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Under the hood with the UK Radioplayer tablet app

Wonder how it works? I asked.

The UK Radioplayer tabley app came out last week. While writing my quick hands-on review I wondered a few things about the code, and so asked Michael Hill, the MD of Radioplayer...

Love the app, Mike. On my wifi-connected tablet, am I still getting a low-bitrate stream destined for mobiles?

For our mobile apps, we require stations to have a sub-48k stream. This ensures robustness on-the-move. For these tablet apps, we’ve relaxed the rules, as at least 85% of tablet use is on wi-fi.

The app will still look for a low-bitrate stream if it’s on a mobile connection - but it’s not mandatory, and it will always play the highest-bitrate available if on wi-fi.

There's a column marked 'recommended'. How does it recommend?

Recommended is a blend of the following...
* Location: (as defined by each station through their ‘editorial relevance’ polygons
* Trending: (not popularity, but the ‘tune-in gradient’ for each station)
* History: (crowdsourced Amazon-style recommendation based on millions of users’ listening patterns, and the last station you listened to)
* Catchup: (sprinkled through the list are catch-up items from some of the last stations you’ve listened to, or set as presets)
* Music: If you enable Facebook-linking, we take your artist ‘likes’ and show you when those tracks are playing across UK Radio. If you’re on an iOS device we can also see your favourite artists from iTunes.

Cool, thank you!

...so, if you wondered whether it's still worth an install, you've probably got your answer: it is; there's clearly been some good thought that has gone into this.

(Unlike our photo, the UK Radioplayer tablet app was not apparently coded by cats.)

James Cridland is the Managing Director of Media UK, and a radio futurologist: a consultant, writer and public speaker who concentrates on the effect that new platforms and technology are having on the radio business.
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Credits: Photo Steve Caddy