Local lapses in CBC Radio’s iPhone app explained

sScreenshot - iconsThis month, Apple approved a free CBC Radio app that offers yet another reason to own an iPhone. It will prove a boon to radio listeners not tied to their radios all day.

The CBC Radio app will give iPhone or iPod users live audio streams from of Radio 1, 2, and 3 (the corp’s net-based, indy-oriented network). It will let users listen in any time zone, so when Atlantic Canadians miss a national program, they have four chances to catch up.

sScreenshot - network menuWant to listen to a local show in real time? Pick it off the station menu (below left), our use the “find-your-location” feature.

It also offers archived episodes of many CBC Radio shows. Miss an episode of Spark (currently contrarian‘s favorite CBC program)? It’s there on your phone, on demand, whenever you want it.

You can do most of these things on the CBC website, too, but the iPhone app interface is so much cleaner and easier to navigate than the website, many listeners will reach for the phone.

sScreenshot - station menuAs initially released, the program has a few startling lapses. There are no Maritime locations listed on the Radio One station menu, and the find-your-location function directs Nova Scotiams to Ottawa or Goose Bay, of all places.

It turns out that CBC is in the process of converting all its streaming audio feeds from Windows Media to MP3 format. (That’s a good thing; the CBC’s streaming audio files have tended to be balky.)

Jonathan Carrigan, the CBC’s  Product Development Manager for Digital Programming & Business Development, says the missing stations will be added as soon as their streams are converted to MP3. This will require one ore more upgrades to the app, and these will be coming “very soon,” he says. Once the audio stream conversions are complete, Carrigan promises more upgrades, and more features.