Neil Patrick Harris's opening comments about Netflix's remake of the 1990 BBC serial "House of Cards" at the Emmy's got me thinking. For me the main use my smartphone seems to get is streaming radio.
Note not receiving radio but listening to the streamed feed over the internet with the only costs the data (if you do not use wifi or part of an allowance). I tend to listen to radio quite a lot both on the move and at home although I rarely use a radio receiver - even the FM one built into my phone, which is about the only one I have.
My "lazy Saturday" schedule starts about 12.30 midday with a half hour comedy followed by the news and a political discussion program with national politicians. Then at 2 there's a half hour "phone out" with moderated input from listeners in response to the program before. 2.30 to 3.30 or 4 is reserved for a radio play.
I think that may give a clue - this is BBC Radio 4. Veteran listeners to the BBC World Service may recognise some of this programming from before their decision to change to a highly news-orientated service. But did you know you can access virtually all the BBC domestic radio output from anywhere in the world? (The exceptions are where there are broadcasting rights issues, mainly around sporting events).
Accessing is simple. If you want to use an ordinary internet browser (with Flash support), just click here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/...
Unlike the television streams, the BBC's radio "iPlayer" service is not geo-blocked apart from the sporting events etc. For news, I do suggest the World Service although if you are interested in UK politics, "The World at One" is handily timed to coincide with breakfast in the USA and for west coasters the real flagship "Today" starts about 7am London time. Both are on Radio 4 although many other tastes are catered for.
You can also get "BBC radio iPlayer" for Apple iOS and Android devices - search the relevant app store. (In the Android store search for "BBC radio" which should get the radio-only version)
This is a run-down of the various BBC "radio" stations available (modified from Wikipedia):
The first group are the stations available on analogue radio as well as various digital platforms including the internet.
BBC Radio 1: youth oriented, mostly contemporary pop and rock music (including Top 40 singles), plus news, original in-house live music sessions, original live music concerts and music documentaries.
BBC Radio 2: adult oriented entertainment, wide range of music—specially adult contemporary and middle of the road, also talk, comedy, plus news, original in-house live music sessions, original live music concerts and music documentaries. .
BBC Radio 3: arts and high culture, special-interest music (classical, jazz, world music), plus news, original in-house live music sessions, original live music concerts and music documentaries.
BBC Radio 4: news, current affairs, arts, history, original in-house drama, original in-house first-run comedy, science, books and religion. The service closes down and simulcasts the BBC World Service during this time.
BBC Radio 5 Live: news, sports and talk programmes
These are new digital-only domestic radio stations available on internet, DAB radio and digital television platforms:
BBC Radio 1Xtra: new urban music, plus news, original in-house live music sessions, original live music concerts and music documentaries
BBC Radio 4 Extra: classic comedy, drama, books, science fiction, fantasy and children's programmes
BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra: a companion to Radio 5 Live for additional sports events coverage
BBC Radio 6 Music: an eclectic mix of alternative genres including rock, funk, punk and reggae, plus news, original in-house live music sessions, original live music concerts and music documentaries
BBC Asian Network: aimed at the large South Asian community in the UK
Add to this the World Service, the radio stations for the nations (ie for Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland including in local languages)
Many of the individual programs are either available on iPlayer or as podcasts - useful if you have a lot of travel where you cannot get a signal. One of my favorites for this treament is "In Our Time" which is a 45 minute discussion between (Lord) Melvyn Bragg and experts in the particular field. The topics cover a range from the Cambrian period to Pascal, Wordworth's Prelude to gravitational waves. This Thursday they will be talking about the Mamluks, the medieval rulers of Egypt and Syria. It also has an extensive archive available for download - the home page links to their "essential 10". http://www.bbc.co.uk/...
Remember this way you have at least three pluses:
1. No Rush Limbaugh
2. No advertisements
3. The pictures are better than HDTV.