Higher online audio quality from December, following Proms trial
The BBC is set to launch a higher-quality online audio streaming service for Radio 3, following a successful trial during this Summer's Proms season.
The service will initially be available for Radio 3 listeners from December via the station's website, but will be previewed later this month with broadcasts of Radio 2's Electric Proms.
The service will use a 320kbps bitrate, presumably in AAC as was the case with the trial service, so will potentially offer almost twice the resolution of existing DAB services.
It's hoped that the service can eventually be rolled out to a wider range of stations: BBC Director of Audio and Music Tim Davie says that "Radio 3 listeners will get the benefit of the highest quality broadcast available anywhere.
"Interestingly, it was Radio 3 that led the charge in 1971 as radio moved to stereo, and once again it is excellent to see it at the forefront of innovation."
A BBC statement says that "In these early stages, the stream will only be available for live programmes (not on demand).
"It will initially be available through pages on radio networks' websites and special event sites, although the ambition is to integrate HD Sound into iPlayer and Radioplayer as the technology develops."
Radioplayer is the proposed unified online distribution system for all of the UK's radio stations, both BBC and commercial.
Andrew Everard, Audio Editor of Gramophone since November 1999, read English at Queens' College, Cambridge a very long time ago, and was a member of the Westminster Abbey Special Choir even further back in the mists of time. He has worked on What Hi-Fi? Sound and Vision, High Fidelity, Audiophile and Home Cinema magazines, as well as contributing a monthly column to Japanese title HiVi.