Radiodan is Open Source software that lets you build your own internet audio device on a Raspberry Pi or in pure software.
It can run on most UNIX-based operating systems, with particular emphasis on Raspbian.
There is an argument that radios just do a job and do it well. The postcards people made when we asked them about what they wanted from a radio say something else: there are lots of potential features of radio that people would enjoy that don’t exist.
Many won’t be viable in the slightest, but some might be, and we can’t build them – whether as a physical device or in an app – if they aren’t part of what we consider to be part of the “radio” class of products. As Richard Pope puts it:
“You can’t build what you can’t think of in the first place.”
There’s also a genuine, interesting, argument about accessibility here. If you don’t ask a wide range of people what they want from a device, you probably won’t be able to guess what it is they want or need. The postcards surprised us. We were getting slivers of light into bits of the product space for radio that we hadn’t considered. We’ve recently expanded this line of thinking in the Better Radio Experiences project.
Finally, features implemented as rough physical objects allow meaningful and interesting feedback on the feature rather than its implementation. If it’s a good idea it could then be instantiated as an app or a webpage - or less likely, as a physical device. Screens are boring and distracting, but objects are interesting and fun. Radiodan enables us to quickly generate lots of physical objects, to test the widest possible space of ideas.
If you like videos you can watch our nextrad.io presentation (9 minute video) which explains more about what we are trying to do.
Daniel Nuttall @pixelblend is a freelance Software engineer, who has worked for a range of companies in Europe and Africa, building web sites, browser extensions, servers and everything in between using open-source software.
Libby Miller @libbymiller is a producer and developer at the BBC, working on open APIs for connected devices.
Many others have helped and participated so far, from inside and outside the BBC, including but not limited to:
And for inspiration whether they knew it or not: