What’s new in the labs?

We’re taking a break from coding this evening to catch up with emails from our users, but also to tell you a little more about what’s brewing in our labs.

The BBC Podcast Lounge has been a wonderful success to date. We’ve received great feedback from users, won awards, top-ranked in the Marketplace and got great ratings from people loving the simplicity of the interface. Recently, we’ve been hard at work adding new features and functionality. In the last couple of weeks, we launched version 1.3 that offers download support, and in version 1.4 (about to start testing), we’ve added auto-subscribing/downloading for your favourite programmes.

What about other projects? We’ve got several ideas and concepts for new apps, however we’ve got limited resources, so we need to focus our creative energy on the most viable of ideas.

We get lots of requests from users to provide BBC iPlayer functionalty for Windows Phone. Unfortunately because of the licencing and other legal complexities, the BBC don’t provide a public API to stream their television content. In the early days of Android, there were several apps that reverse-engineered the iPhone app and had some success, however since the BBC launched an Android version and locked the back-doors down, these have largely ceased. Bottom line is, until the BBC make an iPlayer app for Windows Phone, we’re not going to get BBC TV….

However. BBC Radio does seem to be possible! We’ve got a working prototype that allows you to reliably stream the last 7 days of programming on any of the BBC’s national and regional radio stations. We’re able to do one better than the iPhone and Android iPlayer apps as they only offer the national stations.

Once we get the BBC Podcast Lounge to a maturity stage we’re happy with, we’ll start to code up this concept into something we can launch.

We’re pretty excited about this and are looking forward to getting this out there. For now, we’d be delighted to hear your thoughts and ideas for features!

Richard and the team at Igneous Software