Radio fans never need to miss the start of their favourite programmes again, thanks to a new feature that’s been added to the BBC Sounds app this week.
A major app update means listeners can now restart any live programme and listen to it from the beginning, or rewind to any point in the live programme and pick it up from there. They can also pause a live stream and later resume from where they left off or jump back to live.
The update is being rolled out to all iOS and Android app users. Live restart is a new feature for the BBC Sounds app, one that wasn’t available on the BBC iPlayer Radio app, although it has been available on the web.
The update will also include autoplay, which automatically cues up episodes for uninterrupted on-demand listening. So, for listeners trying out the first episode of a new podcast, such as Shreds: Murder In The Dock, the app will automatically queue up and play the next episode once the first has finished. Likewise, if you’re catching up on The Archers, the BBC Sounds app will play the episodes you’ve not listened to yet in the right order.
If you come to the end of a series, listen to a one-off, or listen to a music mix, the BBC Sounds app will queue up a recommendation, based on what you’ve been listening to. So, if you finish listening to That Peter Crouch Podcast, BBC Sounds might queue up the latest episode of Football Daily. Or if you’ve listened to the Hip Hop Heavyweights music mix, it might queue up the latest episode of 1Xtra’s Rap Show with Tiffany Calver. If you just want to listen to a single episode, autoplay can be easily be toggled off from the playback screen.
Autoplay also works for downloads, automatically playing through any episodes you’ve downloaded – perfect for a long car or train journey or flight.
Other features coming soon to the BBC Sounds app include ‘track now playing’ information for live programmes; sub-categories (e.g. Crime Drama) and support for CarPlay, Android Auto and Chromecast.
Dan Taylor-Watt, head of BBC Sounds, says: “We’ve been listening to feedback, and heard that being able to pause, rewind and restart live radio was a key feature listeners wanted to see added to the BBC Sounds app, giving them more control over their live listening experience.
“Additionally, autoplay will enable listeners to enjoy an uninterrupted on-demand listening experience, making it easier to listen to back-to-back episodes of a podcast or radio series and discover brilliant new audio without lifting a finger – something our live radio schedules have been doing for years.”