After a year or more of discussion it’s finally been decided that the BBC will allow shows and content to be downloaded and enjoyed offline from its iPlayer Radio app.
The BBC iPlayer has allowed a selection of telly favourites to be downloaded to iOS and Android smartphone, tablet and computers for non-internet dependent viewing since late 2012 but the stand-alone iPlayer Radio app which spawned from it in April 2013 has, up until now, not allowed its listeners the same offline privileges.
The delay is believed to have come mostly down to legal part, licensing for owned content played on the BBC Radio stations. Those of us of a certain age may remember recording the UK Top 40 chart onto cassette tapes, completely carefree – when in fact there was actually a lot of legality surrounding the illicit act. The same law applies, if not more so when dealing with digital content which is accessible around the world.
There was also the work involved in adapting the software app to allow for downloading and playing without a streaming source, beneficial for commuters and those who don’t want to miss out on a favourite show when not near a reliable data connection.
Currently BBC’s TV iPlayer allows users to store downloads for 30 days, and we’d think the same would apply for iPlayer Radio when it finally goes live with offline content. We’re all ears for the latest news on when the scheme officially rolls out.