For the past two weeks I have been constructing the Cross Rhythms Radioplayer.
So firstly, what is Radioplayer?
Radioplayer is an online audio player which gives you access to live, on demand and podcast radio from hundreds of stations in the UK. All of the stations on Radioplayer use the same player so that the experience is simple and familiar for users, no matter which station they listen to.
The first stations on the player were those from the BBC, Global Radio (including the Heart network), GMG Radio and the Absolute Radio network. These were also the founding stations of the project.
You can read more about Radioplayer at their website: www.radioplayer.co.uk
The most exciting thing for me is that Cross Rhythms will be the first Christian radio station on Radioplayer!
Now let’s get down to what I’ve been doing over the past two weeks!
So on a on Tuesday 21st June, I was asked by Richard (the head of IT at Cross Rhythms) if I would be prepared to start work on CR’s Radioplayer console. I LEAPED at the chance to get involved with this as I had told Richard about it as soon as I caught wind of it.
I hadn’t been given a deadline, but they knew that I would only be there for two weeks before I left them for the summer. So my personal target was to get it completed and on the Radioplayer database by today.
My first step was to gather all the information I needed before generating the station’s meta data which would be used in the search engine RP has. This was a bit of a task and took me several hours to do; this was before I had got to any actual creating of stuff!
Next I used the console generator that RP had provided. This gave me a great starting block and provided me with the outline and actual player. All I had to do now was customize it!
Cross Rhythms already had a great player so what I did was to take many of the great elements from the current player and put them inside RP. Fortunately Richard had spent lots of time ensuring that his console was technically sound. This meant that all of this made my job a lot easier in RP, all I had to do was design and style it.
One of the easiest things was to insert our current Listen Again feature into the RP OnDemand facility. It worked seamlessly! (Much to the surprise of myself and Richard.) All I had to do now was ensure that users were able to get back to the live stream.
I learnt a lot more about PHP whilst doing this and it was great to have to work to someone else’s design specification (the one which RP gave us so we didn’t destroy the player!).
Today we had to iron out a few little niggles before we were able to show it to the station manager and also the marketing department. They had a few suggestions and they helped shape a few areas I was a bit unsure about. But by about 4:30pm we had completed it!
So it took me 6 days, over two weeks, 9am to 5pm each day. It was well worth it!
Screenshots of the Cross Rhythms Radioplayer console (click to enlarge)
The Radioplayer console is not going to currently be replacing the current Cross Rhythms console.
At the time of writing this, unfortunately, the Radioplayer console I produced is not live on the system. This is due to a couple of things, which I don’t completely understand. Either way the console is ready to go on there but all I can do is tell you it will be there soon. I will update this post when it is ready for you to use.
Update: On Monday 6th July, the Cross Rhythms Radioplayer console went live! You can now view it by searching ‘Cross Rhythms’ in any Radioplayer console or by going to www.radioplayer.co.uk and using their Browse function.