igneous software

Podcast Lounge, the popular Windows Phone app that enables consumers to tune into a number of podcasts, has been bumped to version 1.6, which introduces a number of new features. The app has once again been in beta for some time, but a lot has been improved upon since the previous update. The highlights in 1.6? Windows Phone 8 support, video playback, performance improvements and other alterations to the user experience have been applied.

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Podcast Lounge, the name sounds familiar, right? It should as the app was previously branded BBC Podcast Lounge, which is highly rated in the Windows Phone Store. Due to some legal entanglements with the BBC, Igneous Software has tasked itself with rebranding its app, along with improving the catalogue of podcasts available and implementing new features.

We've been playing with the beta (now into revision 3) for little over a day and are impressed with what we've seen so far. So what can you expect to see in the upcoming version when it's released and available to download? We'll quickly run you through what's new and initial thoughts on improvements applied to the experience.

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Igneous Software, the developer behind the collection of BBC Radio apps and Podcast Lounge is going through some rough times with the BBC. We've previously touched on how complications have arisen with the British corporation surrounding business licensing. This has led the developer to rename and alter apps available for Windows Phone to prevent the requirement for said solutions to be pulled.

We've now received further information detailing changes Igneous Software is required to make to its BBC Radio apps.

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This week we've had the pleasure in being joined by Richard Castle of Igneous Software, the brains behind the BBC Radio apps and upcoming BBC Podcast Lounge. As well as a solution for BBC radio streaming, the Podcast Lounge offers Windows Phone users Metro-influenced access to the BBC catalogue of programs. Castle walks us through his background in software development and how he started up the covered projects. 

Head on past the break for the full interview.

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We've had the chance to look at an upcoming app from Igneous Software, who are responsible for the BBC Radio apps available on the Marketplace. Their latest project, BBC Podcast Lounge, does exactly what it says on the tin. The UI and design of the app is superb and follows on nicely from their previous radio apps, but it's the functionality and end-polish that shines in BBC Podcast Lounge.

On app launch you're greeted by the featured screen with tiles of top recommended podcasts. From here you can pan across and view all the genres (the BBC reportedly contains over 300 unique programmes) available, from Jazz and Rock all the way to Science and Soap, there's something for every taste. If you'd rather select shows by stations and / or region, a full list is present to break down the catalogue.

As well as the selection lists, programmes can be added to the favourites for more convenient access, but unfortunately they (or the radio stations) can't be pinned to the home screen. Search is also available, which will enable the user to filter through the programmes available in real-time. As well as the breakdown categories, featured, and favourites the main app screen also sports miscellaneous links for rating the app, etc. and providing feedback to the developers.

Playback is just what you'd expect from a generic media / music player, and with the included background playback functionality one can continue to battle zombies or help defeat Dr. Robotnik while listening to a gardening talk show. BBC Podcast Lounge also integrates itself into the list of applications in the Music and Video hub. Check out our quick walkthrough of the app below.

We expect BBC Radio Podcast to be hitting the Marketplace soon (we'll announce exactly when it's available). Note that features present in the video and covered by this preview article are subject to change. Igneous Software have stated they have plans to introduce a download manager and functionality for offline playback in the next version. Positive times ahead!

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BBC Radio apps receive update

The BBC Radio apps for Windows Phone, by Igneous Software, have received an update that brings more functionality to the table. The apps themselves were recently updated to Mango two months ago so this is a welcomed refresh with taking advantage of more Mango-only features. Some of the included features are as follows:

  • Reminder function for programmes later in the schedule
  • Direct links to the selected BBC programme’s website
  • Better checks for playback over GSM if the option to block is set
  • Ability to pin the current station to the Start screen (BBC Radio Player only)
  • Addition of 16 new World Service channels including Arabic, Russian and French (BBC Radio Player only)

You can download BBC Radio from the Marketplace for £0.99 ($1.29). Remember that there are four individual apps for each radio station, these are all included in the main app should you wish to listen to more than one station.

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