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Work underway to revamp BWBF Talking Newspaper service


British Wireless’s technical team is working on a redesign of the charity’s Talking Newspaper service.

With the annual Talking Newspaper Federation conference just six weeks away – BWBF’s technical team is working hard to redesign the service it offers.

This is to make it easier both for the listeners who use it and Talking Newspaper groups which upload their audio content onto it.

Currently, users of our Sonata Plus+ internet radio can enjoy around 120 different talking publications – including dozens of local newspapers and magazines.

As well as allowing people to access the publications via the Sonata, BWBF also provides each Talking Newspaper group which uploads to the service with a link so the content can also be played by anyone with an internet accessible device, such as a tablet, smartphone or PC.

The work going on behind the scenes will make the process easier and quicker for each Talking Newspaper group to upload its audio content onto our system.

The changes being made by the team will mean the audio includes an embedded player so the listener just has to open the link and the content will start playing automatically.

By using the embedded player, it also means we are able to collect more statistics - showing us who has listened and where they are from.

BWBF’s IT Administrator, Dave Beard, said: “We hope this work will pave the way forward to a more accessible, simple and supportive system.

“Many local Talking Newspapers rely on our service to get audio content to other people who want to listen with smart devices.

“If there are any local Talking Newspapers which are not already on board, please speak to us about our completely free service.

“We are really keen to support you and help get your audio further afield.”

In a separate project, we also have new IT volunteers starting with us who will be working to identify all the broken links within the podcasts offered on our Sonata system.

This work will run for the next six to nine months and all the links will either be fixed or removed if they are no longer available to stream.

There are around 2,500 to 3,000 broken links to be identified, each carrying around 100 pieces of audio so this is a massive project.

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