back to article Radio in the cloud: Do we want to TiVo our radio?

Michael Robertson's latest quixotic venture has much in common with his earlier adventures in entrepreneurship, such as, his Linux distro, VoIP service and locker music. These have divided opinion, you might say; they're viewed either as fabulously "disruptive" innovations, or solutions looking for a problem to fix that …


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Vs podcast?

I usually listen to radio after time-shifting, using the BBC's podcasts. Of course that only works because the BBC have set up an RSS feed. I can see this sort of user-initiated time shift being useful if it allowed you to set up your own individual RSS feed, but having to go to the site to download or stream looks like too much effort to continue after a few runs.


What do you mean by radio?

Do we want to TiVo our radio? you ask.

Well, if by radio you mean the endless random repetition of hit-factory plastic pop by stations with a play list of 150 and a worthless moron reading out the traffic, well duh.

If by radio you mean Recording R4's "News Quiz" or Kermode and Mayo's film reviews from R5 to enjoy after work, then yes, I do want to. I can use podcasts for that, but they don't podcast "Any Questions" or the Radio 3 lunchtime concerts.

This evening classic FM is running the Symphony No.2 in E minor by Rachmaninov . I will be doing something else, but Mr Linux will be time-shifting it for me.

So, there is some radio for which TIVO makes enormous sense, and an awful lot for which it doesn't. Just like the telly really.


vs DAB radio?

My Pure Bug radio has lets me select programmes from its internal EPG and record them to an SD card. I can set weekly or daily schedules so I don't miss regular programmes and don't have to mess around with podcasts or iPlayer.

So it's nothing new.


Been there, done it

CommandAudio Corp done it 10 years ago and hold most of the patents in this area.


Been there, done /some of/ it ...

The last version of Command Audio's website appears to list only client-side time-shift patents, and of course "cloud" storage wasn't in the picture ten years ago.


In one ear and out the other?

Nonsense! I listen to specific programmes on the radio just as I do on the television. The only difference is that I might leave the radio on until something forces me to turn it off, such as a pre-recorded trail.

It seems absurd that just about every non-portable video recorder, be it a VCR, PVR or whatever, has a built-in tuner (or two) with the ability to record programmes unattended, but sound recorders (tape, cassette, DAT, minidisc, flash, ...) invariably never had such capabilities. Only when radio and tv came together in DVB-T was it possible easily to record radio. I could do it by scheduling my Sony Beta Hi-Fi machine to record audio from the external input and leaving a tuner switched on and tuned in. No good if I wanted to record programmes from different stations.


On the contrary!

All the reel to reel and cassette tape recorders that I've owned in the last 30 years were happy to record when connected to a programmable time switch. Ok, the radio had to stay tuned to a single station, but they did nicely for recording 3 weeks worth of The Archers or selected John Peel shows while on holiday. I never got into DAT or MiniDisc. When I switched to recording off air with a computer I could use the timed recording of Sound Studio. 'Though Feltip regrettably dropped that feature, Audacity has recently gained it, albeit in a very extended series of beta releases.

Thank goodness for digital recording. That stack of 10.5 inch reels would have filled my house!


el reg is like talking to your Grandpa

i love the register cause it's like talking to your grandpa

half the time he's sharing wisdom collected over the the last 80 years and half the time he's a crotchety old fart who doesn't fully grasp what's happening.

Andrew is one of my face authors. I flew to UK just to meet him.

It seems puzzling to ponder if people want all audio content I'm demand, interactively (rew, pause, and ff). Seems like a no-duh to me but I guess readerscan make up their own minds

I'll comment on just one aspect of his article. cloud recording has massive advantages over hardware and software solutions which require purchase, installation and maintenance. is easy, cheaper and much more powerful. it takes just a few clicks to setup. no equipment needs to be left on. its much more powerful. go click record on classic rock section and watch 10 stations record simultaneously. and resulting recordings are automatically in the cloud so you can listen from any PC, smartphone, internet radio, and other devices like Roku video player. other solutions dump material on a PC drive somewhere. Cloud recording and storage will win for video, audio, text, everything. bet against the cloud at your own peril.

I know this. If I ever invent a company or service that Andrew applauds it will be worth billions or such a small geek niche it won't be worth the cost of the domain name.

-- mr

Michael Robertson


Call me ...

If you ever worry about that last point, Michael, give me a call. I'd be happy to pay for the domain name for a fractional interest in the invention. (:

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TiVo for radio?

I already have a TiVo for radio, it's called TiVo! I was using it last night to listen to a radio interview it had recorded for me, due to it knowing I was interested in the interviewee.

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BBC radio is going from Freeview in Scotland

Removed to make room for Gaelic television. However, will be available while Gaelic programmes are not broadcast.

This matters for BBC Radio 7 for instance which is on DAB but without stereo. Radio 4 also sometimes drops stereo.

On the other hand, the BBC does a moderately good job of putting its own radio programmes online, albeit apparently by recording them off air as they go out, and occasionally missing the start or end. I could do that myself.


Cloud vs. Client

Although time-shift technology has been available in various client-side forms for a long time, none of those offers the flexibility and convenience of and cloud storage, first of which is the fact that doesn't restrict one to a given device. If I'm listening to a program and called away for some reason, I can quickly instruct to record the remainder of the show and play it back from virtually any other internet-connected device at my convenience. If I'm at the office and learn of a show I'd like to hear, I can make the arrangements and listen -- there or elsewhere -- later.

The market for client-based audio time shifting is limited but real; a cloud-based equivalent should attract both that and a wider audience.

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