back to article BBC said it'll pull radio streams from TuneIn to slurp more of your data but nobody noticed till Amazon put its foot in it

The BBC has once again drawn ire from the loyal TV licence-paying public by pulling its live radio streams from third-party services. Perhaps listeners would have gone quietly over to the BBC Sounds app launched earlier this year – which is very much part of the motivation for the move – were it not for Old Auntie Beeb's bare- …

  1. BebopWeBop

    Well I can understand the Beeb’s position. Why should the licence payer in the UK provide free content to others?

    1. Neil 8


      You've somewhat misunderstood the position there. Users OUTSIDE of the UK can carry on as normal. Users INSIDE the UK must use the BBCs own app, and of course must be signed into an account to allow for data collection.

      *Switches an FM radio back on*

      1. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

        Re: No.

        *Switches the DAB radio on in the car*

        1. Chloe Cresswell

          Re: No.

          I rarely use the DAB side of my radio in the car - it's the crystal clear distortion, breakups and drop outs that mean I'm more likely to use FM...

          1. Dazed and Confused

            Re: No.

            Various commercial radio stations provide working DAB signals, but the BBC channels' DAB is pathetic around here. Even hooking into a roof mounted aerial which allows crystal clear reception on scores of radio 4 transmitters I can't get a usable DAB signal.

            1. The_H

              Re: No.

              I can actually see the bright lights of the Belmont transmitter from home (okay it's distant, but they're there), but our DAB signal both at home and work are absolutely unusable.

              iPlayer Radio was fantastic, but they've shafted that and now we have the so-called "BBC Sounds" app which appears to be the sort of project that a work experience kid would churn out. Dreadful UI and half the features of iPlayer missing.

              Bad enough but when your radio station of choice is BBC6Music and is *only* available on DAB or app, it's kind of limiting.

              I dunno, you'd think they were trying to reduce listenership so that they had an excuse to close 6 down, or something. They tried once before.

              1. Pigro

                Re: No.

                Couldn't agree more. I am also a 6 music devotee, accessed via iPlayer radio on my mobile phone. So I have lost the alarm function, and the ability to navigate the schedules in a sensible manner, thanks to the "improved" BBC sounds app. I had just started looking at using google assistant + tunein to create a recurring alarm, when I read this. Spent about an hour trying to get assistant to reliably play 6 Music by voice command - so that I could incorporate into an alarm - very hit or miss (mainly miss). Can just about make it play 6 music, but (get this!) ONLY when assistant manages to open the now defunkt iPlayer radio app, and makes it play 6 Music DESPITE the BBC sounds splash screen ;-)

                Any tips for how to get google assistant to play 6 music on sounds app, and then to get it to do that within a daily alarm, very welcome!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: No.

                  Use a player that can deal with an http transport stream, say VLC, and feed it directly from BBC's CDN.

                  Or if you're on any sort of Unix terminal, something like the following works:

                  wget -O- "" | madplay

                  If you like 6 Music, FIP plays an arguably better selection with almost no breaks at all.

                  1. Tim99 Silver badge

                    Re: No.

                    Thanks AC for link. I found that putting into VLC [Open Network] [Open Source] [Network] works on an Apple Mac...

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: No.

                  You need the address of the BBC streams:


                  plus sbr_low/, sbr_med/ or sbr-high/ for the data rate

                  plus ak/ or llnw/ (akamai or limelight)

                  plus the station:

                  bbc_radio_one.m3u8 (or 1xtra)



                  bbc_radio_fourfm.m3u8 (or fourlw or four_extra)

                  bbc_radio_file_live.m3u8 (or five_live_sports_extra)


              2. Chloe Cresswell

                Re: No.

                Belmont here too.. it's so clear ;)

            2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

              Re: No.

              Wow that a lot of hate for my troll comment. Obviously the biggest issue is the lack of bandwidth most radio stations provide, however for me DAB reception matches FM.

              I listen to RadioX (Give them more bandwidth Global you cheap gits) so FM past Stansted Airport is non existant, app useless due to signal going in and out (Tried with O2 and EE, even worse on the train from London to Cambridge).

              1. Chloe Cresswell

                Re: No.

                For me, the normal answer on DAB is "you live in the wrong places" "you drive in the wrong areas", etc. I can't tell my clients to move their sites so I get a better DAB signal when I drive to site.

        2. Test Man

          Re: No.

          DAB? What's that?

          *switches on mobile, gets digital radio stations via app and Bluetooth*

          1. Claverhouse Silver badge

            Re: No.

            *adjusts crystal cat's whisker*

            1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

              Re: No.

              crystal cat's whisker

              You have a crystal cat? Cool. Now I want one too.. (after all, only having 7 cats is SOOOO limiting..)

      2. Sam Crawley

        Re: No.

        On the same logic surely they should be switching off FM and DAB broadcasts as they aren't getting any data back?! Actually I shouldn't speak too soon...

    2. matt 83

      Because that's one of the reasons we pay the license fee.

      It's supposed to maintain Britain and the English language on the international stage in a good light. It's a similar to a company offering something at a loss because there's an indirect benefit through brand awareness or something.

    3. barefootboy

      But that's not what they are doing

      The BBC have removed the TuneIn feed from *only* from the UK service, thereby preventing licence payers from listening. Overseas access on TuneIn is unaffected (just tested with a VPN)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      There is no license for radio.

      1. barefootboy

        Not required to listen true, but BBC Radio is still funded by the licence fee

      2. Nifty Silver badge

        Except that it's the more passionate BBC radio listeners who are (have been) the most loyal/reliable TV licence fee payers, probably for multiple decades.

    5. martinusher Silver badge

      Why should the licence payer in the UK provide free content to others?

      The BBC has traditionally had two functions. One is the UK's internal broadcaster. The other is the UK's external broadcaster, the British equivalent of the Voice of America, Deutsche Welle, the IBA (Israel, not UK commercial), ABC, CBC and countless other national broadcasters. I know that successive governments have degraded the entire concept of national identity and public service over the last 30-40 years -- its all "Little England, I expect what I pay for and I don't expect to have to pay for freeloaders" -- but the external profile of a country really is important. Radio programs are for the most part of "no commercial value" -- the money's in TV and the BBC is very active in making and marketing programs -- but services like Radio 3 and Radio 4 are of inestimable value to the profile of the UK. Lost that and the UK is going to become even more of a backwater than its currently trying to be.

      1. Dazed and Confused

        Re: Why should the licence payer in the UK provide free content to others?

        Don't the foreign office pay Aunty for the overseas broadcasts?

        1. trolleybus

          Re: Why should the licence payer in the UK provide free content to others?

          I think that went the same way as paying for the over-70s. The Government decided to pass it on to the BBC.

        2. Lazlo Woodbine

          Re: Why should the licence payer in the UK provide free content to others?

          They used to fund The World Service, but not any more,

          Just like the Department of Culture & Media used to pay for >75's TV licence, but dumped that burden on the BBC, who quickly scrapped the scheme

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Why should the licence payer in the UK provide free content to others?

            Too right, given they make up the vast majority of the BBC's viewership, the average age of a BBC viewer is north of 62 by their own data....

            So remind me again why the young, who on the whole don't watch the BBC, are often struggling to make ends meet, should pay for TV Licences for the over 75s who have triple locked state pensions, very generous workplace pension payouts, own their homes outright, receive free public transport and variuous other freebies?

            Don't say "they worked hard", ALL of us work hard (and those currently working are often working harder than ever in zero hours work) what about WW1 and WW2 veterans, very few of whom actually got a free TV licence and who actually did fight for this country? Rather than anyone currently under 90 who lived through a generally very prosperous period in history, yet when you hear many of them talk, you'd think they had been first on the beaches at Normandy or in the trenches at the Somme....

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Why should the licence payer in the UK provide free content to others?

              "So remind me again why the young, who on the whole don't watch the BBC, are often struggling to make ends meet, should pay for TV Licences for the over 75s who have triple locked state pensions, very generous workplace pension payouts, own their homes outright, receive free public transport and variuous other freebies?"

              You seem to have a rather rose tinted view of how pensioners live.

      2. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Why should the licence payer in the UK provide free content to others?

        but the external profile of a country really is important.
        What's interesting is that with Brexit, assuming it goes through, it will become even more important as after brexit the UK will have to fight alone on the world stage, rather than as a member of a conglomerate, therefore will desperately need this exposure.

    6. Michele.x

      Because listening to radio doesn't require a license, both in UK and Italy.

      Besides, in the good old days I listened to 198 kHz the Radio 4 emissions, and other station on medium and long wave from Italy. Nowadays I can't due the cheap switching power supplies and cheaper LED lamps that everyone is using now. If you like to listen to Italian programmes the strongest transmitter is on 900 kHz.

      Next I bought a satellite dish and I was able to listen to BBC radio broadcasts on the wide beam on Astra 2 from Italy, and you can listen to radio programmes from Italy on Hotbird. Next BBC moved the radio on the Astra narrow beam, so no joy from Italy. You can watch also some TV programmes from Rai from UK using a satellite dish pointed to Hotbird.

      PS: Rai didn't destroy the tapes of A like Andromeda - BBC destroyed them... Rai 1 - BBC 0 :-)

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

    was that I did not want them to slurp (and prolly abuse) data about me. It seems that was justified in not doing so.

    I suppose that I could make a new account for every thing that I listened to.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

      Your data probably isn't that interesting or important.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ "Your data probably isn't that interesting or important."

        "Important data" being collected is clearly those UK users who havent paid for TV license, the premise being that no one would ever really opt out of the BBC service. Personally I have not watched read or listen to anything from the BBC for a few years now and do not miss it especially the propaganda of whichever party is currently in power and those minorities that use the BBC as their forum.

        Offering BBC content for free to people outside of the UK allows the stupid continue to believe that the UK is still a world power so that has to continue regardless.

        One wonders if the remaining license payers are getting value for money from this witch hunt, even if the dragnet actually caught anyone

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: @ "Your data probably isn't that interesting or important."

          "Important data" being collected is clearly those UK users who havent paid for TV license, the premise being that no one would ever really opt out of the BBC service.

          It's pretty much the exact opposite. By moving all the radio stuff from iPlayer to Sounds, it means anyone can access the radio stuff without having to register with iPlayer and "agree" that they have a license. The license fee may well fund BBC Radio but you don't need a licence to use a radio,

      2. sbt

        Data *is* interesting and important

        The BBC's problem here is getting involved in content specific apps on a multitude of channels. It's a solved problem and they should be working with the TuneIns etc. to deliver, rather than half-assing crummy apps and spreading themselves too thinly. Really, no content creators should be doing that.

        But in a post-broadcast landscape where gone are the days of broadcast surveys that showed clearly whether folks were watching or listening, they do need stats to measure whether they're producing material of interest. So many comments here seem critical not just of the slurp but also of the content. How are they supposed to know?

        If the BBC's characterisation of TuneIn's willingness to provide the stats is fair (and the BBC's requests were fair with respect to the information actually required to analyse content "success"), then I think some criticism should go TuneIn's way as well.

        1. Ian 55

          Re: Data *is* interesting and important

          "But in a post-broadcast landscape where gone are the days of broadcast surveys that showed clearly whether folks were watching or listening"

          Having worked on the RAJAR listening surveys, they might have been clear, but they weren't particularly accurate.

      3. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

        Your data probably isn't that interesting or important.

        Possibly not. In which case it begs the question of why these scum are so eager to get their grubby little paws on it.

      4. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

        "Your data probably isn't that interesting or important."

        You're right, it's not. But the data fetishists and bean counters think it is. Sadly, what usually happens when too much data is gathered is that budget is allocated to the stuff with mass popularity and ends up in a race to the lowest common denominator. I expect the BBC will produce fewer innovative new programmes, promote fewer new bands, comedians, playwrights etc and more bland music shows.

    2. Press any key

      Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

      You can indeed create a different account for every device. I have, all with made up email addresses. The BBC appears not to confirm the email address.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

        They may not have the technical ability to use email.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

      BBC privacy policy: "We take your privacy very seriously. And so should you."

      Users: "We want to keep our data private."

      BBC: "We will take your data and you will like it. Piss off."

    4. ThatOne Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

      It's all the same fad running wild through all business sectors: "make sure we can harvest peoples' life & habits in ways that are both easy and convenient for us".

      Every business is waking up to the fact that there is money to be made selling customers' data, and since they all have "customers", they all have an additional, untapped revenue stream. This is going to get a lot worse before it gets any better: Expect having to sign in for everything, no matter how ordinary or unimportant...

    5. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

      I'm just sick of the constant plugging of BBC Sounds on BBC Radio. Plus if you do actually download a podcast that's got a bloody promo for BBC Sounds.

      Also my mum when she heard one of the promos said what if you don't want a "music radio podcast"? What if you just want the News Quiz there's not much music in that is there.

    6. Barrie Shepherd

      Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

      This BBC Sounds fracas caused me to do the abnormal thing, and I went and read the Privacy Policy to find out what they were slurping. I was very surprised to read some of the content at;

      Go down to section c & d and you find that they automatically collect date across all your devices, even if you are NOT logged into your BBC account. It seems they apparently collect data from;

      your computer

      your mobile

      your TV

      your tablet

      your voice-enabled device


      IP (internet protocol) address

      device ID

      app ID

      vendor ID

      advertising ID

      Presumably collating this to your DOB, Address and email stored in your BBC ID account.

      The worse thing is in Section c where they tell you they monitor, even if you are not logged in, your use of other APPS to see if you mention the BBC. So if you say something about the BBC on Twitter they will collect your Twitter handle and associate it with your BBC ID and any other data they have slurped from you.

      They also share some data with Crapita TV Licensing - which when the BBC ID thing started I thought they said they would not.

      Seems that the BBC have become an associate of GCHQ!

      About time the Information Commissioner had a look at this invasion of my privacy - there can be no justification to collect and collate this quantity of personal data - and only from UK residents apparently.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The reason that I did not subscribe to BBC Sounds

        So you're saying that every time I search for "BBC" on pornhub, Auntie will know? Golly...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For the BBC News pages I use Waterfox. I only access the iPlayer using Chrome and do the minimal amount of registration to allow it to work - no "preferences".. It is hoped this separation of sources will limit their correlation between what I read and what I watch. Ublock Origin and Ghostery are also employed to filter the data they can filch.

    BBC radio is supposed to be licence free - so forcing an iPlayer registration to listen is a bit off..

    I pay a TV licence - I would like that to be sufficient for them not to mine my data otherwise for their profit.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The notice that somehow the BBC News homepage is better when you're logged in is, indeed, pretty Orwellian. The Charter almost explicitly mandates against this because the desire is to provide a universal service.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      The BBC haven't removed their streaming services from Kodi yet. Also, they provide the best possible user experience on that platform (no need to sign up).

      1. imanidiot Silver badge

        Given what they are saying here, this could mean that Kodi is supplying them with the data they desire.

        1. rmason

          Yeah, if they're relaxed about Kodi it'll be because either they can't stop them and have tried. *or* kodi are feeding them data.

          That data will be "IPs of people using kodi for BBC TV stuff". The BBC will now be trying to figure out how to tie that into their DB of payers and non-payers,

        2. Dan 55 Silver badge

          My poor attempt at humour without an icon.

          Kodi out of the box is a blank slate. It'd be iPlayer add-ons which would send the data, if that were ever to happen (which I doubt).

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I pay for train tickets, but I am still subject to huge high-intensity video screens at stations pumping advertising at me non-stop.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        "I pay for train tickets, but I am still subject to huge high-intensity video screens at stations pumping advertising at me non-stop."

        And Shell filling station forecourts. They took away the simple display showing the £'s and Litres counting up too fast and replaced them with video screens which play adverts and the actual relevant data is a video overlay on the LCD panel. Worse, they have speakers and seem to be triggered by picking up the fuel nozzle. That's up to 22 pumps blaring out adverts, often the same adverts, all out of step with each other. If our company provided anything other than a Shell Fuel Card, I'd never darken their forecourts again.

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      This hot on the heels of the news that digital text on the BBC is to be canned next year. Most mornings I check if the trains and Tube are running normally on digital text via BBC One.

  4. AVee

    - "Data is more and more important"

    Yes, I mean, I really don't know how they even managed to make radio programs for nearly a hundred years now without it...

  5. ItsMeDammit

    It will be their podcasts next...

    Their podcasts are already being littered with "adverts" for their BBC Sounds app, and I for one will be damned if I go over to that instead of my favourite podcast app that collects all my feeds into one place, downloads and then plays them all perfectly well thank you.

    I would rather go without than be saddled with Sounds.

    1. Test Man

      Re: It will be their podcasts next...

      I heard a while ago that they have already started to restrict their podcasts to the BBC Sounds app. May have been here in The Register.

      1. PublicSectorNumpty

        Re: It will be their podcasts next...

        Yep, you're right the BBC blocked Google podcast player from accessing their stuff for the same reasons, not giving them access to data

        1. Tech Hippy

          Re: It will be their podcasts next...

          They did lock Google Podcasts out some time ago, and then reverted:

          However they are now blocking again - which is why none of them play anymore as of last week.

          1. Dave 126 Silver badge

            Re: It will be their podcasts next...

            And they turned off the iPlayer Radio app a few days ago, forcing people to use the BBC Sounds app instead. The reviews for the Sounds app in the Google Play store are overwhelmingly negative.

            The iPlayer Radio app had a dark theme, the Sounds app is eyeball-burning bright. It auto-plays random shit.

            1. ChrisC Silver badge

              Re: It will be their podcasts next...

              "And they turned off the iPlayer Radio app a few days ago"

              Not *quite*. On my old Android 4 tablet (which, barring a change of heart from the developers, will therefore never be able to experience the "delights" of the Sounds app), iPlayer Radio did start going no further on startup than the splash screen which said it *has now been replaced by* Sounds. However, based on some of the recent iPR review comments added to the play store by fellow disgruntled Sounds-phobes, it appears that simply uninstalling and reinstalling the iPR app is sufficient to give it a much needed stay of execution, with it reverting to showing the *will be replaced by* splash screen we've come to know and hate over recent months... For how much longer iPR will continue to work is anyone's guess, but as of right now it's still working just fine on the phone sat beside me as I type this.

              "The iPlayer Radio app had a dark theme, the Sounds app is eyeball-burning bright."

              The lack of a dark theme (essential for me given how much radio listening I do at night), combined with the smaller/thinner typeface used for all the programme details, makes using Sounds a genuine pain in the eyeballs for me. But sadly, this just seems to be the way of the world - a fresh faced team of new energetic developers, led by some manager with an ego the side of a planet, decide to reinvent the wheel in an attempt to attract new users, and in doing so they manage to alienate a sizeable chunk of their existing userbase by making changes which verge from the merely confusing all the way through to the openly user-hostile (*), and then sticking their fingers in their ears going "la la la, I can't hear you" whenever any slightly less than entirely positive reviews of their creation start to roll in.

              (*) as someone's who's had to cope with dodgy colour vision since birth, and who's now also of an age where natural ageing is starting to take its toll, I have a particular dislike for any UI designer who chooses to create something which is obviously at odds with the wealth of freely available information explaining exactly why certain combinations of colours, certain sizes of typefaces etc. etc. are A Bad, Very Very Bad, Don't Even Think About Doing It If You're Not A Complete Idiot, Thing and should therefore not be used if you want your UI to be accessible. There simply is no excuse for getting it as badly wrong as so many UIs these days manage to achieve, and IMO part of the blame has to lie squarely at the feet of whichever idiot originally came up with the whole "let's make the UI as sparse as possible, with minimalistic visual cues on a pure white background, oh so clean looking, isn't it just heavenly, how can anyone think this is anything less than graphic design perfection in pixel form" idea now embraced pretty much wholeheartedly by Microsoft, Google and anyone else who thinks they have to create a lookalike UI in order to be considered hip and modern.

              But that's a whole other rant for another day. Getting back to the Sounds app UI, I can summarise it in one word. Yuck. Too bright, difficult to read, and too much wasted space requiring more scrolling or too-ing and fro-ing from one screen to another to find the stuff you want. The iPR UI might not have been in the running for any "most beautiful looking UI of the 21st century" awards, but in certainly was a thing of beauty in terms of being a functional and useable UI.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: It will be their podcasts next...

                As of last night, the old IPR app was still working on my old tablet (Android 4.4?)... just had click the X top right to get past the splash screen

                Unfortunately my phone is running Pie and only Sounds is working... but I have seen reports of people uninstalling and reinstalling IPR and it starts working again (YMMV and I haven't tried it)

                Sounds is pure poo... 'recommended for you' recommends just about everything I don't like (despite having imported dozens of 'my sounds' choices from the old app) and you have no option to dismiss them... every time you choose something from a list then hit 'back' you end up at the TOP of the list...

                The old app was rated around 3.8... Sounds is 1.6 with a lot of people saying 'I'd give it zero if that was an option'

                1. ThatOne Silver badge

                  Re: It will be their podcasts next...

                  "The point is not to provide the best service, but to provide the only service."

                  1. earl grey

                    Re: It will be their podcasts next...

                    "to provide the only service"

                    As my father explained to me - service is what bull provides to a cow.

                    No thank you.

                2. ChrisC Silver badge

                  Re: It will be their podcasts next...

                  "just had click the X top right to get past the splash screen"

                  That's the "is going to be replaced" splash screen you get shown for starters. After a few weeks of that, my tablet then switched to the "has now been replaced by" version which doesn't have the X in the corner... At that point, a reinstall was sufficient to get it back to showing the former on startup again.

            2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: It will be their podcasts next...

              "The iPlayer Radio app had a dark theme, the Sounds app is eyeball-burning bright. It auto-plays random shit."

              Funny how a free, open source programme such as Kodi can be infinitely configurable to the users tastes yet commercial apps like BBC Sounds or Netflix with paid developers can't be changed at all to suit the user. Like it or lump it.

    2. rmason

      Re: It will be their podcasts next...

      I have noticed my podcast provider of choice doesn't now have the newer episodes of the one BBC podcast I listen to (infinite monkey cage)

      There have been new eps this summer, but Google Podcasts doesn't seem to have them. PErhaps that tap is off already.

      1. Anomalous Cowturd

        Re: It will be their podcasts next...

        Rhythmbox managed to grab yesterday's edition of The News Quiz without any prompting from me, as it does every week..

        Long may it continue.

      2. Spanners Silver badge

        Re: It will be their podcasts next...

        I got the latest Infinite Monkey Cage on Monday but I am running on long-term catch-up.

        Perhaps it varies by podcatcher. I am using Pocket Casts (from Shifty Jelly I think).

  6. Warm Braw


    I presume the BBC's get-out is that registration is not necessarily "personally identifiable", given that you can (and should) use any throwaway e-mail address.

    However, it does not really address the issue that it's quite happy to shovel this material out over the airwaves without knowing who's listening, so quite why, if you have the temerity to listen via the Internet, you have to accept telemetry via the Internet is not clear. And bloody iPlayer trailers.

    Cough, get_iplayer, cough.

    1. Test Man

      Re: GDPR?

      Email address is always PII for the purposes of GDPR, because you can match it with another piece of info to identify specific users.

      1. Warm Braw

        Re: GDPR?

        In which case, presumably the BBC can't demand it in exchange for a service whose delivery does not require that information?

      2. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: GDPR?

        You're right in principle that an email address can be personal data (not "PII" - there's no such definition under the current legislation), but only if it can be associated with a personal identity by the data controller.

        So is probably not personal data unless combined with other information to uniquely identify a person. However, aggregating other data associated with that email address would make the entire aggregate become personal data the moment the aggregate is sufficient to identify the individual. On the other hand, an email address such as is more likely to be personal data in its own right.

        But the name is not the necessarily the issue. If I live on a street with a common postcode for 20 houses, that postcode is not personal data. Supposing I restore steam engines, that's not personal data either. But both these pieces of information together may be personal data if I'm the only one in the street that restores steam engines, even if my name is not included in the record.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: GDPR?

          I'm not so sure about that. The two pieces of information together assumes that somebody knows that Joe Bloggs at No.22 restores steam engines. Now thats 4 pieces of information that is required to personally identify you.

          If you had kept it a secret that you restored steam engines and then based on your two pieces of information nobody could identify you as the subversive steam engine restorer.

          I guess what it shows is that any information can potentially become personal information if there are enough individual bits of separate information to form a profile.

          Conclusion: if you are paranoid never tell anybody anything. On the other hand you are just a speck that lives for a tiny length of time on a tiny planet in a vast multiverse where you and your information or in fact this entire planet really don't matter. It's a case of perspective.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: GDPR? & "personally identifiable"

      So these services don't need an IP address then? since not paying for a TV license is a crime they just contact your UK ISP and ask for subscriber details.

      also my bet is that GDPR goes out the window when we leave the EU

      1. John Sager

        Re: GDPR? & "personally identifiable"

        Doubt it. It may get tweaked in a new UK Data Protection Act but the principles will likely be largely adhered to.

      2. scrubber

        Re: GDPR? & "personally identifiable"

        Not paying for a license is not a crime.

        Not paying for a license and watching or recording live TV, or using the iPlayer's catch up service, are the only things considered "crimes".

      3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: GDPR? & "personally identifiable"

        So these services don't need an IP address then? since not paying for a TV license is a crime they just contact your UK ISP and ask for subscriber details."

        Even if the above were true, it's been many, many years since a license was required to operate a radio receiver and you still don't need a licence to listen to BBC Sounds.

    3. paulf
      Big Brother

      Re: GDPR?

      +1 for the excellent get_iplayer, though I do watch the thumbscrews being tightened ever further and wonder when we'll hit the point where get_iplayer will simply stop working because the BBC will simply block it with prejudice.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So stop listening...

    Easy answer here, stop listening at all to BBC content.

    There is nothing the BBC broadcast on radio which does not have an alternate equivalent on TuneIn. When the BBC see their listening numbers are dramatically falling (online) they will realise the error of their ways. This is a blatant attempt to bolster a new content service they are offering to justify the expense of developing it at the tv license payer's expense.

    Oh and write to your MP complaining about this... The BBC is doing less and less to justify the license fee "tax" and ultimately the only thing they will respond to is the threat of losing license fee money.

    1. werdsmith Silver badge

      Re: So stop listening...

      There’s no Infinite Monkey Cage equivalent on TuneIn that is acceptable.

      1. Chris Malme

        Re: So stop listening...

        But the Infinite Monkey Cage (and most other shows) is still available via TuneIn as a Podcast. Just not Live.

        This will be the case for as long as the BBC offer Podcasts via a RSS feed.

        1. Dazed and Confused

          Re: So stop listening...

          The latest Museum of Curiosity isn't so I guess the next IMC will go the same way.

          The twitterarty were having a go at the Museum's feed about it the other day.

    2. EdFX

      Re: So stop listening...

      Totally agree, paid "by the people for the people" seems to have lost its direction massively and we find ourselves rarely watching terrestrial TV and ironically tunein was first time in years we had engaged with BBC radio due to amazon echo... Only to have it blocked as a license payer!! Happy to ignore it altogether and let them seal their own fate... Idiots.


    3. andy gibson

      Re: So stop listening...

      "When the BBC see their listening numbers are dramatically falling (online) they will realise the error of their ways".

      If only. Their recent schedule and presenter changes on R2 and 6Music have led to widespread criticism and lost listeners, but they don't care.

    4. tin 2

      Re: So stop listening...

      LOL! that's hilarious. BBC might be making a royal screw up but there's nothing to compare with their output out there at all.

  8. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    All hail our VPN-wielding overlords

    I've found the TuneIn streams to be generally more reliable. I quite like the I-Player Radio app, but it does struggle with cache invalidation and loves to switch to my mobile data for some reason. But BBC Sounds could have, and probably did come, from Nathan Barley and the Suga Rape crew. Programming matters, even when we're mainly time-shifting.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    they will be jolted awake by the device's default alarm, which we can only imagine is an inferior experience to the dulcet tones of Radio 4's John Humphreys on Today

    Finger always on the pulse eh Reg ?

    John Humphreys retired from the Today program nearly two weeks ago.

    1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

      My finger is so on the pulse that I don't listen to the Today show.

      1. Forget It

        > ... don't listen to the Today Show

        or even the Yesterday Show - ho ho.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        >My finger is so on the pulse that I don't listen to the Today show.

        Or any other news outlet apparently as it has been in most of the press, if Andrew were still here he'd have you on the naughty step.

        1. Excellentsword (Written by Reg staff)

          Nah, I don't bother with celeb news.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        It hasn't been the same since Brian Redhead retired. Confrontational journalism usually serves the politicians who learn to get their sound bites said.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Jim Naughtie was brilliant especially his description of Jeremy Hunt.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        You're not missing anything.

    2. Scott 53

      Finger on the dial, eh AC? His surname is spelled Humphrys.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        >Finger on the dial, eh AC? His surname is spelled Humphrys.

        Thunk yo fur ponting oot mi speeling mistooks mishter pudantic grummur nutzi.

  10. bilston

    BBC still coming in "loud and proud" in sunny Spain.

    Sonos via TuneIn still is on as is TuneIn web interface.

    Google speaker still cranking it out via signed in account.

    Alexa connects via sounds, play PODS as well, I initially had to log in though.

    Cable system has all the BBC free to air TV and radio stations including the red button all in super HD.

    Mind you I cant down load BBC sounds, its geo blocked as is the sun at mo !

    1. Crypto Monad Silver badge

      Re: BBC still coming in "loud and proud" in sunny Spain.

      Just tested it: Radio 2 via TuneIn on Sonos still working for me this morning (in UK)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC still coming in "loud and proud" in sunny Spain.

      "Mind you I cant down load BBC sounds, its geo blocked as is the sun at mo !"

      Now, if we could get the Sun geo-blocked nationwide in the UK too, that would IMHO be an improvement.

    3. Mage
      Black Helicopters

      Re: BBC still coming in "loud and proud" in sunny Spain.

      BBC scrapping red button despite it being scaleable broadcast. Web news and streams are complementary, not a replacement.

      Online BBC became unusable years ago in Ireland, even is now blocked outside UK.

      100% R4 LW coverage and after dark, BBC regional & 5 Live.

      100% Satellite FTA too.

  11. katrinab Silver badge

    I don't understand

    How does "user data" help them stream Radio 4?

    They managed to broadcast it via am/fm radio for many years without any user data whatsover.

    Anyone remember Mike Corley (aka MI5guy) who spammed usenet about 20 years ago claiming that the BBC were spying on him via his television set. We all thought he was completely bonkers. This is now actually happening for real. The BBC are spying on us via our television sets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't understand

      They managed to broadcast it via am/fm radio for many years without any user data whatsover.

      There is BARB, but I'm not sure if that's TV only.

      1. paulf

        Re: I don't understand

        RAJAR is to radio as BARB is to telly

    2. Mage
      Black Helicopters

      Re: I don't understand

      BBC still on LW, MW, VHF-FM, DTT and FTA Satellite. Surveillance free.

  12. Forget It

    BBC Steam Radio listen live by url here:

  13. werdsmith Silver badge

    I have a thing called SimpleRadio app which does all the BBV stuff.

  14. Chris Malme

    Playing without data

    When you enable the BBC skill in Alexa, it demands you link to your BBC account. However...

    1. If you already have the skill enabled, disable it. This will also unlink it.

    2. Say to Echo device "Alexa play BBC Radio 4" (or similar). It will ask you if you want to enable the BBC skill.

    3. Say "Yes". The skill will be enabled and will work. But it won't be linked to your BBC account.

  15. Nick London


    Not to mention BBC Sounds does not work on my iPad because it is 6 Years old. But they are ending iPlayer Radio which has a superior interface and an alarm function.

    Apparently the BBC Spent a fortune on the Sounds App (I have it on Android0 but it looks like it was knocked up by a couple of school kids for an IT assignment.

    1. Dr_N

      Re: Rant

      Let's be fair, BBC Sounds sucks balls. Especially when compared to BBC Radio iPlayer.

      1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: Rant

        So does the Sounds website, it's full of pictures (for radio programmes!) so that you have to wade through a dozen sparse-content pages instead of just scanning down an iplayer list.

        There was a time that the BBC engineering department led the world. Now it can't even follow it usefully.

  16. Chris Malme

    Another work-around.

    Go into your echo device settings, and and device options, and pick a non-UK language. For example, English (Australia/New Zealand).

    Once the new language has downloaded and your device has switched, you will find that BBC on TuneIn works again.


    if you just say "Alexa, play Radio 4", it will still default to BBC Sounds.

    But if you say "Alexa, play Radio 4 on TuneIn", it will play on TuneIn.

    If you say "Alexa, wake me up to Radio 4 on TuneIn", it will ask you what time, and then wake you up with Radio 4.

    If you say "Alexa, play Radio 4 on <name of multi-group>", it will play on the whole group, even though only one device has been changed.

    Obviously, this is not ideal, as it may affect other country-specific skills that you use.

    But I currently have an English (Canada) Dot running in my lounge, as well as my other devices - normally muted, but available for setting up multi-room playing.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not working for me outside the uk

    Via tunein on my HEOS-equipped amp. Used to work :(

  18. DaveEdi

    Still works for me

    Just asked Alexa to play Radio 6 Music. Did exactly what I asked. Pretty sure I don't have the BBC skill installed.

  19. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    I stopped listening to the BBC a long time ago, and I rarely ever bother to watch broadcast TV... I use a VPN which the BBC block you from watching/listening to anything via iplayer regardless of being signed in or not... I pay my frickin license fee only for them to do anything they can to block me from protecting my privacy.

    I think I may just have to cancel my license... I have no ariel to the TV in my house, I got rid of sky/virgin years ago... So WTF am I paying a license at all?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      " use a VPN which the BBC block you from watching/listening to anything via iplayer regardless of being signed in or not..."

      Funny, I've never had a problem listening to or watching the BBC via VPN (or previously via satellite) and I've not paid for a licence in almost 30 years. Thanks everyone!

      1. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

        You might be lucky with your choice of VPN... But mine gets blocked on Prime video, netflix and iplayer.

        Who do you use, mine isn't due for renewal until next march, but I'd certainly be prepared to try an alternative service providing they don't keep logs and respect peoples privacy like my current one does... and doesn't cost much more than I pay now (about £3 a month, and I get really good speeds with no capping, throttling or anything).

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "about £3 a month"

          I'm paying twice that.

          x4 if you count I have both uk and us.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I used to listen to Radio 2 and 4 in the car and Radio 6 on the iPlayer.Plus on occasion I'd watch some BBC drama . I tried to send a message the "Feedback on R4" but heaven knows where they've hidden it :( My main gripes are these.

    1) The "breaking news banner that does not go away even after you've read the article. Arrgh!

    2) The "BBC is better if you sign in message box". No BBC all my cookies get deleted when I leave Firefox. Just feck off!

    3) Autoplay enabled by default. If I click on a link for a volcano I really don't want to see every eruption in history. See 2)

    4) Controversial; The BBC seems to have become the LBGT news. I don't have a problem with that but why not create a gay channel for those who want that group of news in one place.

    5) Reason for rant; I grew up in a Council flat in a London Borough who decided that they didn't have enough gay tenants. I knew a lot of them. So they Council bumped them up the housing list and they all got flats. Now I could have lied and said that "I'm living with my parents but they don't understand me". Or some other bullshit. Or if my sexual preferences are reasons for housing what if I say that I can only get satisfaction from a donkey (OK I'm making this up). Will I get a council flat? I doubt it. It hasn't happened yet. </rant>

    1. Fred Dibnah

      Re: <rant>

      You could, and should, have stopped at 3.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: <rant>

      I second your <rant>:

      Every other program seems to be infused with the diversity msg, even the kids shows.

    3. Anonymous Cowerd

      Re: <rant>

      I completely agree with (3).

      You should be able to disable Autoplay. It's bloody annoying.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Outside the UK, our services with TuneIn will continue as is

    hurrah for VPN!

    1. CAPS LOCK

      Re: Outside the UK, our services with TuneIn will continue as is

      Another reason to run a vpn routinely. GCHQ must be 'pleased' that so many people are enabling that kind of technology.

    2. Chris Malme

      Re: Outside the UK, our services with TuneIn will continue as is

      I'm happy to be corrected, but I don't think a VPN will help you.

      At present, at least, Alexa seems to be identifying you location - for TuneIn purposes - not by your IP address or even your device's configured location, but by the voice language being used.

      Select English (United Kingdom) as your language, and TuneIn fails to play any BBC Live content.

      Select any other English language, and TuneIn works.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Register has contacted the BBC for comment

    this is not going to end well. At best you'll get a canned statement, let me guess, some waffle along the lines that "the BBC takes every care to make sure that it offers the best possible experience for its license-paying listeners. The end.

    At worst, you'll be banned from the launch of all new (and exciting) bbc products, for life.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pull The Charter!

    As Title.

    I DONT buy the "we need data to adequately serve you" NO radio organisation exist that will ever adequately serve everyone especially not me.

    I already pay for the BBC so they have all the data they need. They may not understand that they are in danger of becoming irrelevant by alienating thier audiences - people like me. I dont need my data mining by some child in an office who thinks it is vital to broadcasting. In reality they have little interest in actually pleasing people, its just an excersize in allocating us to groupings to use in bolstering thier case for the next hike in the licence extortion.

    The BBC is out of touch and irrelevant, time to cut it free and let it sink or swim on its merits - And I never thought the day would come when I would say that.

    For my money - this is a breach of the charter and they should be stripped of it.

    Bye Bye Ken Bruce I'll miss popmaster - ive been listening to that segment for years, but not any more, there are other stations - not to mention about 17 days worth of music on my phone.

    1. tin 2

      Re: Pull The Charter!


      "The BBC is out of touch and irrelevant, time to cut it free and let it sink or swim on its merits - And I never thought the day would come when I would say that."

      .... is completely technically impossible. As Sky has demonstrated for years, and Netflix are discovering.

      Been discussed to death.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    inquiring mind wants to know...

    if he pays his license fee to the beeb and, at the same time, downloads beeb content from those fringe Linux-iso-distributing sources which can only be accessed via some fringe browsers coupled with fringe software, does he break any rules and / or laws?

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

      Re: inquiring mind wants to know...

      I don't think so. You only need a TV license if you want to watch any form of TV at the point it is broadcast or if you want to consume any content via the iPlayer platform.

      So if you want to watch the 6pm BBC or Sky news broadcasts at 6pm (i.e. a live broadcast) then you need a license. If you want to watch the 6pm news broadcast via catchup via ANY method, then you don't need a license.

      I've not required a license for 5 years now, so I can't remember if it covers "downloading BBC content" but I'd assume downloading content would not be at the point of broadcast - so I'd assume not.

      Happy to be corrected.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: inquiring mind wants to know...

        my question was not about whether downloading beeb content off "other sources" requires a license. I wanted to know if, having paid their license, user can LEGALLY access bbc content via "other sources", or whether he / she would break a law, i.e. they are only legally allowed to access that content through bbc-controlled means.

      2. Test Man

        Re: inquiring mind wants to know...

        It does - using BBC iPlayer requires a licence (no matter how you're using it i.e. catchup or live broadcast). Any other service requires a licence for broadcast only.

  25. bed


    I wonder if GetIplayer will still work?

    1. Forget It

      Re: GetIplayer

      of course it will

      the guys who maintain it get some prior notice to big changes

      as far as I understand.

      They've been very good at updating in response to BBC breaking earlier versions.

      Credit where credit is due.

  26. TheProf

    Dear BBC

    Dear BBC,

    I'm prepared to let you have all the information you want in return for making programmes that I want to watch or hear.

    What? You'll make lowbrow dramas about cops and murders and I'll bloody well like it?

    Also why are there so many trailers for other programmes? 6Music has a trailer every thirty minutes (on average.) It's bloody annoying. Just when Gideon Coe has set the mood on comes A BLOODY TRAILER and the mood is killed. And then there's the news, and the interviews, and the film reviews and Martin Freeman rattling on about The Beatles and Steve Lamacq saying 'Glasto' and all of them saying 'the legendary Maida Vale studio' and 'genre' . Honestly it's getting beyond a joke.

    And after all that it's still my favourite radio station.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dear BBC

      […] a trailer every thirty minutes […]

      TBF, they've been doing this for 50 years: I have reel-to-reel tapes to prove it.

    2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Dear BBC


      On the BBC World Service, they often name check the service in what seems like within 30 seconds, or ad-nauseam mention that the programme is coming to you live from the centre of the news room at broadcasting house in London.

      In the case of name checking the station, I can understand that for a service that goes out across the world where people will be listening in for specific news bulletins or programmes, and need to be able to determine that they have tuned in. But who cares if it comes from the centre of the news room at broadcasting house or the BBC director general's private wash room - just get on with the content without filling up the time with "noise"

    3. DiViDeD

      Re: Dear BBC

      'the legendary Maida Vale studio'

      Anyone who's ever had to work at Maida Vale would have plenty of words to describe it, but "legendary" wouldn't get a look in!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Statement from the BBC

    We don't have customers.

    We have licence fee payers.

    And they don't get to choose what we supply them.


    British Broadcasting Corporation

    See that first word? It is a "Licence Fee" not a "license", that's what you get with shrink-wrapped Yankee software.

    Otherwise, thanks for all the tips.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: British Broadcasting Corporation

      Birt Broadcasting Cupboard

      As DJ Ray Moore used to say on the early programme on Radio 2

  29. Unbelievable!

    rant in 3...2.. sod that. bbc decayed badly. in the end most watched was, for me ..

    .. "Points of View" but not for long. or maybe footy world cup yonkers ago.. decades?

    License is an unecessary expense and grief. Part of license fee is spent onletters "occupier we are starting an investigation". those go straight into the bag to hand them upon visit. The letters are accusatory, and STRONG scare tactics, that are implying the householder of engaging in serious criminal activity.. (didn't we have laws passed that prevent remote selling of this nature?) and infuriating as such. innocent til PROVEN is the law of our land i believe?

    i also have testicles.. does that make me a rapist? i have knives in the kitchen, i suppose i am a serial killer then? I even have past "best before" packets of mild chilli con carne mix in the kichen cupboard, yup: cultivating and storing for future distribution, mind expanding narcotics for use via nasal ingestion.. it's criminal the activity they get up to to scare even more money from people. over 75's free tv licence? not any more. prrphh. maddening money grabbing, wasting and shady distribution now. decades ago, it was respectable and people were honoured and pleased to part with exortion because the return was credible. Why does a broadcaster need to know anything (name, age, gender, employed, etc etc) about who watches things? just put an 0800 number at the end of the broadcast ..people that dont like the program will quickly get in touch. that should be it. end of. no more needed.

    BBC is more than UK news (it mostly sub contract production to 3rd party producers, hat trick etc.. who also want profit!) and has a great many commercial operations, which are entangled financially difficult to separate. example: . DVD of a program bought from BBC worldwide was conceived and produced etc with taxpayer money. i mean license payer money. then sold at profit, funds of which are ingested back to the Worldwide distribution arm. Another: bbc magazines like top gear, these don't feed themselves. they include exclusive (fee payer financed) content. but cost the reader twice if they have purchased a license.

    BBC should just get ad's or a card only viewing subscription. OR even, do a SKY and pay subscription AND get ad's for that subscription.

    Personally, i dont want or need BBC.

    Sorry for the fucking rant.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Seems like Kieran headed a similar change regarding Google recently, with a similar response from the people. There was a published update which was basically "Google still won't give us your data"

  31. eskdale

    How do the BBC justify this

    I can only add to the dismay of other posters.

    Listeners have listened for years on LW MW FM DAB and Freeview without the BBC collecting data yet they remove the most modern convenient way of listening for the license holders but allow foreign users still to access the stations with all the features of TuneIn

    They even advertise for us to listen via smart speakers but now I can't wake up to it via my Amazon Echo - nor can I play it in both Living room and Kitchen at the same time. Come on BBC we had a perfectly good working solution and you take it away just so you can get some data on who is listening. But now you don't have the listeners!! Please reverse this stupid decision immediately.

    1. HmYiss

      Re: How do the BBC justify this

      shut up and keep paying, peon.

  32. HmYiss

    What's the problem?

    Since 97 all BBC output has been fit for only one thing - switching off as fast as your finger can find the button.

    Just saved me a job. Thanks, Kieran. Keep your misinformation-machine.

  33. Sampler

    Why is it..

    ..that we're handing over more and more data on what shows / sounds we like, yet, programming is getting worse and worse..

    Can we go back to them just making good shows and not trying to second guess the userbase?

    (and I work in market research...)

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey BBC

    Stop trying to TunnelIn to TuneIn

  35. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse

    Honestly, I couldn't care less...

    Truly. I've not paid the license fee, listened or watched anything BBC related for about 5 years now. And I don't miss it one bit. They lost their way as a "public service broadcaster" years ago when they decided they wanted to be a Netflix or similar and started wasting millions of £'s of free money in trying to "compete" in that arena, rather than providing that core public service that I was prepared to continue funding.

    Since I discovered internet radio I've found so many better channels for music, news, and other things of interest that don't require any form of registration, login or such like. I get that there are many people that rely on the BBC for this sort of stuff, but as the years pass, that number will drop and drop to the point that the only possible model for the BBC will be to move to a fully commercial operation. Then they can do what they want... and I still won't care.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Jobs for life for the British Bourgeois Class.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: BBC

      My better half almost applied for one of 8 posts in Glasgow for some equality role each on over 80K a year.

      They have completely lost their way.

  37. tiggity Silver badge

    BBc been trying to alienate viewers for a while

    BBC news been on a long decline (miss Eddie Mair subtle wit & skewering of interviewees, though at least clueless on anything sciece related JH finally gone from R4 now)

    I used to watch a bit of BBC3 content when it was on Freeview,they had a few OKish comedies / comedy dramas, then it became online only and I have never watched any BBC3 content since.

    I go online, but will not be watching "TV" online as therss more interseting things to do on computer than watch TV.

    .. My TV consumption is mainly the cliche of tired at the end of the day slump on the sofa and see if anything is on to amuse / interest me briefly before I go to bed (occasional content recorded on PVR for later viewing, mainly films I never saw on first release and have finally made their way to freeview, so if any PVR content will watch a bit of that rather than channel hop)

    Then this week I had rare experience of trying to consume BBC TV online. I was working at the home computer but fancied streaming the world athletics champs so I could watch women's 100m final live, so went to BBC site and it wanted me to sign up to iPlayer with an email address to watch the live sport .. so I just walked downstairs & turned on TV for a couple of minutes rather than give PII of email address.

    Partner does use iPlayer (don't know their credentials if anyone wonders why did not use them to sign in "above"), but partner gets really irritated at all the trailers that they have to skip through at start of content view (as navigating iPlayer to find the content they want has already exposed them to lots of in your face "highlight" content the BBC wants to promote, while making easy search for just what you want very much a secondary function)

    Mainly consume BBC radio on radio (FM or DAB depending on reception) so happily not had to deal with dubious sounds app.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: BBc been trying to alienate viewers for a while

      They dropped "The Cash Peters USA TV Slot" from Up All Night on Radio 5 Live at 02:30 Wednesday Mornings a few years ago. When they did that I stopped listening to 5 Live and switched to Radio 4. I very rarely change my radio station so that was a big thing for me.

      I was disappointed when Eddie left PM but I don't get to listen then anymore since I got my new job.

  38. Mage


    Privacy, resilience and scale are why actual real broadcast (AM, FM, DTT, Satellite*) beats Internet streams.

    The old programs should be available as as downloads or archive, and a charge isn't unreasonable (Like DVDs, CDs, Cassettes). Any capture of user information other than temporary data for payment is evil and can easily become the tool of a corrupt government.

    (*DTT makes the inferior DAB obsolete. Neither replaces local radio on FM as they are designed for National networks, esp if using SFN)

  39. ninjakidd

    VPN baby

    VPN connected in a different country, all services available. Sorted!!

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lots of comment but....

    If everyone who was annoyed by this (like me) complained, then maybe the change would be rolled back.

    The complaints page is here

    Take 3 minutes.

    1. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: Lots of comment but....

      Having gone through that already with the similarly badly redesigned BBC News app, and the redesign of the News website before that, I hold out the square root of naff all hope that the Sounds devs would be any more receptive to any form of feedback that included even a sliver of neutral, let alone negative, content regarding their beloved new baby.

      However, in the unlikely event that they manage to prove me wrong here, thanks for a reminder of the feedback link - I'll be making use of that later once I'm sat in front of my PC...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Complain to BBC?....

      So what heading do I choose? If my complaint is about BBC sounds, I'm on the wrong website. If it's about a BBC app, well it isn't and I'm in the wrong area. If it's about a channel.....I'm complaining wrong again. Thanks for the link, but the beeb have structured it so my complaint is screened out

  41. old_IT_guy

    You have a choice, here's mine

    The BBC fail as a public service broadcaster on so many measures.

    I stopped paying the usurious licence fee in the early 2000s, no regrets at all - the biased broadcasting corporation is infested with woke aresholes and much their content has become predictable, preachy, sanctimonious and unwatchable/unlistenable by me. At least James O'Brien and other broadcasters on LBC don't pretend to be unbiased...

    The few admittedly high quality documentaries I am missing on release are not worth enduring the other repellent content for. I'll catch them up online in various ways.

    Vote with your wallets - stop paying the licence fee, stop using the BBC, it only encourages the precious darlings.

  42. DML71

    BBC Sounds App

    Could be worse... Haven't used it for a while so have given it a quick go, I was expecting a barely usable app going by some of the response on here but it seems to do what it needs to. There's a choice of radio stations, the ability to listen to past shows and download for 'offline' listening. For me it doesn't need to do much more than that.

    Regarding sharing of data, the BBC wants to know what is being listened to and where they are to determine what's popular. What a shocker... 3rd party sites don't want to share this so the BBC doesn't want to share it's programming anymore.

    1. ChrisC Silver badge

      Re: BBC Sounds App

      The fact that it does at least work is what persuaded me to rate it 2* on the play store. However, the fact that it does so in a less useable way than the iPR app is one of the reasons why so many of still don't rate it as an even being average let alone in any way good.

      On top of that, the use of a smaller and less contrasty typeface makes it harder to read the text content compared with the clarity of the typeface used in iPR - I appreciate the Beeb are trying to encourage a new generation of younger listeners to try out what BBC Radio has to offer, but this shouldn't be at the expense of those of us in the later age brackets who are suffering to a greater or lesser extent the age-related loss of visual acuity and for whom the new UI is therefore genuinely harder to use.

      And on top of everything is the obsoleting of thousands of older Android and iOS devices which are still perfectly capable of running iPR, but which are not supported at all by Sounds. Now, if the Beeb would allow us to skip paying the licence fee for a years so we could all go out and buy a Sounds-conpatible device, then that would earn them another star from mem. But just shutting off thousands of listeners and glibly suggesting that they can simply start listening via the website or by upgrading their device, rather than making any obvious effort to try and make Sounds compatible with a wider range of devices, means that Sounds will never, can never, be considered in any way a fit for purpose replacement for iPR.

      So no,.I'm not even remotely surprised that 1* reviews continue to roll in for Sounds.

  43. Fonant


    Still working for me:

  44. mrmond

    It's a shame because

    The BBC Sounds app is so crap.

    Then again, TuneIN with it's social media integration is crap too which is why I've kept a much older version installed so I can listen to BBC streams and custom urls, something you can't do so easily with the newer version.

    I'll have to check to see if I can still find media links to add BBC streams to VLC or something similar.

  45. illuminatus


    Apparently, if you looking in a German dictionary, under the word


    it says: replacing iPlayer Radio with Sounds.

  46. Yorkshirefoxy

    Here’s something we wanted to impose on you because listeners don’t matter to us!

    Well, I’ve complained to the BBC about the piece of garbage they call Sounds and that they can’t have an alarm function it’s too difficult for them to program! Sounds UI is atrocious, as someone with a visual impairment I find it laughable you have this floating element when live music is being played. iPlayer Radio was functional but hey! We need to get down with the kids to show we know how they think? I’m all for progress but Sounds isn’t the way forward. They should sack the jerk who ok’d this garbage and the design and programming team for having the audacity to think this is a quality piece of work. Quit while you’re ahead and give us back iPlayer Radio!

  47. Muscleguy

    thank goodness

    I do not any longer pay the BBC tax, both because I no longer own a television capable of getting a signal* or a device to do pass it on and for Scottish political reasons (I dinnae want to pay to fibbed tae).

    *There's an old little cathode ray TV in a cupboard kept because it has the only device capable of rewinding a VCR tape. I can also should I wish play games via it and the PS1. I notified them of it through the proper channels and have to date not been pestered by them. The flickering light from the living rom is the rippling water in the old plastic tank used for raising daphnia and copepods to feed my tropical fish in other tanks. Proper appreciative they are too.

  48. Torchy

    BBC News Content.

    I was unable to view any BBC News website video footage this year whilst on holiday in Crete.

    Just a message informing me that "this content is not available in your country".

    I am from the UK so what is the problem?

    Plenty of adverts though on the "advert free" BBC News website.

    I accessed Sky News for the fortnight I was in Crete and guess what, I now access Sky News every day instead of the BBC.

    That went well didn't it !

  49. applebyJedi

    Typical BBC

    Perhaps the BBC realise that the main users of TuneIn / Amazon Echo's are white middle aged males, the exact group of people the BBC is trying to lose.

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why does the name "BBC Sounds App" remind be of a "fart" app?

  51. Brush
    Black Helicopters

    Thanks a bunch!

    Dear Auntie

    Thanks for sacking off the way I listen to radio, I dont own a 'real' radio nut use my phone, worked for me for years, I pay your licence fee for which you churn out hours and hours or crap, starring people who I dont know and have never heard of, but are "allegedly" famous struggling to cook a fish finger. If I wanted to watch a cookery program I'd buy a copy of Mrs Beaton's book. All I want to do is listen to Radio 4, and TMS via my internet streaming service of choice, oh and by the way thesehave also been going down the bog in pursuit of your 'Younger audiences" approval.

    love and hugs


    1. Yaff1e

      Re: Thanks a bunch!


  52. Random2759661

    Theres a petition set up against this

  53. Yaff1e

    Nobody tell them but they seem to have missed on Android. It's still working for me even though TuneIn isn't

  54. Goodjob66

    So short sighted

    The world is moving towards sharing data and interoperability. The day that the BBC becomes a paid subscription or advertisement funded service just to a big step closer, becasue that is how they are behaving.

    I don't want my licence fee being spent on a second rate app when there are better apps out there. It's OK to innovate but you better to sure that you can build something better than is currently available so that users move to it by choice rather than blocking access. Absurd that non licence fee payers outside the UK are unaffected. Its a even more incoherent decision than the Labour Party view on Brexit.

    The number of comments and complaints on the BBC blog is now up to 1334 with new complaints added every few minutes.

  55. PM from Hell

    BBC channels on Tunein remains on dumb smart speakers

    I have a couple of Bose Soundtouch systems which I use to as streaming devices, both are continuing to receive BBC channels.

    I have done some research and according to the BBC website the change is only applicable to 'smart' devices. It may even just be restricted to Alexa. \I must admit my research concluded once I realised I was OK.

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I realise I'm in a minority

    I have Tune In on my Windows Phones. The one running 8.1 won't connect to BBC channels. The one running Windows 10 Mobile works fine. I log in to both phones with my Microsoft account, so the BBC know who I am and where.

    There's no license fee for radio, and I have no idea how the BBC benefits by reducing its audience on new media. It's not losing revenue, its not losing data, but it insists on losing audience.

  57. Goodjob66

    BBC have got this wrong big time

    BBC have lost listeners as a result of this change as I now listed to LBC who have just announced a significant increase in their listening figures. i wonder why? The petition on to reverse this decision is now over 3000 - Ridiculous and absurd situation that non-license fee payers can continue to access BBC radio via Tune In but license fee payers cant.

  58. Ben-D-Hover

    The arrogance of the BBC

    There are 1000's of angry listeners being totally ignored by the BBC over this farce. Instead of showing any leadership the overpaid Directors have buried their heads up their own a**es and are refusing to talk to the public. Considering that there is not a single positive response across the three blogs of 2700 comments, and over 3200 signed up to, the BBC are showing a level of arrogance and contempt towards the public that is utterly disgusting.

    Considering the BBC are breaching their own Charter and remit, and the Equality Act 2010 by indirect discrimination towards those with a visual impairment, you would think they would just apologise for the mistake and reinstate the streams. Unfortunately in the modern BBC they are blinded by their own self importance to care.

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