BBC Radio 3 will be streaming The Proms in crisp lossless audio this year

Update: The proms are starting this evening at 8pm, at which point if you want to listen to them in lossless quality, you can do so by visiting this site. If you want more information, the controller of BBC Radio 3 has also outlined some further details of the initiative in a recent blog post

Original story below

When you think of technological innovation your mind rarely jumps to radio, but for the start of the Proms this year, BBC Radio 3 will see a significant boost to the quality of its audio streams. 

For the first time, Radio 3 listeners will be able to experience the Proms streamed in FLAC lossless audio, as opposed to the current AAC-LC codec at 320kbs used for the station. 

The catch is that in order to experience the CD-quality 16-bit/44.1kHz quality streams you’ll need to be streaming the radio station from the BBC Proms website or BBC Radio 3 website

Unfortunately the higher quality streams will not be available through your radio (either internet or otherwise), or through any internet radio apps such as TuneIn. The trial will only be available through the desktop version of the website. 

A big step forward

After the jump from analogue to digital, the world of radio has felt very static in terms of its technology. Newer technologies like Internet Radio and DAB+ have appeared, but these have failed to reach mass adoption with consumers. 

In fact, even DAB radio has failed to be adopted enough for the UK to switch away from analogue radio entirely. 

The main issue has been the circumstances under which people listen to the radio. Most radio listening occurs in vehicles on the road, and people are unlikely to prioritise radio technologies when buying a new car. 

Additionally, 3G coverage is still not good enough on roads to be able to have a completely reliable mobile internet radio connection. 

The new trial from the BBC is unlikely to change this, but it should at least be a great benefit for anyone listening along with the Proms at home. 

If you want to get a taste of the higher quality streams then you’ll be able to do so on the BBC Taster website

Jon Porter

Jon Porter is the ex-Home Technology Writer for TechRadar. He has also previously written for Practical Photoshop, Trusted Reviews, Inside Higher Ed, Al Bawaba, Gizmodo UK, Genetic Literacy Project, Via Satellite, Real Homes and Plant Services Magazine, and you can now find him writing for The Verge.