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BBC iPlayer Radio catch-up now available for 30 days

No need to miss an episode of Desert Island Discs again, as iPlayer Radio gets extended catch-up deadline

The BBC has updated its iPlayer Radio service to let listeners catch up on missed programmes for up to 30 days after they were first aired, up from an original seven days – bringing the radio service on par with iPlayer video content for the first time.

Making the announcement on the BBC Internet blog, BBC Future Media’s General Manager of Radio Product Andrew Scott revealed the corporation had finalised deals to allow for music playback beyond the current seven days. With the previous licencing agreements, the corporation had to edit down shows such as Desert Island Discs so they only have 30 seconds of each music track, in order to make it available for permenant download as a podcast.

“The majority of radio catch up traffic comes from the fantastic array of Radio 4 and 4 Extra shows,” Scott revealed. “We know audiences enjoy catching up with Drama and Comedy and with this change you will have 4 times as many dramas and comedies to choose from. We also look forward to creating more collections of the newly available content to help people find some of the gems they may have missed.”

Scott also confirmed that the BBC is working to update the back-end currently used by iPlayer Radio online, with the aim to replace the underlying technology with a new system known as Audio Factory. The new back-end will replace systems that have “been around for over a decade and are getting too unreliable and expensive to maintain”, and will signify an end to Windows Media Player support on the 31st of December. Software-based streaming services and apps like TuneIn Radio will continue to support the new system after it switches over to the AAC codec, bu some internet radios will cease to support Audio Factory streams – meanning you’ll most likely have to buy a new radio, as they can’t be readily upgraded.

It was originally confirmed in April that catch-up deadlines would be extended beyond the current seven days, with iPlayer video content going into effect earlier this week. 

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