BBC iPlayer Radio - for older Androids

The BBC disgracefully abandoned older Android users in 2014 when they "upgraded" their iPlayer app to use separate versions for TV and for Radio. The Radio app demanded Android 4 upwards - justified on the basis that over 80% of users had suitable devices. Tough luck for the rest of us.

We were intended to use the iPlayer radio feature on the BBC website, but I found this unusable - most browsers refused to load an appropriate driver, and when I did find a workable combination, programmes might take 15 attempts to start - or not start at all.

Eventually, I found a way to get near-100% availability, and offer it here. It works on my Samsung Galaxy Player 4.2 running Android 2.3.6 - and I hope it will work for you too.

  • Check that you have the BBC Media Player app loaded (it won't play stuff directly, but is needed by your browser). 
  • Use the Opera Mini browser. This comes with appropriate drivers to play the iPlayer Radio streams. 
  • If a stream refuses to start, go to Settings and look for something like "Maintain Applications". Find the BBC Media Player and delete the data - always 0.95Gb in my case. Now try again.
  • If you still can't load the stream, edit the URL. If it ends "#auto", then strip off that bit. If it doesn't have "#auto" at the end, add it. Then try loading again (it might take two attempts).

Happy listening

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