Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Saturday, 21 November 2020

Ideas for BBC Sounds - shareable playlists, timestamped clips and mixtapes

I use the BBC Sounds app and online and I'm still not a fan but hate it marginally less than I did at the start. In part I think that's because the social media team are really responsive and helpful. I suggested that I'd like to be able to share a podcast from within the app and they got back to me later to tell me I could now do it (I'm sure it was already in the pipeline, and it wasn't implement just because of me though!). 

So I like them even though I find the whole arrangement a bit... odd. For example if you're on a BBC programme page you're invited to press 'play', which then takes you to the BBC Sounds version of the page where you have to press play again. With the old system you just played within the page you were already on. Just seems weird to duplicate the system. But if you're logged in you can easily click 'bookmark' or 'subscribe' and it immediately syncs with the phone app.

Also, if you were to search for the (excellent) 15min podcast series Bunk Bed (Peter Curran / Patrick Marber) on Google the first hit you probably get is a page telling you about the very limited availability of episodes recently broadcast. In fact all episodes of all series are available, but you need to know to click on the Podcast link to get to them. Baffling.

Anyway - you can create for yourself a playlist by just adding things to bookmarks and it will play them once through continously in the reverse order you add them, last one is first. Or was last time I did this. I use this feature a lot after bleating at them that I couldn't do it and them telling me nicely that i could :)

Suggestion 1 - shareable playlists
I'd like to be able to collate and curate some programmes on a similar theme and share that (a sound-related example is here on one of my other blogs). Perhaps I could create (probably on the web version, but easier) a playlist of up to 5 separate episodes (from different series), or there'd maybe be a maximum length of 3 hours - so 3 x 1hr episodes max, or 6 1/2hr ones, or a mixture.

Suggestion 2 - Timestamped 'clips'
On YouTube it's easy to share a link to a video and specify when it starts. People clicking on your link will be taken to that very point in the video - this is great. They can then stop the video themselves or let it play to the end. I'd quite like to be able to share something similar, rather than saying 'start at 1hr 04min 23sec'. I realise it's not straightforward to create actual 'clips' because either that would involve BBC having to store additional mini copies of stuff, and there could be billions if people are endlessly clipping various sections of a piece, but a timestamp thing would help. As BBC material is copyrighted it's not practical / legal to start downloading and sharing clips yourself.

Suggestion 3 - 'Mixtapes'
If it were straightforward to share episodes or segments of episodes think of the fun we could have sharing the radio equivalent of mixtapes! Little bit of this, little bit of that.

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