit into several boxes with 200 character max restrictions! Then, to add insult to injury, when I pressed "submit" I got absolutely no indication of whether it had gone through or not.

Don't you just love 'em.

castalla
2015-03-18, 08:12
Well spotted hence my reply to

Dear Ms Cassidy

You have asked me to input my problem into the BBC web form below. Unfortunately this form does not include any devices such as internet radios or specialised internet radio steaming hardware as produced by world class companies such as Linn, Naim, Cambridge Audio, Sonos, Marantz, Logitech etc.

This would suggest to me that the BBC’s “working with manufacturers” has been completely blind to a whole segment of the Radio Streaming industry and associated listening public. Serious listeners to the best radio broadcasts in the world don’t necessarily listen on phones, tablets or TV’s but on dedicated, high quality audio equipment. The BBC does not seem to be even aware of that possibility.

To address this you need to modify your online form as a matter of urgency, so those affected, like myself, can input their problems in a meaningful way. More importantly, the BBC needs to do some immediate research into the actual number of streaming radio listeners who have been adversely impacted by this poorly implemented dash to DASH etc. The numbers of complaints registered on the BBC blogs and the ongoing ePetition:

https://www.change.org/p/the-bbc-trust-and-the-bbc-director-general-restore-aac-audio-and-listen-again-indefinitely-for-internet-radio-devices-2

reflect this. However, many more less technically able, for example many in the blind community, will still not be sure what has gone wrong with their streaming service let alone have found their way to these rather esoteric websites

I hope you will be able to reply with some indication that the BBC has begun to wake up to just what the problem is for some of its most loyal and committed listeners.

Thank you

__________________

Unfortunately, Ms Cassidy's reply email address is blocked so the above email immediately bounced back. I then spent 10 minutes navigating through the horrible multi-drop-down feedback site and cut down my reply to fit into several boxes with 200 character max restrictions! Then, to add insult to injury, when I pressed "submit" I got absolutely no indication of whether it had gone through or not.

Don't you just love 'em.

10/10 for persistence! Just post it on the blog!

PasTim
2015-03-18, 09:09
10/10 for persistence! Just post it on the blog!
Indeed.

I also started to make a comment on the blog, but because the iPlayer 'help' URL has 'tv' in it guessed I would be ignored again.

I have asked for my complaint to be escalated to stage 2 but doubt anything will happen.

PasTim
2015-03-18, 13:21
I am finding it increasing difficult not to tell the BBC that when they say RTMP was turned off, and that's why Listen Again doesn't work on Internet Radios, that they are telling an untruth. My understanding is that they did was change the URLs in a way the devices couldn't handle.

Some may say that if I do this they really may turn the feeds off. But I also have read that they are used for computer iPlayer Listen Again feeds, so there's no risk to the great facilities provided by bpa for now.

The reason I feel the BBC should be told is that it shows they don't know what is really going on at all, and that the change could probably be reversed if they put their minds to it (even if just by clever use of URLs).

Can I ask for comments?

castalla
2015-03-18, 13:38
I am finding it increasing difficult not to tell the BBC that when they say RTMP was turned off, and that's why Listen Again doesn't work on Internet Radios, that they are telling an untruth. My understanding is that they did was change the URLs in a way the devices couldn't handle.

Some may say that if I do this they really may turn the feeds off. But I also have read that they are used for computer iPlayer Listen Again feeds, so there's no risk to the great facilities provided by bpa for now.

The reason I feel the BBC should be told is that it shows they don't know what is really going on at all, and that the change could probably be reversed if they put their minds to it (even if just by clever use of URLs).

Can I ask for comments?

Not a good idea - they could just as easily mess the up the whole caboodle (based on past experience!). If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I'm sure you're right about them being out-of-the-loop since I suspect the whole thing (despite claims they are involved) is being implemented by Unified Streaming .... and maybe the interface with the BBC end is being handled by the ubiquitous 'Kevin' who's probably on a zero-hours contract. You did see W1A, didn't you???!!!

ChipMonk
2015-03-18, 13:41
I am finding it increasing difficult not to tell the BBC that when they say RTMP was turned off, and that's why Listen Again doesn't work on Internet Radios, that they are telling an untruth. My understanding is that they did was change the URLs in a way the devices couldn't handle.

Some may say that if I do this they really may turn the feeds off. But I also have read that they are used for computer iPlayer Listen Again feeds, so there's no risk to the great facilities provided by bpa for now.

The reason I feel the BBC should be told is that it shows they don't know what is really going on at all, and that the change could probably be reversed if they put their minds to it (even if just by clever use of URLs).

Can I ask for comments?

My inclination would be to hold fire on this. The BBC have so far conceded very little and delivered even less. We have more to lose than to gain in using this information in the current impasse. Let's just see if their position changes (unlikely) or they start saying things which even more blatantly contradict the facts as we see them.

PasTim
2015-03-18, 13:54
Not a good idea - they could just as easily mess the up the whole caboodle (based on past experience!). If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

I'm sure you're right about them being out-of-the-loop since I suspect the whole thing (despite claims they are involved) is being implemented by Unified Streaming .... and maybe the interface with the BBC end is being handled by the ubiquitous 'Kevin' who's probably on a zero-hours contract. You did see W1A, didn't you???!!!
I have no idea what W1A is, sorry.

I'll hold fire for a bit, but can someone tell me if what I read about RTMP still being used for computer-based Listen Again is correct?

PasTim
2015-03-18, 13:55
My inclination would be to hold fire on this. The BBC have so far conceded very little and delivered even less. We have more to lose than to gain in using this information in the current impasse. Let's just see if their position changes (unlikely) or they start saying things which even more blatantly contradict the facts as we see them.
OK, as I said to Castalla I'll hold fire for now. I am, however, thinking of a wider world than ours. If LA could be restored for more people that would be a good thing.

ChipMonk
2015-03-18, 14:09
OK, as I said to Castalla I'll hold fire for now. I am, however, thinking of a wider world than ours. If LA could be restored for more people that would be a good thing.

Since Squeezebox users are largely on top of this situation, thanks to the efforts of key members of this community, those of us still slugging it out with the Beeb are doing it largely on behalf of a "silent minority" who may, or may not, give a damn! Your objectives are admirable but I'd prefer to see more evidence that the BBC would use your information for good rather than harm. I can't answer your question about RTMP use for PC streams - but it's important that we get these facts absolutely right before we accuse the BBC management of being misinformed.

castalla
2015-03-18, 14:13
I have no idea what W1A is, sorry.

I'll hold fire for a bit, but can someone tell me if what I read about RTMP still being used for computer-based Listen Again is correct?

W1A was an off-beat sitcom comedy set in the BBC hq - very funny and full of characters like 'Head of BBC Future Media', etc.

PasTim
2015-03-18, 14:23
Since Squeezebox users are largely on top of this situation, thanks to the efforts of key members of this community, those of us still slugging it out with the Beeb are doing it largely on behalf of a "silent minority" who may, or may not, give a damn! Your objectives are admirable but I'd prefer to see more evidence that the BBC would use your information for good rather than harm. I can't answer your question about RTMP use for PC streams - but it's important that we get these facts absolutely right before we accuse the BBC management of being misinformed.
I'm not feeling noble, just annoyed! Still, I agree that I shouldn't say anything until and unless I'm very sure of my facts (although we do know for sure that bpa's BBCiPlayer Extras is still using RTMP, don't we?). Even then I'll try not to say anything unless I can persuade at least some people here that it is for the best.

castalla
2015-03-18, 14:41
I'm not feeling noble, just annoyed! Still, I agree that I shouldn't say anything until and unless I'm very sure of my facts (although we do know for sure that bpa's BBCiPlayer Extras is still using RTMP, don't we?). Even then I'll try not to say anything unless I can persuade at least some people here that it is for the best.

I'd keep mumm about this. Everything is hanging by a thread ... we don't even know if the Beeb are communicating with sb developers, or who is doing what.

JohnB
2015-03-18, 15:00
I am finding it increasing difficult not to tell the BBC that when they say RTMP was turned off, and that's why Listen Again doesn't work on Internet Radios, that they are telling an untruth. My understanding is that they did was change the URLs in a way the devices couldn't handle.

Some may say that if I do this they really may turn the feeds off. But I also have read that they are used for computer iPlayer Listen Again feeds, so there's no risk to the great facilities provided by bpa for now.

The reason I feel the BBC should be told is that it shows they don't know what is really going on at all, and that the change could probably be reversed if they put their minds to it (even if just by clever use of URLs).

Can I ask for comments?

I was initially tempted to raise the matter myself on the BBC Internet Blog but decided against doing so as it might prompt the BBC to take action to stop the RTMP on-demand streams earlier than they might do otherwise.

It is currently our only source if 320 kbps Radio 3 Listen Again. I realise that for some people that is of little consequence and regard it as a minor issue but there are others for whom the Radio 3 320 kbps is of major importance.

I would strongly discourage you from challenging Andrew Scott over the continued existence of the RTMP LA streams, whether or not they are still used by the BBC's browser client.

PasTim
2015-03-18, 15:24
I was initially tempted to raise the matter myself on the BBC Internet Blog but decided against doing so as it might prompt the BBC to take action to stop the RTMP on-demand streams earlier than they might do otherwise.

It is currently our only source if 320 kbps Radio 3 Listen Again. I realise that for some people that is of little consequence and regard it as a minor issue but there are others for whom the Radio 3 320 kbps is of major importance.

I would strongly discourage you from challenging Andrew Scott over the continued existence of the RTMP LA streams, whether or not they are still used by the BBC's browser client.
If the streams are still used by the browser they aren't going to stop them are they? And if they do change the browser the service we use will almost certainly stop anyway.

Still, I will, as I've said, hold off for now.

bpa
2015-03-18, 17:15
I'm not feeling noble, just annoyed! Still, I agree that I shouldn't say anything until and unless I'm very sure of my facts (although we do know for sure that bpa's BBCiPlayer Extras is still using RTMP, don't we?). Even then I'll try not to say anything unless I can persuade at least some people here that it is for the best.

Stop talking about this. Andrew Scott words are nuanced he said the syndicated streams (i.e those people who are allowed to use the XML feed) have stopped using RTMP. The Extra plugin uses old unpublished feeds (i.e. Andrew Scott said "reverse engineered") which may be cut off at any time. BBC could (if provoked) easily change browser to use HDS still using Flash so it is technically very easy but there may be contractual issue yet to be sorted.

JohnB
2015-03-19, 04:32
Stop talking about this

+1

PasTim
2015-03-19, 04:46
+1
I'm not sure I can live in this sort of world.

castalla
2015-03-19, 04:49
I'm not sure I can live in this sort of world.

It's the only one we've got! But, it doesn't have to be this way!

majones
2015-03-19, 05:44
I'm not sure I can live in this sort of world.
Others too are striving to find a parallel universe where the BBC stuck with SHOUTcast:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3001664/Will-Large-Hadron-Collider-parallel-universe-Particle-smasher-gateway-alternate-realities-say-scientists.html

PasTim
2015-03-19, 07:05
It's the only one we've got! But, it doesn't have to be this way!
If we accuse the BBC of unnecessary secrecy, and then indulge ourselves in the same habits we are as bad as they are. They say they are defending themselves, ditto here.

I can't be party to such hypocrisy for ever, so no indeed, it doesn't have to be this way.

I see some browser LA streams are definitetly 320kbps according to Flash.

But I'll not comment yet. Please don't prod me too hard, I'm feeling somewhat fragile at the moment and don't want to feel pushed into reacting against the very well intentioned advice here. Can we leave it alone for now, please? Thanks in advance :)

ChipMonk
2015-03-19, 08:41
If we accuse the BBC of unnecessary secrecy, and then indulge ourselves in the same habits we are as bad as they are. They say they are defending themselves, ditto here.

I can't be party to such hypocrisy for ever,

I'm sorry but I really don't understand what you are banging on about. You requested advice and, in good faith, we gave it - with reasons. What you do with that advice is your business. Some of us have simply said that we think that, at this stage in our very "asymmetrical negotiations" with the BBC, we may have more to lose than to gain by alerting the BBC to the RTMP streams.

As for hypocrisy - where on earth does that come into it? The BBC is withholding information which would allow its paying audience to listen to its output - whilst telling everyone what a splendid job it's doing. Their withholding of information is detrimental to listeners. We are simply trying to get back the service we have paid for - well those of us in the UK anyway. Firstly, we don't know the validity of the "RTMP stream information" and secondly, any blagging on our part long lines of "Hey Auntie, we know something about RTMP which you don't" can merely result in further degradation of our services. Some of us would regard that as counter-productive.

Therefore, I'm not sure what good your somewhat "holier than thou" approach would achieve but, no doubt, you'll do as your conscience, or ego, dictates.

You are not alone in feeling a little delicate about all this - many of us have wasted far too much of our time on it over the past six weeks. I'd much rather be doing something else but, perhaps like you, I believe this is a battle worth fighting, especially on behalf of those less technically able than ourselves.

We have precious little leverage with the BBC so shouldn't squander what little we have - or get sidetracked with internal squabbles.

Rant Over!

PasTim
2015-03-20, 01:44
I'm sorry but I really don't understand what you are banging on about. You requested advice and, in good faith, we gave it - with reasons. What you do with that advice is your business. Some of us have simply said that we think that, at this stage in our very "asymmetrical negotiations" with the BBC, we may have more to lose than to gain by alerting the BBC to the RTMP streams.

As for hypocrisy - where on earth does that come into it? The BBC is withholding information which would allow its paying audience to listen to its output - whilst telling everyone what a splendid job it's doing. Their withholding of information is detrimental to listeners. We are simply trying to get back the service we have paid for - well those of us in the UK anyway. Firstly, we don't know the validity of the "RTMP stream information" and secondly, any blagging on our part long lines of "Hey Auntie, we know something about RTMP which you don't" can merely result in further degradation of our services. Some of us would regard that as counter-productive.

Therefore, I'm not sure what good your somewhat "holier than thou" approach would achieve but, no doubt, you'll do as your conscience, or ego, dictates.

You are not alone in feeling a little delicate about all this - many of us have wasted far too much of our time on it over the past six weeks. I'd much rather be doing something else but, perhaps like you, I believe this is a battle worth fighting, especially on behalf of those less technically able than ourselves.

We have precious little leverage with the BBC so shouldn't squander what little we have - or get sidetracked with internal squabbles.

Rant Over!
Someone else has commented about this on the bbc blog today, so the issue has got out into the open anyway.

ChipMonk
2015-03-20, 03:18
Someone else has commented about this on the bbc blog today, so the issue has got out into the open anyway.

Yes, I noticed that this morning. It'll probably have as little effect as everything else which is written in the BBC blog.

I guess we're all getting a bit frustrated and edgy over this whole business.

Pax.

PasTim
2015-03-20, 03:43
yes, i noticed that this morning. It'll probably have as little effect as everything else which is written in the bbc blog.

I guess we're all getting a bit frustrated and edgy over this whole business.

Pax.
Indeed :)

d6jg
2015-03-24, 13:42
Andrew Scott has posted again. Full of apologies. Lots of apologies. Even more apologies but STILL maintaining they are talking to manufacturers but if you read all of his comments very carefully his stance is shifting towards talking to manufacturers about supporting MP3 rather than HLS/AAC.
He appears to be under some pressure (quelle surprise) but unable to accept that there has been a cockup let alone fully grasp the enormity of the it.

PasTim
2015-03-25, 05:32
The latest response to my complaints is as below. The only new item I can see is that they do play some form of web page about the topic.

The response to the LA RTMP question implies that several manufacturers implemented LA without 'permission'. Do we think that's really true?

Are others trying to get the complaint to the next stage? I've asked the BBC several times without success thus far. Do I try to carry on or not?

Thank you for contacting the BBC iPlayer support team.

I understand you’re unhappy with changes made for Internet Radio streams and need proper explanation.

As you have gone through all the blogs relating to the changes, Andrew Scott, General Scott has provided more explanation below:

‘’I apologise for the inconvenience that this has caused you.

I can assure you that we are concerned about the effect on the users of Internet Radios, which is why we setup a team who have been working with manufacturers and aggregators over the last 14 months to prepare for these changes.

We did communicate the changes to manufacturers and aggregators 14 months ago, and our expectation was that the information would then get through to their users. That has clearly not been the case and we have apologised for that. There are a number of ways that we would do things differently in hindsight, including more on-air announcements that changes were happening so that users could find out more online.We posted a blog detailing the changes to the WMA on demands in September which triggered more engagement from manufacturers.

The inclusion of the SHOUTcast/MP3 live streams was specifically to address the Internet Radio users whose devices were not capable of consuming the HLS/AAC live streams. The vast majority of online radio listening is live, so we believe that this was the priority service to prolong the useful life of those devices.

The RTMP streams were not syndicated (made available to third parties). We did not support anyone using those except our own applications. The fact that people were using them is because they had been reverse engineered which is against the terms under which we provide our streams and metadata. The fact that they were switched off without notice was simply because we did not expect anyone to be using them.

The complex nature of the systems which take our metadata and streams and make them available to Internet Radios means we don't have control of the end user experience in the way that we do for devices like iPlayer Radio. This has resulted in more disruption for audiences than necessary because some devices weren't switched across to the new streams even when they would have been able to use them.

We are planning a permanent page (not a blog page) to provide more information about these changes.’’

I hope this explanation provide the information you are looking for.

Once again thank you for contacting BBC iPlayer.

Kind regards

Usha Devi Peri

BBC Complaints

www.bbc.co.uk/complaints

d6jg
2015-03-25, 06:05
I read that as
"We cocked up but we are not going to do anything about it"
I used to work for a high street bank that wasn't Barclays. For a while I worked in a dept that handled area based complaints. One of our template replies was jokingly referred to the "FOTB" letter.
We are receiving the BBC equivalent.

I do think it is worth persevering as there have been changes in stance - albeit slight - since the complaints started.

This "it can't be done" attitude from Andrew Scott is of course absolutely untrue. It is just a question of money and appetite to spend it.

We should however be careful when talking about the "licence fee" because I think that only now covers TV and that radio is effectively paid for in other ways.
I haven't had any response to my complaint to my MP. I will chase it up.

bpa
2015-03-25, 06:22
The RTMP streams were not syndicated (made available to third parties). We did not support anyone using those except our own applications. The fact that people were using them is because they had been reverse engineered which is against the terms under which we provide our streams and metadata. The fact that they were switched off without notice was simply because we did not expect anyone to be using them.

The RTMP programs were in the XML feed which I interpret to mean they were syndicated. They were only removed from the XML feed this year. When the RTMP programs were first in the XML feed, Flash was proprietary and only by reverse engineering Flash could RTMP be played. However shortly after the RTMP program in the XML feed became available, Adobe published the RTMP protocol and so implementation of Flash could be written which were not reverse engineered. To play an RTMP feed, a number of additional BBC specific parameters are needed. So although BBC offered the RTMP programs in the XML feeds, the BBC may be claiming only BBC had right to use the BBC specific parameters necessary to play the programs but it could be argued that the only way to play the offered syndicated programs was to use the additional parameters. This may have resulted in plugin appearing to be a BBC player in BBC usage stats. The BBCiPlayer plugin did not save or download the programs and was not commercial, so it could be said the plugin complied with the spirit of BBC restrictions.

There is little point in arguing these issues with BBC any further as it is best to keep relationship amicable.

PasTim
2015-03-25, 08:32
The RTMP programs were in the XML feed which I interpret to mean they were syndicated. They were only removed from the XML feed this year. When the RTMP programs were first in the XML feed, Flash was proprietary and only by reverse engineering Flash could RTMP be played. However shortly after the RTMP program in the XML feed became available, Adobe published the RTMP protocol and so implementation of Flash could be written which were not reverse engineered. To play an RTMP feed, a number of additional BBC specific parameters are needed. So although BBC offered the RTMP programs in the XML feeds, the BBC may be claiming only BBC had right to use the BBC specific parameters necessary to play the programs but it could be argued that the only way to play the offered syndicated programs was to use the additional parameters. This may have resulted in plugin appearing to be a BBC player in BBC usage stats. The BBCiPlayer plugin did not save or download the programs and was not commercial, so it could be said the plugin complied with the spirit of BBC restrictions.

There is little point in arguing these issues with BBC any further as it is best to keep relationship amicable.
So Marantz, Musical Fidelity and many others also did this without the BBC knowing. Is that realistic?

bpa
2015-03-25, 08:48
So Marantz, Musical Fidelity and many others also did this without the BBC knowing. Is that realistic?

Did they play WMA or RTMP versions ?

The syndicated XML feed initially had WMA and RealAudio and then RealAudio was replaced by RTMP aka Flash

d6jg
2015-03-25, 08:48
So Marantz, Musical Fidelity and many others also did this without the BBC knowing. Is that realistic?

Interesting from 2008

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/radiolabs/2008/09/xml_feeds_for_listen_again_con.shtml

Note the well known (to us) name of one of the comment posters.

The "documentation" referred to has moved to
https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=111sRKv1WO78E9Mf2Km91JNCzfbmfU0QApsZyvnRYFm U

Seems to me that the BBC actively promoted the XML feed at least until 2012.

PasTim
2015-03-25, 09:07
Did they play WMA or RTMP versions ?

The syndicated XML feed initially had WMA and RealAudio and then RealAudio was replaced by RTMP aka Flash
Both stopped on March 9th. As I understand it (not a lot) WMA was stopped earlier (but maybe only the live, not LA?), and RTMP on March 9th. That's all I know. I don't have any other proof - both Internet Radio manuals are silent on the topic.

bpa
2015-03-25, 09:09
Both stopped on March 9th. As I understand it (not a lot) WMA was stopped earlier (but maybe only the live, not LA?), and RTMP on March 9th. That's all I know. I don't have any other proof - both Internet Radio manuals are silent on the topic.

I expect it was WMA. WMA LA stayed around for a good while after WMA live stopped. Very few non PC system played Flash because of the need to have custom Flash parameters per station (to match the stations SWF player) - it wasn't a general purpose audio format.

PasTim
2015-03-25, 09:19
I expect it was WMA. WMA LA stayed around for a good while after WMA live stopped. Very few non PC system played Flash because of the need to have custom Flash parameters per station (to match the stations SWF player) - it wasn't a general purpose audio format.OK - thanks.

utgg
2015-03-25, 09:26
Interesting from 2008

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/radiolabs/2008/09/xml_feeds_for_listen_again_con.shtml

Note the well known (to us) name of one of the comment posters.

The "documentation" referred to has moved to
https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=111sRKv1WO78E9Mf2Km91JNCzfbmfU0QApsZyvnRYFm U

Seems to me that the BBC actively promoted the XML feed at least until 2012.

Thanks for that! The later document lists 'sportsextra.xml'. I'd tried guessing that name to add it to the menu.opml in the BBCiPlayer plugin, as it is missing there...

majones
2015-03-25, 09:27
I expect it was WMA. WMA LA stayed around for a good while after WMA live stopped. Very few non PC system played Flash because of the need to have custom Flash parameters per station (to match the stations SWF player) - it wasn't a general purpose audio format.
It's interesting to recap on how we got to where we were, and we shouldn't overlook the vital importance of the RTPM.pm file next to which HLS.pm now sits in Triode's BBCiPlayer plugin.

d6jg
2015-03-25, 09:31
Thanks for that! The later document lists 'sportsextra.xml'. I'd tried guessing that name to add it to the menu.opml in the BBCiPlayer plugin, as it is missing there...

Does it work?

utgg
2015-03-25, 09:40
Does it work?

Yes, it does. Sports Extra is available via bpa's iPlayerExtras, but I'd only recently noticed it had been missing in Triode's Listen Again/On Demand listings.

d6jg
2015-03-25, 09:46
Yes, it does. Sports Extra is available via bpa's iPlayerExtras, but I'd only recently noticed it had been missing in Triode's Listen Again/On Demand listings.

Yea

shoshani
2015-03-25, 18:26
The latest response to my complaints is as below.

We did communicate the changes to manufacturers and aggregators 14 months ago, and our expectation was that the information would then get through to their users.


Okay, hold the phone. I'm going to go back to the BBC blog and see if Andrew Scott said this also in his latest reply round, because there's a slight flaw in this process.

I go to a shop, either physical or online. I buy a wifi radio from any of the major manufacturers. I take it home and use it. BBC comes along a year later and passes information to the manufacturer, counting on the manufacturer to get through to the users. EXCEPT: the manufacturer has no idea who I am. They aren't told the names and contact information of people who buy their merchandise, unless (possibly) the consumer purchases it directly from the manufacturer's online shop. How are they supposed to track down their userbase? They don't know. And likely as not, the average user doesn't think to register with the manufacturer's website, or whatever, because most of us are of an age where we took something home and it worked and that was the end of it. There was no manufacturer-consumer interaction.

ChipMonk
2015-03-27, 13:42
In the early days of this sad affair, I attempted to directly contact all members of the BBC senior management with some remit in this area, as well as politicians, BBC complaints departments and feedback programmes, media etc. My initial communication with Helen Boaden (BBC Director of Radio) was very rapidly passed on to Andrew Scott, who replied immediately. Andrew's various replies to me were very much in the manner which became familiar when he later started appearing on the BBC blog posts, despite my urging that his team should take a more cooperative and conciliatory stance vis a vis bloggers who, at that stage, were mainly trying to help. Incidentally, Andrew's first email to me also inadvertently had Ms Boaden's forwarding message attached (17th Feb.) and it was pretty clear that she was not at all happy about what was starting to show up and wanted swift action, although I suspect she thought that an apology would be enough!

I did not directly hear from any other BBC manager until today, when I received a reply from James Purnell, former "New Labour" minister now Director, BBC Strategy and Digital. For information and comment, I copy his reply in full below since very few BBC management voices have been heard to date. It has a very familiar ring to it and, as usual, emphasis is on the "plan" rather than the actual implementation and outcomes, but we're used to that:

"Thank you for contacting me and I apologise for the inconvenience that these changes have caused you.

I am aware of the Audio Factory project, and the impact this has had on Internet radios and some other devices. The scope of the project was clearly much broader than these devices, and delivered significant improvements in efficiency and simplicity, as well as improvements in quality to the vast majority of our radio listeners, but I understand that will be of little consolation to you.

The team defined a set of technologies that provide the right balance of improvements and compatibility for these devices. I believe that the team did make appropriate decisions on the technology solutions, given the cost constraints within which we need to operate. Certainly there was not an option of continuing with the previous technologies and the new system provides basic compatibility for as many devices as possible with enhanced services for more capable devices. It is never easy when we have to change the services which people have become used to.

It is also clear that whilst the team did have a plan to try to minimise the impact on users, that did not work as intended. The plan involved communicating with manufacturers and other industry partners far enough in advance of the changes to allow the necessary modifications to be made. That early communication did provide some useful input which allowed the team to refine their plan, but did not work effectively in terms of minimising the impact on all our users, and I know that the team are reviewing why. They are also considering how they could have communicated these changes to our audience in advance. I know that Helen Boaden and Ralph Rivera are planning to review this.

I know that there has been extensive discussion on our Internet Blog about this issue. This dialogue has actually resulted in some significant changes in what the team are delivering, including adding new UK only version of the backward compatible streams. There is also a great deal of ongoing discussion with manufacturers to help them take advantage of the new technology. It is definitely very important for us to help support the industry through these changes, and the team are very focused on that activity.

Once again, I apologise for the inconvenience that these changes have caused.

Best wishes

James"

castalla
2015-03-27, 13:51
There is also a great deal of ongoing discussion with manufacturers to help them take advantage of the new technology. It is definitely very important for us to help support the industry through these changes, and the team are very focused on that activity.

Once again, I apologise for the inconvenience that these changes have caused.

Best wishes

James"

So much effort on behalf of the BBC and manufacturers that not one has implemented any changes. Pure already had the 'code' - SB got there only through the sterling efforts of certain people.

Not an impressive response by the BBC or the manufacturers.

d6jg
2015-03-27, 14:17
I suspect they have been "sold a pup" by the 3rd party providers, have signed a whopping great contract with them and are now caught with their bloomers round their ankles with nowhere to go.
The fact that James mentions the plans to implement a UK only version of the MP3 fallback streams came about only as a result of our protestations shows that there were many things they just failed to consider.

castalla
2015-03-27, 14:31
I suspect they have been "sold a pup" by the 3rd party providers, have signed a whopping great contract with them and are now caught with their bloomers round their ankles with nowhere to go.
The fact that James mentions the plans to implement a UK only version of the MP3 fallback streams came about only as a result of our protestations shows that there were many things they just failed to consider.

It's sad that this has really descended into a such a mess. It has to stand alongside all those other 'failed' expensive solutions provided by outside agencies to government departments.

d6jg
2015-03-27, 14:44
It's pretty clear that Andrew Scott doesn't really know what's going on. He claims all his statements are made in good faith but so many are just plain wrong!
We've turned off RTMP. Errr. No you haven't!
Listen Again is available via HLS/AAC at 320kbps. Errr. Try 128kbps.
He and the BBC have no idea just how many users they have affected.
Someone, and I doubt it's Scott, didn't understand what was being proposed nor what they were signing.
There are people saying the Pure radios aren't actually working properly so it could just be us that have access to live UK content at 320kbps. It's still a success though!!!

castalla
2015-03-27, 14:55
It's pretty clear that Andrew Scott doesn't really know what's going on. He claims all his statements are made in good faith but so many are just plain wrong!
We've turned off RTMP. Errr. No you haven't!
Listen Again is available via HLS/AAC at 320kbps. Errr. Try 128kbps.
He and the BBC have no idea just how many users they have affected.
Someone, and I doubt it's Scott, didn't understand what was being proposed nor what they were signing.
There are people saying the Pure radios aren't actually working properly so it could just be us that have access to live UK content at 320kbps. It's still a success though!!!

I've got a Pure which works ... but it's a clunky retro interface, and there's no way to control it via the app which just streams to the radio and stops when the app is closed - useless really.

Seems there's no way to penetrate the wall of nonsense the BBC have constructed around this fiasco.

Isn't there anybody here who knows Tony up-close and personal, because unless somebody actually takes control of this and intervenes, then the obfuscation looks like it'll just go on and on.

d6jg
2015-03-27, 15:17
i am surprised Beeb bashing media such as the Daily Mail aren't interested. Perhaps we could ask Jeremy Clarkson to get involved. He's not that busy so I am told.

castalla
2015-03-27, 15:59
i am surprised Beeb bashing media such as the Daily Mail aren't interested. Perhaps we could ask Jeremy Clarkson to get involved. He's not that busy so I am told.

Not a good idea, in my book.

The problem is that those in positions of power who could possibly insist on a solution most likely don't understand the technical issues, and probably don't realise how many listeners are affected.

Of course, people whingeing on the blog that the Five Live jingles are in mono, or that they can't get Tony Blackburn at 320 bps doesn't help either!

d6jg
2015-03-27, 16:33
Indeed.
I was joking.
You are spot on concerning the lack of understanding about the technical issues. When I wrote to my MP I found it very difficult to adequately explain the issue in layman terms. She hasn't responded.
The chatter on the blog is dying down which is I suppose inevitable. There is little commercial motivation for any of the manufacturers to take issue with the BBC - they are just a small part of the industry and why would any manufacturer volunteer to spend money for zero return. The aggregators may be more peed off but presumably they pay a fee to the BBC to get the streams which they on sell to the manufacturers. Easy to sweeten their pill.
I don't think we should let things lie but unsure what further action apart from lobbying is actually available to us.

d6jg
2015-03-27, 16:34
PS Tony Blackburn should always be at 320 bps anyway :)

castalla
2015-03-27, 16:51
Indeed.
I was joking.
You are spot on concerning the lack of understanding about the technical issues. When I wrote to my MP I found it very difficult to adequately explain the issue in layman terms. She hasn't responded.
The chatter on the blog is dying down which is I suppose inevitable. There is little commercial motivation for any of the manufacturers to take issue with the BBC - they are just a small part of the industry and why would any manufacturer volunteer to spend money for zero return. The aggregators may be more peed off but presumably they pay a fee to the BBC to get the streams which they on sell to the manufacturers. Easy to sweeten their pill.
I don't think we should let things lie but unsure what further action apart from lobbying is actually available to us.


Pessimistically, I think there's very little which can be done. People have tried a wide range of options - none of which seem to have had any effect given the Audio Factory's response has been to just tough it out.

Goodness knows how may listeners they've actually lost - the i-thingy crowd probably haven't even noticed any changes as their listening experience is probably limited to less than 7 seconds before they move off to some other media event of zero-content and importance!

Call me an elitist snob if you like, but the serial dumbing down of broadcast media into smaller and smaller impact chunks makes me fume. In one sense, the provision of on-demand, listen again material, is becoming superfluous as everything broadcast is repetively rebroadcast over any 24 hour cycle as a live stream - the news channels are specific offenders when a news item (which they call a 'story') is rebroadcast every 15 minutes - drives me nuts!

Nick_G
2015-03-28, 00:58
Pessimistically, I think there's very little which can be done. People have tried a wide range of options - none of which seem to have had any effect given the Audio Factory's response has been to just tough it out.

Goodness knows how may listeners they've actually lost - the i-thingy crowd probably haven't even noticed any changes as their listening experience is probably limited to less than 7 seconds before they move off to some other media event of zero-content and importance!

Call me an elitist snob if you like, but the serial dumbing down of broadcast media into smaller and smaller impact chunks makes me fume. In one sense, the provision of on-demand, listen again material, is becoming superfluous as everything broadcast is repetively rebroadcast over any 24 hour cycle as a live stream - the news channels are specific offenders when a news item (which they call a 'story') is rebroadcast every 15 minutes - drives me nuts!

Would the manufacturers who were caught unawares by these sudden changes (and there have been quite a few) be able to take some form of legal action for potential loss of sales? After all, I'm willing to bet that many devices were bought to listen to the BBC in high quality or to use the catch-up services. If so, then that might magically twist the BBC's arm.

Regards,
Nick

garym
2015-03-28, 05:24
The problem we face with the BBC and other internet streamers (I've had the same problems with other radio stations changing the way they stream as well) is that we networked music player users (squeezeboxes, sonos, etc.) are a tiny, tiny percentage of the audience using streams. The numbers of listeners using only PC/Mac or smart phones/tablets for streaming make us almost irrelevant. It's like there are 200,000 residents in a town, the town makes some major changes to the way the roads work, and 3 very vocal residents complain about the change at every town meeting (while the other 199,997 residents either didn't notice the change or like the change). I'm not happy about this of course, but I'm afraid it describes our situation.

d6jg
2015-03-28, 05:29
I don't think any manufacturer has a direct connection to the Beeb, it's all via aggregators - TuneIn, vTuner etc. I imagine but cannot be sure that the manufacturer buys a licence to use the aggregators stream per device and the aggregators in turn buy a licence from the Beeb. Michael will probably be able to throw my light on the commerciality of the arrangement in view of the official Logitech applets for Touch & Radio.
Triode's plugin is probably a bit unusual in this regard in that it talks direct to the BBC servers via the XML feeds that they have been publicising since at least 2008.

ChipMonk
2015-03-28, 06:06
The numbers of listeners using only PC/Mac or smart phones/tablets for streaming make us almost irrelevant.

I agree, and that's pretty much what the BBC assumed at the offset. We're a small minority of (predominantly) grumpy old codgers, hanging on to a largely lost idea of "sitting together, listening to the wireless". A tiny minority who could, and would, be ignored. Perhaps the only thing they underestimated was the degree and intensity of our grumpiness!

I still think that this is/was a cause worth fighting for but, with a mere 322 signatures on the ePetition, we're clearly never going to summon the fire-power to influence a supposedly cash-strapped organisation, especially one which has just ignored a petition of more than one million signatures, aided and abetted with numerous celebrities and a tank on the lawn at Broadcasting House, all trying and failing to prevent "Auntie" from killing a prize cash cow.

d6jg
2015-03-28, 06:37
I think the bracketed predominantly is probably unnecessary (unfortunately).

ftlight
2015-03-28, 06:48
Despite the lack of a satisfactory resolution we did at least get the BBC to engage in considerable detail on their blog, so that what they did is recorded.

utgg
2015-03-28, 07:02
It's pretty clear that Andrew Scott doesn't really know what's going on. He claims all his statements are made in good faith but so many are just plain wrong!
We've turned off RTMP. Errr. No you haven't!
Listen Again is available via HLS/AAC at 320kbps. Errr. Try 128kbps.
He and the BBC have no idea just how many users they have affected.
Someone, and I doubt it's Scott, didn't understand what was being proposed nor what they were signing.
There are people saying the Pure radios aren't actually working properly so it could just be us that have access to live UK content at 320kbps. It's still a success though!!!

I'm still very puzzled about the 320kbps HLS stream situation. Right back in the second week in February, various people found Live stream HLS urls by network monitoring the iPlayer app on iThings and Android. But these urls only listed 128kbps maximum streams - and they still do. I'm pretty sure therefore that iThings and Android things only did 128kbps Live streams then, and last time I looked on android that was still the case.

Then there was this post by nabisco (http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?64035-nabisco): #2232 (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?53229-Announce-BBCiPlayer-Plugin-(UK-only)&p=806849&viewfull=1#post806849) that told us the magic /uk/sbr_high/ urls that give the 320kbps live streams. This post was the origin of these urls getting made public, AFAIKT. This sounds like insider information to me. Who is nabisco? He just popped up for that one day to give us this valuable information!

So what devices were using these urls? Not iThings or Android! It seems it is just us using them - then also picked up by minimserver. All very mysterious. The question is, are 320kbps Listen Again streams similarly hidden now? Does anyone know. Nabisco - where are you - do you know?

ChipMonk
2015-03-28, 07:20
Does anyone know. Nabisco - where are you - do you know?

Intriguing! Perhaps Nabisco has been warned off by David Cameron in a secretly coded message. Two Shredded Wheat (posts?) OK, three Shredded Wheat - too much. i.e. get out of the kitchen. Unless, Hell, you're tough enough for three. Come on Nabisco!

But seriously, utgg you make a very interesting point.

I think our best hope now is that, quietly, behind the scenes, officially or unofficially, the BBC will cooperate more with folks like Triode and, in time, we'll eventually get what we want/need and Auntie will save face. Whilst we've tried to do as much as we could for others like Sonos, Naim, Cambridge Audio users etc. there is clearly a limit, especially if they are not prepared to take much direct action themselves. The SB community cannot be expected to sort out everyone else's problems even though we're often more than willing to try.

Nick_G
2015-03-28, 08:33
I'm still very puzzled about the 320kbps HLS stream situation. Right back in the second week in February, various people found Live stream HLS urls by network monitoring the iPlayer app on iThings and Android. But these urls only listed 128kbps maximum streams - and they still do. I'm pretty sure therefore that iThings and Android things only did 128kbps Live streams then, and last time I looked on android that was still the case.

Then there was this post by nabisco (http://forums.slimdevices.com/member.php?64035-nabisco): #2232 (http://forums.slimdevices.com/showthread.php?53229-Announce-BBCiPlayer-Plugin-(UK-only)&p=806849&viewfull=1#post806849) that told us the magic /uk/sbr_high/ urls that give the 320kbps live streams. This post was the origin of these urls getting made public, AFAIKT. This sounds like insider information to me. Who is nabisco? He just popped up for that one day to give us this valuable information!

So what devices were using these urls? Not iThings or Android! It seems it is just us using them - then also picked up by minimserver. All very mysterious. The question is, are 320kbps Listen Again streams similarly hidden now? Does anyone know. Nabisco - where are you - do you know?

I can listen to the 320 k HLS streams on the iPad here via Tune In by going to More Information>Choose Stream>320 k HLS (2 listed for some reason). Otherwise it defaults to the 128 k HLS stream which is delayed slightly compared to the 320 k version.

Regards,
Nick

utgg
2015-03-28, 10:52
I can listen to the 320 k HLS streams on the iPad here via Tune In by going to More Information>Choose Stream>320 k HLS (2 listed for some reason). Otherwise it defaults to the 128 k HLS stream which is delayed slightly compared to the 320 k version.

Regards,
Nick

Interesting - the android TuneIn app also offers the 2 320kbps HLS options, plus all the other bitrates in HLS, and the 320kbps aac shoutcast radio 3 stream (which it declares as only 83% reliable...). So the BBC iPlayer apps only provide 128kbps, but 3rd party apps give the higher bit rates. The 2x 320kbps I presume are the two different CDNs, /ak/ and /llnw/ URLs.

The stupid thing here is that the official apps use the 'mediaselector' interface, which automatically chooses and switches about between the two CDNs to balance the load - but the mediaselector doesn't appear to ever list the high bitrate streams. Tunein are using the direct URL to the high bitrate streams, so leave it up to you to choose the CDN - not ideal for load balancing or convenience. I wonder if Tunein only know about and are providing the high bitrate hls streams because of the 'reveal' that happened on this forum on 13th Feb?

d6jg
2015-03-28, 13:02
It is indeed intriguing. Presumably the TuneIn 320 Kbps streams are international i.e. no live sport?

utgg
2015-04-04, 13:06
It is indeed intriguing. Presumably the TuneIn 320 Kbps streams are international i.e. no live sport?

A useless thought for late on an Easter Saturday. Given how proud the BBC are of providing 320kbps HLS streams for all 57 BBC radio stations, I wonder how many listener-seconds there have been, or ever will be, of the HLS 320kpbs BBC Radio nan Gaidheal stream, for example. I probably show up quite high in the statistics for the few seconds that I've played the stream just to check that it works. I may well now be the biggest ever listener having now had that channel playing for the time it has taken me to type this message. Ah, the bagpipes...

bonze
2015-04-04, 14:59
A useless thought for late on an Easter Saturday. Given how proud the BBC are of providing 320kbps HLS streams for all 57 BBC radio stations, I wonder how many listener-seconds there have been, or ever will be, of the HLS 320kpbs BBC Radio nan Gaidheal stream, for example. I probably show up quite high in the statistics for the few seconds that I've played the stream just to check that it works. I may well now be the biggest ever listener having now had that channel playing for the time it has taken me to type this message. Ah, the bagpipes...I've clicked on it a couple of times out of curiosity :)

ftlight
2015-04-09, 18:21
Interesting technical summary, with diagrams, of the Audio Factory fiasco:

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/BBC/AudioFactory/AudioFactory.html

majones
2015-04-10, 02:03
Interesting technical summary, with diagrams, of the Audio Factory fiasco:

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/BBC/AudioFactory/AudioFactory.html
Many thanks - this provides a huge amount of insight and explanation, and is really helpful. It doesn't show HLS as having a role in the future delivery of syndicated streams, although Andrew Scott in his blog says it does - so maybe we should be preparing for a DASH-centred world when it comes onstream. (Hopefully Triode has a DASH.pm in is pocket.)

utgg
2015-04-10, 03:03
Many thanks - this provides a huge amount of insight and explanation, and is really helpful. It doesn't show HLS as having a role in the future delivery of syndicated streams, although Andrew Scott in his blog says it does - so maybe we should be preparing for a DASH-centred world when it comes onstream. (Hopefully Triode has a DASH.pm in is pocket.)

A huge amount of insight, but still a lot of confusion too! What is not explained is why they are continuing with RTMP for On Demand (in flash/browser) until they have launched and properly established MPEG-DASH/HTML5 - the timings mentioned are DASH by the start of 2015 Proms, and RTMP continuing until at least the end of the Proms. Yet they have managed seamlessly switched to HDS for Live without anyone noticing:

Because Flash can accept HDS you may not notice any difference, and have already been accessing the new HDS streams without being aware of the fact!

... It should ‘just work’ with desktop computer web browsers. All being well, people listening via a home computer this way won’t actually notice the change unless the user interface of the browser plugin is altered. ... So, all being well, those who use Flash to access BBC internet radio (and TV) with a web browser running on Mac, Windows, and Linux computers will continue to have access.
So why not switch immediately to HDS for On Demand, like they've done for Live, and be done with it? Is it because they've realised that they dropped a clanger by publishing the xml programme information used by Tridoe's plugin that gave a sort of official access to the On Demand RTMP streams, and they need to continue that for a bit? I doubt it. Is it because it will mean "the user interface of the browser plugin is altered", given that in the browser the On Demand player user interface is quite different to the Live player? That doesn't sound like any sort of reason. Or is it something to do with limiting access to the HD 320kbps On Demand content due to 'rights issues', which they have made sure is only RTMP now?

The last reason is the only one that makes much sense to me - i.e. they had already established the right to distribute HD on demand content because they'd agreed with content providers that Flash/RTMP was suitably controlled by them (however futile that was in practice), and if they change that they will be changing the terms of whatever agreements they have. If that is the real reason, then it would reasonable to speculate that we will see some kind of content protection when they bring in MPEG-DASH for On Demand.

majones
2015-04-10, 05:40
A huge amount of insight, but still a lot of confusion too! What is not explained is why they are continuing with RTMP for On Demand (in flash/browser) ...
It's not spelled-out, but my interpretation is that DASH is intended to provide the 320 kbps streams, but being presently unavailable they've kept RTMP going for that purpose. But I'm not at all sure.

d6jg
2015-04-10, 13:04
Interesting technical summary, with diagrams, of the Audio Factory fiasco:

http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/BBC/AudioFactory/AudioFactory.html

Interesting reading indeed.
How did he get the access to the info I wonder?
Not too much light thrown on the "reach out to manufacturers" issue though.

ftlight
2015-04-10, 13:51
Interesting reading indeed.
How did he get the access to the info I wonder?
Not too much light thrown on the "reach out to manufacturers" issue though.

Here's the full thread at the uk.rec.audio newsgroup:
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/uk.rec.audio/RKW3-nw6jbg

ChipMonk
2015-04-11, 10:17
And now, despite all, they want us to love them!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/55hRWmLmhW6j71S7nwzPbRt/what-is-love

ftlight
2015-04-11, 10:28
And now, despite all, they want us to love them!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/55hRWmLmhW6j71S7nwzPbRt/what-is-love

Who posted comment #4 there, I wonder? No response, of course.

castalla
2015-04-11, 11:28
Who posted comment #4 there, I wonder? No response, of course.

The bog is already closed after 4 comments! A record?

Not surprising really, as the whole concept is utter 'marketing' naffness of the first order.

ChipMonk
2015-04-11, 13:42
The bog is already closed after 4 comments! A record?

Not surprising really, as the whole concept is utter 'marketing' naffness of the first order.

Oh Dear - blogging the above on the BBC Blog and you've broken the BBC House Rules again! That's you on the Naughty Step for 20 minutes!

You're just not getting into the swing of this Luvvy Love Thing at all are you?

castalla
2015-04-11, 14:00
Oh Dear - blogging the above on the BBC Blog and you've broken the BBC House Rules again! That's you on the Naughty Step for 20 minutes!

You're just not getting into the swing of this Luvvy Love Thing at all are you?

Must have ruffled the blogger's ego, I fear.

PasTim
2015-04-11, 14:22
Must have ruffled the blogger's ego, I fear.
I don't even find any space for comments. Did they delete the whole lot or am I looking in the wrong place?

Edit: I found it - I must be blind. It's so often the way once you commit a post that you realise what you've done wrong. Life..... don't you just love it (just like the Beeb!).

ChipMonk
2015-04-11, 14:33
I don't even any space for comments. Did they delete the whole lot or am I looking in the wrong place?

The BBC "Love Blog" (bottom of my original post shortcut) was closed after 4 comments! The above discussion by and about castalla relate to the good old Audio Factory Blog - which is currently in zombie mode i.e. living but dead!

castalla
2015-04-12, 01:47
The BBC "Love Blog" (bottom of my original post shortcut) was closed after 4 comments! The above discussion by and about castalla relate to the good old Audio Factory Blog - which is currently in zombie mode i.e. living but dead!

My second comment on the AF blog has now been excised.

PasTim
2015-04-12, 01:56
My second comment on the AF blog has now been excised.
You are clearly a "very naughty boy" :)

castalla
2015-04-12, 02:09
I wonder what the size of the listen-again audience is now?

PasTim
2015-04-14, 04:59
I just received this. Should I bother to try?

" Thank you for taking the time to contact us and we appreciate that you felt strongly enough to write to us again. We have noted your points and are sorry to learn you were not satisfied with our earlier response.

You've already had a response from Andrew Scott, the general manager for BBC iPlayer Radio and we are sorry to tell you that we have nothing to add to our previous reply.

If you remain dissatisfied about our decision you can appeal to the BBC Trust, the body which represents licence fee payers. The Trust has asked that we should explain to complainants that the BBC's Royal Charter draws a clear distinction between the role of the Trust - which determines the overall scope of the BBC's services and sets its standards - and that of the BBC Executive - which runs the Corporation and decides what to broadcast and publish.

The Trust does not entertain every appeal submitted to it. It will normally hear appeals about the Executive’s decisions only if a complainant can show that they involved a potential breach of the BBC's published standards, or that an operational decision has raised significant issues of general importance. The Trust is the final arbiter of which appeals it should consider. For the full information about the BBC Trust’s appeals procedures please visit www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/governance/complaints_framework/.

If you wish to submit an appeal you must write within 20 working days of receiving this reply, explaining why you wish to appeal. You can contact the BBC Trust at 180 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QZ, or by emailing trust.editorial@bbc.co.uk. Please would you include for them the relevant case reference which you may have been given.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Kind regards

Philip Young

BBC Audience Services

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer"

castalla
2015-04-14, 05:10
I just received this. Should I bother to try?

" Thank you for taking the time to contact us and we appreciate that you felt strongly enough to write to us again. We have noted your points and are sorry to learn you were not satisfied with our earlier response.

You've already had a response from Andrew Scott, the general manager for BBC iPlayer Radio and we are sorry to tell you that we have nothing to add to our previous reply.

If you remain dissatisfied about our decision you can appeal to the BBC Trust, the body which represents licence fee payers. The Trust has asked that we should explain to complainants that the BBC's Royal Charter draws a clear distinction between the role of the Trust - which determines the overall scope of the BBC's services and sets its standards - and that of the BBC Executive - which runs the Corporation and decides what to broadcast and publish.

The Trust does not entertain every appeal submitted to it. It will normally hear appeals about the Executive’s decisions only if a complainant can show that they involved a potential breach of the BBC's published standards, or that an operational decision has raised significant issues of general importance. The Trust is the final arbiter of which appeals it should consider. For the full information about the BBC Trust’s appeals procedures please visit www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/governance/complaints_framework/.

If you wish to submit an appeal you must write within 20 working days of receiving this reply, explaining why you wish to appeal. You can contact the BBC Trust at 180 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5QZ, or by emailing trust.editorial@bbc.co.uk. Please would you include for them the relevant case reference which you may have been given.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Kind regards

Philip Young

BBC Audience Services

www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer"

We used to refer to this sort of process as 'File 13' = or rather, the rubbish bin. A waste of time and effort imho - others have already complained to the Trust and just got an anodyne reply amounting to 'shove off'.

The real issue is to discover why manufacturers haven't updated ... and if not, when will they, if ever

garym
2015-04-14, 05:15
I just received this. Should I bother to try?

Tilting at windmills?

http://tinyurl.com/qg55u6m

PasTim
2015-04-14, 05:41
Tilting at windmills?

http://tinyurl.com/qg55u6m
:)

ChipMonk
2015-04-14, 06:22
Tilting at windmills?

http://tinyurl.com/qg55u6m

Funny you should mention this but the Picasso version has been my avatar on all my personal accounts for about 10 years. Any links to lost causes in general and anthropomorphic global warming in particular are entirely coincidental!

To PasTim - you/we all have put so much wasted time into this business already, if you could be bothered to do another "copy & paste" (just like the BBC) and send that to the Trust then you should do so. Probably achieve no more than any of us so far but a nice parting shot.

PasTim
2015-04-14, 07:57
Funny you should mention this but the Picasso version has been my avatar on all my personal accounts for about 10 years. Any links to lost causes in general and anthropomorphic global warming in particular are entirely coincidental!

To PasTim - you/we all have put so much wasted time into this business already, if you could be bothered to do another "copy & paste" (just like the BBC) and send that to the Trust then you should do so. Probably achieve no more than any of us so far but a nice parting shot.

I'll have a go, with no expectation of success.

ChipMonk
2015-04-14, 10:17
I'll have a go, with no expectation of success.

Thanks - a last whirligig in the wind? Keep us up to date with outcome.

PasTim
2015-04-14, 12:47
Thanks - a last whirligig in the wind? Keep us up to date with outcome.
Wilco.

garym
2015-04-14, 12:52
Wilco.

Son Volt

PasTim
2015-04-14, 13:26
Son Volt
Que?

garym
2015-04-14, 13:28
Que?

sorry, bad sense of humor:

Uncle Tupelo (band) turned into two bands (1) Wilco and (2) Son Volt

PasTim
2015-04-14, 13:34
sorry, bad sense of humor:

Uncle Tupelo (band) turned into two bands (1) Wilco and (2) Son Volt
Ta - I've never heard of any of them, being the ignoramus that I am. So for me, wilco is more Biggles than band :)

garym
2015-04-14, 13:54
Ta - I've never heard of any of them, being the ignoramus that I am. So for me, wilco is more Biggles than band :)

Thousands of Jeff Tweedy fans are picking themselves off the floor. ;)

(I'm more of a Jay Farrar (Son Volt) fan myself.....)

PasTim
2015-04-14, 14:14
Thousands of Jeff Tweedy fans are picking themselves off the floor. ;)
Who?

(I'm more of a Jay Farrar (Son Volt) fan myself.....)
Who?
Seriously - no idea who either of them are. It takes all sorts :D

d6jg
2015-04-16, 08:02
I see that over at the BBC Internet Blog the comments have now been closed.

Does this mean Mr Scott is about to post a new blog entry ? No. I doubt it as well.
Its a month to the day since his original post - auto expiry of comments ? More likely.
Or was castalla a naughty boy and posted once too often ?

castalla
2015-04-16, 08:06
I see that over at the BBC Internet Blog the comments have now been closed.

Does this mean Mr Scott is about to post a new blog entry ? No. I doubt it as well.
Its a month to the day since his original post - auto expiry of comments ? More likely.
Or was castalla a naughty boy and posted once too often ?

Well, it obvious that the discussion will continue in the new series of W1A starting next week.

It's all good.

d6jg
2015-04-16, 08:45
Well, it obvious that the discussion will continue in the new series of W1A starting next week.

It's all good.

:)

shoshani
2015-04-16, 16:18
Well, it obvious that the discussion will continue in the new series of W1A starting next week.

It's all good.

THE LOVE! I FEEL IT!

BTW, anyone else have any trouble yesterday and today with R2 and R3 intermittently cutting out for long annoying stretches on the online radioplayer? (It's BBC; Classic FM had no hiccups at all.)

shoshani
2015-04-20, 10:23
This is unrelated to the BBC fiasco directly, yet in an unrelated sense probably bears careful attention because I have a feeling this is where the BBC will be going within a few years:

http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/19/8453165/norway-end-fm-radio-2017

Key quote is at the end: "Norway's FM shutdown will begin on January 11th, 2017." They're moving entirely to DAB/DAB+

Nick_G
2015-04-20, 11:02
This is unrelated to the BBC fiasco directly, yet in an unrelated sense probably bears careful attention because I have a feeling this is where the BBC will be going within a few years:

http://www.theverge.com/2015/4/19/8453165/norway-end-fm-radio-2017

Key quote is at the end: "Norway's FM shutdown will begin on January 11th, 2017." They're moving entirely to DAB/DAB+

On the contrary. The recent BBC fiasco with the internet streams is likely to have shaken the public's confidence in digital radio still further and only makes FM more attractive for non-techie types. Therefore, resistance to a radio DSO will have probably increased further.

Regards,
Nick

ftlight
2015-05-22, 12:19
News on BBC Nitro, just posted on the Internet Blog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/bc82562e-ea9d-4655-982d-e6219b2c877b

Some hope, perhaps:

"Access to Nitro is provided via an API key. This determines the quota (number of requests allowed in a given time interval) that each developer application can use. This is useful as it allows us to ensure that no single application can overwhelm the system and prevent critical clients from obtaining their data. It also provides us with a way to profile individual client usage and where appropriate provide ways to optimize their use of Nitro.

"To obtain a key to access Nitro it is necessary to register via the Developer Portal.

"Currently access is limited to BBC teams but we are working on the changes required to open this up to external non-commercial and hobbyist users; this should be available later this year (a project known as Nitro Public). In the meantime you can read more about Nitro and how it works in the documentation section of the portal, as well as the terms of use and Nitro Public Licence. I know we’ve said this before, so please bear with us – we are working on it and will get it done this year.

"Nitro is also available for business and commercial use through a syndication agreement. Details of this can be found here."

PasTim
2015-05-22, 12:40
News on BBC Nitro, just posted on the Internet Blog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/bc82562e-ea9d-4655-982d-e6219b2c877b

Some hope, perhaps:

"Access to Nitro is provided via an API key. This determines the quota (number of requests allowed in a given time interval) that each developer application can use. This is useful as it allows us to ensure that no single application can overwhelm the system and prevent critical clients from obtaining their data. It also provides us with a way to profile individual client usage and where appropriate provide ways to optimize their use of Nitro.

"To obtain a key to access Nitro it is necessary to register via the Developer Portal.

"Currently access is limited to BBC teams but we are working on the changes required to open this up to external non-commercial and hobbyist users; this should be available later this year (a project known as Nitro Public). In the meantime you can read more about Nitro and how it works in the documentation section of the portal, as well as the terms of use and Nitro Public Licence. I know we’ve said this before, so please bear with us – we are working on it and will get it done this year.

"Nitro is also available for business and commercial use through a syndication agreement. Details of this can be found here."
Should one of us show polite and encouraging interest by commenting??

ftlight
2015-05-22, 13:07
Should one of us show polite and encouraging interest by commenting??

After our (well-justified) ranting about the fiasco, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to be supportive now.

I looked at the "BBC Nitro Public Licence" link and found this:

"How can I use BBC Nitro?

"You may: copy and use BBC Programme Metadata on your website, in your application, blog, on a social media network or use BBC Programme Metadata for academic research purposes; and customise BBC Programme Metadata by selecting, deleting and rearranging identifiable sections of it for those uses."

The permission for use of the metadata "in your application" sounds promising.

PasTim
2015-05-22, 13:23
After our (well-justified) ranting about the fiasco, I suppose it wouldn't hurt to be supportive now.

I looked at the "BBC Nitro Public Licence" link and found this:

"How can I use BBC Nitro?

"You may: copy and use BBC Programme Metadata on your website, in your application, blog, on a social media network or use BBC Programme Metadata for academic research purposes; and customise BBC Programme Metadata by selecting, deleting and rearranging identifiable sections of it for those uses."

The permission for use of the metadata "in your application" sounds promising.
Well who amongst us is best qualified to comment on the BBC blog itself ? I'm too ignorant of the details to make a really positive comment, whilst understanding what sort of potentially horrible wrinkles might yet surface.

utgg
2015-05-22, 13:46
News on BBC Nitro, just posted on the Internet Blog:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/entries/bc82562e-ea9d-4655-982d-e6219b2c877b

Some hope, perhaps:

"Access to Nitro is provided via an API key. This determines the quota (number of requests allowed in a given time interval) that each developer application can use. This is useful as it allows us to ensure that no single application can overwhelm the system and prevent critical clients from obtaining their data. It also provides us with a way to profile individual client usage and where appropriate provide ways to optimize their use of Nitro.

"To obtain a key to access Nitro it is necessary to register via the Developer Portal.

"Currently access is limited to BBC teams but we are working on the changes required to open this up to external non-commercial and hobbyist users; this should be available later this year (a project known as Nitro Public). In the meantime you can read more about Nitro and how it works in the documentation section of the portal, as well as the terms of use and Nitro Public Licence. I know we’ve said this before, so please bear with us – we are working on it and will get it done this year.

"Nitro is also available for business and commercial use through a syndication agreement. Details of this can be found here."

I wonder if the xml feeds Triode's plugin currently uses fall under the Dynamite system they say is about to be retired in June. Are we in the category of "It’s also possible that there are unauthorized & unidentified 3rd party apps & services that use Dynamite; these will stop working."

Bpa asked for a Nitro API key a while back and got nowhere.

bpa
2015-05-22, 13:57
I wonder if the xml feeds Triode's plugin currently uses fall under the Dynamite system they say is about to be retired in June. Are we in the category of "It’s also possible that there are unauthorized & unidentified 3rd party apps & services that use Dynamite; these will stop working."

Bpa asked for a Nitro API key a while back and got nowhere.

API is still retricted to BBC employees so we'll have to wait for Nitro Public. However it was the T&Cs that made Nitro unusable with a Perl plugin context (e.g. IIRC the developer had to track requests and make sure requests did not exceed a certain rate ) - have they made the Nitro Public T&Cs available yet - if not why comment - they've already decided what in Nitro Public and waht we need - Aunty knows best.

ftlight
2015-05-22, 14:04
This page has a pdf "Nitro for Clients" which will hopefullly make sense to the developers here:

https://developer.bbc.co.uk/file/5

bpa
2015-05-23, 01:15
From the BBC Nitro Public License https://developer.bbc.co.uk/nitropubliclicence


To access BBC Nitro, you will first need to register and create an app at developer.bbc.co.uk. The BBC will then provide you with an electronic access key that will make certain features of BBC Nitro available to you through feeds, depending on the access level given to you.

These features range from access to programme times and titles, past/future schedules and programme images.

Your access to BBC Nitro will, however, be subject to rate limits set by the BBC from time to time regarding the frequency and the number of times you can access BBC Nitro.



If plugin developer uses a single key for a Plugin then BBC will aggregate all uses of the key by all users and so developer could never control the frequency or number of times the plugin accesses Nitro - potentially locking all users out. As the key will be in a Perl plugin it will be open access and so it could be copied easily and used by others say to do a DDOS type attack on Nitro..

So it looks like every Plugin user would have to register with Nitro to use the same plugin, for security and to ensure frequency and number of access is under individual responsibility.

drmatt
2015-05-23, 03:30
Seems likely they should be able to cope with providing keys that will be used this way - distributed to many users.

bpa
2015-05-23, 03:39
Seems likely they should be able to cope with providing keys that will be used this way - distributed to many users.

Don't think so to register user must describe their app to be used with the key which in the plugin case is the same app for many users but BBC thinks one key per App. BBC are thinking "app" as in Android or IOS and not Plugin.

More details on Rate limiting from the developers doc. - the concept of " your volumetric" implies a client taking info from BBC and delivering to apps - centrally controlled just like BBC iPlayer app.

Rate limiting
As mentioned above, Nitro is rate limited for all clients, and you should consider how your client
will behave in the event of a rate limitation. We do this to ensure no one client consumes all of
the available Nitro resource to the exclusion of others, as has happened in the past.
• If your volumetrics expect a high number of calls to your product or service, you
should consider a pattern that manages how many of those requests turn into unique
Nitro calls
• If you need a higher rate limit than that available, you may need to request one from
the BBC. Contractual partners should approach their BBC representative in the first
instance.
• You should behave appropriately if Nitro fails to respond for short periods or
responds with a non-200 status.
Clients must avoid retrying failed requests indefinitely, and should use random delays
after a failure. Some clients have chosen to implement circuit-breakers to help with this.

utgg
2015-05-23, 04:00
From the BBC Nitro Public License https://developer.bbc.co.uk/nitropubliclicence


If plugin developer uses a single key for a Plugin then BBC will aggregate all uses of the key by all users and so developer could never control the frequency or number of times the plugin accesses Nitro - potentially locking all users out. As the key will be in a Perl plugin it will be open access and so it could be copied easily and used by others say to do a DDOS type attack on Nitro..

So it looks like every Plugin user would have to register with Nitro to use the same plugin, for security and to ensure frequency and number of access is under individual responsibility.

The BBC iPlayer app on android uses a single Nitro api key, which is pretty easy to find out. So I guess your comment about a DDOS type attack could apply to that key. As that one is under the BBC's control, I suppose they probably allow nearly unlimited access though.

A get the impression that the BBC expect 3 classes of use of this API:

Apps under their own control, e.g. iPlayer, which can access the Nitro api directly.
Syndication partners, who front their users through their own servers, so probably only have a low number of Nitro accesses which only come from their own servers.
Personal users, who do their own thing with their own API key, so expected low usage of the API.

bpa
2015-05-23, 05:17
The BBC iPlayer app on android uses a single Nitro api key, which is pretty easy to find out. So I guess your comment about a DDOS type attack could apply to that key. As that one is under the BBC's control, I suppose they probably allow nearly unlimited access though.

So I use a single key and it gets taken by a user - I get the blame by the BBC, the key gets revoked and all users of the plugin suffer. Alternative is all user of plugin have to register with BBC for a key as a developer, described their App (the same one for each user) and hope BBC will issue a key. Given that BBCiPlayer plugin has been downloaded up to about 16,000 times and I'm sure there are multiple downloads so perhaps would the BBC be happy to issue say 4,000 keys ?

PasTim
2015-06-05, 00:52
I have had a response to my 'stage 2' appeal from the BBC. Unsurprisingly they have decided to reject it and not forward it to the trustees. The substance of the response is the usual bureaucratic verbiage. I think it means that it's none of the Trusts's business how the BBC is run.

Is it worth spending license payer's money in trying to get a 'stage 3' appeal to the trustees?

Decision of the Senior Editorial Adviser
The Senior Editorial Adviser (the Adviser) acknowledged that the complainant felt badly let down by the way in which the change had been handled by BBC Digital and was very sympathetic to how frustrating he had found both the loss of internet radio streams and also the way the BBC had handled communicating these changes to listeners. However, she decided that the complainant’s appeal did not have a reasonable prospect of success.

She sympathised with the complainant over the difficulties he had experienced in getting his complaint fully addressed by the BBC and noted that he had repeatedly asked to escalate his complaint. However, she noted that the General Manager of Product, Radio, at BBC Digital had given a detailed explanation of the current position at stage 2 and had apologised for the fact that BBC Digital’s communication plan had not had the desired result. She noted that the situation was being reviewed and that BBC Digital had adjusted its plans based on both feedback from industry colleagues and the BBC audience.

She appreciated that the complainant was not satisfied either with the response, or the steps BBC Digital was taking to address this operational issue, but she noted that under the terms of the Royal Charter and accompanying Agreement between the Secretary of State, the BBC drew a distinction between the role of the BBC Trust and that of the BBC Executive Board. The operational management of the BBC was defined as a duty that was the responsibility of the Executive Board rather than the Trust.

Taking this into account the Adviser considered Trustees would be likely to conclude that the appeal did not have a reasonable prospect of success. She therefore did not consider it was appropriate, proportionate or cost-effective to proceed with the appeal and did not propose to put it before Trustees.

ftlight
2015-06-06, 17:31
At this point I'd say you've taken it as far as makes sense. I think anything after this would be unproductive.

PasTim
2015-06-09, 00:51
At this point I'd say you've taken it as far as makes sense. I think anything after this would be unproductive.
I guess so.

No one else have a view? I have until 18th June to apply.

castalla
2015-06-09, 00:59
I guess so.

No one else have a view? I have until 18th June to apply.

Sadly, I think it's not worth pursuing. Save your strength for the next battle ...

Giza2020
2015-06-09, 01:44
Yes I too sadly have to agree... really frustrating but save our strength for the next battles :-(

ChipMonk
2015-06-09, 02:40
I guess so.

No one else have a view? I have until 18th June to apply.

Well done PasTim and many thanks for continuing so steadfastly with this issue. Sadly, I have to agree that it really isn't worth trying to take this particular issue any further. We're not going to change what's been done but, perhaps, the BBC will think more carefully about how they implement any further changes they have in mind. Not least because, as a result of our efforts, quite a number of influential people in the current all Conservative government may now have this on their list of BBC travesties for consideration at a future date.

PasTim
2015-06-09, 03:35
Thanks to all for the responses. My inclination was not to proceed any further, and I'm glad to see so many agree. I'll let it drop. The complete final correspondence is attached if anyone is interested.

castalla
2015-06-09, 04:15
Not least because, as a result of our efforts, quite a number of influential people in the current all Conservative government may now have this on their list of BBC travesties for consideration at a future date.


I don't think they give a flying F about this, other than to use as ammunition to break-up the BBC.

Giza2020
2015-06-09, 04:17
And sorry I should have also said thank you for pushing this PasTim .. appreciate the effort

As far as the BBC learning from it mistakes, taking a look at how they are breaking iPlayer apps on Kodi and other 3rd party systems at the moment gives me no confidence at all!

The only positive is .. TV carries more interest than radio (IMHO) so if they keep screwing that up someone will have to answer

ChipMonk
2015-06-09, 04:35
I don't think they give a flying F about this, other than to use as ammunition to break-up the BBC.

Hence why the BBC might be a little more circumspect in future. But hey, I'm letting my inner optimist get the better of me - in truth nowt will change. The BBC has its 5 year plan, regardless of outcomes, and the Conservatives have their prejudices, regardless of outcomes. Meanwhile my squeezebox systems are running great, thanks to really useful outcomes from this group, and I'm really quite content with the things in general.

PasTim
2015-06-09, 04:36
I doubt that oft-repeated phrase 'lessons have been learnt' will apply, since they don't seem to think they did much wrong.

As to HMG, I don't think any of them will have noticed, or if they did they'll have forgotten. The future of the Beeb is an ideological issue. I still believe in it (not least having seen and listened to quite a lot of overseas TV and Radio over the years), but it's very frustrating at times.

PasTim
2015-06-09, 04:39
Hence why the BBC might be a little more circumspect in future. But hey, I'm letting my inner optimist get the better of me - in truth nowt will change. The BBC has its 5 year plan, regardless of outcomes, and the Conservatives have their prejudices, regardless of outcomes. Meanwhile my squeezebox systems are running great, thanks to really useful outcomes from this group, and I'm really quite content with the things in general.
True, and agreed.

ftlight
2015-06-26, 10:50
Feedback has started its new run on Radio 4, and I just listened to last week's episode (June 19th). At 20:10 is a piece on "the glorious future of digital listening", which is supposed to be an ongoing feature with listeners comments on what the BBC is doing. Technology specialist Stewart Miles provides more information, but internet radios don't get a mention.

Stewart Miles does say that he wants to visit listeners to get their views - and find out "how we listen". He briefly mentions "connected speakers" in this bit.

Might be worth it for some of the UK SB owners to call in.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05y178v