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BBC iPlayer Radio integration

  • 21 December 2017
  • 20 replies
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Userlevel 1
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Hi there,

I'm not a noob (owner for 10+ years) and am very pro-Sonos and have (what I think is ) a cool feature request - offer BBC iPlayer Radio as another Music Service.

Pros
- Listen without having to go via Tune-In (which is pretty poor IMHO).
- Have current radio station/track scroll in Controller.
- Ability to add currently playing track to 'My Music' (previously 'Playlister') - this would be similar to 'Liking' a track in Deezer, Spotify etc.
- Listen again/later within the app - without having to download a show to another device and stream it back into Sonos via something like Google Chromecast Audio.

I suggested this feature 4 years ago and disappointingly I'm still awaiting.

Go on Sonos, improve the user experience by making it easier for people who've invested in Sonos to embrace other great music services out there. The BBC iPlayer Radio service is extremely high-quality (features-wise) and is likely to be around long enough to justify the development time required to get the integration working.

Many thanks,
Al
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Best answer by southern gal 23 October 2018, 04:49

news re BBC iPlayer - its now iPlayer only in NON UK countries... in the UK its now BBC SOUNDS.
here is info from their website re Sonos and SOUNDS

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/help/sonos-airplay
Can I use a Sonos device with the BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer Radio apps?
Yes, you can! If you have either a Sonos One, Beam, Playbase, or second generation Play:5 device, you can AirPlay from the BBC Sounds app or BBC iPlayer Radio app on your iPad or iPhone to all your Sonos speakers.

You'll need to have v9 of the Sonos Controller app installed and accept the latest device firmware update within the app.

Sonos One owners also have the option of accessing BBC radio and podcasts using their voice - just say, "Alexa, open the BBC," to get started.

It's not yet possible to use the BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer Radio apps through Sonos from Android devices.
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20 replies

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Totally agree!
Userlevel 5
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Isn’t the BBC iPlayer app geoblocked, making it useless outside the U.K? I have to use a VPN or smart dns service to get it to work in North America and South America. I’m sure Sonos would be better off concentrating on partnerships that could benefit a wide proportion of its customer base.
Userlevel 7
Badge +17
There is now an Alex skill for bbc iplayer :-
http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/radio/amazon-alexa
So hopefully voice control will be able to get bbc iplayer radio on sonos one day.....
Userlevel 4
Badge +5
There is now an Alex skill for bbc iplayer :-
http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/radio/amazon-alexa
So hopefully voice control will be able to get bbc iplayer radio on sonos one day.....


not available in the US (Geoblocked) too bad.
Userlevel 7
Badge +21
Ask the BBC if you want this, and point them to musicpartners.sonos.com
Thank you for the link, Paulw123, however it looks to me like the Alexa skill won't help me get BBC iplayer radio. The webpage says "live stations and podcasts" which I can already get on TuneIn radio on Sonos. What I really want is BBC iplayer radio feature because that allows me to listen to entire programmes (not snippets of podcasts) that have already been broadcast, and allows me to rewind or pause when necessary. For instance the Radio 4 Today programme podcast is just a small exert of the entire two hour programme, but I would like to listen to the whole programme but later on in the day, when it is convenient. I think controlav is right, we need to pester the bbc to add this integration feature. I think they do listen to suggestions if enough people make them.
Userlevel 5
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IMHO, the fact that Most BBC streams through iPlayer are geoblocked outside the UK (not sure about Ireland) will stand in the way. This prevents me from listening to high quality streams in Canada and Brasil, until I resort to internet trickery. I suspect Amazon/Alexa is more interested in features that will work worldwide. But I could be wrong.
Sadly, I think you’re right.
What would be good was if the BBC came up with an alternative to the tv licence, or at least an alternative option eg. a subscription, which would allow access to iplayer (tv and radio) in countries outside the uk. So many people travel abroad these days it seems crazy to have a service that you can only access in this country. Also, loads of people in foreign countries may want to be able to use bbc player. They could greatly increase their income if they allowed subscription like Netflix do, and allow people from other countries to watch Uk stuff. I don’t know much about it though, tbh.
Perhaps Sonos -iPlayer integration is going to be a long time coming then. That’s such a shame ?
Userlevel 1
There's about 70 million people in the UK so a worthwhile market for Sonos. The BBC support iPlayer across so many platforms (e.g. Sony, LG, Panasonic, Humax, Toshiba, Philips, Hisense, Apple, Android, tiny OEM brands etc etc etc) it is really strange that Sonos can't / won't engage with them too.

I'm getting a bit fed up with the platitudes from Sonos who don't seem able to explain why they won't provide the support. It's a simple development that would give all their users a better experience. iPlayer radio (app) is not geoblocked - just iPlayer TV. you can certainly listen to iplayer radio on the web worldwide. http://iplayerhelp.external.bbc.co.uk/radio/radio-outside-uk

Very poor show Sonos.
I agree, support for BBC Radio iPlayer is long overdue. OK, it may not be available outside the UK but that's life and thousands of UK residents who pay the BBC licence fee would be able benefit. Sonos developers need to start talking to the BBC who are very keen to get iPlayer on as many platforms as possible.
Userlevel 5
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I’m a big fan of BBC radio. I understand the arcane BBC licence fee. But perhaps the BBC should realize the benefits of having a global audience. It’s fairly simple to get lower bitrate BBC streams outside the UK, but more difficult to get higher bitrate streams (non-Sonos). A non-iPlayer solution might work better for Sonos and solve the problem. It’s not like the rest of the world is ever going to pay the licence fee. Btw, I can get iPlayer to work for both TV and radio through smart dns services here in Brasil (and in Canada as well), but not directly on Sonos (radio only, of course) because there is no iPlayer app. Other geoblocked services, such as Slacker Radio and Sirius in North America (I pay for both) can be made to work with the Sonos apps and the right smart dns service.
I’m sure the Sonos folks are quite capable of coming up with something for BBC. But as I said before, I think the limited market means they won’t. Yes there are 70 million Brits, but there are almost 400 million North Americans. Realistically, where would you focus your efforts if you were Sonos?
However, I’d be happy to be wrong. As I said, I’m a BBC fan.
I'm of the considered opinion that the BBC doesn't really care about you if you're not using the iPlayer app. They've never been very responsive to the issues with their stream on TuneIn, so I wouldn't expect them to want to spend much time working on a partnership with Sonos.
Userlevel 5
Badge +9
I'm of the considered opinion that the BBC doesn't really care about you if you're not using the iPlayer app. They've never been very responsive to the issues with their stream on TuneIn, so I wouldn't expect them to want to spend much time working on a partnership with Sonos.
Unfortunately, you’re probably correct. I often use direct URLs with Sonos to avoid Tunein issues. But only the lower bitrate streams work for me.
I yesterday raised this i/Player issue with Sonos Customer Services & was fobbed off with a recommendation to download & listen to 'Stitcher.' However, I discovered their output is almost entirely US based with no 'Catch-up Radio.' They then suggested I register my views here in the 'Community.' Having just read these earlier posts, it seems from the many already left here before me, that over some period of time that Sonos is too US centric :@Surely it's time we ask Sonos to 'wake-up' to the fact that they have a considerable customer base in the UK. Furthermore, this listener base might grow considerably larger were they to incorporate the BBC i/Player service into their catalogue of broadcasters, at least for the benefit of their UK customers! Then maybe then the BBC might offer a method to widen their potential overseas audience, perhaps by some form of licence. That would be a true 'Win Win' situation.:D
Userlevel 4
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Actually the bbc iPlayer (radio only) is NOT geoblocked... you can download it to your iPhone in the US - its in the App store. There is a BBC iPlayer that is just TV programmes - that one is geoblocked. However there are ways to get it (reply and include your email and i will email privately ) (the website has separate sections for tv and radio).

So you can download the radio version of the iPlayer and then select your program and auto play on and then send from your iPhone music out to your Sonos One speaker (see below) which if grouped with your other speakers will then play your bbc show on all speakers (or whatever group you have selected).

This was the reason I bought a Sonos One ... and it works beautifully .. of course you are controlling it from your iPhone but i will take that over not being able to binge listen my radio shows (and yes that includes the Archers).

--------------------------
Play music on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch1, then control where it's playing from Control Center:
Open Control Center.
Press deeply or touch and hold on the audio card in the upper right corner to open audio controls. If you don't see the other devices that you want to play audio through, tap to switch from playback controls to AirPlay options.
Tap each device through which you want to play the current audio.
[You would select your Sonos One speaker]
Hi Southern Gal
Thanks for your reply. As I've little interest in this station's main output I'm currently forced to listen to a few selective retro radio programmes on BBC Radio 2 via my Android phone, so any assistance in getting these programmes: on my Sonos system would be most appreciated. Thanks again. Best.. Jazzix 😃
Oh yes my email address is: - clairmark1@gmail.com Best.. J.
Userlevel 4
Badge +5
news re BBC iPlayer - its now iPlayer only in NON UK countries... in the UK its now BBC SOUNDS.
here is info from their website re Sonos and SOUNDS

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/help/sonos-airplay
Can I use a Sonos device with the BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer Radio apps?
Yes, you can! If you have either a Sonos One, Beam, Playbase, or second generation Play:5 device, you can AirPlay from the BBC Sounds app or BBC iPlayer Radio app on your iPad or iPhone to all your Sonos speakers.

You'll need to have v9 of the Sonos Controller app installed and accept the latest device firmware update within the app.

Sonos One owners also have the option of accessing BBC radio and podcasts using their voice - just say, "Alexa, open the BBC," to get started.

It's not yet possible to use the BBC Sounds and BBC iPlayer Radio apps through Sonos from Android devices.
BBC i/Player Work Around...
HI All, forgive me for if what I'm sharing has already been covered in a more technical post. My system is 10 years old & as I'm not very technical, I've discovered a way of listening to this BBC output on my old Sonos system. All you require is a 'Sonos Connect' Amp, an iPhone or Android phone that you have pre-installed the BBC Radio i/Player App, lastly a two pin Phono to Mini-Jack cable.

Plug the two stereo phono plugs into the output ports of the 'Connect' amp, then plug the mini-jack into the headphone socket on your phone. Now select 'Line-in' on your CR200/ Cell phone app, or Windows Sonos Controller app. Lastly, select the i/Player programme you wish to listen & Hey Presto it will play! But ensure you have the volume output on the phone to maximum to hear the weak audio signal - Enjoy! 🆒
Hi. On the 'weak audio' point there is no reason for it to be weak. It probably just needs the line-in level setting to be increased in the Sonos app.(Room Settings for the line-in 'room', Advanced Audio).