BBC Radio Explorer

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

BBC Radio Explorer
Searching radio explorer.jpg
Original author(s)Jason Williams
Initial release29 May 2014; 7 years ago (2014-05-29)[1]
Written inJavaScript, PHP[2]
Available inEnglish
TypeMedia player software

Radio Explorer was an online radio and playlist streaming application from the BBC originally developed by Jason Williams and launched on 29 May 2014.[1][3][4][5] It later appeared on BBC Taster, the BBC's portal for ideas and experimental projects, in March 2015.[6][7]

Radio Explorer allowed the streaming of generated playlists based on searches, which would then play continuously. The service discontinued on 15 December 2016, the development effort and service was rolled into BBC Sounds.[1]


Radio Explorer was developed during the BBC Design + Engineering's 10% time initiative. It was prototyped using the BBC's Forge platform, in order to show content the service took full advantage of Nitro, an API which allowed BBC products to search for content.[2][8]

After internal usage Radio Explorer went on to become a BBC online service.[9][10] Radio Explorer worked by searching through programmes titles, subtitles, short synopsis, long synopsis and descriptions.[11] Results were then filtered by those being available to play, including clips.[12] Initially only speech networks were included, but later the service included all BBC networks.[6]

The service was later discussed on BBC Radio 5 live's The Radio Review of 2014 where "Christmas Puddings" was searched for during the show, it also included an interview with Jason Williams.[10] Due to the Beta nature of the project the launch was with no marketing regarding its release. Instead there was a tweet from BBC Radio 4 for users to try it out and a blog post regarding its development.[13][14][9]


  1. ^ a b c Williams, Jason (22 April 2015). "Radio Explorer – What we've learned". Jason Williams. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b "The ins and outs of Barlesque". BBC. 30 June 2010. The new BBC Tech Platform. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  3. ^ "BBC Radio Explorer". Radio 4 Blog. 31 July 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  4. ^ "BBC Radio Explorer: a new way to listen to radio". Amateur Radio News. 31 May 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  5. ^ James Cridland (30 May 2014). "BBC Radio Explorer: a new way to listen to radio". Media UK. Archived from the original on 4 June 2014.
  6. ^ a b "BBC Radio Explorer". BBC Taster. 22 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  7. ^ "About Taster". BBC Taster. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Programme Metadata API: Nitro Update". BBC. 22 May 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b O'Malley, James (2 June 2014). "BBC quietly launch Radio Explorer, and make radio relevant again". Tech Digest. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  10. ^ a b "The Radio review of 2014". The Radio review of 2014. 25 December 2014. Event occurs at 01:43:08. BBC Radio 5 Live. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  11. ^ Audioboom (11 June 2014). "The Radio Today Programme June 11th 2014". Radio Today (Podcast). Radio Today. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  12. ^ "BBC Radio Explorer: what we've learned". BBC Internet Blog. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  13. ^ "BBC quietly launch Radio Explorer, and make radio relevant again". Amateur Radio News. 2 June 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  14. ^ "Radio Explorer creates a playlist on your chosen topic from R3, R4 & 5 live". Twitter. 3 August 2014. Retrieved 15 March 2019.