Directories listing the various UK radio stations that have a live online feed are nothing new, but the BBC and commercial radio have revealed a joint venture entitled UK Radioplayer that should mean that people listening to radio online will be able to jump around stations while staying within the same radio player.
The press release tells us that the pop-up console will be able to stream over 400 stations, which will be a mixture of licensed national, local, community and student radio stations. A key feature would appear to be the search functionality allowing people to look for specific types of shows and music. A BBC blog has a video demo of what some of the features embedded within the console will be. These include support for advertising, programme sponsorship and other interactive content. The radio player, while initially limited to personal computers, will in later releases support smartphones and IPTV set-top boxes.
As with projects like Canvas, this project will require approval from the BBC trust. Approval is not a foregone conclusion, the Canvas project is still in the balance with opposition from some broadcasters not involved in the 'open' project.