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Radio still holds a vital place in my heart

GLOBAL – One of the best things about Britain is the BBC; and its radio broadcasting is arguably the best thing about the BBC. So you probably want to get hold of BBC Radio Player. It’s a relatively simple app for Nokia Lumia phones that does exactly what you would expect it to. It plays BBC radio stations from their internet streams.

You can already listen to the radio on Nokia Lumia phones using the built-in FM receiver, of course, but this app builds on that experience in a number of useful ways.

The number one use-case suggested by the developers is that you can still listen to BBC radio when you’re not in Britain. Not just the World Service, but 74 channels in total, including such esoteric delights as 6 Music, 5 Live, Radio 1 Extra, Asian Network, BBC Ulster, BBC Wales and BBC Scotland.

But there are more benefits than that. For a start, all the stations appear in an easy-to-use list. There’s EPG information about current and forthcoming broadcasts. You can pin stations to the homescreen and get programme reminders. It also offers a clearer reception in many cases and will work as a background process and keeps playing when the screen is locked (with transit controls on the standby screen like the regular MP3 player). Lastly, you can also use the speaker rather than the earphones, since it doesn’t need an antennae. I’ve found that useful for spoken-word stations. 

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As with any streaming media app, you should exercise care to ensure that you aren’t gobbling up the whole of your data allowance while you’re on the move. Fortunately, there is a setting to forbid the app from using your cell signal – so it will only use WiFi. That’s obviously not much use if you’re on foot, but can guard against expensive accidents.

I’m sure that the developers, Igneous Software, already have a lengthy to-do list for future versions of the app. For me, I’d like it to be able to cache or record broadcasts so that I can use it on my often signal-free train and tube rides to work. That’s about it, though – it’s a well-crafted, useful and stable app. 

Anyway, have a go of the free trial version to see if it works for you. It’s not time-limited in any way but you only get access to seven of the 74 stations available in the 99p paid-version. 

Which radio apps are you using – for Lumia, Symbian or MeeGo phones?

image credit: h.koppodelaney